Activate 5% Cash Back Earnings on Your Chase Freedom Flex (and Chase Freedom) Now

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Activation of the 5% bonus categories for Q4 is now open for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom®. From October 1 through December 31, 2020, Freedom Flex and Freedom Card cardholders can earn 5% cashback on the first $1,500 of purchases at Walmart and through PayPal.

Cardholders can earn a total of $75 cash back—or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points—maxing out spending this quarter. However, in order to get any bonus earnings, you'll need to activate the offer by December 14, 2020.

Key Terms

  • You need to activate your bonus by December 14, 2020.
  • Earn 5% cashback on the first $1,500 in purchases at qualifying merchants, earn 1% after that.
  • This quarter the bonus categories are Walmart and PayPal.
  • Purchases that post to your account between October 1 and December 31, 2020, are eligible for the bonus.

One thing to remember is that as long as you activate your bonus by December 14, 2020. You will earn the cashback for the whole promotion duration. So even if you were to register on December 13, you would still earn the 5% back on your purchases as far back as October 1, 2020.

Maximize Your Value with a Premium Card

The best way to leverage the points earned from your Freedom Flex or Freedom Card is by combining them with a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Annual Fee$95
Welcome Bonus Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring a 80,000 point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®..
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide
  • 1X point per dollar spent on all other purchases

The way this works is straightforward. If you only hold the Freedom Flex or Freedom Card, you can only redeem your earnings at a value of 1 cent per point.

However, if you hold a premium card, you can transfer your Freedom Flex or Freedom Card earnings to the premium card. Then, you can redeem these points through the Chase Travel Portal at either a 25% or 50% bonus, depending on which card you have. Moving points to a premium card also opens up the option of transferring these points to a Chase travel partner where you can get even more value for your points.

You can maximize the earning potential on the Freedom Flex or Freedom Card by just spending $500 per month. If you do, you'll earn $300 cash back—or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points—each year.

Our Take

If you hold the Freedom Flex or the Freedom Card, then activating your bonus is a must-do. The 5% rotating bonus is one of the main features of these cards and where it delivers excellent value.

The choice of Walmart is especially interesting for this quarter. New Freedom Flex cardholders earn 5% cashback (or 5X points) on the first $12,000 in grocery store purchases in the first year holding the card. However, Chase specifically excludes Walmart and Target purchases from this earning rate. So, this quarterly bonus opens up the ability to earn 5% cashback on your grocery spending this quarter—whether you shop at Walmart or a local grocery store.

So, take a couple of seconds and register for your bonus now! And then set your Freedom Flex and/or Freedom Card out for use at Walmart and through PayPal starting October 1, 2020.

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
  • Earn 5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Earn 3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases

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  • Supposedly the Freedom Flex will not be eligible for Q3 categories on new sign-ups even though it’s technically possible to get approved before the Q3 enrollment window ends. Seems strange. Product changes from OG Freedom (and perhaps others?) still seem to allow Q3 enrollment.

  • Jesusita Soliz says:

    I haven’t been using this card much, but have had it a while and had no idea I had to activate these bonuses. I wish I had known and would have used this card for all my purchases at Amazon & Whole Foods since July – which were a lot! Thanks for this useful info for someone still trying to get on top of the best way to use my cards!

  • George Ciava says:

    I’d like to buy Iphone 12 max for my girl friend hope apple will be publish iphone 12 more fast or else i will be choose HUAWEI phone as it’s have great 5G network.

  • Q3 has been very good. Usually Amazon falls into Q4’s “holiday” category. Maybe back to back quarters for Amazon this year?

  • Wait for this labor holiday to buy many things and this cashback would be better to choose this card. Thanks for tips.

  • I don’t want to use Chase again since i have been reject to apply a new card as 5/24 rule. That’s very bad experience for chase . I usually use AE card to earn Marriott points.

  • This is an odd post. The whole purpose of the freedom card is to get the rotating bonuses . . . so how many cardholders would not be aware of the current categories more than two months into the quarter??

  • Thanks for the reminder! So curious what next quarters extra points selection will be, hope they continue with amazon.

  • Can I also use the Chase UR Pay Yourself Back to these Whole Foods purchases on the Freedom?

    • JT Genter says:

      The Pay Yourself Back featured is only available to Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve cardholders for now, but Chase did say that they would add more cards later. You still have the option to redeem Chase Freedom earnings for 1% cashback.

  • To help you plan for the year, Discover will give 5% cashback for Amazon (and and in Q4 (Sep-Dec). So if you have the right set of cards, you’ll be earning 5% for the rest of the year at Amazon.

  • For Chase cards, check out the Pay Yourself Back program. A great way to redeem ultimate rewards points at a good value. It allows you to offset purchases on your card.

  • Michael Graham says:

    I can’t wait to activate my extra points. It ads up to a free vacation. Hooray!

  • When are the credit cards going to bring back price protection of purchases?

    • Unfortunately, I think that’s a long-gone benefit. Services that automated these claims flooded benefits administrators with claims, so cards killed off the benefit. I’m hopeful that banks will figure out a way to offer the benefit with limits — such as claims needing to be for at least $20 or that you can only make up to 5 claims a year.

  • While 5% is very generous, I dislike that cardholders even have to ‘activate’ this cashback! It should be automatic. Also, it’s frustrating not to know what the next quarter cashback will be…

  • Amazon bonus is always a welcome category.

  • I just applied for a Prime Rewards card a week ago! I would have taken the freedom instead since I can convert it to UR

  • Amazon and Whole Foods are the same company. Neither of which I support due to their contributions towards global inequality and terrible labor practices. I will not be utilizing this category. I dislike how it’s not “Grocery” and restricted to one store.

  • Keep in mind that the 5% for Amazon includes Amazon Fresh orders, but not Amazon Wholefoods orders, if you want to leverage it for grocery delivery.

  • Thanks–helpful! However, is the activation site down? It keeps deleting my info and saying “We can’t enroll you with the information provided”

  • Well this quarter seems like a bust. I’ve heard of Whole Foods but haven’t seen one in my area, and I generally don’t order online often. I guess this is the push I needed to figure out if it would be cheaper to buy some of my recurring grocery/household item expenses from Amazon.

  • Great category again but I already have 2k+ gift card balance in my Amazon account. Thanks to 4 freedom + CSR and Q2’s category.

  • I own the Freedom card for years and for me the categories, while a great bonus, are often a hit or miss. I might be one of the very few people who don’t shop on Amazon and whole foods is the one grocery store that I do not have in my neighborhood.
    Also plenty of other categories they often have, I use a business credit card to pay for. So unfortunately I don’t get much benefit from the Chase Freedom card aside from it having no annual fees.
    Wish I could take better advantage of the 5% points bonus.

  • Anyone else find it odd there are only two options? There have previously been three, though Q2 chase added back streaming to provide that flexibility after the shutdown. Also surprised Chase chose a very specific grocery brand, not to mention one of the most expensive and region-specific. Guess I’ll have to be giving Discover the majority of my cashback business this quarter.

  • Thanks for the reminder to activate. I’ll do that today through the app. Amazon is a great category. I can’t say I’m as enthusiastic about Whole Paycheck though…but that’s just me.

  • Fitness and Gyms are a joke right now- I guess that’s offset by the streaming since that’s what people are doing instead.

  • Grocery stores is useful… Gyms during lock down is a NO !!

  • lenin1991 says:

    Note that they added “Streaming Services” as an additional category this quarter!

  • Slimcustomer says:

    Getting a CSP is not worth it after the signup bonus. Even if you managed to max out all 5% categories on the freedom and got $300 for the year, you would only get $75 additional for having the CSP, and the annual fee is $95. Already get >2.5% on dining and travel with other no fee cards. We buy grocery gift cards to max out the 5% grocery quarters for Discover and Chase, as we would never come close to maxing them out otherwise. Gets us 5% off groceries all year long.

  • I always love it when they have groceries. I always max out the bonus. I will have to look at the fitness more closely. I wonder if it includes anything online. I know my gym offers online classes since the gym is closed. So it might still be an option.

  • Chase didn’t get the memo on gyms and fitness clubs?

  • The Arts Traveler says:

    Well, this quarter should be maxed out in a week. In all that is going on it’s easy to forget the usual things you have to do to maximize points and so on.

  • Dhangfun Karnasuta says:

    At this time with the Covid-19 pandemic, I don’t think anyone will dare go to the gym or fitness.

  • I do miss my gym, that is for sure. I will tkae the bonus on groceries though!

  • I’ll admit I was peeved at first when I activated and saw that Walmart purchases won’t be eligible. There’s a Walmart local to me and it’s where I do my grocery shopping because the prices are the best compared to some of the other local area chain markets. My guess is that they want the focus to be points earned from actual markets and not from a trip to a mass merchandiser like Walmart or Target because you needed non-grocery items.

  • It would be great to see grocery stores include Walmart and Target. In my experience, groceries there are substantially cheaper than chain supermarkets and I won’t pay more for everyday purchases just to earn points.

    • I’m pretty sure that I’ve had a grocery-only WalMart code as groceries. They say this just to set expectations though. It’s the store that sets its merchant code, not Chase. Stores like this will never code as groceries so Chase is just being proactive in notifying people that it won’t count.

  • Why wouldnt the switch the gym/fitness center out? That makes no sense.

  • The grocery store bonus is very nice during this time.
    The gym…not so much.

  • The gym bonus is unfortunately a joke nowadays.

  • I wish they would just automatically register everyone for these 5% bonus categories. Why do people have to activate? It is just a way to make sure some people would not qualify for it.

    • I agree that would be nice, but I think they want to force people to think about their Freedom card at least 1x per quarter. If the goal was to have fewer transactions qualify, they wouldn’t make the earning retroactive for transactions made before registration.

    • Making people register is a way for marketing to advertise this as true and get people to sign up but have hope that a certain percentage won’t maximize their rewards and capitalize.

    • Michael Graham says:

      They used to send me a text when it was time to activate, but they don’t do that anymore. Now sometimes l forget about it

  • 5% at grocery stores it is. No gyms for the rest of the year.

  • I’ve already activated. It’s nice that they’ve made it so easy to do so on the app. It used to be difficult to find but it’s much improved. I wish they’d get rid of the need to activate the categories altogether but that’s probably too much to ask.

  • Talchinsky says:

    A great time to earn points on groceries since that’s about the only thing we should be spending on in this time of Coronavirus.

  • 5% cash back bonus on gym memberships is pretty pointless. Most, if not all, gyms are currently closed due to the COVID-19 situation.

    • They should swap the pointless category out with a “useful” one.

      • Karl, I enjoyed your, perhaps unintentional, pun… “pointless.” Although, I guess it’s technically a cashless category here. Yes, the inclusion of gyms makes it look as if an unaware, preprogrammed computer was choosing categories this quarter. Would have thought they’d catch this. They use these categories as incentives to spend and no incentives will work on gym spending right now. That’s certainly why they added streaming services with the update. Glad they adjusted a bit.

  • Hmm, strange indeed that they did not swap out the gym category for something more useful during the present situation (e.g., pharmacies, hardware stores, etc.) I guess they plan these promotions far in advance and it’s difficult to change them on short notice.

  • Pair this with a CSR and you’ll be earning URs in no time