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

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Activation of the 5% bonus categories for 2021 Q3 is now open for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom®. From July 1 through September 30, 2021, Freedom Flex and Freedom Card cardholders can earn 5% cashback (or 5X Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $1,500 of purchases at grocery stores and select streaming services.

Cardholders can earn a total of $75 cash back—or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points—maxing out spending this quarter. However, to get any bonus earnings, you'll need to activate the offer by September 14, 2021.

Key Terms

  • You need to activate your bonus by September 14, 2021.
  • Earn 5% cashback on the first $1,500 in purchases at qualifying merchants, earn 1% after that.
  • This quarter the bonus categories are:
    • Grocery stores
    • Select streaming services — Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV
  • Purchases that post to your account between July 1 and September 30, 2021, are eligible for the bonus.

One thing to remember is that as long as you activate your bonus by September 14, 2021. You will earn the cashback for the whole promotion duration. So even if you were to register on September 13, you would still earn the 5% back on your purchases as far back as July 1, 2021.

Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom 2021 5% calendar

Don't forget that Q2 earnings are still open! If you completed registration by June 14, 2021, you can still earn 5% cashback on purchases through June 30. The Q2 2021 bonus categories are gas stations and home improvement stores.

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 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Our #1 recommended beginners rewards card featuring an 100,000-point signup bonus after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. This card comes with great benefits and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points.
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 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, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
  • 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
  • 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 or the Chase Pay Yourself Back tool 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 cashback—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.

So, take a couple of seconds and register for your bonus now! Then set a reminder for July 1, 2021 to put your Freedom Flex and/or Freedom Card in your wallet for use at grocery stores and select streaming services.

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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining 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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Comments

  • Absolutely love the grocery store bonus category!

  • Why not list the “Select Streaming Services”? Wording that way makes it seem like there is a catch.

  • They used to send me a text to sign up for the new categories but they stopped doing it and l forget about it. Thanks for the reminder. It’s nice to get something back for using the card. It has taken me a long time but now l have enough points for some free tickets somewhere on the beach. Love my Freedom card

  • Nice news. The fight for conquer the client does not end for air companies.

  • Are both cards (Freedom Flex and Freedom card) activated at the same time or do you need to activate them separately?

  • I have a freedom unlimited card but it doesn’t offer rotating categories. I downgraded from a sapphire reserve card. I also have a chase freedom with rotating categories. Should I switch to a flex card? Thank you

  • As long as you hold the card, you should just sign up for it even if you do not intend to have and spend in the quarterly categories.

  • The $1500 cap on the home improvement center purchases might been too little for many card holders.

  • I had activated this but seems like this time around, AmEx has just overshadowed my spend compared to Chase. Got the Plat with the 10x grocery and gas offer and then used that to get HD/Lowe’s GC for 10x back so the Chase quarterly category has just been unused. Wish Chase can make this more like the Citi Custom Cash now.

  • I both have the grocery signup bonus for the Flex and the Amex Platinum. Wish Amex was a year, though 10x is pretty sweet.

  • I wish next quarter was groceries instead of gas. I only have to fill up every few months since the virus started.

  • I wish that Chase would release the entire calendar like Discover.

    • On the upside, it’s kind of exciting and gives one something to look forward to (I was pleased this quarter, as I used quite a bit of the quota on wholesale clubs and internet/phone service), and Chase allows for retroactive 5x earnings if you activate very late, so it’s much more forgiving if one forgets, unlike Discover. Downside is that you can’t form a cohesive strategy for the whole year, but that’s mitigated by having overlapping redundancies from holding 10+ other cards (CFU, CSP, Hilton, Discover, AA cards). I believe that Chase piggy-backs off of other issuer’s calendar categories because they understand that many cardholders have both cards, and thankfully share the space, rather than competing. Wholesale clubs are a 6-month contiguous bonus category this year if you hold the Freedom/Flex and Discover it® card.

  • Always great to see gas stations as a bonus category. Would love to see streaming services stay on as a permanent category though.

  • Linda Mary Falat says:

    I like the fact I can transfer to a travel partner. Not all cards allow you to do this.

  • Thanks for the reminder!

  • I prefer to pick my bonus categories each month/quarter as opposed to them being selected for me. I have certain cards for certain categories.

  • Yay for gas stations!

  • Keith Anderson says:

    Other than the sign-up bonus, is there any reason to apply for the Chase Freedom Flex if you already have the Chase Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited?

    • That’s something that I’m struggling with as well. I have both the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited, and I’m struggling to justify using a 5/24 slot for a new Freedom Flex. There are some unique perks of the Freedom Flex – like cell phone insurance, Postmates discount, Lyft promo, etc: https://awardwallet.com/blog/chase-freedom-flex/

      But, the real reason to justify signing up for the Freedom Flex is the solid $200 sign-up bonus + 5X on groceries for a year.

  • Given that the Freedom Flex is a MC, it will have limited value at Costco. OTOH, if you have the legacy Freedom (which I have kept for now), then this is a good opportunity to earn 5% on Costco purchases.

    One more reason to NOT product change if you have the Freedom.

  • I agree that I think for certain categories this should be a permanent offer

  • I very much think certain categories should be made permanent.

  • Earning further cash rebates at Costco is certainly a very welcoming news to many.

  • Robert Felter says:

    “Select streaming services” which ones might those be?

    Thx in advance

  • Gilberto Souza de Morais says:

    5% of the Purchase Value as Cash-back is so generous.

  • Keith A GARDENER says:

    I want the flex but like some am nervous that applying for another new chase card…this will be my 6th as well as needing to dowmgrade my CSR to get the SUB again has me a little on pause. Anyone feeling the same?

    • I’m being very conservative about applying for cards right now, too. I want the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Ink Business Cash cards but will wait awhile before applying.

  • Anyone know if Walmart Grocery is included? The terms say “Purchases in the Walmart category include purchases at Walmart Discount Stores, Walmart SuperCenters, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, http://www.walmart.com, Walmart branded gas stations operated by Walmart, any other Walmart branded retail stores operated by Walmart, and purchases made with Walmart Pay.”

  • Eh I just don’t shop at Walmart too much or use PayPal. I guess this holiday season either I need to use PayPal or just not max out the bonus this time. I don’t like to shop too much at Walmart unless I have to because I don’t like several of their company practices. I wonder why they picked Walmart and did not include Target? Amex just might get my business this holiday season.

  • Citibank and DIscover cards also have this feature. What they do not have is the higher point value if you have a more premium card with an annual fee.

  • Do anyone incur extra expenses from shopping through PayPal?

  • Yes. I love when PayPal is up. All my online purchases bring me the bonus!!!

  • My card is activated. It is now so easy to activate the categories through the app. I can remember when this was not the case and it seemed that every quarter I had to figure out where they had hidden the activation on their webpage. It almost negates my chronic underlying annoyance that the categories have to be activated at all. (But not quite.).

  • 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 Walmart.com and Target.com) 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.

    • How can the substitution be so difficult when practically all it takes is a revision in their database?

      • Probably due to contractual agreements. I would guess that merchants give something back in exchange for incentivizing business on this kind of scale.

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