Chase Freedom Flex Categories for 2022: Get the Most Out of Your Rewards

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While Chase Freedom Flex cardholders might be missing quarter one’s 5% cash-back bonus on groceries, a category absent from 2021 is on the calendar for quarter two 2022. Through June 30, cardholders earn 5% cash back on Amazon purchases. They can also earn 5% cash back on 18 different streaming services. 

Credit card cash-back rewards are an easy way for Freedom Flex cardholders to save money. Each quarter, new cash-back bonus categories are added to the calendar to notify cardholders that it is time to activate the latest offers.

Chase Freedom Flex Categories Bonus Calendar for 2022

While categories vary year to year, a look back at the 2021 Chase Freedom bonus categories may provide a guess as to what the quarter three and quarter four bonus categories might be.

  2022 2021
Quarter One Bonus Categories
-Grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart.
-Internet, cable, and phone services
-Wholesale clubs
-Select streaming services.
Quarter Two Bonus Categories
-Amazon purchases
-Streaming services, including Apple Music, Disney+, ESPN+, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Spotify, YouTube Premium and more.
-Gas stations
-Home improvement stores.
Quarter Three Bonus Categories
To be announced -Grocery stores, excluding Walmart and Target
-Select streaming services.
Quarter Four Bonus Categories
October- December
To be announced -Walmart
-PayPal purchases.
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To maximize quarter two’s bonus cash-back offers, cardholders who pay monthly for streaming services and have them billed to another card can switch the billing over to the Freedom Flex card, at least through the June billing.

Additionally, cardholders who pay monthly for streaming services may want to consider switching to annual billing and pay the year to get the 5% cash-back bonus. Many streaming services cost less per month when paid annually, so cardholders can get the cash-back bonus and save a little money.

Amazon might not make another appearance on the cash-back bonus calendar for a while. Cardholders may want to take the opportunity to get some of the things on their Amazon wish lists.

The Bonus 5X Categories for the Chase Freedom Card

For Chase Freedom cardholders wondering if the Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex categories are the same, they are. However, bonus offers must be activated on each card.

While the Chase Freedom card is no longer accepting new cardholders, current Chase Freedom cardholders will have to wait for quarter three and quarter four category announcements to determine if the Chase Freedom bonus categories will be the same as the Freedom Flex bonus categories.

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Other Freedom Flex Cash-Back Rewards

In addition to cash-back bonuses for Chase Freedom Flex categories, cardholders also benefit from the following year-round Chase Freedom card rewards:

Cash-Back Amount Category
3% Dining, whether eating out or ordering in
3% Drugstore purchases
5% Chase Ultimate Rewards® travel purchases
1% All other purchases

How Freedom Flex Bonus Cash-Back Offers Work

Cardholders earn 5% on the cash-back bonus category on up to $1,500 in bonus category purchases. Any additional spending on bonus category purchases over $1,500 continue to earn 1% through the remainder of the quarter.

The maximum cash-back bonus that can be earned during the quarter is $75 (5% of $1,500) plus 1% of any bonus category purchases over the $1,500 limit. This, of course, is in addition to cash back earned on non-bonus category purchases.

Chase Freedom cash-back bonuses must be activated each quarter. Otherwise, cardholders will only earn the standard 1% for category purchases.

How To Activate Cash-Back Bonus Categories

To get the 5% cash-back rather than the usual 1% to 3%, cardholders must activate bonus offers via the Chase Mobile app, online, by email, or over the phone. Cardholders can also go through the Chase Freedom card activation process at any Chase location or ATM.

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Cardholders with more than one Freedom Flex card must activate each card.

Cardholders can activate new bonus offers beginning the 15th of the month prior to the new quarter. They have until the 14th of the last month of the new quarter to activate. So for quarter two 2022 cash-back categories, they can activate as early as March 15 but no later than June 14.

Activation is retroactive for the quarter as long as the activation deadline is met. Cardholders who activate by June 14 will earn the 5% cash-back bonus on all applicable purchases made from April 1 through June 30, not just those made after June 14.

Cardholders can sign up for quarter three bonus offers beginning June 15 and quarter four bonuses beginning September 15.

While it may seem tedious to activate new bonus offers each quarter, Chase does this to ensure cardholders stay up-to-date on the bonus category changes. 

How To Redeem Cash-Back Rewards

Total cash-back bonus points are included in the Rewards Summary section of the Freedom Flex statement and are broken out by category.

Every Freedom Flex cash-back dollar earns 100 Chase Ultimate Points. Chase Ultimate Points can be redeemed for cash back as a direct deposit or a statement credit. Cardholders receive one cent per point. Chase Ultimate Points also can be used for:

  • Over 150 types of gift cards
  • Bookings through Chase Ultimate Rewards for events and travel
  • Shopping through Chase merchandise purchases
  • Purchases at Apple Ultimate Rewards Store
  • Purchases at Amazon and PayPal

Cash-Back Card Comparison: Chase Freedom Flex vs. Discover it® Card

The Discover it® card is another cash-back card that works much like the Chase Freedom Flex card and offers similar bonus categories. It also caps bonus spending at $1,500 per quarter. 

One thing Discover it cardholders prefer over the Freedom Flex card is the fact that Discover releases its bonus categories yearly rather than quarterly. However, the Discover it card must be activated quarterly, just like the Freedom Flex card.

Chase Freedom rotating categories change quarterly, just like Discover. Here’s a comparison of the 2022 Discover cash-back calendar and the Freedom Flex calendar.

  Discover it Card Bonus Categories 2022 Chase Freedom Flex Card Bonus Categories 2022
Quarter One Bonus Categories
-Grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart
-Fitness club and gym memberships.
-Grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart.
Quarter Two Bonus Categories
-Gas stations
-Amazon purchases
-Streaming services.
Quarter Three Bonus Categories
To be announced
Quarter Four Bonus Categories
-Amazon purchases 
-Digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Garmin Pay.
To be announced

Notice that restaurants are a bonus category for the Discover it card. Freedom Flex cardholders get 3% all the time on restaurant purchases.

Discover is offering a cash-back bonus for Amazon purchases from October through December, making it a perfect time to earn cash back on holiday shopping. Cardholders will have to wait until September to see if Chase announces equally appealing cash-back categories for quarter four.

Either way, these cash-back cards both offer bonus categories that can help those looking to save as much as possible on everyday expenses.

Good To Know

Unlike the Freedom Flex card, Discover card cash-back offers are not retroactive for the quarter upon activation. For example, if a Discover it cardholder activates bonus categories on April 15th, they do not get the bonus for any category purchases made April 1-14. With Freedom Flex, they do.

Overall Comparison

There is little overlap in bonus categories between the two cards during any given quarter. Does it make sense to have both cards to really take advantage of those 5% cash-back bonuses?

Here is a quick comparison of the Freedom Flex card and the Discover it card:

Chase Freedom Flex Card Discover it Card
Reward type Cash-back Cash-back
Cash-back rate -3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
-3% on drugstore purchases
-5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
-1% on all other purchases
-5% for select categories every quarter.
-1% on all purchases
-5% for select categories every quarter.
Cash-back bonus activation Required quarterly — retroactive for all category purchases for the quarter Required quarterly — purchases made prior to activation do not earn the bonus
Points expiration Do not expire Do not expire
Bonus cash-back maximum purchase amount $1,500 $1,500
Credit required Good to excellent Good to excellent
Annual fee None None
APR 11.99% to 22.99% variable

New Discover it card cardholders get a 100% cash-back match on first-year purchases with no minimum spending requirements and no limit to rewards.

A perk to carrying the Freedom Flex card is that it is a World Elite MasterCard with its own exclusive features, such as discounts at certain retailers, cell phone protection if the card is used to pay the phone bill, and a complimentary ShopRunner membership.

Final Take

From April through June 2022, the Chase Freedom Flex card rewards users with 5% cash back at Amazon and on 18 different streaming services. Cardholders have until June 14 to activate bonus categories to get cash back on applicable purchases for the quarter. 

Expect third quarter Chase Freedom Flex categories to be announced in June. Perhaps Chase Freedom gas or warehouse club bonuses will make the calendar for quarter three.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Chase. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by Chase.

Rates, offers and requirements are subject to change.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the bank advertiser, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. This site may be compensated through the bank advertiser Affiliate Program.

Our in-house research team and on-site financial experts work together to create content that’s accurate, impartial, and up to date. We fact-check every single statistic, quote and fact using trusted primary resources to make sure the information we provide is correct. You can learn more about GOBankingRates’ processes and standards in our editorial policy.

About the Author

Andrea Norris has been in the web publishing business for the past 15 years both as a content contributor and a copy editor specializing in personal finance, frugal living, home and auto topics. She writes both short and long-form content and is well-practiced in SEO keyword research and writing.

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