Chase Freedom Cards Again Offer 5% Grocery Rate to New Cardholders

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ are once again offering a potential bonanza for grocery-getters.

As of Oct. 6, 2022, new cardholders who apply for either card directly via Chase can earn 5% cash back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending in the first year. That rate is on top of an existing upfront sign-up bonus offered on both cards when you apply via Chase: $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases during the first 3 months from account opening. If you were to max out both offers, you'd snag $800 in cash back.

These offers are available only to those who apply directly through Chase. NerdWallet features a different offer on both cards.

Chase has featured this limited-time offer for grocery stores twice since 2020. There are no other changes to either card's ongoing rewards structure. Here’s how the Freedom cards compare:

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Offer for new cardholders who apply directly with Chase

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, plus 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (up to $12,000 spent) in the first year.

Rotating bonus categories

None.

5% back on quarterly bonus categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending.

Ongoing bonus categories

• 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

• 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.

• 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.

Rewards on other purchases

1.5% cash back.

1% cash back.

Chase Freedom Flex
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ rotating categories

In addition to earning 5% back at grocery stores, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ also earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending each quarter in a series of rotating categories. Note that you must activate those categories. (All other non-bonus-category purchases earn 1% back.)

Here’s a look at the card's 5% categories for 2022:

Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus rewards categories for 2022

Q1 (Jan. 1-March 31)

• Grocery stores. • eBay.

Q2 (April 1-June 30)

• Amazon.com. • Select streaming services.

Q3 (July 1-Sept. 30)

• Gas stations. • Car rentals. • Movie theaters. • Select live entertainment.

Q4 (Oct. 1-Dec. 31)

• PayPal. • Walmart.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Chase has included grocery stores as a 5% rotating bonus category for one quarter every year since 2014. In the past, this rate has been "stackable" with the limited-time 5% grocery store offer for new cardholders — meaning it's been possible to earn 9% cash back at grocery stores if the two deals coincide on the calendar. (It’s not 10% back because the quarterly bonus is calculated as 4% back on top of the card's baseline 1% back. So you'd earn 5% for the year, plus an extra 4% for the quarter.) It's unclear whether the deals will be stackable this time.

Benefits of both cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® both offer a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.99%-26.74% Variable APR.

Plus, with either card you can earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2025.

And as noted above, if you apply for these cards via NerdWallet, you'll be eligible for different bonus offers.

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