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Beginning July 1, 2021, new Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ card holders will once again earn 5% cash back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
That's in addition to the existing bonus offered on both cards: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
This grocery bonus was previously offered for a limited time in September 2020, when the Chase Freedom Flex℠ first launched, but that promotion ended in January 2021.
Otherwise, there are no other changes to either card. Here’s how they compare:
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Offer for new cardholders:
Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
None — card is no longer accepting applications
Rotating bonus categories:
• 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
1% cash back
The $0-annual-fee Chase Freedom Flex℠ recently announced its 5% rotating bonus categories for the third quarter of 2021. From July 1 to Sept. 30, 2021, cardholders will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending on:
Grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart).
Select streaming services (including Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube TV).
The fact that grocery stores are a 5% category for the quarter is a bit of an overlap, but this allows existing card holders who aren’t part of the 12-month promotion to earn a higher amount on groceries for a shorter period of time. Plus, new Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn both bonuses at the same time, meaning they earn up to 9% cash back at grocery stores for the quarter — it’s not 10% back because the bonus is 4% on top of the baseline 1% back, so you earn 5% for the year plus and extra 4% for the quarter. Here are 2021’s rotating 5% categories so far:
Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus rewards categories for 2021
Q1 (Jan. 1-March 31)
• Wholesale clubs. • Select streaming services. • Internet, cable and phone services.
Q2 (April 1-June 30)
• Gas stations. • Home improvement stores.
Q3 (July 1–Sept. 30)
• Grocery stores. • Select streaming services.
Q4 (Oct. 1–Dec. 31)
• Walmart. • PayPal.
As always, you need to activate the categories online or in the Chase app by Sept. 14 in order to receive the 5% rewards for all eligible purchases during the quarter (including purchases you made before activating).
Benefits of both cards
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® (which also has a $0 annual fee) both earn a sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
They also offer 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99%-23.74% Variable APR. Additionally, you’ll earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
The information related to the Chase Freedom® credit card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.