Chase Freedom 5% Opt-In Actually Works Retroactively

As long as you activate by the 14th day of the third month of the quarter, you'll receive bonus rewards even on category purchases made before you activated.

Erin El IssaSeptember 22, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

The Chase Freedom® and its successor card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offer 5% cash back in rotating bonus categories each quarter. But to get that great rewards rate, you have to opt in or "activate" the bonus category each quarter.

Chase Freedom Flex
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

The good news: You have plenty of time to opt in. As long as you activate by the 14th day of the third month of the quarter, you'll receive bonus rewards even on category purchases made before you activated. So these are the opt-in deadlines:

  • Q1 (January - March): March 14.

  • Q2 (April - June): June 14.

  • Q3 (July - September): Sept. 14.

  • Q4 (October - December): Dec. 14.

If you fail to activate by the due date for a quarter, you won't receive 5% rewards for purchases in the category for that three-month period. You'll just get 1% cash back for those purchases.

The Chase Freedom®, which is no longer, accepting applications, and the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earn 5% cash back up to $1,500 per quarter in spending in the bonus categories.

Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠* bonus rewards categories for 2020

Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)

• Gas stations. • Select streaming services. • Internet, cable and phone services.

Q2 (April 1 - June 30)

• Grocery stores. • Gym memberships and fitness clubs. • Select streaming services.

Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)

• Amazon.com. • Whole Foods Market.

Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)

• Walmart. • PayPal.

*The Chase Freedom Flex℠ was introduced in mid-September 2020, so the first bonus categories that apply to the card for a full quarter are those for Q4.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.