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 IssaSep 22, 2020
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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
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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 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)

TBD (In 2020: Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.)

Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)

TBD (In 2020: Walmart; PayPal.)