Chase Freedom 5% Categories Calendar for 2022

Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex offer 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent per quarter in categories you activate.
Jul 12, 2022

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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ isn't necessarily the easiest credit card to manage, but it offers great rewards for those willing to put in a little work.

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The card earns 5% cash back in categories that change every three months. You have to "activate" the categories each time in order to qualify for the 5% rewards rate, and you earn the 5% only on the first $1,500 spent in the category per quarter. Below is the current Chase 5% calendar.

In addition to these rotating 5% categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase.

  • 3% at restaurants.

  • 3% at drugstores.

  • 1% on other purchases.

An earlier version of the card, the Chase Freedom®, has the same 5% quarterly categories, with the same activation requirement and the same $1,500 quarterly cap on spending eligible for the 5%. However, this version does not have the 5% and 3% rewards on travel, restaurants and drugstores. All other spending with this card earns 1%. (The original Chase Freedom® is no longer accepting applications, but existing cardholders can continue to use it.)

Chase 5% categories calendar

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)

• TBA In 2021: Walmart, PayPal.

Chase 5% calendars from years past

Chase typically doesn't reveal its 5% categories until the month before they take effect. So you usually won't know the categories for, say, the third quarter (July, August, September) until the middle of June. (By contrast, Discover, which has a similar rewards structure on many of its cards, usually reveals the full year's calendar ahead of time.)

You can get a sense of what might be ahead by looking at categories from recent years, since Chase commonly repeats categories from one year to the next. Below are the categories going back to 2014.

The lineup has evolved over time. Restaurants used to be a 5% category every year, for example, but that hasn't happened since 2017. (And now that restaurants are a "permanent" 3% category on the Chase Freedom Flex℠, its days as a 5% quarterly category may truly be over.) Meanwhile, for a couple of years, Chase used the 5% categories to try to nudge people into adopting its (now defunct) Chase Pay digital wallet app.

2021 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2021 bonus categories

  • Q1: Wholesale clubs; select streaming services; internet, cable and phone services.

  • Q2: Gas stations; home improvement stores.

  • Q3: Grocery stores; select streaming services.

  • Q4: Walmart; PayPal.

2020 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2020 bonus categories

  • Q1: Gas stations; select streaming services; internet, cable and phone services.

  • Q2: Grocery stores; gym memberships and fitness clubs; select streaming services.

  • Q3: Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

  • Q4: Walmart; PayPal.

2019 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2019 bonus categories

  • Q1: Gas stations; tolls; drugstores.

  • Q2: Home improvement stores; grocery stores.

  • Q3: Gas stations; select streaming services.

  • Q4: Department stores; PayPal and Chase Pay.

2018 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2018 bonus categories

  • Q1: Gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; purchases via Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

  • Q2: Grocery stores, PayPal, Chase Pay.

  • Q3: Gas stations, Lyft, Walgreens.

  • Q4: Department stores, wholesale clubs, Chase Pay.

2017 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2017 bonus categories

  • Q1: Gas stations, local commuter transportation.

  • Q2: Grocery stores, drugstores.

  • Q3: Restaurants, movie theaters.

  • Q4: Walmart, department stores.

2016 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2016 bonus categories

  • Q1: Gas stations, local commuter transportation.

  • Q2: Grocery stores, wholesale clubs.

  • Q3: Restaurants, wholesale clubs.

  • Q4: Department stores, wholesale clubs.

2015 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2015 bonus categories

  • Q1: Grocery stores, movie theaters, Starbucks.

  • Q2: Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M, Overstock.com.

  • Q3: Gas stations, Kohl's.

  • Q4: Amazon.com, Audible.com, Diapers.com, Zappos.com.

(Note: In a special promotion offered in the fourth quarter of 2015 only, the $1,500 quarterly limit on spending eligible for bonus rewards was reset on Nov. 23, meaning that Chase Freedom® cardholders got a "fresh" $1,500 to spend for bonus cash back. Further, from Nov. 23 to Dec. 31 of that year, Amazon.com spending earned 10% cash back, rather than 5%.) 

2014 Chase 5% calendar

Chase 2014 bonus categories

  • Q1: Grocery stores, movie theaters, Starbucks.

  • Q2: Restaurants, Lowe's.

  • Q3: Gas stations, Kohl's.

  • Q4: Amazon.com, Zappos.com, select department stores.

How to activate Chase 5% categories

Categories become available for activation around the 15th of the month before the quarter starts — around Dec. 15 for the first quarter, March 15 for the second quarter, June 15 for the third quarter, and Sept. 15 for the fourth quarter.

To activate the category, log in to Chase on the web or go to the Chase mobile app:

  • On the web, after signing in, select the account for your card. Click the "5% cash back" link, and activate the category.

  • On the app, after signing in, tap the account for your card, scroll down to the "5% cash back" section, and activate the category.

You have until the 14th day of the last month of the quarter to activate the categories. Activation is retroactive, so as long as you activate by the deadline, you'll get the 5% for all eligible spending during the quarter.

The information related to Chase Freedom® credit card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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