How to Optimize Chase Freedom Flex, Discover it Cash Back for Q4 2020

Amazon, Walmart and Target sell pretty much everything, while PayPal is accepted at a variety of merchants.

Sara RathnerOct 13, 2020
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Fall and winter are always the perfect seasons to stay home in a bathrobe, but this year, staying home is especially important amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Chase Freedom Flex
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Thankfully, the 5% bonus categories offered by the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and select Discover cards including the Discover it® Cash Back make online shopping more rewarding.

As always, you must activate the bonus categories for both cards. From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2020, earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending (and 1% back after that) in these categories:

Discover it® Cash Back
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Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Walmart.

  • PayPal.

Discover

  • Amazon.com.

  • Walmart.com.

  • Target.com.

Here are ways to optimize the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Discover it® Cash Back during the last quarter of 2020.

Nerdy tip: The Chase Freedom® is no longer available to new applicants, but existing cardholders can also earn 5% cash back on the same spending categories as the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ racks up additional rewards on top of its rotating 5% bonus categories. 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. You can also earn:

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

  • 3% back at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstores.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Walmart

For Q4 2020, the card earns 5% back not only on in-store Walmart purchases, but also on Walmart.com and at Walmart gas stations. That means this spending category is a potentially broad one, covering fuel, groceries and everything else you can find at a Walmart (which really is everything). If Walmart is your go-to store, it’s almost too easy to spend $500 a month there.

The timing of this category lines up with Walmart’s recent launch of its new Walmart+ membership plan, which offers unlimited free delivery, fuel discounts and mobile scan-and-go shopping for $98 per year or $12.95 per month.

PayPal

Add your Chase Freedom Flex℠ as the preferred payment method for your PayPal account and use PayPal at checkout to earn 5% cash back.

PayPal is accepted at a wide variety of retailers, including Apple, BestBuy.com, Target.com and Walgreens.com. This makes it possible to earn 5% back on holiday gifts, decor, big Black Friday tech purchases and more.

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)

TBD (In 2020: Walmart; PayPal.)

Discover

This quarter, Discover is offering 5% back in Q4 on the Big Three online retailers: Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com. You'll earn 5% cash back up on up to $1,500 spent in these categories, worth up to $75. Remember to activate the bonuses every quarter when you're logged into your Discover account.

This means that everything you need for Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and all the days in between is covered — and you can shop from the socially distant comfort of your couch.

It's also worth noting that Amazon’s Prime Day happens to coincide with this bonus calendar. It'll run Oct. 13 and 14. Meanwhile, Walmart plans to spread out its Black Friday deals over a longer period of time, giving you ample opportunities to shop at a discount. (And, again, it might be a good time to consider Walmart+.)

New cardholders can get a unique bonus offer, phrased this way: "INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300."

Discover bonus rewards categories for 2021

Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)

• Grocery stores*. • CVS. • Walgreens.

*The grocery stores category includes Walmart Grocery Pickup & Delivery, but not grocery purchases inside Walmart or at other superstores such as Target or wholesale clubs.

Q2 (April 1 – June 30)

• Gas stations. • Wholesale clubs. • Select streaming services.

Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)

• Restaurants. • PayPal.

Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)

• Amazon.com. • Target.com. • Walmart.com.

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