Advertiser Disclosure

The Chase Freedom 5% Opt-In Actually Works Retroactively

March 19, 2015
Credit Cards
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.

This page may be out of date

This page includes information about one or more products not currently available on NerdWallet.

  • Chase Freedom®

As a result, offers described on this page may be out of date. See our best credit cards page for updated offers.

The Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories each quarter. But to take advantage of this stellar rewards rate, you have to opt-in on a quarterly basis. Thankfully, you likely won’t miss out on the rewards if you don’t remember to opt-in by the start of the quarter.

Earn retroactive rewards on your bonus category purchases

You don’t have to opt-in by day one of the quarter to take advantage of 5% rewards. As long as you opt-in by the 14th day of the third month of the quarter, you’ll receive rewards on your bonus category purchases (up to $1,500 spent per quarter). So these were the opt-in deadlines for 2016:

  • Q1 (January – March): March 14, 2016
  • Q2 (April – June): June 14, 2016
  • Q3 (July – September): Sept. 14, 2016
  • Q4 (October – December): Dec. 14, 2016

If you forget to opt-in by those dates, you won’t receive 5% rewards for your bonus category purchases that quarter. That said, you can opt-in for the next quarter the next day (i.e. June 15, 2016).

Interested? Check out the Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on the following bonus categories:

Chase Freedom® 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)•
• Whole Foods Market.
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)TBD (In 2019, department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay.).

For all bonus category spending above $1,500 per quarter, and for all other spending, you’ll earn 1% rewards. There’s also a sweet signup bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

The Chase Freedom® has an annual fee of $0 and a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases, and then the ongoing APR of 14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR. It’s a good option for those whose spending corresponds with the 5% bonus categories.

Nerd note: Use the email or text reminders to avoid missing the bonus opt-in dates. Sign up here and Chase will let you know when you it’s time to opt-in each quarter.

Erin El Issa is a staff writer covering personal finance for NerdWallet. Follow her on Twitter @Erin_Lindsay17 and on Google+.