Chase Freedom Q1 Bonus Categories Are Now Live

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Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom are excellent no annual fee cards thanks to their quarterly 5% categories. You can read about the differences between those cards here. While the rewards are marketed as 5% cash back, you’ll actually get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash.

If you max out the $1,500 in bonus spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent). My wife and I have 6 Freedom cards, which makes it all the more lucrative!

You can now start spending on the Chase Freedom Q1 5% categories.

You must register here for 2021 Q1 spending which is valid 1/1-3/31 at:

  • Wholesale Clubs including BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club. Wholesale Clubs also includes other stores categorized as wholesale, like Bingo Wholesale and more, as well as gift cards sold from those stores.
  • Internet, Cable, and phone services, including bills for internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services
  • Select streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, and ESPN+.

Note that if you have a Freedom Flex Mastercard you will only be able to use it on and not in store as they only take Visa cards in store. You can still get 5 points per dollar in store by buying a Costco Cash card here and using it in store. In fact you don’t even need a Costco membership to use a Costco Cash card in store, though you do need to be a member to purchase one.

Also note that gas stations at wholesale clubs are excluded, however you can buy gift cards from wholesale clubs online and or in-store, such as a Costco Cash card, and use those to pay for gas in order to earn 5 points per dollar spent.

You can currently earn a $200 signup bonus in the form of 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $500 on the Freedom Flex Mastercard. You’ll also earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12,000 of grocery spending in your first year, so you can earn another 60,000 points on your grocery spending! Plus you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on drugstore and dining purchases and 5 points per dollar on all Travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Read more about the Freedom Flex card here.

While Chase Freedom Flex is a great card for the bonus categories, it’s not a great card for everyday spending. However the Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has no annual fee and the same signup bonus, plus it’s excellent for everyday spending thanks to 1.5 points per dollar that can be earned everywhere with no limit, though it doesn’t have rotating 5x categories! Read more about the Freedom Unlimited card here.

The no annual fee business version of Freedom Unlimited is the Chase Ink Unlimited Card, which offers $750 in the form of 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $7,500 within 3 months plus 1.5 points per dollar spent. Read more about the Ink Unlimited card here.

Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has an Ink Preferred, Sapphire Reserveor Sapphire Preferred, or card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. Those cards also allow you to redeem your points for paid travel or other select consumer categories and business categories at a value of 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. The Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, or Ink Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.

The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them!

Where will you make your Q1 purchases?

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18 Comments On "Chase Freedom Q1 Bonus Categories Are Now Live"

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Mo K

Does target count as wholesale?


I made 2 purchases through PayPal on 12/30 on my Freedoms and the pending charges have dropped off. I took screen shots. Do I have a leg to stand on to get 5% for 4Q 2020?


Likely the charges will reappear as being charged on 12/30. Check in a day or 2.


Thanks. I meant to say using PayPal Key MC.


Probably by calling


I have the old Chase Freedom Visa card. Is there a difference between that card and this? I only saw that they offer 5% back on groceries for the first year only. Any other perks worth it to open this card as well?


3% on dining is a nice difference as well as Drug stores.


Wholesale club online included?

Dan\'s the Man



How about gasoline from wholesale clubs

Dan\'s the Man

Buy a Costco gift card (either online or in store) and then use the gift card at the gas pump


Is there a comparison chart of when it’s most valuable to use which chase card posted somewhere?


would ordering grocery delivery from (executed by instacart) count?


Also interested if anyone has any data points with this…


I placed an Instacart order on Friday for Costo on Freedom Flex and can confirm today that it received the bonus. Showed up as COSTCO BY INSTACART and the rewards showed ‘+ Bonus from 1Q 5% category: Wholesale Clubs’.


Thanks for confirming!


Possibly off topic, but what is the best card to be using for Amazon now (Jan 2021)?

David R

No annual fee Citi Dividend offers 5% back. There are other 5% cards too.