Update: Don’t forget to finish your Freedom 5x And Freedom Flex 5x-9x spending by 12/31!
Originally posted on 12/15:
Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom are excellent no annual fee cards thanks to their quarterly 5% categories. 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 now have 7 Freedom cards, which makes it all the more lucrative!
- Grocery stores. This includes large grocery chains and small local grocery stores. These stores sell gift cards to other stores as well. Bingo Wholesale stores now code as grocery stores on Freedom cards!
You still can finish Q4 spending through 12/31 at:
- Walmart and Walmart.com, including gift cards sold for other stores.
- Paypal, including purchases, charity, or peer to peer payments.
- Anywhere, via Paypal Key
As a bonus for Freedom Flex cards only, you can also earn 5x points on your $1,500 of spending in your top spending category this quarter! You can convert a Freedom Visa card to Freedom Flex Mastercard or you can open a Freedom Flex Mastercard even if you have a Freedom Visa Card.
You are automatically registered for the top spend offer when you registered or will register for the Q4 bonus categories. You will earn 5x points on $1,500 of spending in your top spend category from select categories during the entire Q4, retroactive to spending from 10/1.
Eligible rewards categories include travel (including transit), dining, home improvement stores, select streaming services, select live entertainment, gas stations, drugstores, fitness clubs, grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart purchases). See category definitions here.
Purchases made in your top spend category through PayPal, a Q4 quarterly bonus category, will earn a total of 9 points per dollar after 1 point for dollar for base spending, 4 bonus points per dollar for the Paypal category and 4 bonus points per dollar for your top spending category.
The top spend category bonus points will post your account by the end of February 2022.
- If your top spend category is dining or drugstores that already earn 3x points, you will earn a total of 7x points.
- If your top spend category is groceries and you have a new customer offer that already earns 5x points on those purchases, you will earn a total of 9x points.
- If your top spend category is travel and you book travel via the Chase portal that already earns 5x points, you will earn a total of 9x points.
- If your top spend category is on the list above and you paid for it via Paypal, you will earn a total of 9x points.
You can check your current 5% earnings here by clicking on “Your Dashboard.”
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. Plus, you’ll 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 Reserve, or Sapphire Preferred, 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 Q4 and Q1 purchases?