Chase Freedom 2021 Quarterly 5% Bonus Categories

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Updated March 24, 2021

The Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cards is a no annual fee credit card that offers rotating 5% quarterly bonuses. It is one of the three cards that make up our personal “Chase Trifecta”. With the Chase Freedom 2021 bonus categories you can earn 5% on up to $1500 worth of purchases each quarter (which is $75 cash back or 7,500 points transferred to a Sapphire card). See my post about the Chase Ultimate Rewards Program. After you reach the $1500 max for 5%, then each purchase even if its in the bonus category is only worth 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom 2021 quarterly categories do require you to login and activate every three months.

This post is going to be dedicated to specifically the quarterly bonus categories offered on the Chase Freedom. It will be updated with the newest information when it is available, as Chase does not release its full year of 5% categories in January. For a full list of all applicable merchants in each bonus category please visit Chase’s website. 

How to Activate:

  • Login to your Chase account
  • On the desktop version, find the Ultimate Rewards section (usually on the right hand side of the screen) and click “Details” next to “Chase Freedom 5% cash back”
  • That will take you to a screen where you can “Activate” the bonus category as well as see the current quarters categories. Also it allows you to see your progress for that quarter. If you scroll to the bottom of this page it will give you a list of all qualifying merchants in each category for that quarter.
  • On the mobile app, login to your Chase app
  • Scroll to where your Freedom account is listed, click the “…” to the right of “Pay Card”
  • Once you click “…” under “More Options” click “See rewards details and redeem”.
  • On the next screen next to “5% cash back (current quarter)” click “Activate”.
  • That will take you to the screen where you can activate the quarterly bonus, see FAQs, and it will give you a list of the current categories. By clicking on each of the current categories it will give you a list of the qualifying merchants in each.

Chase Freedom 2021 Categories by Quarter:

Quarter 2 (April-June 2021): Activate by June 14, 2021

Gas Stations: Per Chase‘s website, these merchants specialize in selling automotive gasoline that can be paid for at the pump or inside of a store. These merchants may or may not sell other products and services. The website lists a few merchant types that do not specialize in the sale of automotive gasoline and thus would not be included in this category, such as: truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors and home heating companies.

Gas Stock photos by Vecteezy

Home Improvement Stores: Per Chase, merchants in this category include companies that sell a variety of home improvement supplies and can include larger home improvement stores down to smaller hardware stores. Merchants that sell a wide variety of general goods that also happen to sell some home improvement products do not count toward this category, these can include: warehouse clubs, discount stores and grocery stores. Also merchants that specialize in home furnishings/decor, gardening and landscaping are not included in this bonus category.

Lumber Stock photos by Vecteezy

Quarter 1 (Jan-March 2021): Activate by March 14, 2021

Wholesale Clubs: Per Chase‘s website, this section includes merchants that operate warehouse-style retail stores and they sell items in bulk quantities. These merchants typically sell a variety of goods, including but not limited to food items, furniture and automotive supplies. Items that are excluded in this category include: gas/fuel, and warehouse specialty services which include travel services, insurance, cell phone and home improvement services. Merchants that are included in this category are: Sam’s Club, Costco, BJ’s and Texas Jasmine. Delivery service companies may be included in this category if they are classified as a wholesale club merchant.

photo credit: Nicholas Eckhart Sam’s Club in Chillicothe via photopin (license)

Internet, Cable and Phone Services: Per Chase‘s website, this category includes purchases of internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services. However, equipment purchases with merchants in this category will not qualify. Purchases/Payments made in one of these merchant’s stores will not qualify because according to Chase these transactions will code as equipment purchases. Per Chase‘s website, some merchants that are included in this category are: AT&T, Charter/Spectrum, Time Warner Cable, Dish Network, Dropbox, Mint Mobile, Skype, T Mobile and Verizon.

photo credit: Thomas Hawk Once Owned a Place Called Flickr via photopin (license)

Select Streaming Services: According to Chase‘s website, merchants in this category specialize in providing music and video content over the internet. Subscription purchases will qualify for the bonus as long as they are made with the following merchants: Disney+™, Hulu™, ESPN+, Netflix®, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, Sirius XM, Pandora, Spotify and Youtube TV. Purchases other than subscriptions services may not qualify for the bonus points in this category.

Photo by Glenn Carstens-Peters on Unsplash

Quarter 3 (July-Sept 2021): Activation starts June 15, 2021

Quarter 4 (Oct-Dec 2021): Activation starts September 15, 2021

The information found in this post was found on the Chase website.

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