Edited by: Nick Ellis
& Stella Shon
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The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a simple card that could easily get overlooked in your wallet. But that would be a mistake because it has tremendous earning potential. Each quarter, the Freedom Flex card has bonus categories that will earn 5% cash-back (or 5x points — see below for details).
The key to this card’s power is knowing how to use the bonus categories for maximum benefit.
In this post, we’ll review the 5x bonus categories for Q4 2023, plus tips to get the most out of your Freedom Flex card.
Chase announced that the bonus categories for Q4 will be PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities. That means qualifying purchases made in these categories from October 1, 2023, through December 31, 2023 (up to $1,500) will earn 5% cash-back. Any purchases made in these categories over $1,500, plus all purchases at non-bonus stores, will earn 1% cash-back.
PayPal is an excellent category, as thousands of online retailers accept this payment method. Wholesale clubs traditionally include merchants like Sam’s Club and Costco, but the latter does not accept Mastercard payments in stores. Therefore, this quarter’s category can feel more limited unless you can maximize PayPal and charity spending.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
The Freedom Flex card is a simple but powerful credit card. This no-annual-fee card offers bonus categories that rotate quarterly. Any purchases in the specified category will earn 5% cash-back (up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter). There are also additional categories that earn 3% to 5% cash-back. All other purchases will earn 1% cash-back.
In addition to these valuable bonus categories that help you earn tons of cash-back, the Freedom Flex card also has some great additional benefits, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, purchase protection, and cell phone protection.
The Freedom Flex card is currently offering the following welcome bonus:Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months.
Hot Tip: The Freedom Flex card is not the same as the Chase Freedom® card. The Freedom Flex card replaced the Freedom card, which is no longer available for new applicants. If you already have a Freedom card, you can still get a Freedom Flex card.
Each quarter, your Freedom Flex card will feature a different bonus category that will earn 5% cash-back (up to $1,500) instead of the standard 1% cash-back. Any purchases over $1,500 in the bonus category, plus all other non-bonus category purchases, will earn 1% cash-back.
If you max out your bonus, you will earn $75 cash-back (or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points) each quarter or $300 cash-back (or 30,000 points) per year. Not a bad earning potential for a card with no annual fee!
Each quarter, you must activate your bonus categories. You will be able to activate the next quarter’s bonus categories about 2 weeks before the start of that quarter. Starting September 15, 2023, you can activate your Q4 bonus for 2023.
Activating your bonus only takes a few clicks.
1. Log into to your online Chase account and select your Freedom Flex card from the selections on the left-hand side of your screen.
2. If your bonus needs to be activated, you will see Activate on the Freedom Flex card dashboard. Click the link to continue.
3. You will see a detailed description of the bonus categories you’re activating. Click on the big green Activate Now button to complete the activation. That’s all there is to it.
Chase offers 4 other ways to activate your bonus:
Each quarter has a deadline for activating your bonus. As long as you activate by the deadline, any qualifying purchases from the entire quarter will earn bonus points.
Once your bonus categories are activated, you will be able to see that they are activated in your online dashboard for your Freedom Flex card.
Maxing out your quarterly bonus is key to making the most of your Freedom Flex card.
2. If you want to know how much you have spent down to the penny, you will need to use the Search feature right above the list of your transactions.
3. Under Time Period, select Specific date range. Next, input the start date of the current quarter with the end date being the current day. Then, click on the blue Search button.
This selection will bring up a list of all transactions on your Freedom Flex card in the current quarter. Unfortunately, there is no easy way to select only the purchases in the bonus categories, so you might have to do some manual math.
If you’re on the fence about getting a Freedom Flex card, you might want to know some of the past bonus categories, as they are often repeated.
These are the categories we’ve seen on the Freedom card over the past few years (again, the Freedom Flex card has replaced the Freedom card).
The key to making the most of this card is to max out your bonus category each quarter. You will earn 5% cash-back on the first $1,500 in purchases in the bonus category, which results in $75 cash-back (or 7,500 points) each quarter. Here are a few tips to help you reach that $1,500 mark without buying a bunch of stuff you don’t need:
The cash-back you earn on the Freedom Flex card comes in the form of points that are each worth 1 cent. You can redeem these for cash-back or you can book travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal.
However, they can be worth more if you transfer them to a premium card.
|Chase Credit Card||Value of UR Points (Booking Through Travel Portal)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||1.5 cents|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Plus® Credit Card||1.25 cents|
|Ink Business Premier℠ Credit Card||1 cent|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||1 cent|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||1 cent|
|Chase Freedom® card||1 cent|
Hot Tip: For some more information about how this all works, check out our in-depth guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Instead of taking cash-back, you can transfer the points earned on your Freedom Flex card to a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards card (one that charges an annual fee). Transferring points will increase their value when you use them to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.
For example, your 7,500 points are worth $75 in travel through the Freedom Flex card. However, if you transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or the Ink Business Preferred card, they would be worth $93.75. If you transfer them to the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, they would be worth $112.50.
Even better, when you also hold a premium card, you’ll have the option of transferring your points to any of the Chase transfer partners. Transferring your points to Chase’s travel partners is the best way to get maximum value from your points. You could get 2, 3, or more cents per point.
The Freedom Flex card is a great no-annual-fee card that has enormous earning power. This card offers 5% cash-back in bonus categories that rotate quarterly. The new 2023 Q4 categories are PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities. Maxing out your quarterly bonus is a great way to earn tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Ink Business Plus® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
From July 1, 2023, through September 30, 2023, the Freedom Flex card bonus categories are gas stations, EV charging, and select live entertainment. From October 1, 2023, to December 31, 2023, the bonus categories will be PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities.
The Freedom Flex card is advertised as a straight cash-back card. And while you can absolutely take the cash-back, you can get more value by using earned rewards as Ultimate Rewards points instead. With Ultimate Rewards points, you can book travel directly through the Chase travel portal. If you have a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Ink Business Preferred card, you can transfer those points to hotel and airline partners for even more value.
While these 2 cards have similar names, they are indeed very different. The Freedom Flex card offers 5% cash-back in rotating categories every quarter. The Freedom Unlimited card offers a flat 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. Check out our detailed comparison of the Freedom Unlimited card vs. Freedom Flex card.
You can start activating each quarter’s bonus categories about 2 weeks before the start of the quarter. You can activate the bonus anytime in the specified period to earn bonus points for the entire quarter.
Yes! You can absolutely have both of these cards in your wallet, and that’s a great strategy to earn tons of Ultimate Rewards points! However, your application could be denied if you have opened too many cards recently. Chase operates by the 5/24 rule. That means if you have opened up 5 or more credit cards (from any bank, not just Chase) in the last 24 months, you will most likely be denied.
The Freedom Flex card is an updated version that has replaced the Freedom card. If you already have a Freedom card, you CAN get a Freedom Flex card since they are different (but similar) products. The Freedom card is no longer open to new applications, but the card is eligible for the same bonus categories as the Freedom Flex card.
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