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 go over the bonus categories for 2022, plus tips to get the most out of your Freedom Flex card.
New 2022 Q4 Bonus Categories Announced
Chase announced the bonus categories for Q4 will be Walmart and purchases made using PayPal. That means any qualifying purchases made in these categories from October 1, 2022, through December 31, 2022 (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.
Benefits of the Freedom Flex Card
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.
- Earn 5% cash-back in quarterly rotating categories (up to $1,500)
- Earn 5% cash-back on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal
- Earn 5% cash-back on Lyft rides (through March 2025)
- Earn 3% cash-back on dining (including food delivery services)
- Earn 3% cash-back at drugstores
- Earn 1% cash-back on all other purchases
In addition to these great 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 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 has 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.
How Your 5% Cash-Back Works
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!
How To Activate Your Bonus
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, 2022, you will be able to activate your Q4 bonus for 2022.
Activating your bonus only takes a few clicks.
1. Log on 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 Not Activated at the right-hand side of the Freedom Flex card dashboard. Click on the blue Activate button 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:
- Set up an email reminder and activate with 1 click
- Call 800-524-8200
- Visit a Chase branch
- Activate via an ATM
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 the 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.
How To Check Your Progress on the $1,500 Maximum
Maxing out your bonus each quarter is key to making the most of your Freedom Flex card.
- To check your progress, click on the blue Details button in your online account. This button will take you to the Freedom Flex card details page where you can keep track of your progress. Unfortunately, Chase only shows you a general idea of your progress, not an exact dollar amount.
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.
2022 Freedom Flex Card Bonus Categories
- Grocery Stores: Not including Target and Walmart
- Select streaming services: Apple Music, Apple TV, Disney+, ESPN+, Fubo TV, HBO Max, Hulu, Netflix, Pandora, Paramount+, Peacock, Showtime, SiriusXM, Sling, Spotify, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV, and Vudu
- Gas stations
- Car rental agencies
- Movie theaters
- Select live entertainment: Amusement Parks (Busch Gardens, Cedar Point, Disneyland, Disney World, SeaWorld, Six Flags, Universal Studios), Professional Sporting Events (MLB, MLS, NBA/WNBA, NFL, NHL, PGA/LPGA, U.S. Open), Ticketing Agencies (AXS.com, Eventbrite, Live Nation, SeatGeek, StubHub, Ticket Mania, Ticketmaster, TicketWeb, TickPick, Vivid Seats), Aquariums, Carnivals, Circuses, Concerts, Museums, Theatrical Productions, and Zoos
Bottom Line: The new bonus categories for the Freedom Flex card for 2022 Q4 are Walmart and purchases made using PayPal. Purchases made in these categories (up to $1,500) from October 1, 2022, to December 31, 2022, will earn 5% cash-back.
Past Bonus Categories
If you’re on the fence about getting a Freedom Flex card, you might be interested to know some of the past bonus categories as these can be repeated.
These are the categories we have seen on the Freedom card over the past few years (the Freedom Flex card has replaced the Freedom card).
- Department stores
- Fitness clubs and gym memberships
- Gas stations
- Grocery stores
- Home improvement stores
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Mobile wallets: Android Pay, Apple Pay, Chase Pay, Samsung Pay
- Movie theaters
- Select streaming services
- Whole Foods
How To Maximize the Value From Your Freedom Flex Card
Max Out the Bonus Categories Each Quarter
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:
- Gas Stations: This one might be hard to max out entirely on gas, but many gas stations sell more than just gas. You can earn 5% cash-back on basic groceries and gift cards at gas stations.
- Grocery Stores: This is one of the easiest categories to maximize because most grocery stores sell gift cards to just about anywhere. If you won’t spend the full $1,500 on groceries, purchase gift cards to stores that you frequent often. Many grocery stores even sell airline and other travel gift cards.
- Mobile Wallets (Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Android Pay): This is another easy category to max out. Many stores are now taking these forms of payment.
- PayPal: More and more websites are accepting PayPal as a form of payment now. Just be sure to link your Freedom Flex card account to your PayPal account.
- Walgreens: You can purchase basic groceries, health, and beauty items, and even prescriptions at Walgreens. Check for gift cards, one of the easiest ways to get the most out of the 5% bonus category!
Can I Turn My Cash-Back Into Points?
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.
Hot Tip: For some more information about how this all works, check out our in-depth guide to Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
Pair With a Premium Card
If you hold a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can maximize the value of your Freedom Flex card.
Instead of taking cash-back, you can choose to 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, 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 Chase’s hotel and airline 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!
Bottom Line: You can get the most value out of your Freedom Flex card by pairing it with a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, Chase Sapphire Preferred card, or Ink Business Preferred card.
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 2022 Q4 categories are Walmart and purchases using PayPal. Maxing out your bonus each quarter is a great way to earn tons of Chase Ultimate Rewards points!
The information for the Chase Freedom® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.