Now live: Earn 5% back (or 5 points per dollar) on gas, car rentals and live entertainment this quarter
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Editor’s note: This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex’s latest quarterly bonus categories.
Cardholders of the Chase Freedom (no longer open to new applicants) and the Chase Freedom Flex can now activate and start earning the 5% cash-back rotating bonus categories through this link for the third quarter of 2022, which beings July 1 and run through Sept. 30. This applies to gas stations, rental car agencies, movie theaters and select live entertainment.
After activation, cardholders will be able to earn 5% back on up to $1,500 of spending in these categories during the eligible quarter, and 1% after that.
Want to make sure you’re maximizing every purchase like a points expert? Download the free TPG App to start spending like a pro.
With gas prices continuing to climb, many travelers are looking for some relief on these purchases, especially during the busy summer travel season. Meanwhile, the addition of movie theaters and select live events can be great for those hoping to get out and enjoy some entertainment this quarter.
Here’s how it all works.
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Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex Q3 2022 categories
- Gas stations.
- Rental car agencies.
- Movie theaters.
- Select live entertainment.
As noted above, you have to activate your card to unlock the bonus earning potential in these categories, and you must do so by Sept. 14, 2022.
Thankfully, it’s simple to complete this process online through your Chase account — with your last name, last four digits of your card and ZIP code.
Analyzing the Q3 bonus categories
Gas prices have been climbing steadily for months, and as millions of travelers are hitting the road this summer, filling up the tank can take a sizeable portion of your vacation budget.
That’s why the addition of gas stations to the Freedom’s bonus categories for the third quarter comes at a great time. Note that you can also stack these rewards with other ways to save on gas — like Fuel Rewards and GetUpside — and you may even find some Chase Offers to save at select merchants.
If you’re renting a car this summer, earning 5% back (or 5 points per dollar) sounds great, but other rewards cards may be better for these purchases thanks to the primary coverage they offer.
Finally, the entertainment categories can be great for those looking to get out and catch a movie or see a show after more than two years of the pandemic. However, it’s worth noting how Chase defines these categories.
Merchants in the movie theaters category show motion pictures to an audience, including at drive-in theaters. Theaters that provide live entertainment and merchants that sell and rent movies or provide movie subscription or streaming services are not included in this category. Purchases other than your tickets will not be included in the category unless they classify as a movie theater; for example, in theatre dining, food and beverage, or merchandise purchases.
Merchants in the Select Live Entertainment category sell tickets for in-person entertainment such as major sporting events, zoos and aquariums, concerts, theatrical productions, museums, tourist attractions and exhibits, amusement parks, circuses, carnivals, bands, and entertainers. Ticket agencies selling on behalf of the entertainment venue are included. Some merchants that sell tickets for in-person entertainment are not included in this category; for example, movie theaters, bowling alleys, horse racing tracks, casinos, and dance hall/clubs. Purchasing from a hotel/concierge is not included nor excursions or purchases as part of a travel package.
Be sure to review these terms and exclusions to make sure you understand whether your purchase will qualify for the bonus.
Frequently asked questions about Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories
How do rotating categories work?
Each quarter, Chase announces a group of bonus categories that will earn 5% cash back throughout the upcoming three-month period. Generally, these categories are announced halfway through the month before the new quarter starts to give cardholders time to activate new categories beforehand. However, you can activate your categories up until midway through the last month of the quarter.
The categories tend to repeat periodically — for instance, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations are all common categories that you’ll notice frequently pop up on the cash-back calendar. So depending on the categories and whether you can maximize them, these two cards can offer quite a nice chunk of cash back or bonus points over the course of a year.
How much cash back can I earn each quarter?
Chase limits the 5% back to the first $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories each quarter you activate the bonus.
While that may not sound like a lot, that cash back adds up over time. If you maximize the cash-back categories each quarter, you’ll earn $75 in cash back quarterly and up to $300 per year. For a no-annual-fee credit card, that’s a lot of value.
Alternatively, since the cash back you earn comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, you’re looking at a potential of up to 30,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards earned each year. If you also have a premium product, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can combine the Ultimate Rewards points you earn with your Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex card with those you earn from your more premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card, and they become fully transferable.
In that case, TPG values Chase points at 2 cents apiece, so the 30,000 you can earn in a year would be worth more like $600.
How do I activate my 5% categories each quarter?
You can head over to Chase’s site to activate your 5% cash back for this quarter. You can also register through your Chase mobile app, making one less credit card website you’ll need to visit regularly this year.
Here’s how to register:
- Head to the Chase bonus activation page or log in to your Chase account.
- Enter your last name, the last four digits of your card number and your billing ZIP code. If you don’t have your card on hand, log in to your Chase account to retrieve these digits.
- Click “Activate your 5%” to register.
- If you have multiple Chase Freedom cards, make sure to register each one.
- Save a screenshot of your activation, just in case there are any issues later.
Can I have both the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex to double my earning potential?
Yes, you can have both cards! So if you already have the Chase Freedom and want to add the Chase Freedom Flex to your wallet, you’re free to do so. Just keep in mind that the original Freedom card is no longer open to new applicants.
But if you’d rather only have one, the Freedom Flex is available as a product change.
How do I maximize my Freedom and Freedom Flex cards?
The most important thing is to make sure you activate your card to earn the 5%/5 points per dollar each quarter in the specific categories, and then actually use your card for purchases in those categories.
You can set up a recurring reminder in your calendar, or you can sign up for the TPG newsletter (we send out a reminder when it’s time to activate every quarter — plus tips and tricks for maximizing your card strategy and scoring some excellent award redemptions).
Better yet, paired with a Chase credit card that earns fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Freedom Flex’s 5% cash back effectively becomes 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, as you can learn all about in our guide detailing the “Chase Trifecta.”
What are common bonus categories for the Freedom and Freedom Flex?
Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ll potentially be able to maximize other bonus categories throughout the year. For reference, here are the previous Chase Freedom quarterly categories all the way back to 2012, so you can decide if common categories make sense for your spending patterns:
You can now activate and start earning on the Q3 bonus categories on the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex for 2022.
In addition to the rotating 5% cash back bonus categories, the Freedom Flex accrues 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on drugstores, 3% cash back on dining (including eligible delivery services) and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases. Those are the same bonus categories as the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex with a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Chris Dong.
Featured photo by Artit Fongfung / EyeEm via Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
- Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.
- No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
- Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.