Ending tomorrow: Earn 5% cash back on groceries for Chase Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited

Jan 11, 2022

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.


Since the start of the pandemic, American households have spent more on groceries than ever before. Many popular cards have even offered limited-time bonuses on groceries as many consumers shifted their spending away from travel and other discretionary items.

The latest offer from Chase has furthered that grocery-benefit trend, but it’s only available to people who apply for the card no later than tomorrow (Jan. 12, 2022 by 6pm ET for the offers on this site). For new Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cardmembers, you’ll receive 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

That’s in addition to a $200 sign-up bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.

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In This Post

Is this a good offer?

To review: Through Jan. 12, 2022, new cardholders will receive 5% back on grocery store purchases for the first year (on up to $12,000 for the year).

TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, so you’re getting a 10% return —  one of the best returns on groceries, at least for the first year of card ownership.

That’s a tremendous value for a no-annual-fee card — but it gets even better. Both cards have terrific everyday earning rates beyond the sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Of the two offers, you may prefer to apply for the Freedom Flex, as this quarter’s rotating categories offer the chance to earn 5% on groceries. This earning rate will stack with this 5% grocery bonus through the sign-up bonus, adding a considerable return for this quarter in particular.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)
  • Earn 1.5% back on everything, except for elevated categories below.
  • Earn 5% on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Earn 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Earn 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases.

Earning Ultimate Rewards points

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Pairing the Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex with a premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning card (Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card) is where you can unlock outsized value. By converting cash back rewards into fully transferable points, you can take advantage of the issuer’s 11 airline and three hotel partners and elevated redemption rates on Chase’s travel portal.

If you have one of these cards, it’s a no-brainer to couple it with one of these no-annual-fee cards. Keep in mind all Chase cards are subject to the 5/24 rule, essentially limiting consumers from opening any new Chase card if you’ve opened five or more personal cards across all banks in the last 24 months.

Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta: Sapphire Reserve, Ink Preferred and Freedom Unlimited

What counts as groceries?

Chase notes that superstores such as Target and Walmart do not count toward the grocery store bonus. This is nothing new, as the grocery category typically excludes these stores from bonuses along with membership warehouses such as Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s.

Your points are worth 10% more when using the Pay Yourself Back tool for Costco purchases on your statement, up to $500. (Photo by Toby Scott/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

However, the exception to this is grocery delivery services such as Instacart. If you use these services and you’re billed through them, purchases should be categorized as groceries and trigger the bonus earning rate.

Related: How to ensure you earn bonus points for grocery purchases

Bottom line

If you don’t yet have the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex, now is the perfect time to apply. With no annual fee, an array of bonus categories and an elevated 5% cash back (5 points per dollar) grocery bonus for a full year (if you apply by Jan. 12, 2022), it’s the ideal no-annual-fee Ultimate Rewards card.


Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex with a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, earn 5% back at grocery stores (up to the first $12,000 spent) in the first year of account opening.

Official application link: Chase Freedom Unlimited with a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, earn 5% back at grocery stores (up to the first $12,000 spent) in the first year of account opening.


Additional reporting by Stella Shon.

Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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