Ending tomorrow: Earn 5% cash back on groceries for Chase Freedom Flex, Freedom Unlimited
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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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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).
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
- Earn 5% on the first $1,500 spent on rotating categories each quarter (activation required).
- Q1 2022 categories include eBay purchases and groceries.
- Earn 5% on Lyft rides through March 2022.
- Earn 5% on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- Earn 3% on dining and drugstore purchases.
- Earn 1% on all other purchases.
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
- 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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