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Two of Chase’s best earning cards have no annual fees. The old Chase Freedom (no longer available to new applicants) and the new Chase Freedom Flex offer 5% on rotating bonus quarterly categories. Cardmembers need to first activate the cash back each quarter to receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories. 

Registration has just opened up for the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom 5X bonus categories for Q3 of 2021. I always register as soon as they open registration, before I forget to do so and go and spend money in the bonus categories. 

Why We Love the Chase Freedom Flex Card

This no annual fee card has great bonus categories that include the following:

  • 5% on bonus quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories 
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards 
  • 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back at drugstores

The card earns 1% cashback on everything else.

There are no other cards in Chase’s portfolio that earn 3% at drugstores, and, for a card with no annual fee, 3% for cashback on dining is pretty remarkable. 

And because it’s a World Elite Mastercard, it comes with great benefits, such as the cell phone insurance that includes up to $800 per claim and $1,000 per year in cell phone protection against theft or damage for phones listed on cardmembers’ monthly bill. 

The Ultimate Rewards points earned with this card can be combined with points earned with one of the premium cards (cards with an annual fee) and used for travel. 

The premium cards that also earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points include:

You’ll get the most value out of Ultimate Rewards Points if you transfer them to one of Chase’s travel partners such United or Hyatt.  

Chase Freedom Q3 2021 Bonus Categories

For the third quarter of 2021 both the Chase Freedom Flex and the Chase Freedom will earn 5X points at grocery stores and on select streaming services on up to $1,500. Don’t forget to activate the bonus categories between June 15 and September 14, 2021.  After you register, you’ll earn 5X between July 1 and September 30, 2021. 

Keep in mind that grocery stores don’t include Target or Walmart. Warehouse clubs such as Costco or BJ’s are also excluded. As you can see from the cash back calendar, warehouse clubs are in their own category. 

How to Activate Freedom 5X Bonus Categories

The process is the same for both the Freedom and the Freedom Flex cards, you can do it from the registration page.

You can also login to your Chase account and activate from there.

The select streaming services include subscriptions paid with the following merchants:

  • Disney+
  • Hulu
  • ESPN+
  • Netflix
  • Sling
  • Vudu
  • Fubo TV
  • Apple Music
  • SiriusXM
  • Pandora
  • Spotify
  • YouTube TV

Final Thoughts

I love these quarter’s bonus categories. While streaming isn’t a particularly useful category to me, since I only have a $13 Netflix subscription, I do spend a lot on groceries, so I’ll be taking my American Express® Gold Card that earns 4x at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, then 1x) out of my wallet and I’ll replace it with my Freedom Flex. 

And while the registration is now closed for the second quarter, you can still get 5X on the first $1,500 spent at gas stations and home improvement stores until June 30th.