Our pick for cash back: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Up to 5%
- 5% back in rotating categories on up to $1,500 quarterly, then 1%
- New rewards on travel, dining and drugstores
- No annual fee
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Updated . What changed?
Wholesale clubs, select streaming services, Internet, cable and phone services are the new 5% cashback category in the January through March 2021 quarter. Wholsale clubs last appeared in the final quarter of 2018, while the other categories appeared during the same quarter in 2020.
|Quarters||January–March 2021||April–June 2020||July–September 2020||October–December 2020|
|Primary 5% category||Wholesale clubs||Grocery stores — excludes Walmart and Target||Amazon.com||Walmart|
|5% sub category||Select streaming services, Internet, cable and phone services||Fitness club and gym membership||Whole Foods Market||PayPal|
One of the exciting things about Chase Freedom Flex℠ is that its bonus categories aren’t set in stone. The categories change every quarter, which is a three-month period. If you’d like to read the tea leaves and try to predict what’s coming next, check out this chart to see previous bonus categories.
Getting 5% cash back on your purchases is a solid deal. But you must activate each category to get your rewards.
You can activate your Chase Freedom Flex℠ cashback categories two weeks before the quarter starts until the 14th day of the final month of the quarter.
This means for the January through March quarter, you can activate the 5% category now or by Sunday, March 14, and get cash back retroactively on all qualifying purchases.
Choose among four ways to activate your categories:
Up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in the accelerated categories earn 5% cash back. After that, and for everything else you buy, you earn 1% cash back. If you maximize your categories, you can earn $300 annually on these categories alone.
Unlike other cashback credit cards that earn you cash as a statement credit or a deposit, you earn points with the Chase Freedom Flex℠. This gives you redemption flexibility to get cash or gift cards, book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program or pay for your Amazon purchases.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ can be a solid choice if you’re looking to get the highest cash back on multiple categories that rotate throughout the year. It can be an even better choice if you pair it with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve® to maximize your rewards.
If you use a digital wallet — especially Chase Pay — you can earn 5% cash back on categories that aren’t listed in the quarters. Similar cashback cards don’t have this option.
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