[Expired] Chase Freedom 2021 Q1 Bonus Categories

The Deal:

The Chase Freedom Visa (no longer available) and the Chase Freedom Flex (review) are great no annual fee credit cards that earn 5x back on rotating quarterly categories. The categories for January – March 2021 are:

  • Wholesale Clubs
  • Internet, Cable, & Phone Services
  • Select Streaming Services

Key Info:

  • Activate at chase.com/freedom or chase.com/freedomflex
    • Must Activate no later than March 14, 2021
    • Activation is retroactive – you will earn 5x for all qualified bonus category purchases since January 1.
  • Purchases must post between January 1 and March 31.
    • Bonus only applies to the first $1,500 in net purchases

What Counts?

A common question with the Freedom bonus categories is what counts and what doesn’t count. There is a Merchant List but here are the highlights …

Wholesale Clubs:

The following Wholesale Clubs are included:

  • BJ’s
  • Costco
    • In-store only works for the Chase Freedom Visa
    • Costco.com works for both Chase Freedom Visa and the Freedom Flex (since MasterCard is only accepted online at costco.com)
  • Sam’s Club
  • Texas Jasmine

The following are excluded:

  • Gas / Fuel
  • Specialty services (e.g., travel, insurance, cell phones, and home improvement)

Internet, Cable, and Phone Services:

This category includes what you would expect – basically if the merchant is supplying any of these services, it will likely work – though if you are unsure, do a test purchase to verify. The merchant list does include a number of examples.

Select Streaming Services:

Only the following Streaming Services (when paid directly with the merchant) are included:

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

Hacking the Deal:

Get the Card

If you don’t already have one, then you can apply for a Chase Freedom Flex card now, and still have plenty of time to utilize the card for the first quarter. Just make sure that you are eligible for the Freedom Flex:

  • You don’t already have the Freedom Flex card. (Having the Freedom Visa or Freedom Unlimited do not preclude you from getting the Freedom Flex.
  • You have not earned the bonus on the Freedom Flex in the past 24 months
  • You have not opened 5 or more credit cards in the past 24 months (the Chase 5/24 rule)

Get a Wholesale Club Account

The wholesale clubs are where you are likely going to be able to spend to the most, so hopefully you have one near you. If not, then you can shop online. The BJ’s Wholesale Club online-only account is only $10.

*Bonus Tip: Check your Chase cards for there Offers, as they run promotions for money back on new account memberships.

Get > 1 cent per point in Value

There are a number of ways to increase the Value of an Ultimate Reward point. As a baseline, they are worth $0.01 per point in value by getting a statement credit or redeeming it in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Get 1.25 cents per point

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth $0.125 each when redeemed in the travel portal if you have one of the following credit cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Ink Preferred

Get 1.50 cent per point

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth $0.150 each when redeemed in the travel portal if you have one of the following credit cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • J.P. Morgan Reserve

Get > 1.5 cents per point

If you have one of the above 4 Chase cards (Sapphire / Ink Preferred or Sapphire / J.P. Morgan Reserve), then you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s Transfer airline or hotel partners for outsized value.

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