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Chase Freedom Flex rotating quarterly categories: How to activate and full offer history


We’re halfway through 2024, which means it’s time for a new set of Chase Freedom bonus categories. And for Q3, Chase has brought back the chance to earn bonus rewards on some of our biggest summer expenses.

Now through Sept. 30, Chase Freedom Flex® and Freedom cardholders can earn bonus rewards after activating at movie theaters, gas and electric vehicle charging stations, and select live entertainment purchases.

This is great news for those of us hitting the road to our favorite summer destinations — especially if that destination involves live entertainment.

Here’s how it all works.

The information for the Freedom credit card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex Q3 2024 categories

Now through September 30, Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex cardholders can earn bonus cash back (or points) at movie theaters and gas and EV charging stations and on select live entertainment purchases.

As noted above, you must activate these categories to unlock the bonus-earning potential on these two cards.

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It’s simple to complete this process through your Chase account — with your last name, the last four digits of your card and your ZIP code. Registration is now open.

Analyzing the Q3 bonus categories

If you’re like me and cram as many road trips into summer as possible, the gas/EV charging station category will be music to your ears. This is a valuable bonus category and it is not offered on many Chase cards.

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And regardless of how you prefer to travel, the past few years have highlighted just how far we’re willing to go (and how much we’re willing to pay) to see our favorite artists and sports teams in person. If you have your eye on some upcoming tickets, you’ll love the chance to earn bonus rewards on those purchases.

Of course, if you’re doing a staycation this summer, going to the movies is the perfect activity to get out of the sun and catch the latest releases — and earn some bonus rewards while you’re at it.

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Here are the bonus details:

  • Gas and EV charging stations: Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders will earn 5% back when hitting the road — whether you’re filling up the gas tank or charging a more eco-friendly vehicle. However, only merchants who primarily sell gas or EV charging are included in this category, and you won’t trigger it if you get gas at a superstore or use a residential EV charging station.
  • Movie theaters: This category includes ticket purchases from both traditional and drive-in movie theaters. Keep in mind, though, that the concessions you buy at the theater often code differently than tickets and may not trigger the bonus rewards.
  • Select live entertainment: This category probably brings to mind concerts, but it also includes entertainment like major sporting events, zoos and aquariums, concerts, theatrical productions, tourist attractions and exhibits, amusement parks, carnivals, bands and entertainers. Note that these purchases must be made directly with the establishment to earn the bonus rewards; purchases made through a hotel or concierge are not included.

Remember that Chase limits the 5% back (or 5 points per dollar) to the first $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories each quarter you activate the bonus. After you reach the maximum, you’ll earn the usual earning rates on your card.

Frequently asked questions about Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories

How do rotating categories work?

Each quarter, Chase announces a group of bonus categories that will earn 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar) throughout the upcoming three-month period. Generally, these categories are announced halfway through the month before the new quarter starts to give cardmembers time to activate new categories beforehand. However, you can activate your categories until midway through the last month of the quarter.

The categories tend to repeat periodically — for instance, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations are all common categories you’ll notice frequently pop up on the cash-back calendar. So, depending on the categories and whether you can maximize them, these two cards can offer quite a nice chunk of cash back or bonus points over the course of a year.

Related: Check out our full Chase Freedom Flex card review

How much cash back can I earn each quarter?

Chase limits the 5% back (or 5 points per dollar) to the first $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories each quarter you activate the bonus.

While that may not sound like a lot, that cash back adds up over time. Maximizing the cash-back categories each quarter, you’ll earn $75 in cash back quarterly and up to $300 per year. For a no-annual-fee credit card, that’s a lot of value.

Alternatively, since the cash back you earn comes in the form of Ultimate Rewards points, you’re looking at a potential of up to 30,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards earned each year. Suppose you also have a premium product like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. In that case, you can combine the Ultimate Rewards points you earn with your Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex card with those you earn from your more premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card, and they become fully transferable.

In that case, TPG’s June 2024 valuations peg Chase points at 2.05 cents apiece — making the 30,000 you can earn in a year worth more like $615.

How do I activate my 5% categories each quarter?

You can head to Chase’s site to activate your 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar) for this quarter. You can also register through your Chase mobile app, making one less credit card website you’ll need to visit regularly this year.

Here’s how to register:

  1. Head to the Chase bonus activation page or log in to your Chase account.
  2. Enter your last name, the last four digits of your card number and your billing ZIP code. If you don’t have your card on hand, log in to your Chase account to retrieve these digits.
  3. Click “Activate your 5%” to register.
  4. If you have multiple Chase Freedom cards, make sure to register each one.
  5. Save a screenshot of your activation in case of any issues later — though you should also receive a “You’re Activated!” confirmation email.

Can I have both the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex to double my earning potential?

Yes, you can have both cards. So, if you already have the Chase Freedom and want to add the Chase Freedom Flex to your wallet, you’re free to do so. Remember that the original Freedom card is no longer open to new applicants.

But if you’d rather only have one, the Freedom Flex is available as a product change.

And, of course, you’ll also want to ensure you’re eligible for a new Chase card.

How do I maximize my Freedom and Freedom Flex cards?

The most important thing is to make sure you activate your card to earn the 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar) each quarter in the specific categories, then use your card for purchases in those categories.

You can set up a recurring reminder in your calendar or sign up for the TPG newsletter (we send out a reminder when it’s time to activate every quarter — plus tips and tricks for maximizing your card strategy and scoring some excellent award redemptions).

Better yet, paired with a Chase credit card that earns fully transferable Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Freedom Flex’s 5% cash back effectively becomes 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, as you can learn all about in our guide detailing the “Chase Trifecta.”

In that case, you’ll be able to transfer the points earned with the Freedom Flex to Ultimate Rewards points and to travel partners like Southwest, Hyatt and United.

What are common bonus categories for the Freedom and Freedom Flex?

Of course, you’ll also want to make sure that you’ll potentially be able to maximize other bonus categories throughout the year. For reference, here are the previous Chase Freedom quarterly categories all the way back to 2012 so you can decide if common categories make sense for your spending patterns:

Year/Quarter Bonus Categories
2024 — Q3 Gas and EV charging stations, movie theaters and select live entertainment
2024 — Q2 Hotels booked through Chase Travel℠, dining and Amazon (different earning rates depending on the card, i.e., 9%, 7% and 5%, respectively for Freedom Flex; 5% for all three categories for Freedom)
2024 — Q1 Select grocery stores, fitness club and gym memberships, self-care and spa services
2023 — Q4 PayPal, select charities and wholesale clubs
2023 — Q3 Gas stations, EV charging and select live entertainment
2023 — Q2 Amazon and Lowe’s
2023 — Q1 Grocery stores, gym memberships and fitness clubs, Target
2022 — Q4 PayPal and Walmart
2022 — Q3 Gas stations, rental cars, movie theaters and select live entertainment
2022 — Q2 Amazon.com and select streaming services
2022 — Q1 eBay and grocery stores
2021 — Q4 PayPal and Walmart
2021 — Q3 Grocery stores and select streaming services
2021 — Q2 Gas stations and home improvement stores
2021 — Q1 Wholesale clubs, select streaming services and internet, cable and phone services
2020 — Q4 PayPal and Walmart
2020 — Q3 Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market
2020 — Q2 Grocery stores, gym memberships and fitness clubs, and select streaming services
2020 — Q1 Gas stations; internet, cable and phone services; and select streaming services
2019 — Q4 Chase Pay, PayPal and department stores
2019 — Q3 Gas stations and streaming services
2019 — Q2 Grocery stores and home improvement
2019 — Q1 Gas stations, drugstores and tolls
2018 — Q4 Wholesale clubs, department stores and Chase Pay
2018 — Q3 Lyft, Walgreens and gas stations
2018 — Q2 Groceries, PayPal and Chase Pay
2018 — Q1 Mobile wallets, gas stations and internet, cable and phone service merchants
2017 — Q4 Walmart and department stores
2017 — Q3 Restaurants and movie theaters
2017 — Q2 Grocery stores and drugstores
2017 — Q1 Gas stations and local commuter transportation
2016 — Q4 Wholesale clubs, drugstores and department stores
2016 — Q3 Restaurants and wholesale clubs
2016 — Q2 Grocery stores and wholesale clubs
2016 — Q1 Gas stations and local commuter transportation
2015 — Q4 Amazon.com, Zappos.com, Audible.com and Diapers.com
2015 — Q3 Gas stations and Kohl’s
2015 — Q2 Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond, H&M and Overstock.com
2015 — Q1 Grocery stores, movie theaters and Starbucks
2014 — Q4 Amazon.com, Zappos.com and department stores
2014 — Q3 Gas stations and Kohl’s
2014 — Q2 Restaurants and Lowe’s
2014 — Q1 Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks
2013 — Q4 Department stores and Amazon.com
2012 — Q3 Gas stations, theme parks and Kohl’s
2012 — Q2 Restaurants and movie theaters
2012 — Q1 Gas stations, drugstores and Starbucks

Bottom line

If you’re a Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex cardholder, you can earn bonus rewards at movie theaters, gas/EV charging stations and on select live entertainment purchases now through September 30 after activating.

In addition to the rotating 5% cash back bonus categories, the Freedom Flex accrues 5% cash back on all other travel booked through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstores, 3% cash back on dining (including eligible delivery services) and 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.


Apply here: Chase Freedom Flex with a sign-up bonus of $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.




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