New Chase Freedom Categories 2023: How to Get 5% Cashback in Q4

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Chase Announces 5% Freedom Flex Bonus Categories for Q4

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A new set of quarterly Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom bonus categories are on the way for the next three months of 2023.

Every three months, Chase mixes up the spending categories in which you can earn a 5% cashback bonus (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 of spending. Some quarters are easier than others.

The latest update on these Chase Freedom bonus categories is great news for anyone shopping online, at one of the millions of merchants who accept PayPal, or for anyone who frequents wholesale clubs like Sam's Club.


New Chase Freedom Categories for Q4 of 2023

Chase recently announced the new 5% bonus categories for the fourth quarter of 2023, from October through December: PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities.

These Chase categories should be fairly easy to maximize throughout the remainder of the year, especially for anyone doing their holiday shopping online. There's no doubt that being able to get 5% cashback at warehouse stores like Sam's Club will also prove quite useful.

And for anyone making a year-end donation to certain charities like the American Red Cross or Habitat for Humanity, you'll get a little kickback for your good deed. The full list of eligible charities can be found here.

Keep reading for more information on these categories, how to put them to use, and why it might be worth sticking the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card in your wallet.



Chase Freedom & Freedom Flex Q4 2023 Bonus Categories

The start of October will bring brand new categories for your Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom card. For the fourth quarter of 2023, those bonus categories are PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities.

Likely the easiest way to use this quarter's bonus categories is to make the Chase Freedom Flex your default card for online shopping. Not every site you're shopping with will accept PayPal for purchases but many (and most of the big brands) do.

Another useful option for cardholders is to use their card to spend at wholesale clubs. The kicker here is that since the Freedom Flex is issued by Mastercard, you won't be able to use it for in-store purchases at Costco, but it will work online. If you instead shop at Sam's Club or BJ's, you won't have any issue putting this bonus category to work. Just note that wholesale gas purchases are excluded from this bonus category so you won't be able to use it as a way to beat those rising gas prices.

Thrifty Tip: You can buy a Costco Shop Card (gift card) online and then use that in-store for your purchases.

Once you spend $1,500 combined across those bonus categories, you'll start earning just 1% back (or 1x Ultimate Rewards point) until January 2024. That's when the next set of bonus categories will go live.

To take advantage of the latest Freedom bonus categories, you'll actually need to activate these latest additions. Just head to the Chase bonus activation page – and registration for the new categories is now open. Just be sure to register before you start spending in the third quarter. The deadline to register is Dec. 14, 2023.


Chase Freedom Flex Q4 2023


So long as you register by Dec. 14, 2023, any purchases that you made in one of these bonus categories since October should get you 5% back.


The Basics of the Chase Freedom Flex Card

If you aren't familiar with the Chase Freedom Flex credit card, it's a phenomenal cashback card with no annual fee.

That's largely because of these rotating quarterly categories, in which you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of spending each and every quarter.

What's more, you'll also earn 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal as well as 3% back on several other categories like drugstores and on dining purchases.


Looking for Points Instead of Cashback?

If you're after more Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of cash back, you're in luck.

So long as you hold a *chase sapphire preferred* or a *chase sapphire reserve* credit card, the cashback you earn from the Freedom cards can easily be moved into your Ultimate Rewards points balance. Every cent of cashback gets you 1 Chase point instead.

That means you can effectively earn 5x Ultimate Rewards per dollar spent on the bonus categories from the Freedom Flex card.

That's a great deal: It's what makes the Chase Freedom Flex card the perfect complement to the Sapphire credit cards, as you'll earn more on these bonus categories (and others) than you would by simply swiping your Sapphire card.

Related Reading: How to Transfer Points Between Your Chase Cards


What You Need to Know About the Chase Freedom Flex Card:

  • Sign Up Bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership. The $200 can be converted to 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you carry either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
  • Earn 5% cashback on rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 of spending which could include: Grocery stores, gym memberships, streaming services, gas stations, etc. The categories for Q4 of 2023 are PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities. These bonus categories go live on Oct. 1, 2023.
  • Earn 5% cashback on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Earn 5% cashback on Lyft rides through March 2025.
  • Earn 3% cashback on dining, including takeout and delivery services.
  • Earn 3% cashback at drugstores.


chase freedom flex card
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex Card


How to Activate Chase Freedom Categories Each Quarter

The additional 5% back available for both Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex cardholders will not be automatically applied each quarter.

You'll need to register for the promotion each and every quarter by following this link to the Chase website. Any spending before you're registered will not qualify for the 5% back.


Chase Freedom Flex Q4 2023


You'll need to enter your last name, your billing zip code, and the last four digits of your credit card number. Then just click “Activate Now” to register. It's that easy.

Cardholders can also register using the Chase mobile app.


How Much Cash Back Can You Earn Each Quarter?

Chase limits the amount of cashback you can earn each quarter. And it's a combined amount across all Chase Freedom bonus categories, meaning you'll only be able to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in total spend.

That means if you maximize the 5% back categories each quarter, you'll earn $75 of cashback. Transfer that cashback to Chase Ultimate Rewards, and you get 7,500 points.

So if you were to maximize the bonus categories each quarter, you could earn a total of $300 cash back (or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points) every calendar year.


Previous 5x Bonus Chase Freedom Categories

Here's a quick look at what the Chase Freedom Flex and legacy Chase Freedom bonus categories have been in previous quarters. As you can see, categories vary widely throughout the year. But generally, they are categories that should fit fairly well into your everyday spending patterns.

Quarter5x Bonus Categories
Q3 2023Gas stations, EV charging, and select live entertainment
Q2 2023Amazon and Lowe's
Q1 2023Target, grocery stores (excluding Walmart), fitness clubs, and gym memberships
Q4 2022Paypal and Walmart
Q3 2022Gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters, and select live entertainment.
Q2 and select streaming services
Q1 2022Grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and eBay
Q4 2021Walmart & PayPal
Q3 2021Grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and select streaming services
Q2 2021Gas stations and home improvement stores
Q1 2021Wholesale Clubs, Streaming Services, Internet, Cable & Phone Service
Q4 2020Walmart & PayPal
Q3 2020Amazon, Whole Foods Market
Q2 2020Grocery stores, gym memberships, streaming services
Q1 2020Gas stations, internet, cable, & streaming services
Q4 2019Department stores, PayPal & Chase Pay Purchases
Q3 2019Gas stations, streaming services
Q2 2019Grocery stores, home improvement stores
Q1 2019Gas stations, drug stores, tolls
Q4 2018Wholesale clubs, department stores, Chase Pay
Q3 2018Walgreens, gas stations, and Lyft
Q2 2018Groceries, PayPal, Chase Pay
Q1 2018Mobile wallets, gas stations, internet, cable and phone service payments


Bottom Line

The Chase Freedom Flex card (along with the old Chase Freedom) is an excellent no-annual-fee cash back credit card that gets even better if you hold one of the Chase Sapphire cards.

Even if you can't take advantage of these Chase Freedom categories, it is still a great card that offers a ton of value. If you can maximize the categories each quarter, you'll earn an extra $75 cash back (or 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

The upcoming categories for Q4 of 2023 are PayPal, wholesale clubs, and select charities. Make sure to activate the offer at this link on Chase's website before Dec. 14 so that you don't miss out.


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

1 Responses

  • The original Chase Freedom is a Visa card so you can use it at Costco. It’s still available when doing a downgrade. I downgraded my Reserve to it last year. You just have to ask for it.

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