Chase Freedom Flex 5x Points Categories Q1 2021

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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In 2020 we saw the introduction of the Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card, which is an incredible card belonging to Chase’s Freedom portfolio.

Now that it’s a new year, that also means we can start taking advantage of the Q1 2021 5x points categories. Note that these same bonus categories are also valid for the Chase Freedom Card, which is no longer open to new applicants.

Why I Love The Chase Freedom Flex Card

The Chase Freedom Flex Card is easily one of the best no annual fee cards out there, as it offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spending per quarter. Most people use this as a cashback card, meaning the 5x points really translates into 5% cashback in these categories.

The card has other bonus categories as well, as it offers 3x points (or 3% cash back) at drugstores and on dining.

The best part is that in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review), points earned on this card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, and be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.

Since I value one Ultimate Rewards point at significantly more than one cent, that’s my preferred use of those points.

Chase Freedom Flex Q1 2021 Bonus Categories

In the first quarter of 2021, the Freedom Flex Card is offering 5x points on the first $1,500 spent with wholesale clubs, internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming services. As far as key dates go:

  • You need to register between December 15, 2020, and March 14, 2021
  • If you register, you’ll earn 5x points between January 1 and March 31, 2021

How To Register Your Chase Freedom Flex Card

Registration is easy — just go to the registration page and enter your last name, billing zip code, and the last four digits on your card, and you’ll be registered.

What’s Included With Chase Freedom Flex Bonus Categories?

There’s often some confusion about what purchases qualify with the bonus categories, so let me recap Chase’s definitions.

The wholesale clubs category includes the following:

These merchants operate warehouse-style retail stores, sell in bulk, and concentrate on price appeal. Merchants sell a full range of household goods and merchandise, groceries, furniture, electronics, appliances, and auto supplies. These merchants may or may not have membership requirements. Gas, fuel, wholesale specialty service purchases such as travel, insurance, cell phone and home improvement will not qualify in this category. Delivery service merchants will be included if they classify as a wholesale club merchant.

The internet, cable, and phone services category includes the following:

Only purchases for internet, cable, satellite television and radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify. Purchases of equipment are not included. If you purchase or pay for your internet, cable and satellite television, phone or related services in a merchant’s store that is not classified by the merchant in the applicable services category, the purchase or payment will not qualify; for example, phone bill payments in a merchant’s store that is classified as a telephone equipment store.

The streaming services category includes the following:

Merchants in the Select Streaming Services category specialize in delivering music and video content over the internet. Only subscription services paid for with the following select merchants will qualify for this offer: Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube TV.

My Take On Chase Freedom Flex Q1 2021 Bonuses

Personally the Q1 2021 bonus categories on the Chase Freedom Flex are probably my least favorite bonus categories we’ve seen in a while, based on my spending patterns. Actually, I doubt I’ll be able to use this at all:

  • I don’t have a membership in a wholesale club
  • I already earn 5x points on internet, cable, and phone services, with other cards
  • I don’t pay for many streaming services, and for those that I do, we’ve seen all kinds of credit and bonus points opportunities already

I understand wholesale club members will probably love this quarter’s bonus, but for the rest of us…

How To Make Chase Freedom Flex Points Even More Valuable

To recap, you earn points on the Chase Freedom Flex, and each point can be redeemed for one cent cashback.

However, if you have this card in addition to one of the cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards Cards include the:

So 5% cashback converts into 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with one of the above cards.

Chase Freedom Flex Bonus Summary

The Chase Freedom Flex is one of the best no annual fee cards out there, thanks largely to the ability to earn 5x points in rotating quarterly categories.

The first quarter 2021 bonus categories have just gone live on the card, and you’re now able to earn 5x points on the first $1,500 spent with wholesale clubs, internet, cable, and phone services, and select streaming services.

What do you make of the first quarter 2021 Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories?

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  1. @John, the Flex is a MC but original Freedom is Visa. Even with MC (and Discover) you can just buy gift/Shop cards on Costco website to use in store, the website takes everything except Amex.

  2. Not much use for me in Q1 either.

    Although I will concede that in a Covid world I’m mostly spending at supermarkets and Chase Sapphire will give me 3x there for all of Q1 so at least there’s that instead.

  3. i’ll be making use of the internet/maybe phone service (i pre-paid for mint mobile so i need to check when the next renewal is) and the warehouse bonuses. thanks!

  4. The Ink Cash already has 5x for phone, Internet etc

    It is not worth joining a membership club just to get the 5x

    So I guess wait for Q2

  5. @John, you can use Pay Pal key to make online purchases at Costco if you don’t own the Chase Freedom Flex.

    I have a Costco membership, but I spend just enough over the year to make it worth it (i.e. paper towels, TP, cleaning products, drinks, water, etc.).

    I’ll be 2/3 of the way to $1,500 with my monthly Verizon and Spectrum Internet bill. So, I’ll only need to spend roughly $500 at Costco to maximize Q1 21.

  6. I just have the regular Chase Freedom card, does it have the same bonus categories or do I have to call up Chase to convert it to Flex?

  7. I initially thought the Q4 Paypal was great, but then Amex went and offered 8pts per dollar for Amazon purchases via Amex Offers (exp. 12/31), so all of my spend has shifted to that.

  8. For me this is another great quarter. I spend a lot at Costco (for my 2 old Visa Freedoms). For my SO’s Freedom Flex, the phone category is great given that it now has cell phone protection (and given the Amex cell credits end soon).

    @Buddy M the regular Freedom categories are the same. If you shop in store at Costco, the old version has the benefit of being a Visa.

  9. A bit weak for me – I don’t have a whole lot of streaming services aside from Amazon Prime Video – will that get the bonus?

  10. I feel Chase quarterly bonus is getting less and less appealing for me.
    For Q4, I don’t shop at Walmart, so I’ve tried using paypal for most of my online shopping, but there’s only so much you can buy.
    For Q1, I don’t have wholesale membership, my internet (and electricity) is through my town that may not count as internet, I don’t have cable and no landline, no streaming service except Amazon Prime.
    I’ll have wait out for Q2 – hopefully it’s more enticing…

  11. Chase needs to go back to the old quarterly system:
    Q1 – gas and automotive
    Q2 – supermarkets
    Q3 – restaurants
    Q4 – online shopping (or was it just Amazon?)

  12. I’ve been waiting for the 5x back on wholesale clubs. Costco is best store anywhere. Kept my Freedom card instead of the Flex because it’s a Visa. I will blow this one up, finally.

  13. Woot — just activated on my non-Flex Chase Freedom card. So glad I didn’t upgrade as I can now use it at Costco next quarter!

  14. Yup, family spending is high at both Costco and Sam’s Club, this’ll be an easy max on 2 Freedom cards for us…

  15. The current chase freedom flex offer includes 5% back on grocery orders in the first year. Does anyone know if Whole Foods delivered via Amazon prime codes as grocery?

  16. To me, this just seems like a “bait and switch.” People are wowed at 5x, so they get the card & shop like crazy. Then in only 3 months, the game changes.

    Then there are all sorts of exceptions. Why don’t they do away with purchases needing to be coded the right way. Gasoline is gasoline, no matter where you fill up. Internet is Internet no matter which provider one chooses. Visa or MC – a purchase is a purchase.

    Most people probably prefer a credit card that provides stable benefits, not tricks, devaluations or loss of original promises.

  17. @Smk – I checked my Amazon Prime Visa account and it seems to code as Amazon. I guess the delivery and billing are done by Amazon when you order online but if you pay in the store it is still Whole Foods.

  18. One reason I tend to finance my iPhone purchases with AT&T is that you can always pay off the entire phone later with a Chase card during this bonus category. Thanks to this I will probably have $2,000 or more in internet/cable/phone charges that I can put through Freedom cards in Q1.

    Earning more points than ever with Freedom/Freedom Unlimited in recent months.

  19. There’s supposed to be spending bonuses out today on Chase co-brand cards also, WOH card, IHG Premeire, select, and Marriott cards. Anyone able to enroll in those today ?

  20. This is actually a great combination of bonuses for me. In fact the best ever from Chase.

    – By offering 5x on Internet and Phone, I will use my Chase for these bills instead of Amex Bonvoy Business (which gives me 4x)
    – I have the CF so I will use that at Costco instead of using my Bank of America Cash Rewards
    – Finally, I use streaming services and I will use this card for my subscriptions for Q1 (as compared to other cards which varies depending on who is giving me an offer such as Amex Bonvoy Brilliant).

    I think I will spend the most on my CF this quarter as compared to any other quarter ever thanks to the combo they are giving in Q1

  21. I wonder if the liquor store at BJ’s would count? I could do a stock up trip and probably hit the entire $1500 right then and there. #PandemicLife LOL

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