Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex cardholders can now activate their 5% bonus rewards categories for the fourth quarter of 2021. After activation, they will receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending on purchases made through PayPal and at Walmart, including 

Key Takeaways

  • Chase has announced its Freedom 5% bonus categories for October through December 2021.
  • Cardholders with a Freedom or Freedom Flex card can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending on purchases made through PayPal and at Walmart, including, for a total of $75 in rewards. 
  • The new categories will replace the third-quarter categories of grocery stores and select streaming services.
  • Cardholders need to activate the bonus by Dec. 14, 2021, to earn the accelerated rewards rate for the three-month period.

How to Maximize Your Chase Freedom Rewards

If you have the Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex, make sure you activate your 5% bonus categories by the deadline every quarter. For the upcoming quarter, that deadline is Dec. 14, 2021.

As long as you activate by that date, you'll earn 5% cash back on the eligible categories for the entire quarter, including purchases you made before you activated the promotion. 

There are a few ways you can activate your 5% cash back categories each quarter:

  • Respond to the email you should receive from Chase
  • Log into your account online or through the bank's mobile app
  • Call customer service
  • Visit a local Chase branch

To maximize your rewards, add your Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex card to your PayPal account. Then, when you're shopping online, look for opportunities to check out with PayPal instead of paying directly with your card. The good news is that millions of online retailers accept PayPal as a payment method.

You may also consider shopping at Walmart or to do your holiday shopping. If you have an authorized user on your account, coordinate with them so that they also adapt to the new bonus categories with their spending. You can track how much you've earned in bonus rewards in your online account. 

For the fine print, note that merchants operating within or on Walmart premises, such as fast food restaurants, gas stations, and beauty service providers aren't included in the Walmart category. You also won't earn rewards on person-to-person PayPal transfers or transfers made via PayPal's Xoom service.