Chase Freedom Cardholders Can Earn up to 9% Cash Back During the Holidays

The new top-spend category bonus is valid for the fourth quarter of 2021

The Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex credit cards offer 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, giving cardholders one of the best rewards rates on the market. But now, through the end of the year, cardholders can also earn 5% back on their top spending category from a list of options, with the possibility of earning up to 9% back on PayPal purchases.

Key Takeaways

  • The Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cards are offering 5% cash back on cardholders' top spending category from Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, 2021.
  • The new top-spend category bonus is separate from the cards' standard rotating bonus rewards, but the two can be used in conjunction to earn up to 9% back on select categories.
  • Cardholders should read the rules to ensure that they're making the most out of the promotional offer.

Chase Introduces a Top-Spend Category Bonus

For a long time, the Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cards have been among the top cash-back credit cards because of their 5% rotating bonus categories. Now, cardholders can enjoy an additional bonus program on top of what they normally get.

From Oct. 1 through Dec. 31, cardholders will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in their top spending category from a list of options.

Eligible categories include travel and transit, dining, home improvement stores, grocery stores (not including Target and Walmart), drugstores, gas stations, select live entertainment, select streaming services, and fitness clubs.

And here's the kicker: There are several ways you can earn more than 5% back on your top-spend category:

  • Pay with your card via PayPal. PayPal is accepted by millions of retailers, and because PayPal purchases are one of the Freedom and Freedom Flex cards' regular rotating bonus categories this quarter, purchases made in your top-spend category via PayPal will earn you 9% back—that's the 1% base rewards rate plus an additional 4% back for the top-spend category bonus and another 4% back for the regular rotating category bonus.
  • Book travel through Chase. Travel booked through Chase on your Freedom or Freedom Flex card will net you 5% back. As a result, you'll get a 9% rewards rate if your top-spend category is travel and you booked that travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards platform.
  • Maximize your grocery promotion. As a new cardholder, you may have received an offer to earn 5% back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores during your first 12 months. If grocery store purchases are your top spending category during the quarter, you'll earn 9% back on those purchases.
  • Make your top-spend category dining or drugstores. If your top-spend category is dining or drugstores, which normally earn 3% back, you'll earn 7% total cash back.

If you're not sure whether certain purchases count toward an eligible spending category, check Chase's FAQ page for details on the top-spend category bonus.

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  1. Chase. "Have Questions About Your Cash Back?" Accessed Oct. 21, 2021.

  2. Chase. "Chase Bonus." Accessed Oct. 21, 2021.