Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex cardholders can now activate their 5% bonus rewards categories for the second quarter of 2021 and receive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending at gas stations and home improvement stores. The new categories represent a shift from the previous quarter, which centered on pandemic-focused spending.

Key Takeaways

  • Chase has announced its Freedom 5% bonus categories for April through June 2021.
  • Cardholders with a Freedom or Freedom Flex card can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending at gas stations and home improvement stores, for a total of $75. 
  • The new categories are a shift from the first quarter, which included select streaming services and internet, cable, and phone services.
  • Cardholders need to activate the bonus by June 14, 2021, to earn the elevated rewards rate for the entire quarter.

How to Maximize Your Chase Freedom Rewards

If you have the Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex, the 5% bonus categories don't come automatically. You'll need to activate the promotion by June 14, 2021 to make sure you receive the extra cash back. The good news is that even if you wait until the deadline, you'll earn the higher rate retroactively on eligible purchases going back to April.

To activate your promotion, you can simply respond to the email you should receive from Chase. Or you can log into your account online or through the bank's mobile app, call customer service, or visit your local Chase branch.

To maximize the value of your rewards, plan to use your eligible Freedom card whenever you fuel up or visit a home improvement store. If you have an authorized user on your account, their purchases will also count toward the $1,500 limit and $75 maximum reward.

Also, keep in mind that the terms of the promotion state that payments made through third-party payment accounts, mobile or wireless card readers, online or mobile digital wallets, or similar technology will not qualify in a rewards category.  

The new Freedom Flex, a revamp of the now-discontinued Freedom card, also offers 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards and 3% back on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, as well as drugstore purchases.