Chase Freedom Q3 5x categories announced, plus get an extra 10% on Pay Youself Back feature

Chase has announced their 3rd quarter (Q3) 5x categories for thee Freedom Flex and old Freedom cards:
  • Grocery Stores (excluding Target® & Walmart®): Just in time for grilling season, Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases to cook-up their favorite recipes all summer long.
  • Select Streaming Services: Monthly music and TV streaming subscriptions can add up fast – this quarter, Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on individual purchases and subscriptions.

Q3 runs from July 1 through September 30, 2021, and registration (required) is open today through September 14, 2021.  The 5x is limited to up to $1,500 in total purchases for the quarter.  But if you have both the Freedom Flex and the old Chase Freedom, you could purchase up to $1,500 per card for a total of $3,000.

For many of us who signed up for the Freedom Flex when it was first released last year, the 5x grocery store category may not be useful since we already get 5x on grocery stores for the first 12 months of card membership.  What could make this category useful is if Chase allows the quarterly bonus to stack for a total of 9x or even 10x, though we won't actually know until Q3 begins.  Go here to see the full list of eligible merchants.

Extra 10% on Pay Yourself Back feature

Chase first introduced the Pay Yourself Back feature last year on their Sapphire cards, allowing Reserve and Preferred cardholders to receive an additional 50% or 25%, respectively, when paying themselves back on grocery stores, dining, and home improvement purchases.  So in essence, Reserve Ultimate Rewards (UR) points could be cashed out as Pay Yourself Back for 1.5 cents each and Sapphire UR for 1.25 cents each.  This was more useful for cardholders who weren't redeeming their points for travel or transferring to loyalty accounts during the pandemic as Chase UR are typically worth more than 1.5 cents each.

Pay Yourself Back on dining purchases for an extra 10%

Now, Chase has announced that Freedom Flex, old Freedom, and Freedom Student card holders can get an extra 10% when paying themselves back on up to $250 in dining purchases from July 2 through September 30, 2021.  So this essentially values Freedom UR at 1.1 cents each, which, once again, isn't that impressive.  However, Freedom cardholders who don't have a premium Chase UR card to transfer points over to loyalty programs may find this valuable as their points are typically only worth a penny each.

Bottom line

So far for this calendar year, the Chase Freedom quarterly 5x categories have been less than stellar for many, and it appears that Q3 will be no different.  Hopefully, Chase will allow stacking on the grocery stores category so that Freedom Flex cardholders who signed when the card was first launched can earn 9x or even 10x on grocery stores for Q3.  Remember to register to be eligible for the 5x, and Chase will also retroactively credit you 5x upon registration provided you active by September 14, 2021.  And if you have a Freedom card that's not linked to a premium Chase UR card, you might as well take advantage of the extra 10% Pay Yourself Back feature in Q3 to get an extra 10% value on your points.

From all of us at Flying for Fitness, please stay healthy during this trying time.  We hope you enjoyed this post.  Please consider visiting one of our sponsors by clicking on the advertisements.  Our sponsors pay us for customer visits and help us to keep the lights on.  Thanks!


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