Chase Makes New Freedom 5% Categories Pandemic-Friendly

Cardholders can enroll in Q1 2021 bonus offers starting Tuesday

Young couple watching movie on laptop computer while sitting on a bed


Chase announced the first quarter of 5% cash-back categories for Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders Monday, and the line-up is well-suited for spending the new year at home.

Starting Jan. 1, 2021, cardholders can earn 5% back on up to $1,500 of combined purchases made at wholesale clubs (such as Costco), and on cable, internet, phone, and eligible streaming service subscriptions. Cardholders have until March 31, 2021 to earn extra rewards on these purchases.

Wholesale clubs are the newest addition to the Q1 bonus category line-up for these Chase rewards credit cards. They replace the gas station purchase category included in the Q1 2020 5% back category line-up, which is helpful if you’re filling up your gas tank less and stocking up on snacks and paper products more these days. 

“The Q1 categories cover a wide range of purchases from monthly bills to household essentials, so cardmembers can earn cash back where they are frequently spending,” BJ Mahoney, general manager of Chase Freedom products, said in a press release Monday.

This is the second nod to pandemic spending behavior by a card issuer updating its rotating bonus cash-back categories. In November, Discover added streaming services to it’s 2021 5% back calendar, replacing the rideshare category it offered this past spring. Unlike Discover, Chase doesn’t publish an entire year of its 5% cash-back calendar at once. The Freedom bonus categories for Q2 will be announced closer to the end of Q1. 

Consumers who have the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex cards can enroll in the new Q1 bonus categories starting Tuesday through their online accounts, by phone, or via the Chase mobile app. 

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