See the latest bonus categories from the Chase Freedom cards and get tips on how to maximize your cash back.
Chase has announced the 5 percent cash back categories on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the retired Freedom card for the third quarter of 2022.
From July 1 through Sept. 30, Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back at gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and on select live entertainment (up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1 percent) after activation. Activation for third-quarter categories on both the Freedom and Freedom Flex launched on June 15 and will be open until Sept. 14, 2022.
Besides that, the Flex card offers 5 percent cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 5 percent back on Lyft rides through March 2025 and 3 percent on dining and drugstore purchases. All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.
At a glance
Here’s what you need to know:
- Activation for third-quarter categories opened on June 15, 2022, and close on Sept. 14, 2022.
- Cardholders who activate third-quarter categories can earn 5 percent cash back at at gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and on select live entertainment.
- The 5 percent cash back bonus (which requires activation) is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter, after which you’ll earn 1 percent.
Chase 5% cash back calendar 2022
|January — March|
|April — June|
|July — September|
(Activate between June 15, 2022, and Sept. 14, 2022)
|October — December|
Chase only releases its quarterly bonus categories one quarter at a time, so we can’t yet predict what will be offered throughout the remainder of 2022. Here’s a quick look at some of the categories Chase offered in 2021.
Chase 5% cash back calendar 2021
|January – March||April – June||July – September||October – December|
What is included in the gas station and car rental agency categories?
The gas station category, in particular, includes any traditional automotive gas station location. Chase lists a wealth of gas station examples on the following merchant list, which includes BP, 7-Eleven, Marathon, Shell, RaceTrac and much more.
In terms of the car rental agencies category, the most important thing to note is that a rental car must have been purchased through an agency in order to qualify for heightened cash back. A few examples include Alamo, Avis, Enterprise, Hertz and Lyft Rentals.
Note, to qualify, transactions must post to your credit card statement before the end of the third quarter.
What is included in the movie theatre and select entertainment categories?
While the movie theatre category is pretty straightforward (and even conveniently includes drive-in theaters, for those who’d enjoy catching an outdoor movie this summer), you probably need clarity on the select live entertainment category. When you spend at the following locations, you’ll earn heightened cash back:
- Amusement/theme parks, like Disney World and Six Flags
- Ticketing agencies, like SeatGeek and Live Nation
- Major professional sporting events, like NFL and MLB games
- Other locations, such as zoos, aquariums, museums and more
Tips for maximizing your 5% cash back in Q3 2022
- Pull out your Freedom or Freedom Flex card whenever you’re at the pump — gas prices are high, so you might as well earn rewards on filling up your tank.
- Headed on a vacation or business trip? Consider renting a car rather than using rideshare services (though you can also earn 5 percent back on Lyft rides through March 2025).
- Review the list of places/locations that count toward select live entertainment and be sure to charge any purchases to your card. That local carnival counts toward live entertainment!
Comparing Chase and Discover bonus categories
Chase isn’t the only card issuer that offers a 5 percent cash back bonus. Discover also allows cardholders to earn 5 percent cash back in activated rotating categories each quarter (on up to $1,500 in spending, then 1 percent).
Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2022
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Discover it® Cash Back
|January — March||eBay and grocery stores||Grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships|
|April — June||Amazon.com and select streaming services||Gas stations and Target|
|July — September||Gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and select live entertainment||Restaurants and PayPal|
|October — December||TBA||Amazon.com and digital wallets|
Which card offers the better deal?
In the third quarter of 2022, which category provides more value really depends on the cardholder — though you’ll certain have more categories to earn in with the Chase Freedom Flex.
The Discover it® Cash Back offers bonus cash back at restaurants and PayPal this summer, and while you’re likely to get use out of the restaurant category (which includes restaurant delivery services like Uber Eats and Postmates), chances it are PayPal might be a less useful category. For further clarification, the Discover’s PayPal category includes “purchases… made through the PayPal wallet online, money transfers via PayPal using your card and point-of-sale transactions using PayPal Here.”
The Chase Freedom and Freedom Flex, on the other hand, are offering four different categories that may be easier to maximize for the average cardholder — especially if you plan to travel this summer (re: gas stations and car rental agencies) or have some family fun off the clock (movie theaters and select live entertainment).
Note, though, if you haven’t yet applied for either of these cards, Discover’s Cashback Match feature may be enough to push you toward applying for the Discover it Cash Back. The issuer matches all the cash back you earn after your first year with the card (meaning if you earn $200 in cash back, Discover will gift you an additional $200 in cash back as a welcome bonus).
Unfortunately, we can’t predict which card will be best for you for the rest of 2022 — Discover has already announced its categories for 2022, but Chase only releases bonus categories one quarter at a time. To compare the Freedom Flex to other cards from the issuer, consider reading through our list of the best Chase credit cards.