10'000 Hours/Getty Images

Activate Chase Freedom bonus categories for Q4 2022

Earn 5 percent cash back on PayPal and Walmart purchases


See the latest bonus categories from the Chase Freedom cards and get tips on how to maximize your cash back.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

Chase has announced the 5 percent cash back categories on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the retired Chase Freedom® for the fourth quarter of 2022.

From October through December 2022, Freedom and Freedom Flex cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on PayPal and Walmart purchases (up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then 1 percent) after activation. Activation for Q4 categories launched on September 15 and will be open until Dec. 14, 2022.

Besides this, the Freedom Flex 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 back 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 fourth-quarter categories opened on Sept. 15, 2022, and close on Dec. 14, 2022.
  • Cardholders who activate fourth-quarter categories can earn 5 percent cash back on PayPal and Walmart purchases (both in-store and online).
  • 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

(Activation closed)

April — June

(Activation closed)

July — September

(Activation closed)

October — December

(Activate between Sept. 15, 2022, and Dec. 14, 2022)

  • Grocery stores
  • eBay
  • Amazon.com
  • Select streaming services
  • Gas stations
  • Car rental agencies
  • Movie theaters
  • Select live entertainment
  • Walmart purchases
  • PayPal purchases

For reference, here’s a quick look at the categories Chase offered in 2021:

Chase 5% cash back calendar 2021

January – MarchApril – JuneJuly – SeptemberOctober – December
  • Select streaming services
  • Phone, cable and internet services
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Home improvement stores
  • Gas stations
  • Grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target)
  • Select streaming services
  • Walmart
  • PayPal

What is included in the PayPal category?

Pretty much any purchase made with PayPal using your Chase Freedom Flex will count toward the heightened cash back rate. Chase does detail the following on its site, though: “Please note, Friends and Family or Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions made with your Chase Freedom Flex card on PayPal may be prohibited or not eligible for 5 percent.” Xoom transfer payments are also excluded.

As a reminder, transactions must post to your credit card statement before the end of the fourth quarter in order to qualify.

What is included in the Walmart category?

Purchases that qualify in the Walmart category include those made at Walmart.com, Walmart Discount Stores, Walmart SuperCenters, Walmart Neighborhood Markets and Walmart gas stations. Further, purchases made using Walmart Pay count toward the heightened cash back rate.

Tips for maximizing your 5% cash back in Q4 2022

  • Try doing a majority of your holiday spending via PayPal or at Walmart.
  • If you celebrate Thanksgiving, you might as well get a few ingredients from Walmart, such as canned goods, baking supplies and more.
  • In terms of stocking stuffers or small gifts for coworkers and friends, consider purchasing gift cards from Walmart or PayPal to meet your spending cap.

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) with the Discover it® Cash Back. Here’s a look at Discover bonus categories for 2022 compared to that offered by Chase.

Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2022

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Discover it® Cash Back

January — MarcheBay and grocery storesGrocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships
April — JuneAmazon.com and select streaming servicesGas stations and Target
July — SeptemberGas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and select live entertainmentRestaurants and PayPal
October — DecemberPayPal and Walmart purchasesAmazon.com and digital wallets

Which card offers the better deal?

In the fourth quarter of 2022, which category provides more value really depends on the cardholder. For example, would you prefer to do a majority of your holiday spending with Amazon and a variety of digital wallets (including Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Garmin Pay)? Or, would you rather make your purchases with PayPal or at Walmart?

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 $300 in cash back, Discover will gift you an additional $300 in cash back as a welcome bonus).

Before you make your selection, consider reading through our list of the best cash back credit cards for 2022. There may be another option that catches your eye or makes more sense for your spending style.

Information about the Chase Freedom® has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Cash Back

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more