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The Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for Q1 2022 are grocery stores and eBay

a grocery shopper holding a basket and examining a calorie label in the produce aisle of a grocery store
You can earn 5% cash back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and on eBay purchases on up to $1,500 in combined spending (then 1%) from January 1 to March 31, 2022, once you activate the bonus.
Ridofranz/Getty Images

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  • The 2022 Q1 Chase Freedom rotating bonus categories are grocery stores and eBay.
  • You can earn 5% back on the first $1,500 spent in combined purchases in these categories (then 1%).
  • Q1 runs from January 1 to March 31, 2022, and activation is required by March 14 to earn the bonus.
  • Read Insider's guide to the best rewards credit cards.

Chase has just revealed the new Q1 2022 rotating quarterly bonus categories on one of our favorite cash-back credit cards, the Chase Freedom Flex℠. From January 1 to March 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back (5x points) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (then 1%) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and eBay when you activate the bonus.

These categories also apply to the Chase Freedom® , which is no longer available to new applicants. 

Chase Freedom Q1 2022 categories

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
Editor's Rating
It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
Credit Score
Good to Excellent
Editor's Rating
Featured Reward
$200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Intro APR
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Generous bonus cash-back categories
    • Great welcome bonus
    Cons
    • Booking through Ultimate Rewards portal can restrict outside earning potential
    • Varying percentages and rotating calendar categories require extra attention
    • 3% foreign transaction fees
    • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
    • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
    • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
    • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
    • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, and 1% on all other purchases.
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% - 23.74%.
    • No annual fee.
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    Here are the Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories from January 1, 2022, through March 31, 2022:

    • Grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target)
    • eBay (includes Buy It Now and Auction purchases made on the ebay.com marketplace and eBay mobile apps)
    Screenshot of the Chase Freedom 2022 5% bonus calendar with the first quarter categories grocery stores and eBay.
    You can activate the Chase Freedom Q1 2022 categories starting December 15, 2021.
    Chase

    If you spend a lot at the supermarket, the new Chase first-quarter 2022 grocery store bonus category is a great fit. While not as broadly useful, if you are an eBay shopper you could do very well this quarter, too.

    Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom® cardholders can activate the Q1 bonus categories through their Chase account starting December 15, 2021, until March 14, 2022.

    Read more: Guide to the best Chase credit cards

    Once you activate, the bonus will retroactively apply to purchases, up to spending limits, from the start of the current quarter. 

    How Chase Freedom quarterly bonus categories work

    Each quarter of the year, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom® cards earn 5% back (or 5x points) on a different set of bonus categories. Activation is required, and once you hit the quarterly max of $1,500 spent in the bonus categories, your rate reverts to 1% back.

    Read more: The Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited aren't just cash-back cards — here's how you can turn their rewards into travel points

    While these are marketed as cash-back cards, if you also have a card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can combine rewards between the two cards and transfer them to Chase's airline and hotel partners. That's why you can think of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom® bonus categories as earning you either 5% back or 5x points.

    You'll earn 5% back or 5x points on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter, so if you max this out, you'll earn $75 back, or 7,500 Chase points. Each quarter, you need to activate the quarterly bonus categories in order to be eligible for cash back or bonus Ultimate Rewards points. You'll receive an email prompting you to activate them through your online account.

    Previous Chase Freedom quarterly bonus categories

    For Q4 2021 (October to December), the Chase Freedom bonus categories are Walmart and PayPal. If you've already activated these categories, you'll continue to earn the bonus (up to spending limits) until the end of December, even if you activate the 2022 Q1 bonus.

    Read more: Don't forget to activate your Chase Freedom bonus categories

    Screenshot of the Chase Freedom 5x bonus category calendar for 2021, with updated Q4 categories of Walmart and PayPal.
    The PayPal and Walmart bonus categories for Q4 2021 are still active through December 31, 2021.
    Chase

    In Q3, the bonus categories were grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and select streaming services, Q2 included gas stations and home improvement stores, and Q1 2021's bonus categories were cable, internet, and phone services, wholesale clubs, and streaming services. In 2020, the previous quarterly bonus categories were as follows:

    • Q1: Gas stations, internet, cable, and phone services, select streaming services
    • Q2: Grocery stores, fitness club and gym memberships, select streaming services
    • Q3: Amazon and Whole Foods purchases
    • Q4: Walmart and PayPal

    Here are the previous quarterly bonus categories from 2019:

    • Q1: Gas stations, tolls, drugstores
    • Q2: Grocery stores and home improvement stores
    • Q3: Select streaming services and gas stations
    • Q4: Department stores, PayPal, and Chase Pay

    Chase Freedom Flex card details

    In addition to earning 5% back (5x points) on quarterly bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.

    It's a no-annual-fee card, but it does charge foreign transaction fees, so you won't want to use it for international purchases.

    Read more: Chase Freedom Flex credit card review

    The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is currently offering a $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. In addition, new cardholders can earn 5% cash back (5x points) at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 in spending during the first year of account opening (then 1x).

    If you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can transfer your bonus to travel partners like United Airlines, Hyatt, and Marriott.

    Other credit card options

    If you want to explore other options before committing to the Chase Freedom Flex℠, there's one very similar card to check out, as well as other cash-back credit cards with different bonus category structures.

    Also with quarterly bonus categories: Discover it® Cash Back

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    11.99% - 22.99% Variable
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    11.99% - 22.99% Variable
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    Intro APR
    0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers
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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • Earns 5% cash back at Grocery Stores and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment from January 1 to March 31, 2022, then 1% (excludes Walmart and Target purchases)
    • Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first account year
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
    • If the quarterly categories aren't convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card
    • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
    • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
    • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
    • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • No annual fee.
    • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
    • Click "Apply Now" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    This Discover it® Cash Back doesn't offer the ability to convert cash back into points for travel, but it does offer different 5% bonus categories each quarter of the year.

    The Discover it® Cash Back earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter when you activate the bonus categories (from January 1 to March 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%), similar to the Chase Freedom Flex℠, so you max out at $75 back each quarter, or up to $300 back each year.

    The card has no annual fee, and earns 1% back on all other purchases. New cardholders will get all their cash back matched at the end of their first year, so if you earned $500 back total, Discover would match that for a total of $1,000 back (from January 1 to March 31, 2022, you can earn 5% cash back at Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%).

    Read more: Discover it Cash Back card review

    Unlike Chase, which announces quarterly cash-back categories every three months, Discover reveals its calendar for the year at once.

    Here's the 2022 Discover it 5% cash-back calendar:

    Earn 5% on your top eligible monthly spending category: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    13.99% – 23.99% Variable
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    13.99% – 23.99% Variable
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    $200 in cash back, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
    Intro APR
    0% intro APR for 15 months
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  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • Flexibility to customize rewards by earning 5x points on up to $500 per billing cycle in your top spending category (from a list)
    • Generous welcome offer for a no-annual-fee card
    • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for or track
    • Earn valuable Citi ThankYou points which you can redeem for cash back, travel, gift cards, merchandise, and more
    Cons
    • Only earns 1% back outside of $500 in top spending category each billing cycle
    • Foreign transaction fee of 3%
    • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
    • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
    • No Annual Fee
    • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash℠ Card account per person.
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    The  Citi Custom Cash℠ Card makes it easy to earn 5% cash back (5x Citi ThankYou points) without having to keep track of rotating categories or remembering to activate a bonus. Cardholders earn 5% back on up to $500 in spending (then 1%) on the eligible category they spend the most in that billing cycle.

    Categories that qualify include:

    • Restaurants
    • Gas stations
    • Grocery stores
    • Select travel
    • Select transit
    • Select streaming services
    • Drugstores
    • Home improvement stores
    • Fitness clubs
    • Live entertainment

    Read more: Citi Custom Cash card review

    The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a welcome bonus of $200 in cash back, fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. If you also have the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer available to new applicants), you can pool your points and transfer them to Citi's airline partners, like JetBlue or Singapore Airlines.

    A strong alternative: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
    Annual Fee
    $0
    Regular APR
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable APR
    Credit Score
    Good to Excellent
    Editor's Rating
    Featured Reward
    1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back)
    Intro APR
    0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months
    It indicates an expandable section or menu, or sometimes previous / next navigation options.
  • Pros & Cons
  • Details
  • Pros
    • Solid flat cash-back rate
    • You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
    • No annual fee
    Cons
    • Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases
    • Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
    • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
    • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
    • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
    • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99% - 23.74%.
    • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
    • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
    Read Our Review A looong arrow, pointing right

    If you don't want to keep track of quarterly bonus categories, you may want to consider Chase's other cash-back Freedom card instead.

    Read more: Chase Freedom Unlimited card review

    The no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase portal, 3% cash back on dining and at drugstores, and 1.5% back on everything else with no limit. If you're a new cardholder you can currently earn 1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back). 

    The trick of turning cash back into Ultimate Rewards points when you have another eligible Chase card works with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® too, so you could be earning at least 1.5x points on all your purchases — a very solid return on spending.

    Featured credit cards from our partners
    Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Editor's Rating
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Fee $95
    Featured Reward 60,000 points
    Credit Needed Good to Excellent
    Marriott Bonvoy Boundless® Credit Card Editor's Rating
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Fee $95
    Featured Reward 3 free nights (each valued up to 50,000 points) after qualifying purchases and 10x total points on eligible purchases in select categories
    Credit Needed Good to Excellent
    Chase Freedom Unlimited® Editor's Rating
    Editor's Rating
    Annual Fee $0
    Featured Reward 1.5% cash back in addition to regular earning on everything you buy up to $20,000 spent in the first year (worth up to $300 cash back)
    Credit Needed Good to Excellent

    For rates and fees of Discover it® Cash Back, please click here.

    Disclosure: This post may highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team. Read our editorial standards.

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