Chase Has Announced Q1 Bonus Categories (After Discover Did)

With 2023 rapidly approaching, this week, Chase announced the bonus categories that Freedom and Freedom Flex customers will earn 5% back on from January 1st through March 31. Without further ado, here are the selections:

  • Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart)
  • Fitness Club and Gym Memberships
  • Target

As a reminder, the 5% back bonus categories are capped at a combined total of $1,500 in spending per quarter, meaning cardholders could earn as much as $75 in cashback per quarter. Also, you’ll need to activate this offer before you can take advantage. And, before you get any wise ideas, grocery purchases made at Target will just earn 5% total.

Somewhat confusingly, the Freedom Flex also has a special offer for new cardholders going on right now that includes 5% back on grocery store purchases (on up to $12,000 in spending) for their first year. However, in this case, the “grocery store” category excludes both Walmart and Target. Interestingly, Chase notes that Grocery purchases that qualify for both the 5% new cardmember bonus and quarterly 5% cash back will earn a total of… 9%. I don’t quite get the math there, but whatever works. By the way, this offer is in addition to the $200 cashback new cardholders can earn when they spend $500 or more on their card during their first three months. In total, then, those who max out this offer could earn as much as $800 in cashback just in intro bonuses.

Seeing as I don’t have a Chase Freedom or Freedom Flex card, this particular news isn’t of much consequence to me. Yet, what intrigues me about it is how it relates (at least in my mind) to a card a do have: the Discover It card. Earlier this month, Discover revealed what categories will be part of its first quarter 5% bonus, with those being grocery stores, drug stores, and select streaming services. Now, of note, their grocery store category excludes Walmart and Target. In other words, it feels as though Chase is kind of one-upping them here by including Target in the mix. Plus, I should also point out that, for 2023, Discover plans to announce the next quarter’s categories a month beforehand whereas they’ve traditionally shared the whole slate in advance.

I’m not going to go as far as to suggest that there’s some beef building between Chase and Discover… but I do find this updated dynamic to be interesting. Even with Discover’s delayed announcement plan, it seems that Chase will still be able to move second. Is it possible I’m reading too much into this? Absolutely. Still, as a credit card observer, I have to admit that I’m fascinated.

In any case, I think Chase’s Q1 5% bonus category line-up is pretty strong. Furthermore, the offer they have right now is incredibly attractive IMHO. So, if you’re looking to add a new card to your wallet before the new year, perhaps the Freedom Flex would be a good pick.

Author

Kyle Burbank

Kyle is a freelance writer and author whose first book, "The E-Ticket Life" is now available on Amazon. In addition to his weekly "Money at 30" column on Dyer News, he is also the editorial director and a writer for the Disney fan site LaughingPlace.com and the founder of Money@30.com.

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