Chase Freedom cardholders: Here are 3 ways to maximize the rotating categories this quarter

One of my favorite parts of a new quarter is learning the Chase Freedom (no longer available to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Flex‘s bonus categories. Chase Ultimate Rewards points are the rewards I use most frequently, so I love deciding on my strategy to maximize bonus points with my Freedom Flex each quarter.

The Freedom/Freedom Flex’s category bonus-earning is capped at $1,500 each quarter when you activate. If you hit that max every time, you’ll earn $300 per year. And if you have another card that earns transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards points, that’s 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points — worth $615 according to our valuations.

I’ve learned that without a plan, I either forget about the bonus categories and leave valuable rewards on the table or easily spend well over the $1,500 cap, earning just one point per dollar spent on purchases I thought were earning bonus points.

And I’m not the only one who plans ahead. Here’s a look at how some of my fellow TPG staffers and I plan to maximize the 2024 first-quarter bonus categories: grocery stores, gym memberships and self-care.

The information for the Chase Freedom card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Grocery stores

Senior credit cards editor Matt Moffitt‘s go-to card for grocery stores is the American Express® Gold Card, which earns him 4 points per dollar spent on up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets per calendar year (then 1 point per dollar spent). Given American Express Membership Rewards points are valued at 2 cents each, this nets him an 8% effective return.


However, Matt will switch his grocery-store spending to his Freedom card as he’ll earn 5% cash back this quarter. Given he also has the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, his 5% cash back becomes 5 points per dollar spent. With Chase points valued at 2.05 cents each, he’ll get a more than 10% effective return in this category this quarter, beating out the Amex Gold, which he’ll switch back to in April.

Related: The best credit cards for grocery spending

Fitness club and gym memberships

I was thrilled to see fitness clubs and gym memberships as a returning category this year. I go to a boutique fitness studio and usually pay my membership monthly with my Chase Freedom Unlimited card to earn 1.5 points per dollar spent.

Daily Newsletter

Reward your inbox with the TPG Daily newsletter

Join over 700,000 readers for breaking news, in-depth guides and exclusive deals from TPG’s experts

Like Matt, I can turn my rewards into transferable Chase Ultimate Rewards by combining them with my Chase Sapphire Reserve card. This allows me to get around a 3% return on this expense according to our valuations.


However, to take full advantage of the first quarter bonus category, I plan to use my Freedom Flex to buy an annual membership at my local studio. Doing so will put me close to the $1,500 quarterly bonus max, but it will allow me to earn 5 points per dollar spent on this expense and get around a 10% return on this cost rather than my usual 3%.

Related: The best credit cards for fitness spending

Self-care and spa services

TPG senior content operations editor Madison Blancaflor is excited about the new self-care and spa services bonus category. One of her 2024 resolutions is to focus more on self-care, so she’s taking advantage of this category in the first quarter to help set her up for success all year.


She plans to buy gift certificates for herself to get monthly facials and manicures, and quarterly massages throughout the year. She’ll use her Freedom Flex to buy these from her favorite spa and nail salon to earn 5 points per dollar spent on these luxuries.

Related: How to build a credit card strategy for the new year

Bottom line

When it comes to maximizing credit card rewards, it pays to have a plan. And if you have the Freedom or Freedom Flex, plan ahead to take full advantage of your bonus-earning opportunities each quarter. If you play your cards right, you’ll get an impressive return on some purchases that may not earn bonus rewards during the rest of the year.

To learn more about the card, read our full review of the Freedom Flex.

Apply here: Chase Freedom Flex

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *