(EXPIRED) [Update on stacking] Awesome: 5x groceries + 20K welcome bonus on Chase Freedom & Freedom Unlimited

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Update #2 (8/17/20): I can now confirm that the first year grocery bonus stacks with the quarterly bonus on the Freedom card for 9x at Whole Foods this quarter. See a screen shot after the highlighted update in yellow in the original post below.

Update #1: Some data points indicate that some people who have recently applied for the Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited via referral have been able to get matched to this offer including the grocery bonus (Note: The referral offer does not show the 5x grocery bonus). See this report from Doctor of Credit. It’s not immediately clear whether applying now via referral would still get a match – there’s obviously the risk that they will decide to stop matching.

Chase has upped the ante: There are new offers out on the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards today and they are without a doubt the best I’ve ever seen on these cards: get the usual $200 back (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $500 in purchases in the first 3 months plus get 5% / 5x back on groceries (excluding Walmart and Target) for the first year on up to $12,000 in spend. That’s up to an 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points at the grocery store in year 1. That’s a great deal on a card with no annual fee and finally makes the Freedom or Freedom Unlimited worth considering for a 5/24 slot.

Chase Fredom Unlimited

The Offer & Key Card Details

Click the card details below to go to our dedicated card page for more information and to find a link to apply.

Card Offer and Details
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Extra 1.5x everywhere + 15 months 0% APR
Earn an extra 1.5x everywhere on up to $20K in purchases for the first 12 months. 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.24% - 23.99%.

No Annual Fee

This card is subject to Chase's 5/24 rule (click here for details). Even though this card is marketed as a cash back card, it actually earns Ultimate Rewards points which are redeemable for 1 cent each, or can be combined with other Ultimate Rewards-earning cards to get even more value. This product is available to you if you do not have this card and have not received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

FM Mini Review: Great for 3x categories and 1.5X everywhere else. Excellent companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Card Type: Visa Signature or Platinum

Base
Travel
Dine
Other

Earning rate: 5x travel booked through Chase ⚬ 5X Lyft through March 2025 ⚬ 3x dining ⚬ 3x drugstores ⚬ 1.5X everywhere else

Noteworthy perks: Free DashPass for up to 3 months upon activation

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Card Offer and Details
Chase Freedom Visa

FM Mini Review: Great for 5X categories. Good companion card to Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Business Preferred.


Card Type: Visa Signature or Platinum

Base
Shop
Other

Earning rate: 5X Lyft through March 2025; 5X in rotating categories on up to $1,500 spend per quarter. 2022 Q2: 5x Amazon and select streaming services

Noteworthy perks: Free DashPass for up to 3 months upon activation

See also: Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide

Quick Thoughts

This is a fantastic deal and as good as we’ve ever seen on the Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited. Either of these cards are now worth considering despite using up a 5/24 slot.

Chase's 5/24 Rule: With most Chase credit cards, Chase will not approve your application if you have opened 5 or more cards with any bank in the past 24 months.

To determine your 5/24 status, see: 3 Easy Ways to Count Your 5/24 Status. The easiest option is to track all of your cards for free with Travel Freely.

The kind of “standard” offer on the Freedom cards has been for $150 back (15,000 Ultimate Rewards points), though we’ve had a $200 offer (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points) listed for quite a while. This new offer maintains that previous 20K bonus on either card and adds 5x on up to $12K in grocery store spend in year 1. That’s a very nice bonus indeed.

Given that the Freedom Unlimited card ordinarily offers 1.5x everywhere, the bonus is really an additional 3.5 points per dollar on up to $12K in spend — or an additional 42K in points over what you would otherwise earn for that spend. That’s a really nice additional bonus on a card with no annual fee, especially given the fact that it should be very easy for most people to earn that entire bonus. On the other hand, assuming you would have earned 1x on the Chase Freedom, it’s like an additional 4x on that $12K in spend — 48K points more than you’d ordinarily earn on that spend (assuming that grocery stores are not a quarterly category).

To that last point, I’m not entirely sure how this will work if you elect to apply for the Freedom card and grocery stores are a quarterly category. Will you then receive  stacking bonuses of 5% / 5x for the quarterly bonus and an additional 4% / 4x for this grocery bonus? I’m not entirely sure, but I’m sure we’ll find out early since Whole Foods is one of the quarterly bonus categories this quarter. Still, any way you slice it this will be a great bonus.

Update: I can confirm that the bonuses stack. We purchased $1,000 in Amazon gift cards at Whole Foods (and some fruit) and earned 1x base points + 4x points from the third quarter category bonus + 4x first year grocery bonus points as shown below (note that the screen shot also includes 20K points earned from the welcome bonus).

Consider also that since Chase is currently offering the Pay Yourself Back feature on Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards, these bonuses are even more valuable for many cardholders. For example, if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve in your household and you earn the welcome bonus on this card before the end of September, you could move the 20K bonus points earned here to your Sapphire Reserve account to pay yourself back for $300 in groceries or home improvement purchases (at 1.5c each). A return of 5x at the grocery store is therefore worth at least 7.5% back if used toward groceries as long as the pay yourself back feature lasts — an excellent bonus for grocery store spend.

The additional 40K+ points one stands to earn if you can max out grocery spend combined with the 20K welcome bonus points means that this card comes with a total bonus that beats out most other cards in the Ultimate Rewards lineup if you’re spending $12K per year on groceries.

Keep in mind that Chase markets the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cards as cash back cards and thus the bonuses are framed in terms of cash back — $200 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months and 5% back on groceries — but those amounts are given in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be redeemed for cash. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Chase Ink Business Preferred in your household, you can move points earned on the Freedom Unlimited to one of those cards and then transfer on to travel partners if you prefer to use the points with airline or hotel partners. Hyatt fans can no doubt see huge value in being able to rack up easy points via this card and then transfer them to Hyatt.

Overall, I’m pretty excited about this. I currently have the Freedom Unlimited, but my wife doesn’t and is under 5/24. I think this card is worth a 5/24 slot, especially considering the fact that she is not yet eligible for a new welcome bonus on a Sapphire card. Getting this card now will position her to eventually consider downgrading her Sapphire Reserve to a Freedom card when she is ready for a new Sapphire bonus. Since I had no intentions of burning a 5/24 slot any time soon, I expected it would be several years before she’d end up with more than one Freedom card. The points here are just easy peasy and hard to ignore.

This card may not make sense for those who can both get approved for and meet the spending requirement of an Ink Business Preferred (given the big bonus there) or those who would rather split their grocery spend over multiple welcome bonuses. On the other hand, with issuers in general tightening up on approvals, I think this represents an opportunity for a card that is generally easier to get than the ultra premium Chase cards and may be more realistic for some in the current environment.

I think Greg and I predicted a few months ago that we may yet see better offers on these lower-end cards if the pandemic wore on — while I’m disappointed that we aren’t on the other side of things yet, I’m glad to see this prediction come true as it will hopefully mean easy points for some enthusiasts hungry for a good offer.

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toddo

My new freedom flex doesn’t show the 5x groceries anywhere even though it was on the promotion. Does grocery spend 5x stack with the 20k signup bonus? Or take effect after the $500 minimum spend?

Greg The Frequent Miler

They stack. If you want assurance about the 5X part of the offer, send Chase a secure message to verify it.

[…] Awesome: 5x groceries + 20K welcome bonus on Chase Freedom & Freedom Unlimited […]

[…] Awesome: 5x groceries + 20K welcome bonus on Chase Freedom & Freedom Unlimited […]

ashley

I already have a CF card – the same account number as my husband’s CF card. I would love to jump on a new CF to stack the new bonus with the Whole Foods bonus. Problem is, we’ve had these CF cards for so long, that I can’t remember if I am an authorized user on my husband’s card (in which case I *think* I am eligible for the SUB?) or if he is an AU on my card (in which case I *think* I would not qualify for the SUB?) Does anyone know how to figure out who is the AU? I’ve poked around on our account online and can’t seem to find it anywhere. Thanks!

ashley

When I login to my account, I see my biz cards, my reserve card, and this CF card. When I login to my husband’s account I see his CFU card and this CF card. Hmmmm… I think I’ll give a ring and see if they can tell me what’s up. Thanks Nick!

[…] especially if paying with a newly-opened Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card which are earning 5x at grocery stores. Even if just going for cashback from a portal, the lower rate might be worth it for the […]

Della

Does Chase consider Walmart Neighborhood Market stores as grocery category?

Pepe

no

[…] Update 8/17/20: The 5x stacks with the 5x rotating categories for a total of 9x (e.g this quarter is 5x on Whole Foods so these purchases earn 9x). Hat tip to FM […]

ashley

Anyone know if instacart would code as groceries for the CFU? TIA!

NIKOLAY

, Costco seems to be an exception to the warehouse coding on Instacart via Amex Gold, however.

Gram P

So if you can max out the 12K grocery spend at Whole Foods by Sept 30 you will net 108K UR?

Matt

No. Freedom quarterly bonus categories are capped at $1500 in spend or 7500 points.
Nick would it not have been a better move to just buy $1000 GC from Amazon itself. Earning 5x there and saving the 5x grocery bonus. It seems like you are wasting 1x by only getting 9x when you could get 5×2, or am i missing something?
Also end of article says “ The additional 40K+ points one stands to earn if you can max out grocery spend ..” 12k x 5 =60k

Gram P

Ah yes. So then the total UR generated by 12K grocery spend could be 86K? SUB 20K + 13500 Q3 WF bonus(1500 x9) + 52500(remaining grocery bonus of 10500 x5).

Larry K

I wonder if there is any way to get them to match on a ten year old freedom that used to be a fairmont card? :0)

Last edited 1 year ago by Larry K
John

Do you know if you can still refer to an Unlimited if you only have a Freedom?

[…] is the only slot in the wallet where I included a limited-time bonus category, but with 5% back on up to $12K in grocery store purchases in the first year at the moment (excluding Walmart and Target) on top of the regular welcome bonus, either of these annual-fee-free […]

[…] I saw the new offers on the Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited cards last week, I was pretty excited. We had the ability to add one of these cards in my household and the offer […]

Randy

Did I miss it? Is there a limit on the number of chase cards Chase will allow you to have?

AlexL

I do not think there is a hard limit on how many chase cards you can have. On the other hand, Amex does have a limit on how many credit cards you can have. max 4 credit cards and 10 charge cards at the moment.

OR97

Total earn for the year if you just did 12k grocery spend on the card would be 80k points, no? 5x 12k = 60k and 20k bonus additional, correct?

Patrick

Just a note on the Ink Buskness card… they are way harder to get now even with a legit business. No Chase relationship bank wise and I might as well forget it.

Greta

Hi Nick,
I currently have the Chase Ink Business Preferred card, and am wondering if I should apply for one of these Chase Freedom/Unlimited card deals?
I recall being unable to transfer my Ultimate Rewards from business card to my husband’s Sapphire Reserve account (wanted to do so just so to pool our Rewards.) Thought they’d said I could transfer them from my business to my own personal, but not remembering for certain.
Wondering if you have insights on this, and any recommendations?
Thank you! Greta

AlexL

I am guessing you may have other personal Chase cards linked with your husband’s CSR. You can try to remove your husband’s CSR from your personal Chase card account. Wait 24 hours then add your husband’s CSR from your CIP. You can find out more from “Chase Ultimate Rewards Complete Guide 2020,” section “Share Points Across Cardholders” and “Transfer difficulties? Create a loop.”

DDM

What do you think the chances are for getting approved for both simultaneously? I am 3/24 with a high 700s FICO score.

DDM

Got it, thanks, Nick.

Ed k

Sorry if you already mentioned this in your very informative post. If I use the link you provide do you get a referral bonus? I noticed some people’s referral links lead to only the $200 bonus offer (referring person gets a referral bonus, but the offer to the person using the link doesn’t get this better offer). Anyone able to use soneone’s referral link and get this special bonus offer of $200 + 5% grocery up to $12,000? Or, is your link just for the normal $200 signup bonus? Of course, sone blog sites may have their own unique referral deal with the bank.

Ed k

Thanks for the explanation. If I have a chance (must look into further), I’ll use your link since it’s an affiliate link. And, now I know where to look to see if this helpful blog gets any benefit by using their link, referral or so forth if applying for any future card. I’d rather use a link of a blog I read than just random if it matters to the writer.

Larry K

Nick — Isn’t one important consideration for this card whether or not you (or your player 2) already has an amex gold card? For many, the opportunity cost of shifting grocery spend to take advantage of these new offers will swallow up the value of the offer for those sensitive to 5/24. I think the people this is ideal for are those who do not have (or whose family member does not have) an Amex gold or who can put $12,000 fairly easily on things in grocery stores that they value almost like cash and are afraid to do so with Amex or who use up their $25k with Amex.

Last edited 1 year ago by Larry K
Pam

I think Unlimited 3x first year, 2 years ago, was the best-ever CFU offer. Was so hoping they would bring that one back (for another family member)!

Grocery bonus cat is already 5x at least 3 months out of the year among CF, Discover, & Dividend – personally not that revved about this offer though a step up from normal for sure.

Aloha808

I think Pam is referencing the 2018 CFU 3x everywhere (no cap) deal, not the 2019 deal. If so, I have to agree with her Nick, that deal was significantly better if one could maximize the spend on that old offer.

Pam

Aloha808 – yes, correct, Chase offered for about 2 weeks late April 2018

Pam

(& CIC already earns 5x on gift cards)

Pam

The CFU offer I am referencing did not have a cap you used in your math. My entire life went on that card for a year & am STILL spending those URs

Sorry, Unltd/Uncapped 3x mo betta than 5x capped in 1 category!

Pam

Thanks, Nick!

MalMel

This sentence confuses me: Getting this card now will position her to eventually consider downgrading her Sapphire Reserve to a Freedom card when she is ready for a new Sapphire bonus.

Why does getting one of the Freedom cards now affect the decision later to product-change to the other Freedom card?

MalMel

That makes sense now 🙂

Just used your CFU link and my husband got approved! Will be buying grocery GCs, only so many groceries we can stash.

dan

Nick or anyone, does chase have terms that gc may not or won’t be eligible for bonus like amex’s? lol, if so hope that they won’t pull a trick like amex with claw backs or such

Dan

I have had the Chase Freedom card for several years. Can I still get the welcome bonus on the CFU, assuming I’m under 5/24?

Jim

Is there a way we can use referral to get more 🙂

WAYNE

I recently used the Miler link to get CFU, then immediately sent refer-a-friend to wife who was also approved for CFU. I then sent secure message from each account to confirm each card was eligible for the 5X grocery deal and it was confirmed by Chase. Thus, you can get extra points with this deal.

RZz

Is it correct that you can get a new CFU w SUB even if you currently have a CFU and it’s been >24mo since the SUB?

Aloha808

To get the SUB you cannot currently have a CFU and it has to at least have been 24 months since you received your last CFU SUB.

Tricia

I have a related question. If you product changed a CSP to a CFU last October and consequently never earned an SUB on that CFU, could I close the CFU and later apply for this CFU w current SUB offer?

Deeee

Bump

Tricia

Thanks, Nick!

5150d

Does the 5X groceries apply to current Freedom cardholders?

Samuel

Nick –
I got the CFU just two months ago. Is there any legitimate chance Chase would match the new 5x offer retroactively? If so, what would be the best method for asking for it?
Thanks.
-Samuel

Lmk

Chase CS just told me (via a supervisor) that any account opened from July 23 until the promotion ends will automatically be eligible for the 5% grocery bonus.