July 26, 2021

Model Desac

It’s Time to Fly

Chase Freedom Flex & Unlimited Offering 5% Back on Groceries, $200 Bonus

5 min read

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After paying rent or a mortgage, groceries are often a household’s largest monthly expense. It doesn’t hurt to have a credit card that earns a lot of rewards on something your spending a lot on, and now the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom Unlimited® are offering 5% cash back on up to $12,000 worth of grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) in the first year.

Both cards come with no annual fee and offer new cardholders a $200 welcome bonus if they spend $500 within the first three months of account opening. If you maximized rewards just on groceries in the first year, you could earn up to $600, plus the $200 welcome bonus, for a total of $800.

For those who want a card with a solid cash-back-earning rate and no rotating categories that require activation each quarter, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® gives you unlimited 1.5% back on all purchases, plus 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and 3% back on dining and drugstores. The card also comes with a 0% introductory APR period for 15 months on purchases (then, a variable APR of 14.99 to 23.74%).

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining (including takeout) and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable on purchases and balance transfers

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

  • Credit needed

If you want a higher cash-back rate and are comfortable activating a set of rotating bonus categories each quarter, you might consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠. The Flex earns 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate them, 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% back on dining and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. If you maximize spending in your bonus category, you could earn up to $75 each quarter.

Some of the categories for 2021 have included gas stations and home improvement stores; grocery stores and select streaming services; and wholesale clubs, cable, internet, phone services and select streaming services. This card also has a 0% introductory APR period for 15 months on purchases (then, a variable APR of 14.99 to 23.74%).

Chase Freedom Flex℠

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1%), 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and at drug stores, 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 15 months on purchases

  • Regular APR

    14.99% to 23.74% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

Both cards offer 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 31, 2022 and a complimentary 3 month membership to Doordash’s DashPass, which offers free food delivery and reduced service fees.

While both Freedom cards earn cash back, you’ll receive rewards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards® points. You can redeem these points for cash back, travel, merchandise and gift cards. Chase Ultimate Rewards points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing. There is no minimum to redeem your cash back rewards.

You can also combine your points with other Ultimate-Rewards-earning cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which allows you to transfer you points to travel partners and boosts the value of points by 25% when booking through the Chase Travel Portal.

If you want big rewards on grocery spending that continue after the first year of card membership, you might consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express which offers 6% cash back at qualifying U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) and has a $95 annual fee (see rates and fees).

And if you’re okay with paying an even higher annual fee of $250 (see rates and fees), the American Express® Gold Card offers 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets and restaurants (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X), one of the highest reward rates on groceries available. Those Amex points can be transferred to valuable partners like Delta Air Lines, Air Canada, British Airways and more.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the card within the first six months of membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months from account opening

  • Annual fee

    $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95

  • Intro APR

    0% for the first 12 months on purchases, N/A for balance transfers

  • Regular APR

    13.99% to 23.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points on restaurants (including takeout and delivery, plus, Uber Eats purchases) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 6 months from account opening

  • Annual fee

  • Intro APR

  • Regular APR

  • Balance transfer fee

  • Foreign transaction fee

  • Credit needed

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

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