Skip to content

How you can get $800 out of the Chase Freedom welcome bonus

The Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex are currently offering limited-time increased welcome bonuses that we think most families can get $800 of cash value out of.

If you spend more than $12,000 a year on groceries, you can easily get $800 of cash back out of either of these cards’ welcome offers.

Neither card carries an annual fee and both cards offer excellent ongoing rewards after the first year.

What is the welcome bonus?

The welcome bonus on both cards has two components:

  • Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

The first part is pretty simple; after spending $500 on the card in the first 3 months, you will earn $200 cash back. This offer alone is a highly-efficient welcome bonus, and places this card’s current welcome bonus on our list of the best credit card welcome bonuses.

How to get the $800 of cash value out of this card

The key to getting $800 of cash value out of this welcome offer is maximizing the 5% cash back offer on grocery store spending. If you normally spend $12,000 or more during the year at grocery stores, you should easily get $800 of cash back from signing up for a Chase Freedom card. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Apply and be approved for either the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Chase Freedom Flex.
  • Spend $500 on purchases on the card within the first 3 months to earn $200 cash back.
  • Charge $12,000 of grocery store spending to the card within your first 12 months to earn 5% back, up to a total of $600.
    • Target and Walmart are explicitly excluded from the cash back promotion; you will not receive 5% back for purchases at Target and Walmart.


What if I spend less than $12,000 in groceries each year?

You can still take advantage of this welcome bonus, but you’re likely to get less value out of it. As long as you spend the $500 on purchases within the first 3 months, you’ll receive $200 cash back. And you’ll receive 5% cash back on all your grocery store spending, up to $12,000 in the first year. So, if you spend a total of $6,000 on groceries using the card, you’ll receive $300 back for your grocery store spending.

What if I buy groceries at Target, Walmart, Sam’s Club or Costco?

You’ll receive the 5% cash back if Chase identifies your purchase as a grocery store purchase. The best way to ensure you receive 5% cash back on your grocery store purchases is to shop at a traditional grocery store like Cub Foods, Hy-Vee, Kroger, Albertsons, or Publix.

The offer explicitly excludes Target and Walmart. Warehouse clubs like BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco likely won’t earn the additional 5% for purchases at grocery stores. Groceries purchased at convenience stores and gas stations also likely will not get 5% rewards.

Should I get the Freedom Unlimited or Freedom Flex?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers 1.5% cash back rewards on general purchases, while the Chase Freedom Flex offers 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories when you activate online. If you prefer a simpler rewards scheme, choose the Chase Freedom Unlimited. If you want the opportunity to maximize rotating category rewards, pick the Chase Freedom Flex.

Both the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Freedom Flex earn 3% on dining and drugstore purchases. Neither card carries an annual fee.

Does the 5% cash back grocery store offer stack with the Freedom Flex bonus categories?

Yes. If grocery stores are a Chase Freedom Flex category during your first 12 months of having the Freedom Flex card, it is possible to earn 9% cash back on up to $1,500 of grocery store spending in that quarter. Here are the details directly from the Chase website.

[I]f grocery stores is a quarterly bonus category during your first 12 months, you can earn both this 5% new cardmember bonus and the 5% quarterly bonus offers simultaneously until you reach the spend cap for each. However, because both bonuses are earned as 4% additional Cash Back rewards on top of the 1% Cash Back rewards earned on each purchase, the most you will earn is 9% Cash Back rewards: 1% on every purchase, plus 4% on grocery stores through this new cardmember bonus, plus 4% on grocery stores through the quarterly bonus. The additional 4% Cash Back rewards will appear on your billing statement in a separate line from the base 1% Cash Back rewards. 

Offer Details – Chase Freedom Flex

About the author

  • Aaron Hurd

    Aaron Hurd is a credit card, travel rewards, and loyalty program expert. Over the past 15 years, he has authored over a thousand expert contributions published by leading outlets including WSJ, TIME, Newsweek, Forbes, NerdWallet, The Points Guy, Bankrate, CNET, and many others. He has also served in consulting roles for many of these same outlets, designing content strategy, hiring teams of teams of editors and contributors, developing thought-leadership pieces, and ghost-editing for senior editors. Aaron is well-known in the miles and points community and regularly presents about travel rewards at conferences like the Chicago Seminars and Minnebar. Aaron has enjoyed the game of optimizing credit card rewards since getting his first credit card shortly after he turned 18. He started learning about credit cards and travel rewards from the (now defunct) FatWallet Finance forums and FlyerTalk. He holds more than 40 open credit cards and has first-hand experience with almost every major credit card product.

    View all posts