My Game Plan For The Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Categories

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Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Game Plan

Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Game Plan To Mazimize Earnings

The Chase Freedom Flex, and the no longer available Chase Freedom, 5% categories for the end of 2021 were just revealed. I wanted to take a second to review my Chase Freedom flex 4th quarter game plan. I’ll also give you some other ideas on how to maximize the 5% categories.

Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Game Plan

Chase Freedom Flex October – December, 2021 Bonus Categories

Here are the just announced bonus categories for Chase Freedom Flex and the discontinued Chase Freedom card. Starting October 1 through December 31, cardmembers can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases on the following:

  • PayPal:
    • Cardmembers will automatically earn 5% cashback on eligible purchases made when checking out with PayPal at tens of millions of online businesses.
  • Walmart:
    • Cardmembers will automatically earn 5% cashback when shopping for gifts, groceries and more when shopping at Walmart or on Purchases made using PayPal at Walmart will only earn a total of 5% cashback.

My Game Plan

I am surprised that Amazon was not included on the list this year, a 4th quarter staple for the 5% back cards.  These are still two pretty good categories that many people should be able to maximize for the full 7,500 Ultimate Rewards.

I plan to focus on Walmart and purchase gift cards at the store.  They have a wide variety of cards available that you can then go on to use elsewhere for a 5% discount. Walmart even has One Vanilla Visa cards with some of the lowest fees out there.  Even after accounting for the $4.95 fee you can then get 4% off essentially anywhere else when you use that card. It is more like 6% if you have a Chase Sapphire Reserve and pair it up with Chase Pay Yourself Back. If you can’t max out your quarter with just Walmart and PayPal shopping this could be a back up plan. It essentially extends the quarter until as long as you need it to since the savings, or earnings, are locked into that Vanilla Visa card.

Other Options

There are some other options you can focus on as well:


The obvious choice is to use it for your normal shopping. Walmart offers most everything you need and PayPal opens up the doors to a lot of areas that Walmart doesn’t cover. Target, Best Buy, eBay, Sears etc. all accept PayPal online which opens you up to a lot of options. You could focus all of your holiday shopping at Walmart or using PayPal and knock out a large chunk.

Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Game Plan

Peer to Peer Payments

While this isn’t a great option because of the almost 3% fees you could do it in a pinch.  PayPal allows you to send payments to friends and family but they charge a fee. If you only have the Chase Freedom Flex that eats away a big portion of the 5% in earnings.  If you paired your card with a Sapphire Reserve you would still come out 4.5% ahead but it is still costly. I would only do this if you had no other options.

Stack Deals

Another option is to stack deals to lock in savings.  Think of buying discounted gift cards on eBay, BestBuy Newegg etc. via PayPal and earning 5% to do it. Or take advantage of those eBay discounts or bonus bucks days when shopping for stuff you already need.


If you are into reselling, especially toys, then you will be able to gobble up this spend going into the 4th quarter.

Buying Groups

Buying groups are becoming more and more popular and they will often have you purchase stuff at stores that accept PayPal.

walmart grocery

Be Careful Of Walmart Grocery Pick Up

I love myself some Walmart grocery pick up. I shared my experience with it and even stayed up all night to figure out the process when it was tough to get pick up slots. But it always codes weirdly. It actually codes as grocery for many issuers which is nice. Because of that I am not sure if it will earn the 5X or not. If I were to bet I would say it would but do a smaller purchase first before diving in big on this one just to make sure. I’ll try to test it out early on in the quarter.

I did try it on the Chase Sapphire Preferred for the new 3X online grocery category. Even though Walmart is excluded I thought Walmart grocery may code differently.  I did not earn the 3X on that 😥.

Chase Freedom Flex 4th Quarter Game Plan – Final Thoughts

Hopefully I gave you some ideas with my Chase Freedom Flex 4th quarter game plan. Even if you don’t want to go the route I plan to go there are tons of options this time around. Make sure you maximize your earning this quarter and get all 7,500 of those juicy Ultimate Rewards points!

Share your plans in the comments below for the Freedom’s 4th quarter categories.

Mark Ostermann
Mark Ostermann is a father, husband and miles/points fanatic. He left the corporate world after starting a family in order to be a stay at home dad. Mark is constantly looking at ways to save money and stay within budget while also taking awesome vacations with his family. When he isn't caring for his family or taking a weekend trip, Mark is working towards his goal of visiting every Major League Baseball ballpark.

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  1. There’s been no mention of using an Android phone using Google pay to tap and pay at register? I set the Freedom as my preferred card. I have done this in the past for a 5% PayPal quarter with Freedom.

  2. I plan to max out my two old freedoms via PayUSA tax with paypal. One charge each of $1,471.xx for 1040ES payments. This is a net $60.xx on each @ 1ccp, (but since I value UR’s @ more than 1 cent it’s any easy point and click play).

    I did this last year with my old freedom and new flex, ( as well as this just ending quarter with my discover).

    Since I now have 3 5x quarterly bonus Freedoms I’ll figure something else for my flex since I can’t do 3 1040 ES’s in a quarter, (probably Walmart GC’s for Sam’s use.).

    I won’t do any fee GC’s because I have unused bandwidth @ office supply on my Ink+/Ink Cash.

  3. Plan on doing a lot of Wally shopping by way of in-store and online. Even though I have CF and CFF may have to let the FF sit this one out since I maxed it out getting 9x on groceries (Gift cards) and am taking advantage of the 0% until next year.

  4. You might also add buying Walmart gift cards for Sam’s Club purchases as well as buying Walmart gift cards to use at the pump for those with Murphy or Walmart gas stations. That stack, along with Walmart+, is good for $0.08 off per gallon. You won’t get rich, but it’s a great way to max out that 5x while saving a few dollars.

  5. I’ll hit it on PayPal and Walmart, and whatever of the $3K ($1.5K Freedom / $1.5K Flex) I don’t max out by the end of December, I’ll buy Walmart gift cards to essentially extend the 5X at Walmart into Q1 2022. No reason to mess with the fees on Visa Vanilla cards

  6. A bit off topic but here goes…
    I have the Freedom and the Freedom Unlimited. Assuming I’m under 5/24, can I get the Freedom Flex?

    • Yep, the Freedom Flex is an excellent card and a separate product from the Freedom and Freedom Unlimited. It’s 20K UR plus 5X on grocery for the first year, capped at $12K, so potentially another 60K UR points. Definitely pick that one up!


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