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Credit Cards

Chase Freedom Flex & Freedom Unlimited bring back 5% on groceries for new cardholders—plus $200 bonus

These no annual-fee cards are offering 5% cash back, up to $12,000, on grocery purchases in the first year of card membership

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There are some offers mentioned below that are no longer available. The Pay Yourself Back benefit ends Dec. 31, 2022

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

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 at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) and drugstores.

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 at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services) 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.

Both cards offer 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft rides through March 31, 2022 and a complimentary three-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 $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (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 or at Amazon.com checkout.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. 

  • Annual fee

    $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site
  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) 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

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

 

Information about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.

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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