Chase Cash Back Calendar 2021: Q2 Categories Include Gas Stations and Home Improvement Stores

Chase Cash Back Calendar 2021: Q2 Categories Include Gas Stations and Home Improvement Stores

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Chase has announced its cashback categories for Q2 2021. From April 1 through June 30, Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn 5% cash back on gas stations and home improvement stores, up to $1,500, once they activate the categories. Whether you have a DIY project or a long road trip coming up, you'll find lots of utility with this quarter's categories.

Cardholders must activate Q2 categories by June 14.

In this guide, we'll go over the new earning categories in greater detail. We'll also analyze Chase's past categories, to see which types of merchants may show up in the future.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories 2021 calendar

Chase Bank maintains a cashback calendar for Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders to inform users when and where they can earn 5% cash back using their card in each quarter. You Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.

The list of merchant categories changes every quarter, and Q2 features a diverse number of merchants. We kept the 2020 calendar up so that you can know which merchants to expect for the upcoming quarters in 2021.

2021 Cash Back Calendar

January - March
April - June
July - September
October - December
Wholesale clubs, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming servicesGas stations and home improvement storesTBDTBD
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["January - March","April - June","July - September","October - December"],["Wholesale clubs, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services","Gas stations and home improvement stores","TBD","TBD"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

2020 Cash Back Calendar

January - March
April - June
July - September
October - December
Gas stations, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming servicesGrocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs and select streaming servicesAmazon.com and Whole FoodsWalmart and PayPal
{"alignsHorizontal":[],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["January - March","April - June","July - September","October - December"],["Gas stations, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services","Grocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs and select streaming services","Amazon.com and Whole Foods","Walmart and PayPal"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

Other important things to know:

  • You can activate Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories by visiting the Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories page and clicking the "Activate now" button.
  • You don't have to activate before the quarter starts. You can activate until June 14 — two weeks before the quarter ends.
  • Don't worry if you forgot to activate before you make a purchase. You will still earn 5% cash back as long as you activate the cash back before the deadline.

Previous Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories

Chase does not provide details about its bonus categories until a couple of weeks in advance of a quarter. This can make it difficult to decide on applying for the Chase Freedom Flex℠, especially if you are trying to forecast whether the categories will match your spending patterns. One way around this issue is to look at last year's categories. Many of the merchants on the Chase Freedom Flex℠ cashback calendar tend to repeat year-to-year, with only slight variation.

2019
2020
January - MarchGas stations, tolls and drugstoresGas stations, internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services
April - JuneHome improvement stores and grocery storesGrocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs, select streaming services
July - SeptemberGas stations and select streaming servicesAmazon.com and Whole Foods
October - DecemberDepartment stores, PayPal and Chase PayWalmart and PayPal
{"alignsHorizontal":["center","center","center"],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["","2019","2020"],["January - March","Gas stations, tolls and drugstores","Gas stations, internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services"],["April - June","Home improvement stores and grocery stores","Grocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs, select streaming services"],["July - September","Gas stations and select streaming services","Amazon.com and Whole Foods"],["October - December","Department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay","Walmart and PayPal"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

The types of merchants included in the 5% bonus calendar change every year. However, certain groups — like restaurants and grocery stores — are included almost every year, during similar time periods. Likewise, certain themes follow specific seasons. For example, the fourth quarter categories are usually a holiday theme.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ categories vs. Discover it® Cash Back categories

Like the Chase Freedom Flex℠, The Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

Discover's cashback calendar tends to cover many of the same categories as Chase — such as grocery stores, restaurants and holiday shopping in the fourth quarter. Unlike Chase, Discover releases their entire calendar at the beginning of the year, so you know ahead of time what you'll be earning through the year.

For Q4, Chase has a major advantage, as PayPal provides an immense amount of flexibility to shop online and in person at stores beyond Amazon, Walmart and Target.

Here's a comparison of the two cards' categories for 2020:

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Discover it® Cash Back
Gas stations, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming servicesGrocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
Grocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs and select streaming servicesGas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs
Amazon.com and Whole FoodsRestaurants and PayPal
Walmart and PayPalAmazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com
{"alignsHorizontal":["center","center","center"],"alignsVertical":[],"columnWidths":[],"data":[["Chase Freedom Flex℠","Discover it\u00ae Cash Back"],["Gas stations, Internet, cable, phone services and select streaming services","Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS"],["Grocery stores, gym memberships, fitness clubs and select streaming services","Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs"],["Amazon.com and Whole Foods","Restaurants and PayPal"],["Walmart and PayPal","Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com"]],"footnote":"","hasMarginBottom":true,"isExpandable":true,"isSortable":false,"maxWidth":"1215","minWidth":"100%","showSearch":false,"sortColumnIndex":0,"sortDirection":"asc"}

The information related to the Discover it® Cash Back has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Stella Shon

Stella Shon is a travel credit cards writer with ValuePenguin. After studying abroad in Paris three years ago, she became determined to keep traveling. That’s when she discovered the world of points and miles, which enabled her to travel on a student budget. Since then, she’s flown over 150,000 miles and earned more than 500,000 points and miles with eight different credit cards. While in college, she even co-founded her own travel agency, helping her peers plan and book trips on a budget. As a recent journalism graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill, her goal is to write about travel to make it simpler and achievable for everyone. Her work has also appeared on JetBlue, The Points Guy, Travel + Leisure and CNBC.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).