Chase Freedom 2016 Cash Back Bonus Categories

Chase Freedom 2024 Cash Back Bonus Categories

Chase announced the rotating 5% cash back bonus categories for the popular Chase Freedom card. Check out where you can earn bonus rewards in 2016.

2016 Bonus Categories

2016 Bonus Categories

As you can see, the 2016 cash back calendar looks a lot like the rotating rewards calendar for 2015.

Chase’s 2015 Cash Back Calendar

Activating Your Rotating Rewards

As always, you will need to log on to your account to “activate” your card to receive the cash back bonus. You can log on here.

You can activate each quarter’s bonus category starting on the 15th day of the month prior to the start of the calendar quarter. For 2016, this means:

  • ​Starting December 15, 2015: Activate for 1st Quarter 2016 (January – March)
  • Starting March 15, 2016: Activate for 2nd Quarter 2016 (April – June)
  • Starting June 15, 2016: Activate for 3rd Quarter 2016 (July – September)
  • Starting September 15, 2016: Activate for 4th Quarter 2016 (October – December)

Also, you will have until 15 days prior to the end of each calendar quarter to sign up to receive your bonus rewards. But spending prior to you signing up will not count towards accumulating 5% rewards (and will be limited to regular 1% rewards).

What If I Don’t Have a Chase Freedom Card?

If you do not already have a Chase Freedom card, you may want to read our review.

But before you sign up, here are some quick thought about this card.


  • ​$150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in the first 3 months (this bonus is usually $100)
  • 5% cash back on rotating categories, on up to $1,500 of spending each quarter; 1% cash back on everything else.


  • You need to remember to sign up for the bonus category
  • Encourages you to spend more where you otherwise might not
  • Chase eliminated the additional bonus rewards for Chase bank account holders – making this card less attractive
  • Other cash back cards can earn you more rewards in constant bonus categories

Generally, between the Chase Freedom card and the Discover it card (read our review), we prefer Discover it.

But we generally found that most consumers can do better with cash back rewards based on constant bonus categories or just a flat 2% back. For more information and rankings, check out our Guide to Cash Back Credit Cards.​

Credit Shout is a community of personal finance experts dedicated to helping you save money and make smart financial decisions. Learn how to master your credit card rewards, improve your credit score and start eliminating your debt.