Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Chase Announces January-March 2016 Freedom Bonus Categories

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Update: View the current Chase Freedom bonus categories here.

Each quarter, Chase Freedom cardholders have the chance to earn 5% cash back on purchases made in certain bonus categories.

Chase announced 2016’s first cash-back promotion for Freedom cardholders recently. Although it’s not yet being advertised online, TPG Reader Steven Holland spotted the latest offer out in the wild at his local Chase branch and shared the Q1 bonus categories with us.

Based on the marketing materials below, it appears that 2016’s first offer will get you 5% back (or 5x Ultimate Rewards points) on purchases at gas stations and on local commuter transport. It’s unclear what exactly qualifies for the local commuter transport bonus, however it’s possible that the category will include things like bus and subway rides.

Chase Freedom's latest cash-back offer.
Chase Freedom’s latest cash-back offer. Image courtesy of TPG Reader Steven Holland.

This latest offer will be available between January and March 2016. Keep in mind that you must enroll on Chase’s website to earn the bonus cash back — and this latest offer will be eligible for enrollment between December 15, 2015 and March 14, 2016. In the past, Chase has capped the cash-back limit at $1,500 in combined purchases (although for the latest Amazon deal, Chase reset the cap when it announced the increase).

If you don’t already have this card, Chase Freedom is currently offering a sign-up bonus of $150 cash back (or 15,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. You can redeem points for cash back (15,000 points = $150) or you can transfer them to Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus cards. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like SouthwestHyatt and United.

If you’re already a cardholder, you can register here to activate your spending bonus once the offer is posted to Chase’s website on December 15. If you activate your card for these categories prior to each quarterly deadline, Chase will retroactively credit you with bonus points on your category spending from earlier in the quarter, though there’s really no reason not to activate 5% cash back as soon as the registration period opens. On your statement, the bonus earned prior to your activation date will be listed separately and itemized by category.

For TPG’s review of the Chase Freedom card, watch this video:

For more info on the Chase Freedom card, check out these posts:

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
0% for 15 months 14.24%-23.24% Variable $0 3.00% Excellent/Good