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There’s just three weeks left in September, which means you only have three more weeks to max out your Chase Freedom third quarter category bonus. In case you missed the announcement, you’ll earn 5% cash back (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on restaurant and wholesale club (Costco, BJ’s and Sam’s Club) purchases. This 5%/5x return is limited to the first $1,500 in qualifying purchases made during the quarter. You must register here by September 14 in order to be eligible.
Want to max out your category bonus, but aren’t sure how much you’ve already spent on qualifying purchases? Here’s how to check — including an advanced tip thanks to Reddit user WanderingWitch:
1. Log into your Chase account at Chase.com.
2. Click your Ultimate Rewards balance to bring up the Chase Ultimate Rewards site.
3. If you have multiple Chase accounts, you’ll have to select the Chase Freedom account.
4. The next page should include a progress bar at the bottom right part of the screen. This shows a visual estimate of how much you’ve spent in category spending.
Advanced tip for Chrome users
If you want to know exactly how much progress you’ve made toward the Q3 bonus, right-click on the bar and select Inspect. This will bring up the code for the website.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to understand most of it. Just look for the dollar amount on the highlighted line. This is going to be your progress toward the maximum $60 bonus ($1,500 x 4% bonus in addition to your normal 1% earnings).
If you’re not already a cardholder, now’s as good a time as any to sign up. The Chase Freedom is still offering a sign-up bonus of $150 (or 15,000 Ultimate Reward points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. If you sign up now, you should get your new card in time to put a few meals on it — or maybe one large run to Costco, BJ’s or Sam’s Club.
You can redeem points for cash back (100 points = $1), or transfer them to Chase Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Ink Plus Business Card. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like Southwest, Hyatt and United.
For more info on the Chase Freedom card, check out these posts:
- Why Chase Freedom Isn’t Just Another Cash Back Card
- Ways to Maximize Each Ultimate Rewards Partner
- Quarterly 5% Bonus Categories: Chase Freedom & Discover It
- Chase Freedom Ends 10% Annual Bonus & Other Changes
- How to Get 1.34 Cents Per Point for Travel with Chase Freedom
- Maximizing Credit Card Bonus Categories to Earn More Points
- Top Credit Card Offers with No Annual Fee
Are you maxing out your Q3 bonus?
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards