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Chase Freedom’s latest promotion is officially available for enrollment. From October 1 to December 31, you’ll earn 5% cash back (or 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on purchases made at wholesale clubs (BJ’s, Sam’s Club and Costco), drug stores and — just in time for holiday shopping — department stores. But, no matter how generous you’re feeling this holiday season, the 5%/5x return is limited to just the first $1,500 in purchases, as always. Note that these categories differ from last year’s, which offered bonus points at several online retailers, including Amazon.

If you’re not already a cardholder, now’s as good a time as any to sign up. The Chase Freedom is currently offering a sign-up bonus of $150 (or 15,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. You can redeem points for cash back (100 points = $1) or transfer the points to Chase Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire ReserveChase Sapphire Preferred or the Ink Plus Business Card. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like SouthwestHyattUnited, Singapore Airlines and Marriott.

Chase lists 58 stores that will qualify for the 5x bonus, although there will be other drug and department stores that’ll qualify based on their merchant code. However, the following merchants and types of merchants are specifically excluded from the fourth quarter 5x bonus:

  • Target, Walmart, Kmart and “discount stores such as TJ Maxx”
  • Electronics stores
  • General merchandise and variety stores
  • Gift cards purchased at any locations other than the department stores on the inclusion list
  • Gas and fuel at wholesale clubs
  • Wholesale clubs specialty services such as travel, insurance, cell phone and home improvement

The list of example eligible wholesale clubs are BJ’s, Sam’s Club, Costco and Texas Jasmine. Chase specifically notes that purchases made on the wholesale club’s website are eligible for the 5x bonus.

Make sure that you get a confirmation that you’re activated!
Make sure that you get a confirmation that you’re activated!

If you’re already a cardholder, you can register here to activate your spending bonus for the quarter. If you have multiple Chase Freedom accounts, be sure to activate them all. You have until December 14 to activate your Chase Freedom card(s). If you forget to activate now, Chase has been generous about retroactively crediting bonus points on category spending prior to activation. But, there’s really no reason to wait, so go ahead and activate now.

Note that this 5x bonus category promotion does not apply to the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, which offers a flat 1.5% back on all purchases.

Now we have the full 2016 calendar. Who knows what 2017 will bring?
Now we have the full 2016 calendar. Who knows what 2017 will bring?

Now through September 30, Chase is offering cardholders the chance to earn bonus points at restaurants and wholesale clubs. If you activated your Q3 bonus before yesterday (September 14), you still have through the end of the month to max out your purchases. Not sure how much you’ve already spent toward the bonus? Use this handy tool to check your progress.

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

Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.

Chase Freedom®

It's a stellar cash back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.

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More Things to Know
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • 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
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro APR on Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchase for 15 months
Regular APR
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit

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