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Update 3/14/18: Chase has confirmed that these bonus categories are official for April, May and June.
Even though Chase has yet to officially announce the 5x bonus categories on its Chase Freedom credit card for the remaining quarters of 2018, the bank’s phone agents appear to already have the information in hand. Reports have emerged that the categories are set for April, May and June, and that customer service reps are sharing the details with customers who call and inquire.
A call from the TPG staff to Chase’s front line reps confirmed this and was consistent with other reports, so even though we likely won’t get official word from the bank until early next week, we’re confident in sharing that the second quarter categories for 2018 will be:
- Chase Pay
This is a pretty solid set of categories, as there should be something for almost everyone. “Groceries” is always a useful category, as not only do most people go marketing on a regular basis, many grocery stores also sell third-party gift cards from a large variety of restaurants and retailers. That means you can effectively get 5x points at many places simply by purchasing the restaurant or retailer’s gift card at your grocery store, paying for it with your Chase Freedom and then using the gift card itself to pay when you visit the restaurant or retailer.
If you tend to do more of your shopping online, then PayPal is also a helpful bonus category. While many people still tend to associate PayPal with eBay, the service can be used at a wide variety of websites during the online checkout process. Just look for the option to pay with PayPal instead of with your credit card, and then make sure to select your Chase Freedom in your PayPal account.
Finally, there aren’t a ton of spots where Chase Pay is currently accepted, but Starbucks and Best Buy are two that you might frequent during the quarter, and Walmart also accepts Chase Pay online. As with Paypal, if you have more than one Chase card linked to your Chase Pay account, make sure to select your Chase Freedom card in order to get the 5x bonus points.
Remember, Chase Freedom’s 5x rotating bonus categories are limited to $1,500 in spend each quarter for a maximum of 7,500 points, and you must activate the bonus categories either online, by phone or via one of the other provided methods between March 15 and June 14. Bonus category purchases made prior to activation for the quarter will retroactively get 5x points, as long as the purchase posts between April 1 and June 30 and you activate your bonus categories before the deadline.
If you don’t already have a Chase Freedom, the card currently offers a sign-up bonus of $150 (in the form of 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) after $500 in spend in the first three months. The card has no annual fee and should be a key part of your strategy to earn and maximize Ultimate Rewards points.
Depending on the quarter and your own personal spending patterns, the Chase Freedom bonus categories can be a windfall or a drought. Fortunately in 2018’s second quarter, it’s likely you’ll find yourself with a few easy ways to score an extra 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points.
H/T: Doctor of Credit
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.
- 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
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.24-24.99%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- No minimum to redeem for cash back
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- No annual fee