Activate new Chase Freedom bonus categories: 5x at grocery stores, gyms and fitness clubs

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Editor’s note: This is The Points Guy’s permanent page about Chase Freedom’s latest quarterly bonus categories. Keep in mind you may see some reader comments referring to older quarterly categories below.

It’s almost time to start earning 5% cash back (or 5x points) with a whole new list of Chase Freedom bonus categories — one of which is very useful for most of us right now.

Chase Freedom Q2 categories

From April 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5% cash back on the following categories:

  • Grocery stores
  • Fitness clubs
  • Gym memberships

Keep in mind that, generally speaking, issuers do not include superstores like Walmart and Target or warehouse clubs like Costco and Sam’s Club in the “grocery store” bonus category. However, most traditional grocery stores or supermarkets should be eligible to earn 5% back (on the first $1,500 in purchases each quarter you activate).

If you like to order your groceries online for delivery right to your door, that purchase may or may not qualify for the 5x bonus. It all depends on whether the merchant has set up those purchases to be qualified as grocery stores. Chase lists some example eligible grocery delivery merchants that include Instacart, Amazon Fresh and Fresh Direct.

During the 5x bonus timeframe, the Chase Freedom is temporarily on the TPG list of the best credit cards for grocery purchases.

Frequently asked questions about Chase Freedom bonus categories

How do rotating categories work?

Each quarter, Chase announces a group of bonus categories that will earn 5% cash back throughout the upcoming three-month period. Generally, these categories are announced halfway through the month before the new quarter starts to give cardholders time to activate new categories beforehand. However, you can activate your categories up until midway through the last month of the quarter (in this case June 14, 2020).

The categories tend to repeat — grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations are all common categories that you’ll notice frequently pop up on the cash back calendar, for example. When you maximize your rotating categories, these types of cards can offer quite a nice chunk of cash back over the year.

Related reading: Check out our full Chase Freedom card review 

How much cash back can I earn each quarter?

Chase limits 5% back to the first $1,500 spent in combined bonus categories each quarter you activate. While $1,500 doesn’t sound like a lot, that cash back can rack up over time. If you maximize the cash back categories each quarter, you’ll earn $75 in cash back — $300 per year. For a no-annual-fee credit card, that’s a lot of value.

How do I activate my 5% categories each quarter?

As always, beginning on March 15, can head over to Chase’s site to activate your 5% cash back. You can also register through your Chase mobile app, making one less credit-card website you’ll need to visit regularly this year.

Here’s how to register:

  1. Head to the Chase bonus activation page.
  2. Enter your last name, last four digits of your card number and your billing zip code. If you don’t have your card on hand, log into your Chase account to retrieve these digits.
  3. Click “Activate Now” to register.
  4. If you have multiple Chase Freedom cards, make sure to register each one.
  5. Save a screenshot of your activation, just in case there are any issues later.

How do I maximize my Chase Freedom card?

Of course, the most important thing is to make sure you’re activating your categories each quarter and then actually using your card for those categories. You can set up a recurring reminder in your calendar, or you can sign up for the TPG newsletter (we send out a reminder when it’s time to activate every quarter — plus tips and tricks for maximizing your card strategy and scoring some awesome award redemptions).

Better yet, paired with a Chase credit card that earns Ultimate Rewards points like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, the Chase Freedom’s 5% cash back effectively becomes 5x Ultimate Rewards points, as you can learn all about in our guide detailing Chase’s “Perfect Quartet.”

Bottom line

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 of account opening. You can redeem points for cash back (100 points = $1), or transfer them to Chase Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve and redeem the points at a higher value. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like SouthwestHyatt and United.


 

Additional reporting by Madison Blancaflor. 

Featured photo by Dania Maxwell/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.