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We already a few days into the second quarter of 2018, so before we get any further into April, I want to make sure you have mentally adjusted for which cards to use to maximize purchases over the next few months. If you have the no annual fee Chase Freedom that gives 5x on select categories each quarter, you have a new line-up of 5x bonus categories to memorize (or write on the card using masking tape). Remember that if you also have a premium Ultimate Rewards card such as the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, then the points you earn on the Freedom can transfer 1:1 to hotel and airline partners such as Southwest, United, Hyatt, and more.
2018 Chase Freedom Second Quarter Bonus Categories:
- PayPal, which can be used online, on mobile or in-app across more than 18 million large, mid-sized and small businesses around the world to make purchases or send money
- Chase Pay using the app, online or in-store, at new merchants such as Shoprite and PriceRite, and online at Wal-Mart
- Grocery stores, including traditional brick-and-mortar grocers, retailers that sell food and online delivery services such as Peapod, Blue Apron, Whole Foods, Fresh Direct and many more
For families, the grocery store category alone is often enough to max out the $1,500 quarterly 5x limit, but you can sprinkle in some PayPal and Chase Pay transactions to round it out. Having the Chase Pay category means you can get 5x points at Starbucks, Best Buy, PotBelly, and a few other participating locations. Honestly, I’ll likely primarily use Chase Pay in the Starbucks app, but that is better than nothing.
I’m also going to make my Freedom the default card in my PayPal and Blue Apron accounts for at least the next three months to be sure I’m earning 5x points on those transactions, up to the quarterly limit.
If you are a Discover cardholder, their second quarter 5% cash back bonus category is also grocery stores, so you should be well covered when heading to the grocery store for the next few months.
How does your family plan to maximize these 5x bonus categories over the next few months?
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.
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%. 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