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The Chase Freedom® Card is one of my favorite no annual fee credit cards, as it offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter. Most people use this as a cashback card, meaning the 5x points really translates into 5% cashback in these categories.
The best part is that in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, points earned on this card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, and be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. Since I value one Ultimate Rewards point at significantly more than one cent, that’s my preferred use of those points.
For this quarter (April 1 through June 30), Chase is offering 5x points for the first $1,500 of combined purchases for PayPal, Chase Pay, and grocery stores. Registration for this bonus category closes tomorrow (June 14), so if you haven’t yet registered, be sure you do so soon. You’ll continue to earn 5x points through the end of the month (assuming you haven’t maxed out the bonus category), though only if you activate the bonus by June 14.
Up until now, Chase has kept the 5x points category for the third quarter of 2018 a secret. That has finally changed.
Between July 1 and September 30, 2018, the Chase Freedom will offer 5x points on the first $1,500 of combined purchases with Lyft, Walgreens, and gas stations. Registration for this category will open on June 15.
I was thrilled with the first two bonus categories for the year, given the emphasis on rewarding mobile payment options. Those were really easy to max out. While I might not usually use mobile payment services, it’s easy to switch a lot of charges to them.
Unfortunately this bonus category is significantly less rewarding for the categories I spend money in:
- Personally I use Uber over Lyft, though perhaps I should use Lyft this coming quarter
- I can’t remember the last time I’ve been to Walgreens
- The last time I bought gas was when I rented a Silvercar in Orlando a couple of months ago
So these seem to me like very specific bonus categories, since they’re not even including all ridesharing, or all drugstores. While I’ve maxed out the first two bonus categories of the year, I don’t think I’ll be maxing this one out.
As a point of comparison, in the third quarter of 2017 the card offered 5x points at restaurants, which was much more valuable to me.
What do you make of the Chase Freedom third quarter 2018 bonus categories?
(Tip of the hat to The Points Guy)