Chase Freedom credit card enables you to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in rotating bonus categories each quarter and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. It’s a great second tier card on the Credit Shifu “credit ladder” system. It currently offers 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers (after that, 16.49%–25.24%) as well as a complimentary 3 months of DashPass (unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee on DoorDash orders over $12) when you activate by December 31, 2021.
How Do Rotating Categories Work?
There are 4 quarters in the year (3 months in each quarter) and every quarter Chase changes what that 5% cash back category is.
To illustrate how the 5% cashback will work in the second quarter–which starts on April 1, 2020 and ends on June 30, 2020–if you’re a Chase Freedom cardholder you will earn 5% cash back on every dollar you spend on the categories for that quarter.
If you spend $1,000 in those categories in April you will earn $50 back. However if you spend the same $1,000 on your those categories in July you will only earn 1% cash back, which is $10. So what are the categories for Q2?…
Chase Freedom Q2 Categories
Chase Freedom card holders will earn 5% cash back on every dollar that you spend on:
- Qualified grocery purchases
Some larger chains like Walmart and Target don’t qualify for the 5% cash back, because these are exclusions from the Chase qualified merchant list. Grocery shopping at Stop & Shop, Shop Rite, ALDI, Trader Joe’s, Acme, Fareway, H Mart, and many others near you will earn you 5% cash back. There are also several qualified the 5% cash back online retailers, including Amazon Fresh and Thrive Market, in case you do your grocery shopping online. 5% is dependent on how merchants code, and this can change from time to time, the best way to know for sure is to test with a small purchase and then look at the purchase on Chase’s website.
- Fitness clubs and gym memberships
These include 24 Hour Fitness, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, Workout Anytime, and more. However, merchants that specialize in offering personalized or therapeutic services such as massage therapy, dietary and weight management counseling, and personal training are not included in this category.
Get More Value Out of your Chase Freedom Card
- Transferring your points. If you have Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Chase Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card credit cards, you can increase the value of your cash back further still by transferring your cash back onto these cards where it will then become UR points. These three credit cards do have an annual fee but they grant you access to the Ultimate Rewards portal enabling you to get more than 1c per point in value out of your points, so 5% on the Freedom bonus categories becomes 7.5% or even 10%.
- Shop with points at Amazon. Link your Chase Freedom card to your Amazon.com account and instantly redeem your Cash Back rewards to pay for all or part of your eligible Amazon.com orders at checkout, including tax and shipping. This is amongst the lower value redemptions and in our view isn’t a valuable as transferring to other cards.
Chase Freedom is a good cash back credit card and given there is no annual fee, you’re essentially paid to use your card. Important to note, you have to activate the bonus each quarter by the deadline specified on the Chase website. You can do this by email, phone, online or at a physical Chase branch. If you’re a Chase checking customer, you can activate it at an ATM as well. Activation for the new categories started on Mar. 15, 2020 and will be available until Mar. 31, 2020.