Chase Freedom calendar: 5% cash back bonus category with Amazon and Whole Foods

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The Chase Freedom® 5% back bonus categories for the third quarter of 2020 have been released. From July 1 through September 30, 2020, you’ll get 5% cash back (5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) with Amazon.com and Whole Foods when you activate the bonus. If you spend the $1,500 maximum in this quarter’s bonus categories, you’ll earn $75 (7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points).

One nice feature of this bonus is that even if you forget to activate your bonus immediately, you can still receive the bonus for your spending with Amazon and Whole Foods later. As long as you activate the bonus by September 14, 2020, any qualifying purchases you’ve made since July 1 will earn 5% back.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Chase vs Discover: 5% rotating bonus calendar 2020

The Discover it® Cash Back offers a similar 5% quarterly promotion to the Chase Freedom. It even brings similar categories to the table. The same rules apply — you’ll earn 5% in combined purchases in these bonus categories on up to $1,500 in quarterly spending after activating your card each quarter.

Promotion periodActivate byChase Freedom®Discover it® Cash Back
January - March(Activation period close)- Gas stations
- Phone, cable and internet services
- Select streaming services
- Grocery stores
- Walgreens
- CVS
April - June(Activation period close)- Grocery stores
- Select streaming services
- fitness club and gym memberships
- Home Depot (June)
- Gas stations
- Uber and Lyft
- Wholesale clubs
July - SeptemberActivate by September 14, 2020- Amazon website
- Whole Foods
- Restaurants
- Paypal
October - December(Activate beginning September 15, 2020)(Coming soon)- Amazon website
- Walmart website
- Target website

Sometimes the same bonus categories are offered in the same quarter, and sometimes they’re not. I love how Amazon purchases receive a bonus from the Chase Freedom in Q3 and from the Discover it Cash Back in Q4!

The information for the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

How to register your card for the bonus category

You can activate the Q3 bonuses categories here. Again, as long as you activate the bonus categories no later than September 14, 2020, you’ll still earn the 5% back on all the qualifying purchases you’ve made in the third quarter.

How to maximize the 5% cash back categories

Bonus categories for this quarter are simple enough to use; Amazon has every nonperishable item you could possibly want — and Whole Foods is a perfect complement. It should be easy to max out the bonus at Whole Foods alone if you spend at least $500 per month on groceries.

To make sure you reach the full payout from these rotating categories, be sure you keep the Chase Freedom at the top of your wallet, literally and figuratively. Some of my friends put a sticky note on the cards they don’t want to forget to use. If you’re an Amazon shopper, switch the Chase Freedom to your default payment method.

No matter what you’re in the market for, see if it’s on Amazon before you purchase it at your local brick and mortar store. Or, if you’re afraid you won’t be able to spend $1,500 in combined purchases between Amazon and Whole Foods, consider buying an Amazon gift card for future use. That way you’ll still effectively get 5% back on your purchases, even after this bonus period has ended.

Make your cash back more valuable

The Chase Freedom quarterly bonus categories are a terrific way to earn cash back in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which you can redeem in fantastic ways if you have one of the following cards:

The information for the Ink Business Preferred has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You can pool your chase points onto one of the above Chase credit cards, which enables you to use your points with Chase transfer partners.

If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can pool your points on that card, which are then worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal. That extra $300 in cash back you can earn each year (if you max out all the bonus categories) could be used to pay for $450 in flights, rental cars, or hotels.

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Featured image by Shawn Hempel/Shutterstock

Jason Stauffer is a contributor to Million Mile Secrets, he covers topics on points and miles, credit cards, airlines, hotels, and general travel.

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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