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3 easy ways to max out the Chase Freedom bonus categories this quarter

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3 easy ways to max out the Chase Freedom bonus categories this quarter

Million Mile Secrets3 easy ways to max out the Chase Freedom bonus categories this quarterMillion Mile Secrets Team

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The Chase Freedom® 5x categories for the fourth quarter of 2019 are officially out. From Oct. 1 through Dec. 30, 2019, you’ll get 5% cash back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) at department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay with your Chase Freedom. If you spend the $1,500 maximum in bonus categories, you’ll earn 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($75).

Just remember, you have to register your card to get this bonus and you’ll need to activate your card by December 14, 2019.

Chase Freedom bonus categories

Chase Freedom’s quarterly bonus categories are a terrific way to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points that can be transferrable to travel partners if you have the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you make the most of your spending every quarter, you can earn $300 per year (30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) in bonus-category spending alone (four quarters X $75 per quarter).

If you have the Sapphire Reserve you could pool your points on that card, which are then worth 1.5 cents each toward travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal. So that extra $300 in cash back each year could be used to pay for $450 in flights, rental cars or hotels.

1. Pay taxes or friends and family with PayPal

According to the FAQ, you’ll earn the 5% back when you use your Freedom card with PayPal “for purchases or sending money.” During the holidays tend to send more money to family members than usual because we go in on bigger gifts together or need to split bills when we eat out or take family trips. Using PayPal to send the money is a nice way to earn 5% back, but you will pay a fee (2.9% + $.30 per transaction) for the privilege of using a credit card to do it. Earning 5% back can be enough to justify paying the fee, but it’s better to exhaust your other options for earning the bonus without paying card fees first.

Normally, when PayPal is a Freedom bonus category I like to use it to pay taxes with a credit card, but because the quarterly Federal estimated tax due dates fall outside of this quarter (Sept. 16th and January 15th) I won’t be able to this time around. However, if you pay monthly estimated taxes this is a great way to maximize the bonus and pay lower fees. You can use PayPal to pay taxes, with fees of under 2%.

2. Fuel up with Chase Pay

You can use Chase Pay to earn 5% back on gas at participating merchants like:

  • Gulf
  • Philips 66
  • 76
  • Conoco
  • Shell

To earn the bonus at most of these gas stations you’ll need to download the gas station’s app (i.e. Conoco app, Philips 66 app) and use the Chase Pay in that app to earn the bonus. You can pay for your Shell transaction directly through the Chase Pay app.

3. Holiday and Black Friday shopping

It’s nice that department stores are included for Q4 — it is the holiday shopping season, after all. Chase Pay could also be a lucrative category for a variety of purchases, as more and more stores are starting to accept this type of contactless payment and even more allow you to use Chase Pay for online purchases.

When it comes to earning bonus points at department stores, be sure to check the list of which stores are eligible, because Chase has some exclusions like Walmart, Target, Kmart and TJ Maxx.

Featured image by Pressmaster/Shutterstock.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

More Info

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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You actually can pay quarterly estimated tax due 1/15/20 any time between now and then, so you could earn the bonus with PayPal.

Does payUSAtax code to get points on other Chase cards (Business Ink, for instance)? Actually would like to use my Cap1 Spark. Any idea how this would code for them? They state that ‘Cash advances, balance transfers, and checks used to access your account are not considered purchases and will not earn rewards’.

I am grateful for the tip about this particular service which I wasn’t already familiar with. Just want to get my service charge back in points.

Thanks.

Why not just link Chase pay with Samsung pay (for Samsung phone owners) and use it for all your purchases in store?

Following

Help. Please explain specifically how to add Chase pay to the Walmart app. I follow the instructions in the comments below, but it never gives me an option to add Chase pay. It only gives me the option to add a credit card or a debit card. I’ve deleted the Walmart app and reinstalled it. Same problem. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

You can also designate the Chase Freedom card as your Chase Pay credit card online and then use it to buy Wal-Mart gift cards online. This worked for me last Q4.

I forgot to mention that when it’s time to select the payment option on Wal-Mart’s web site, choose MORE and it will reveal Chase Pay as an additional payment choice.

Adding Chase pay to walmart pay works only on Android phones. You won’t see that option on IOS.

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