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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 Card, Chase 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:
- Philips 66
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.
Featured image by Pressmaster/Shutterstock.