Chase launches its cash back category for Q2 2019

Earn 5 percent back at grocery stores and home improvement stores


See the latest bonus categories from the Chase Freedom card and get tips on how to maximize your cash back.

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Chase has launched its 5 percent cash back category for the second quarter of 2019. From April 1 through June 30, 2019, Chase Freedom® cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back at grocery stores and home improvement stores on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. All other purchases will earn 1 percent cash back.

While we’re in the midst of spring, the grocery store category offers a great opportunity to earn a bonus on food and supplies for graduation parties, Father’s Day cookouts, Memorial Day celebrations and more. The home improvement category is ideal if you’re planning a home remodeling project, spring cleaning or lawn maintenance.

To activate the second quarter bonus category, click here.

Here’s what you need to know at a glance:

  • The Chase bonus category for the second quarter can be activated as of March 15, 2019.
  • You must activate the bonus category prior to June 14, 2019, to receive 5 percent back.
  • From April 1 through June 30, 2019, Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5 percent cash back at grocery stores and home improvement stores.
  • The 5 percent cash back bonus is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter.
  • All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.

Chase 5 percent cash back calendar 2019


January – March

April – June
(Activate by June 15, 2019)
July – September
(Activate starting June 15, 2019)
October – December
(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2019)
  • Gas stations
  • Drugstores
  • Tolls
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
Coming soon
Coming soon

The editorial content below is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. However, we do receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners. Learn more about our advertising policy

What is included/excluded in the “grocery stores” category?

According to Chase’s website, the “grocery stores” category includes supermarkets and smaller grocery stores. Some merchants that sell grocery items, such as Walmart, Target, discount stores and warehouse clubs, as well as drugstores and merchants that specialize in only a few items will not qualify for the bonus. Additionally, purchases made at gas stations operated by merchants who also operate grocery stores are not eligible.

What is included/excluded in the “home improvement stores” category?

The “home improvement stores” category includes merchants that specialize in selling a variety of home improvement supplies. Some merchants that sell a wide variety of general goods that may include home improvement supplies, such as warehouse clubs, discount stores and grocery stores are not included. Merchants that specialize in home furnishings, garden and landscaping supplies are excluded from earning the bonus.

Tips for maximizing your 5 percent cash back

  • Use your Chase Freedom card to purchase groceries from supermarkets and small grocery stores – instead of Target, Walmart or warehouse clubs.
  • Use your Freedom card to purchase gift cards for restaurants, department stores, gas stations and more from grocery stores.
  • Take care of home improvement tasks, such as painting and other renovation projects between April and June.
  • Purchase items from home improvement stores that can be used throughout the remainder of the year, such as cleaning supplies, tools and lawn maintenance equipment.
  • Earn up to 7 percent cash back when you stack your bonus with cash back from a variety of retailers through Chase’s shopping portal.

Comparing Chase and Discover bonus categories

Chase isn’t the only card issuer that offers a 5 percent cash back bonus. Upon enrollment, Discover also allows cardholders to earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in categories that rotate quarterly.

Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2019

Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom®
Discover it® Cash Back
January – MarchGas stations, drugstores and tollsGrocery stores
April – JuneGrocery stores and home improvement storesGas stations, Uber and Lyft
July – SeptemberComing soonRestaurants and PayPal
October – DecemberComing, Target and

Which card offers the best deal?

That depends on how you plan to spend your money during the second quarter of 2019. For example, if you spend a large amount on food each month or if you have a home improvement project in the works, Chase offers the better deal. But if you have a long commute to work each day or if you frequently use ride-sharing, you could benefit more from Discover’s gas stations, Uber and Lyft category.

Beyond the second quarter, though, we can’t tell you which card offers the better deal. Based on the past year, we can speculate that Chase may offer the bonus rate on restaurant, department store and Chase Pay purchases sometime during 2019. But because they don’t release their full calendar in advance, it’s impossible to tell which card will best suit your spending habits throughout the year.

See related: Activate Discover’s 2019 Q3 bonus category nowChase Pay: How to use it and rack up cash back rewardsChase Ultimate Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Ultimate Rewards points

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Published: March 29, 2019

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