Chase Freedom categories for Q3 2018

Earn 5 percent back on gas station, Lyft and Walgreens purchases

Chase Freedom cash back categories

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Chase has launched the 5 percent cash back category for the third quarter of 2018. From July 1 through Sept. 30, 2018, Chase Freedom cardholders can earn 5 percent back on gas station, Lyft and Walgreens purchases on up to $1,500 in combined purchases.

The gas station category offers a great opportunity to earn a cash back bonus on summer road trips and daily commutes, while the Lyft category is beneficial to cardholders who prefer ridesharing. The Walgreens category, on the other hand, allows cardholders to earn a bonus on gift cards for restaurants, department stores and more, in addition to toiletries and prescriptions.

To activate the third quarter bonus for 2018, click here.

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

  • The Chase bonus category for the third quarter can be activated as of June 15, 2018.
  • You must activate the third quarter bonus category by Sept. 14, 2018, to receive 5 percent back for that quarter.
  • The third quarter bonus is active from July 1, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2018.
  • The 5 percent cash back bonus is capped at $1,500 per quarter.
  • All other purchases earn 1 percent cash back.

Chase 5 percent cash back calendar 2018

Winter Spring Summer Holiday
January – March
April – June
July – September
(Activate by Sept.14, 2018)
October – December
(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2018)
  • Gas stations
  • Internet, cable and phone services
  • Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
  • Groceries
  • PayPal
  • Chase Pay
  • Gas stations
  • Lyft
  • Walgreens
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 “gas” category?

According to Chase’s website, the “gas stations” category includes merchants who sell automotive gasoline that can either be paid for at the pump or inside of a gas station. Merchants that do not specialize in selling automotive gasoline, such as truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors and home heating companies, are not included in this category. The “groceries” category includes purchases made at supermarkets and smaller grocery stores. It excludes items purchased at Walmart or Target, as well as items purchased at discount or warehouse stores.

What is included/excluded in the “Lyft” category?

The “Lyft” category includes transactions made using your Chase Freedom card for rides with Lyft. Gift cards purchased outside of Lyft do not qualify for the bonus.

What is included/excluded in the “Walgreens” category?

If you pay for items using your Chase Freedom card at Walgreens, Walgreens.com and Walgreens owned drugstores operating under the Duane Reade brand, the purchase (including gift cards) will qualify for this category. Purchases made at Rite Aid drugstores and delivery service merchants will not receive the bonus.

Tips for maximizing your 5 percent cash back

  • Use your Chase Freedom card to purchase gas for each car in your household. 
  • Add your Chase Freedom card to your Lyft account and use it for all your ridesharing needs.
  • Purchase prescriptions and toiletries from Walgreens or Duane Reade.
  • Use your Freedom card to purchase gift cards for restaurants, department stores and more at Walgreens or Duane Reade.
  • 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, including:
    • 2 percent extra cash back at Walgreens

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.

However, unlike Chase, Discover has already announced their full 2018 calendar in advance, instead of on a quarter-by-quarter basis. 

Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2018

  Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom
Discover
Discover it Balance Transfer
January – March Gas stations; internet, cable and phone services;
Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay and Samsung Pay
Gas stations and wholesale clubs
April – June Groceries, PayPal and Chase Pay Grocery stores
July – September Gas stations, Lyft and Walgreens Restaurants
October – December Holiday – coming soon Amazon.com and wholesale clubs

Which card offers the best deal?

For the third quarter of 2018, we think the Chase Freedom card offers the better deal. In addition to earning 5 percent cash back on gas and Lyft, Freedom cardholders can earn the bonus rate on gift cards at Walgreens. Meaning, you can max out your bonus by purchasing gift cards to shopping malls, hardware stores, restaurants, movie theaters, streaming services and more, that you can then use throughout the year.

A look at Chase's 2017 cash back calendar may give some insight into what we can expect for the remainder of 2018.

Chase 5 percent cash back calendar 2017

Winter Spring Summer Holiday
January – March April – June July – September October – December
  • Gas stations
  • Local commuter transportation (not including parking, tolls and Amtrak purchases)
  • Grocery stores
  • Drug stores (not including Walmart and Target purchases
  • Restaurants
  • Movie theaters
  • Walmart
  • Department stores

Whichever card you choose, the ability to earn 5 percent cash back is a great opportunity.   

See related: Discover cash back calendar 2018 - Activate the Q3 bonus category, Chase Pay: How to use it and rack up cash back rewardsChase Ultimate Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Ultimate Rewards points

Tip

Tip: Chase Freedom, Freedom Unlimited cardholders can save more at Shell
Chase Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cardholders can save at least 5 cents a gallon through all of 2018 by enrolling in Shell's Fuel Rewards program. Freedom and Freedom Unlimited cardholders automatically get gold status in Fuel Rewards.


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Updated: 07-17-2018