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 third quarter of 2019. From July 1 to Sept. 30, 2019, Chase Freedom® cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back at gas stations and on select streaming services on up to $1,500 in combined purchases, after activation. Other purchases will earn 1 percent cash back.
Cardholders planning end-of-summer travel will likely find the gas station category incredibly lucrative. The streaming service category – a new Chase offering – can help you rack up rewards on your next movie binge.
To activate the third quarter bonus categories, 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, 2019.
- You must activate the bonus category before Sept. 14, 2019 to earn 5 percent cash back.
- From July 1 to Sept. 30, 2019, Chase Freedom cardholders can earn cash back at gas stations and on select streaming services.
- The 5 percent bonus category 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||July – September|
(Activate by Sept. 14, 2019)
|October – December|
(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2019)
What’s included/excluded in the “gas stations” 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.
What’s included/excluded in the “select streaming services” category?
The streaming services category includes Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora and Spotify. Other streaming services such as Amazon Prime or YouTube TV will not qualify for the bonus.
Tips for maximizing your 5 percent cash back
- Update your payment account on all eligible streaming services to your Chase Freedom card for the third quarter.
- Use the Freedom card for all your gas purchases.
- Purchase gift cards for restaurants, retailers and more at gas stations to meet the spend cap.
- Stock up on items from gas stations that you can use throughout the year, such as cleaning supplies or snacks.
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
Discover it® Cash Back
|January – March||Gas stations, drugstores and tolls||Grocery stores|
|April – June||Grocery stores and home improvement stores||Gas stations, Uber and Lyft|
|July – September||Gas stations and select streaming services||Restaurants and PayPal|
|October – December||Coming soon||Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com|
Which card offers the best deal?
Which card makes the most sense for you depends largely on how you are planning to spend your money in the third quarter of 2019. If you spend a significant amount on gas or streaming services, the Chase Freedom probably offers more potential rewards. However, if you spend more on restaurant purchases or PayPal, you could benefit more from Discover’s category.
Beyond the third 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 wholesale clubs, 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 now, Chase Pay: How to use it and rack up cash back rewards, Chase Ultimate Rewards guide: The best ways to earn and use Ultimate Rewards points