See the latest bonus categories from the Chase Freedom card and get tips on how to maximize your cash back.
Activation for the new categories is available as of Mar. 15, 2020, and earning on the new categories began April 1, 2020. With many cardholders spending more time at home this quarter due to concerns over COVID-19, the recent addition of a streaming service category is sure to be a lucrative option.
Eligible cardholders can activate second quarter categories through June 14, 2020, here.
Here’s what you need to know at a glance:
- You must activate second quarter bonus categories by June 14, 2020 to start earning 5% cash back.
- From Apr. 1 to June 30, 2020, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on select streaming service, grocery store, gym membership and fitness club purchases.
- The 5% cash back bonus is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter.
- As of Jan. 12, 2020, Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides through March 2022.
- All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
Chase 5% cash back calendar 2020
January – March
|April – June|
(Activate by June 14, 2020)
|July – September|
(Activate starting June 15, 2020)
|October – December|
(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2020)
Chase only releases its quarterly bonus categories one quarter at a time, so we can’t yet predict what will be offered through the rest of 2020. Here’s a quick look at some of the categories Chase has offered in the last year.
Chase 5% cash back calendar 2019
|January – March||April – June||July – September||October – December|
What is included/excluded in the “grocery stores” category?
Most major grocery stores are included in the Chase category for Q2 2020, but there are a few exceptions. Most notably, big box retailers like Target and Walmart do not qualify for the bonus. Additionally, warehouse clubs and discount stores are not part of the category. Note that grocery delivery services will only be categorized as a grocery store purchase if the purchase is made directly with the store and not a third-party service.
What is included/excluded in the “gym memberships and fitness clubs” category?
Gym memberships and fitness clubs is a new category for Chase, offering cardholders a unique way to earn cash back in the second quarter of 2020. According to Chase’s website, eligible merchants extend to “health clubs, exercise or athletic facilities requiring membership and offering access to services related to physical fitness, such as fitness clubs, fitness centers, fitness studios, gyms, aerobics, cardio fitness and other services such as yoga and cross fit training.” Merchants that specialize in another area, such as massage therapy or selling sporting goods, but offer fitness classes, might not qualify for the bonus.
What is included/excluded in the “select streaming services” category?
Unfortunately, not every popular streaming service will qualify for the bonus cash back. Currently, the list of qualifying merchants is limited to Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify and YouTube.
See related: Best credit cards for streaming services
Tips for maximizing your 5% cash back
- Make your Chase Freedom your primary method of payment on all gym membership and fitness club subscriptions.
- Make your Freedom card your primary payment method for all qualifying streaming services.
- Consider paying more of your gym membership to meet the spend cap. (E.g. opt for a full year instead of a monthly payment plan.)
- Use your Chase Freedom card when shopping at grocery stores.
- Stock up on items from the grocery store you can use throughout the year, such as cleaning supplies or canned goods.
Comparing Chase and Discover bonus categories
Chase isn’t the only card issuer that offers a 5% cash back bonus. Discover also allows cardholders to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending in rotating categories each quarter, upon enrollment.
Chase vs. Discover cash back categories 2020
|Chase Freedom®||Discover it® Cash Back|
|January – March||Gas stations, select streaming services and phone, cable and internet services||Grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS|
|April – June||Grocery stores, select streaming services and gym memberships and fitness club purchases||Gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs|
|July – September||TBA||Restaurants and PayPal|
|October – December||TBA||Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com|
Which card offers the best deal?
The best card for you depends widely on how you plan to spend your money in the second quarter of 2020. Chase’s generous rate on groceries makes it an excellent choice for cardholders looking to stock up on essentials. Gym buffs can also take full advantage of the card’s spend threshold by paying off their memberships in advance. Plus, those spending more on streaming services can enjoy a nice bonus by swapping the payment method on subscriptions.
Just keep in mind that Discover is offering a bonus on gas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs in Q2 2020. Shoppers who prefer bulk grocery shopping over traditional stores can get more value out of this category.
For the rest of 2020, we can’t predict which card will be best for you, as Chase only releases bonus categories one quarter at a time. Based on 2019, we can speculate that Chase might offer bonus cash back at department stores or on mobile wallet purchases later in 2020. With Discover, we know for sure the issuer will feature lucrative categories including restaurants and PayPal. Take a look at the coming opportunities to decide if the card makes sense for you.
See related: Discover announces full cash back calendar for 2020
Information about the Chase Freedom card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.