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Activate Chase cash back categories for Q3 2020 now

Earn 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases

Summary

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 bonus categories for the third quarter of 2020. From July 1 to Sep. 30, 2020, Chase Freedom®* cardholders can earn 5% cash back on purchases on Whole Foods Market and Amazon.com purchases (up to $1,500 in combined purchases) after activation. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

See related: Which is the best card to use on Amazon.com purchases? 

Activation for the new categories is available as of June 15, 2020, and earning on the new categories begins July 1, 2020 or the date of activation, whichever is later. With many cardholders spending more time at home and shopping online due to concerns over COVID-19, the recent addition of the Amazon category can make it easy to meet the quarterly spending cap.

Eligible cardholders can activate third quarter categories through Sept. 15, 2020, here.

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

  • You must activate second quarter bonus categories by Sept. 15, 2020 to start earning 5% cash back.
  • From July 1 to Sep. 30, 2020, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on eligible Amazon and Whole Foods Market 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

WinterSpringSummerHoliday
January – March

(Activation closed)

April – June

(Activation closed)

July – September

(Activate by Sept. 14, 2020)

October – December

(Activate starting Sept. 15, 2020)

  • Select streaming services
  • Gas stations
  • Phone, cable and internet services
  • Gym memberships
  • Fitness clubs
  • Grocery stores
  • Select streaming services
  • Amazon
  • Whole Foods Market
TBA

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

WinterSpringSummerHoliday
January – MarchApril – JuneJuly – SeptemberOctober – December
  • Gas stations
  • Drugstores
  • Tolls
  • Grocery stores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Gas stations
  • Select streaming services
  • Department stores
  • PayPal
  • Chase Pay

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

With so many consumers currently relying on Amazon for all types of purchases – from everyday necessities to new furniture – this category is certainly an exciting addition. According to Chase, Chase Freedom cardmembers can earn cash back on all of their online Amazon.com purchases this quarter. This includes the purchase of Amazon gift cards, Amazon Fresh orders and the cost of your annual Prime membership.

What is included/excluded in the “Whole Foods Market” category?

Since Whole Foods has been acquired by Amazon, the addition of this category isn’t surprising. All Whole Foods Market purchases will qualify for 5% cash back this quarter. Note that you will not earn the bonus if you order groceries through a third-party delivery service like Instacart or Shipt.

Tips for maximizing your 5% cash back

  • Make your Chase Freedom your primary method of payment on Amazon.com.
  • If you’re planning any big purchases, see if you make those on Amazon.
  • Stock up on Amazon gift cards for purchases throughout the year, to help meet the spend cap.
  • Pay off the rest of your Amazon Prime membership fee.
  • Shop for groceries at Whole Foods Market and make sure to use your Chase Freedom card.
  • Stock up on items from the Whole Foods Market 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 – MarchGas stations, select streaming services and phone, cable and internet servicesGrocery stores, Walgreens and CVS
April – JuneGrocery stores, select streaming services and gym memberships and fitness club purchasesGas stations, Uber, Lyft and wholesale clubs
July – SeptemberAmazon and Whole Foods MarketRestaurants and PayPal
October – DecemberTBAAmazon.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 third quarter of 2020. Chase Freedom definitely offers more flexibility with its new categories since almost anything can be purchased on Amazon. Grocery shopping spending has skyrocketed among consumers, making earning cash back at Whole Foods Market a valuable option.

However, if you make a lot of transactions through PayPal and prefer restaurant meals to home-cooked food, Discover it Cash Back might be a better option for you. Plus, Discover will also be offering cash back on Amazon.com, as well as Target.com and Walmart.com, in the fourth quarter of 2020.

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 perfect for online holiday shopping.

See related: Activate new Discover cash back categories for Q3 2020 now

*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.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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