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Chase Pay: How to use it and rack up cash back rewards

The mobile wallet can help you max out Chase Freedom's rotating categories

Summary

Chase Pay’s shutting down in early 2020, but you still have time to rack up cash back by leveraging the mobile wallet with your Chase Freedom card.

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If you’re a Chase Freedom cardholder looking to maximize spending on your card’s rotating categories, you might want to consider adding Chase Pay to your cash back strategy.

With the goal of encouraging more cardholders to download and use its proprietary mobile wallet, Chase included Chase Pay purchases as part of its rotating categories that give 5 percent cash back on both the first and second quarters of 2018 – in Q2, grocery and PayPal purchases also earn bonuses.

Chase also has included both Chase Pay and PayPal purchases, along with department store purchases, in its rotating categories for the fourth quarter of 2019 on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. To be eligible, remember to activate the bonus each quarter.

To activate Chase Freedom’s bonus category, click here.

Keep in mind that this might be your last opportunity to maximize Chase’s rotating categories through Chase Pay. In August 2019, Chase announced that its mobile wallet app will shut down in early 2020.

Unlike other mobile wallets more widely accepted, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, the number of retailers and restaurants that accept Chase Pay is still comparatively limited – these include eBags, The Popcorn Factory, Shell gas stations and Starbucks.

See related: Chase Freedom vs. Chase Sapphire Preferred

Combine Chase Pay and Chase Freedom to score major cash back points

However, there are two strategies than can help you max out Chase Freedom’s rotating categories spending limit of $1,500 regardless of your spending habits:

  • Buying gift cards at Best Buy and choosing Chase Pay as your payment form.
  • Ordering food through Chase Pay’s “Order Ahead” functionality.

Intrigued about how to install, use and take advantage of Chase Pay as part of your rewards game? Read on to learn all the details.

How to download and install Chase Pay

The process is very easy. To start, download the app from the App Store or Google’s Play Store.

Log in to Chase Pay using your customer’s Chase ID and password. Your options will be:

  • Home: A quick dashboard that shows your recent activity and payment options.
  • Order: To order food from nearby participating restaurants.
  • Pay: Displays a quick response (QR) code that you’ll have to show at the register to pay in-store at participating merchants.
  • Wallet: Display the recent transaction activity on your Chase card(s). It also offers the option of adding loyalty cards.
  • More: Here you can redeem rewards, see any egift cards bought with points, explore nearby merchants that accept Chase Pay, and adjust settings, such as turning on app notifications or selecting a primary card. (If you have more than one Chase card, you will want to make Chase Freedom your primary card to ensure receiving the 5 percent bonus for using Chase Pay.)
  • Launch Chase Pay and tap “Pay.”
  • Show the QR code to the cashier. They will scan the code and the payment process will proceed as usual.

Using Chase pay to order food from restaurants

Upon signing in, the home page will display the last transaction made with any of your Chase cards – if you have more than one – and the last food order you’ve placed if you’ve already used “Order Ahead.” You’ll also see the option to redeem Chase Ultimate Rewards points for egift cards.

  • Tap “Order” at the bottom of the app: You will see all nearby participating restaurants listed by distance in your area – you can also search by kind of food or meal, such as “sandwiches” or “brunch.”
  • Select a restaurant: For the purpose of writing this article, I picked La Madeleine, located 0.8 miles away from the CreditCards.com office.
  • Browse the menu and make your selection, which, in many cases, can be customized.
  • Select the quantity and add the item(s) to the cart.
  • Once your order is complete, tap the shopping bag icon on the right upper corner.
  • Review your order: You’ll have one last chance to enter special instructions and update your payment method if you want to use a card different from your primary one.
  • If everything looks good, tap “Place order.”
  • You will receive a message – and an email in your inbox – confirming your order, including the time it will be ready – note: Chase Pay doesn’t include a delivery option; you’ll have to stop by the restaurant and pick up your order.

Special promotions: Chase Pay lets you see what Chase Offers are available to you depending on the Chase card you have. Current options for Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, include 10 percent cash back on la Madeleine purchases and 30 percent cash back on Five Guys purchases. To be eligible for an offer you need to add it to your card – and you can do so directly via Chase Pay.

The app also gives you the option to reorder past orders. Tap “Recent” to see your recent orders. Select the order you’d like to order again and proceed as usual.

Participating restaurants, retailers, services

  • Restaurants: Options included Starbucks, Burger King, Olive Garden, Cracker Barrel, Chili’s, Red Lobster, Buffalo Wild Wings, Applebee’s, The Cheesecake Factory, Domino’s Pizza, Subway, Taco Bell, Panda Express, Dunkin’ Donuts and many more.
  • Retailers: The wide selection included REI, Gap, Williams Sonoma, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bed Bath & Beyond, Sephora, Nike, Kohl’s, T.J. Maxx, Crate & Barrell, Chico’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Cabela’s and many other stores.
  • Entertainment: You could buy gift cards from Regal Cinemas, Fandango, AMC Theaters, Ticketmaster and StubHub, among others.
  • Online services: The selection was vast, including Netflix, Pandora, HBO Now, Google Play, iTunes, Sling and more.
  • Travel and transportation: The list included Shell, Exxon Mobile, Uber, Disney, Hotels.com and Southwest Airlines.
  • Videogames: Xbox Live, Nintendo, PlayStation Store and Minecraft, among others.
  • Cellular services included Boost, AT&T Prepaid and Cricket.

See related:  Will “pay-pain-free” mobile wallets make us poor?

My experience

When I tested the app, the message I received stated my order – a chicken Caesar salad and a chocolate croissant – would be ready at around 12:09 p.m. I showed up at La Madeleine a few minutes past 12:09 p.m. My order was waiting for me, sitting on a table by the entrance door. I didn’t have to show the app or my confirmation email to any restaurant associate – the seamless process reminded me of the “order online” functionality on the Starbucks app.

 

DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION

Log in to Chase Pay using your Chase ID and password. The app’s home page (center) shows recent transactions and options to pay with the app. On the “more” tab (right) you have redeeming options, settings and more. 

How to pay at participating stores using Chase Pay

Once again, the process is very simple:

DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION

The “Pay” tab will display a QR code to pay in stores (left). To explore neary merchants that accept Chase Pay (right), go to “Merchants” on the “More” tab. 

How to order food ahead using Chase Pay

This option allows you to order food from nearby participating merchants in select markets through the app. To do so, follow these steps:

DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION
 

The “Order” tab will display nearby participating restaurants to choose from (left). Select a restaurant and you’ll be able to see its menu, offers and any recent orders you’ve made (center). Once you’ve selected your picks and added them to the cart, you’ll be able to review your order (right).

 

DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION
 

If all looks OK, place your order (left). You’ll see a confirmation summary (center and right) including order total, payment form and the time your order will be ready for pickup. You’ll also receive this information in a confirmation email. 

DESCRIPTION   DESCRIPTION

My order was readily waiting for me when I arrived at the restaurant (right). The receipt didn’t mention the order had been placed using Chase Pay (left), but it didn’t include my credit card details either. 

Meeting your Chase Freedom quarterly spending limit using Chase Pay

Gift cards section at Best Buy in Northwest Austin.

Gift cards section at Best Buy in Northwest Austin.

One of the major drawbacks you might encounter if you want to take advantage of Chase Pay is the limited number of participating merchants that accept the app.

However, I’ve discovered that buying gifts cards at Best Buy using Chase Pay can be a great way to maximize spending on Chase Freedom’s rotating categories.

That’s what I did at the end of March 2018, when I needed to spend a few more dollars to meet my $1,500 quarterly spending. My wife needed to buy a gift card for a colleague, so I volunteered my help.

During that visit to Best Buy in Northwest Austin to buy the gift card, the wide array of options to choose from I found included restaurants like Starbucks and Subway, streaming services such as Netflix and Sling, grocery stores like Whole Foods, retail stores such as Nordstrom and Marshalls, and entertainment services like PlaySation and Showtime.

As you can see, you could max Chase Freedom’s Q4 2019 spending limit just by purchasing gift cards for the services and stores you use and visit every day using Chase Pay.

A note of caution on the use of gift cards to purchase large items

Keep in mind that you’ll be making purchases with a gift card, not a credit card – even if you’re paying with Chase Pay. This means you will be waiving any purchase protections that may be offered by the card you pay with.

Chase Freedom offers purchase protection, but this benefit would cover the gift cards you’d buy through Chase Pay, not whatever item you may purchase with them.

This might not be such a big deal if you’re buying a couple of frappucinos at Starbucks, but could prove critical if you’re planning to buy an expensive espresso machine at Williams Sonoma or a new camping tent at Cabela’s. Consider all your options before you buy large items using gift cards through Chase Pay.

While Chase Pay was never as widely accepted as other mobile wallets, these strategies helped me meet the spending limit on Chase Freedom’s rotating categories in 2018.

And while the addition of department stores and PayPal will make it easier for me to max out my spending cap on Q4, if you don’t plan to spend $1,500 from October through July at department stores, consider using these strategies to take advantage of Chase Pay.

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