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
Award-winning author, journalist and teacher
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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 has 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.
To activate Chase Freedom’s second quarter bonus category for 2018, click here.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
How to pay at participating stores using Chase Pay
Once again, the process is very simple:
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:
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).
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.
Meeting your Chase Freedom quarterly spending limit using Chase Pay
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, 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.
On my recent 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 Q2 2018 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 is still not as widely accepted as other mobile wallets, these strategies helped me meet the spending limit on Chase Freedom’s rotating categories on Q1.
And while the addition of groceries and PayPal will make it easier for me to max out my spending cap on Q2, if you don’t plan to spend $1,500 from April through June at grocery stores, consider using these strategies to take advantage of Chase Pay.
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