Now Live: Chase Freedom Q1 2019 Bonus Categories

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The Chase Freedom® Card is one of my favorite no annual fee credit cards, as it offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter. Most people use this as a cashback card, meaning the 5x points really translates into 5% cashback in these categories.

The best part is that in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardChase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, points earned on this card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, and be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. Since I value one Ultimate Rewards point at significantly more than one cent, that’s my preferred use of those points.

Starts today: 5x points with gas stations, drugstores, and tolls

Until yesterday (December 31, 2018), the card offered 5x points on the first $1,500 of combined purchases for department stores, wholesale clubs, and Chase Pay.

Now there’s a new bonus category.

Between January 1 and March 31, 2019, you can earn 5x points on the first $1,500 of combined purchases for gas stations, drugstores, and tolls, with the Chase Freedom® Card.

If you haven’t yet registered, you can do so through March 14, 2019 – just go to the registration page and enter your last name, billing zip code, and the last four digits on your card number, and you’ll be registered.

This quarter’s bonus categories are great for those who drive a lot (thanks to the gas station and toll bonuses). Do note that per the terms warehouse stores don’t qualify for the bonus categories, so I would guess that gas at Costco wouldn’t qualify for 5x points, for example.

While I don’t find the drugstore bonus category to be that widely useful, the benefit is that there aren’t any other cards that offer bonus points for drugstore purchases. So this means that the incremental earning on this card over other cards is significant.

So as much as 5x points on dining sounds great, I’m not sure how valuable that would actually be, given that the American Express® Gold Card offers 4x points on U.S. restaurants, the Chase Sapphire Reserve®  offers 3x points on dining globally, and as of a few days from now, the Citi Prestige will offer 5x points on dining globally.

How to make Chase Freedom points even more valuable

Just to recap, you earn points on the Chase Freedom® Card, and each point can be redeemed for one cent cashback.

However, if you have this card in addition to one of the cards that accrues Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards Cards include the:

So 5% cashback converts into 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with one of the above cards.

Bottom line

The Chase Freedom® Card is one of the best no annual fee cards out there, and I do everything I can to max out the 5x points category every quarter.

It’s now a new quarter, which means that it’s time to reconsider which purchases you’re using your card for. If you haven’t yet registered for this quarter’s bonus category, be sure you do so.

What do you make of the first quarter 2019 Chase Freedom bonus categories?

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Comments

  1. @ Uk — I don’t have firsthand experience there, but the terms do state that warehouse store purchases are excluded, so I would guess not. If anyone has a different experience, please chime in!

  2. Bank of America’s Member Rewards Visa offers 2x points on pharmacy/drug store purchases year round. It’s not as good as 5x but now you know of another card that offers bonus points for this catergory.

  3. Last year I had no problem getting credit for gift card purchases at drugstores( amazon, Starbucks, etc).

    First try this quarter will be for a small increment, but I suspect it’ll work again.

  4. Yeah, gas at Costco worked for me as well last time. Costco Gas stations are coded as gas stations so shouldn’t be any problem at all.

  5. I am just wondering, since its legal now, can people in California get 5x points when purchasing recreational marijuana? Does anyone in California know if the stores that sell that code as drug stores?

  6. Bob – Unlikely, should it be medical rather than recreational marijuana to code as drugstores? Recreational would probably code as ‘entertainment’? 🙂

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