Is This The Best Quarterly Bonus Category Ever?

Filed Under: Chase, Credit Cards
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Chase has been adding some interesting quarterly bonus categories for the Chase Freedom® Card. In the first quarter of 2018, Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay were all eligible for 5% cash back (or, when combined with an eligible Ultimate Rewards-earning card, for 5x points).

Now, for April through June 2018, they’re offering this bonus on purchases at grocery stores, purchases made through Chase Pay, and purchases made with PayPal. I’m pretty excited about the PayPal category.

With online merchants, PayPal is a lot more commonly accepted than you may realize, which makes this quarter an especially good opportunity for earning this bonus.

Where Can I Use PayPal?

Earning 5x points on things like airline purchases has usually been the exclusive domain of holders of more premium cards. However, numerous airlines (including American, Delta, United, JetBlue, and Southwest) accept payment through PayPal, as do a ton of other merchants, typically for the same price you’d pay using a credit card directly.

Select PayPal as your method of payment on

Other online merchants that accept PayPal include Target, Walmart, Best Buy, Apple, and many more. PayPal even has a gift card site. And you can of course stack these purchases with bonus points from your favorite shopping portal.

Paying through PayPal is simple:

  • Create a PayPal account if you don’t have one already
  • Link your Chase Freedom card to that account
  • Set the Chase Freedom card as your default payment method

On sites that accept PayPal for payment, simply choose that as your payment method. You’ll usually be directed to log into PayPal to complete the payment, and then returned to the merchant’s site.

Set your Chase Freedom card as your default payment method in PayPal.

This is a really great way to get 5% cash back (or 5x Ultimate Rewards points) on purchases in categories that would never otherwise earn such a high bonus on a no-annual-fee card.

Keep in mind that these bonuses are eligible for charges made from April through June, and only on your first $1,500 of combined purchases in the quarter. Also remember that you have to activate the bonus on Chase’s site in order to receive the extra points.

Don’t forget to activate!

PayPal also has an Offers page (a lot like the Amex Offers you may be familiar with) that offers additional discounts that are stackable with Chase’s bonus. For example, they’re currently offering $5 off a $50 purchase at

Bottom line

For many people, it shouldn’t be hard to make $1,500 worth of purchases over three months through PayPal using the Chase Freedom card, which would yield either $75 cash back or 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points.

If you don’t think you’ll be able to make $1,500 in eligible PayPal purchases during the quarter, you can always buy some gift cards and use them whenever you’re ready.

How do you plan to use PayPal to maximize this bonus category?

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  1. This is great to know, but unfortunately I think I’ll stick with the 3x points from my Sapphire Reserve. Having travel protection is worth the 2x points difference to me.

  2. Why would you buy flights this way when you already can get 3x with CSR or 5x with AmexPlat? Wouldn’t it make more sense to only use the Paypal option for non-bonus spend or am I missing something?

  3. I’ll have no trouble maximizing the bonus with grocery spend. I havent used paypal for over 10 years and have no idea how it works anymore. Lol.

  4. Yeah, $1,500+ on grocery is easy over 3 months – worst case just buy a few gift cards at the end at the grocery store. My wife has 2 of these cards though and I have one so that’s where it helps to have other options beyond the grocery store.

  5. I wonder if sending money via PayPal works. Much easier. Even if not free it’s a cheap way to buy points. I already get 4.5x on groceries with everyday Preferred and 5x on airfare with Amex and at least 2x everywhere else, so I’d just rather buy 7500 points for $40 something and be done with it if PayPal money transfers work.

  6. I’d guess sending money to someone via PayPal will work.

    I made sure to max out Q1 on all 6 of my/my wife’s Freedoms by paying friends via Apple Pay — all earned 5X. Of course there was a 3% fee, but $0.03 to earn $0.05++ in UR is an easy deal.

  7. For those asking – yes, sending money to someone via PayPal would count as eligible spend.

  8. Not really that great. Grocery stores is nice, but I was getting that anyway last quarter with Apple Pay. The gas stations and telecom services was far more valuable in my opinion. I actually hit the $75 for the first time. Heck, over $100 a month for cell service, then cable internet service, along with gas stations, and Apple Pay at Whole Foods….that was an easy and good quarter. This upcoming is ‘ok’. Grocery stores is good. But paypal and chase pay? I don’t use paypal personally and I’m yet to see a single place that takes Chase pay.

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