Chase revealed its Freedom card’s 3rd Quarter 2019 5x categories this morning to be Gas Stations and Streaming Services.
The Chase Freedom is an amazing card for earning Ultimate Rewards (UR) points quickly on select categories. It’s best used in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or the Chase Ink Business Preferred. This is because you can transfer points earned with the Freedom to any of the above cards for access to transfer partners.
Gas stations is a repeat of one of the Freedom’s first quarter categories. For many people, this is great because they can maximize the category on everyday driving and on summer road trips. It’s also nice for travelers who need to rent a car and pay for gas throughout their trip.
Streaming services is an interesting pick from Chase. Selecting this category lets them compete with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred for a few months. Of course, the Freedom earns 5x UR points and the Blue Cash Preferred earns 6% cash back. The latter wins for cash back lovers, but the former wins for travelers invested in the Chase “ecosystem”. Streaming services is not a category that people would likely maximize on its own. But paying those bills with the Freedom card could be a great way to get a few hundred extra points.
The Chase Freedom allows you to earn 5x points on up to $1,500 spend within the bonus categories. That means you can earn 7,500 UR points per quarter if you maximize the categories. Both grocery stores and home improvement stores share the maximum spend limit.
People who have multiple cards could earn loads of points with the Chase Freedom. But if they maximize the categories, they would earn only one point for every dollar they spend over the threshold. This is where the gas stations bonus category cards come into play.
If you can’t maximize the categories, then just use the Freedom. But if you spend more than $1,500 at the pump, you would proceed to use your normal gas station category card. I recommend the Citi Premier (3x Thank You Points) or the Chase Ink Business Cash (2x UR Points).
Streaming services are becoming increasingly popular and credit card issuers are taking advantage. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred (6% cash back) is the strongest alternative to the Chase Freedom. Use that card if you have it and you have maximized the Freedom’s categories.
Like the second quarter, the third quarter of 2019 should be bountiful for Chase Freedom cardholders. Those who take local commuter transit, don’t have a car, or don’t go to gas stations should sock drawer this card. But people going on road trips and doing a lot of everyday driving should use the Freedom as liberally as possible.
The current set of categories for Chase Freedom are grocery stores and home improvement stores. Registration to earn 5x points closes tomorrow (June 14, 2019) for those who have not registered. This is your last chance to register. All you have to do is click on this link to the registration page and enter your name, ZIP code, and the last four digits of your card’s number. Follow the same steps starting tomorrow to register for the second quarter’s categories as well.
Registration for the third quarter’s categories opens on Saturday, June 15, 2019. Use the same registration page link to apply.