Activate your Q3 Chase Freedom 5% Rewards!

Another quarter is almost over, so the time is right to plan ahead for your Q3 5% cashback bonus promotions for your various credit cards. If you are a Chase Freedom cardholder, check your account online or your email inbox or the Chase app or ChasePAY mobile wallet. You can now activate the Q3 offers!

There is a versatile trio of categories that can earn a 5% bonus up to $1500 in purchases between July 1st and September 30 in 2018. With gas prices going up, that extra 5% from gas stations is a nice silver lining. With stress increasing, that 5% from Walgreens can help too. Or if you don’t want to drive or need select lifts to different places, and you are not a fan of Uber, fear not. Lyft is also participating in the 5% promotions of Q3 of 2018.

As usual, the $1500 limit is per credit card, not per account holder, so if you have more than one Chase Freedom credit card, plan ahead so you can split your purchase between them to maximize your bonus cashback.

Every penny counts 🙂

Q2 is coming, activate the Chase 5% Bonus Categories

If you have a Chase Freedom credit card that has the 5% quarterly promotions, don’t forget to activate the second quarter of offers because it’s a good one! The second quarter runs from April 1st until June 30 in 2018 and the 5% categories are Grocery stores (excludes Walmart and Tarjay and warehouse clubs) and also 5% PayPal and ChasePay (accepted at Starbucks and Best Buy). So load up your Starbucks gift card in-store using ChasePAY and get 5%)!

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Make a Chase PAY purchase at a Starbucks store and get 300 Bonus Stars [UPDATED]

UPDATE 3/17/18
It’s here! It’s here! Three days after I used Chase PAY to reload my Starbucks gift card, paid at the register at a participating brick and mortar store, the 300 Bonus has arrived! So as suspected, you don’t have to buy an actual product (and miss out on the bonus stars), a reload of your gift card also counts a purchase.

The promotion ends 3/19/18! If you haven’t done this yet, I highly recommend you activate it in the ChasePAY app and get to it! 300 bonus stars are two FREE rewards plus 50 points (40% of a reward)…

This is a super hot deal if you are participating in the Starbucks Rewards program AND are using (or do not object to start using) Chase Pay, Chase’s mobile payment method. The offer gets you 300 Bonus Stars if you make a purchase at a Starbucks brick and mortar store using the Chase PAY app by March 19 in 2018.

But first, you must activate the offer in the ChasePAY app. Activating the offer also links your ChasePAY account with your Starbucks Rewards account, so have the Starbucks password ready because you have to login to connect them.

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Chase Q1 2018 5% Cashback Rewards are Epic!

Chase is taking their 5% cashback bonus categories for the first quarter of 2018 to the next level! Not only you have specific 5% earning product categories (gas stations, internet, cable, and phone services) BUT you will also earn 5% on purchases made with the three major mobile wallets, along with Chase’s own ChasePAY. That’s right, all Android PAY, Apple PAY, and Samsung PAY purchases get you 5%!

The limit is the same as always, up to $1500 for the quarter will earn 5%. Everything after that will earn at the standard 1% cashback. The limit is per card, so if you have multiple Chase cards, make sure you activate the offers on all of them, and plan your purchase so you can max out each one of them!

It’s certainly not hard to get $1500 just with gas and internet and phone and cable for a household, the way prices are going up on all of them! But if you have additional cards, or you are still under $1500, then the four mobile wallets will certainly get you to $1500+!

Since nowadays most major chain stores accept one of those mobile payment methods, just about everything, from groceries to drugstore purchases can get you that 5%! And Chase’s 5% can be converted straight up (1 point = 1 cent) to cash or statement credit. It’s not like the AMEX Membership Points that you get less than that.

PS: further strategizing, if you have a Discover credit card, their Q1 2018 5% cashback rewards include gas stations, so you could off-load your gas purchases to Discover, and use your Chase for everything else.

Chase Third Quarter 2017 5% Cashback Bonus rewards are Restaurants and Movie Theaters

UPDATE: here is the Complete List of participating merchants AND exclusions from Chase itself!

Everybody loves eating, well, at least has to eat, so if you have a Chase credit card that is participating in the 5% Cashback Bonus rewards, make sure you activate the 3rd Quarter promotion, running between July 1st until September 30 in 2017. You earn 5% back in cashback in Restaurants and Movie Theaters!

As usual, there is a maximum of $1500 spending per credit card. Meaning the first $1500 during the quarter you spend in Restaurant and Movies will earn 5% cashback. Any purchases over $1500 during the quarter will earn the standard 1% cashback instead.

The good thing though is that the $1500 limit is per credit card, not per person. So if you have two or more of these credit cards, you can max out at $1500 per credit card.

The other nice thing with Chase is that you can retroactively activate it later in the quarter, so even if you forget to pre-activate, you won’t miss out on the earnings. But there is a cut-off point, you can’t activate it when it gets close to expiration. The activation page (when logged on to your Chase account) or the email prompting you to activate will have the exact dates and details…

Android PAY with Chase Freedom: Buy Groceries 5 times, Get $15 Statement Credit

UPDATE 5/25/17
The $15 statement credit is now posted on my account! Woohoo!!! 🙂 Here’s a screenshot of the $15 credit… Click on “View Image” to see a larger size of the picture…

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Don’t miss the Chase Q2 (2017) Cashback Bonus rewards

Don’t you dare miss the second quarter 5% Chase Freedom cashback rewards bonus offers! They offer two very popular categories that almost every person spends money on! Grocery stores and Drugstores! You get 5% on up to $1500 spending on those two categories between April 1st and June 30 in 2017!

The $1500 total is on both categories, not each category. However, if you have multiple Chase Freedom credit cards (Chase has been buying other small credit card companies left and merging them into their own), the amount is $1500 per card for the quarter.

As you can see from their promotion, a lot of popular stores are participating in this promotion, both on the grocery and the drugstore front!

Load $10+ with ChasePay, Get Two Free Starbucks Rewards

UPDATE 1/12/17: arggh, this is still broken. I talked to both Chase and Starbucks customer service. My many attempts at this got my Chase account locked out (you have to call customer service to unlock it – no big deal). This is a FAIL promotion 🙁

UPDATE 1/9/17: there are technical difficulties when you try to connect “ChasePAY” with the Starbucks app. You are able to login to ChasePAY, select your credit card, but then you get an error message telling you to contact Chase customer support. After you contact Chase customer support, you eventually get transferred to someone who knows what’s going on, and they tell you it’s a problem with the Starbucks app, so you have to call them… I will update this after I call the Starbucks customer service – or wait a few hours and retry hoping they fixed it…

This is a very good deal if you are part of the Starbucks Rewards program. If you load your Starbucks gift card balance with $10 or more using Chase Pay (Chase’s mobile payment service), you will receive 250 Bonus Stars, which are Two Rewards. You can easily redeem these rewards for items that cost $6 or more (bistro boxes, loaded drinks, sandwiches, etc), so this is better than a B1G1! Offer runs January 8-12 in 2017.

I haven’t done this promotion yet, and I haven’t used ChasePAY before, so I’ll update this after sign-up for this offer on Monday 1/9/17. STAY TUNED….

Free First Uber Ride (up to $30) with Chase

If you haven’t used Uber before, and you have a Chase credit card, good until 12/31/16, if you create an Uber account using a Chase credit card, AND you can use coupon code ChaseUber over there, you can receive a free Uber ride of up to $30 in value for FREE. This offer appears when you logon to your Chase account using their website. Here’s a screenshot of the offer:

Happy Ubering 🙂

Chase 5% 4th Quarter 2016 categories are now LIVE

October 2016 is here, and this means a new round of 5% cashback categories from some of the biggest credit card companies. We start the Q4 round-up with the Chase Freedom / Ultimate Rewards program. Their 5% categories for the period covering October 1st until December 31st in 2016 are:


Yes, this is another holiday shopping season tinged selection, with a variety of Department stores but also Warehouse Clubs joining the party. That includes Costco who is no longer an AMEX-only shop. Warehouse Clubs were also a 5% category in the third quarter, so continue the Sam’s Club and BJ’s and Costco shopping sprees 🙂

Last but not least are the Drugstores, another place of frequent purchases. With all these categories, it’s not hard to reach the quarterly limit of $1500, so plan your purchases according to the various credit card rewards to max out the benefits. Remember the $1500 limit is per credit card, not per person, so if you have two Chase Freedoms, it’s $1500 per card.

The other nice thing Chase does is that you can retroactive earn rewards going back to October 1st even if you active now. There is a deadline before the end of the quarter to activate, but it is very generous. I always pre-activate before the new quarter begins, so I haven’t tested this yet. But they mention it prominently in their FAQs and such.

Here’s the big picture of their 2016 quarterly categories, but keep in mind, there’s no guarantee the exact same line-up will appear in 2017. There’s typically some overlap, but they move things around as well.


Benefit Reduction Alert for Amazon Shop With Points using Chase Ultimate Rewards starting 9/1/16

The benefit reduction trend continues with credit card reward redemptions. It is now Chase’s term to do this, for Ultimate Rewards credit cards. I do not know if this applies to ALL or SOME Freedom credit cards. Starting September 1st, if you want to use your accumulated Chase Rewards to pay directly for Amazon purchases, you will no longer enjoy the favorable 1:1 (1 point = 1 penny) exchange rate.


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5% Chase Freedom Rewards for Third Quarter of 2016 are Restaurants and Wholesale Clubs

The third quarter of 2016 is looking to be another hot one for Chase Freedom Rewards member. Their 5% cashback categories, with the usual $1500 purchase cap, are Restaurants and Wholesale Clubs which includes Costco, Sam’s Club and BJ’s. As usual, restaurants include a variety, from fast food to fancy restaurants, and in previous iteration, this also included some semi-restaurants, like Starbucks.


You can begin earning these 5% rewards between July 1st and September 30 in 2016. You can activate the promotion now, but the earnings in these categories begin July 1st.

Strategically this works great, because for the second quarter (ending June 30, 2016), you are earning 5% at Restaurants with Discover and Grocery Stores and Wholesale clubs with Chase. In other words, the Wholesale club promotion continues this quarter as well.

NOTE that for WholeSale Clubs, certain purchases (gas/fuel and specialty services) are NOT eligible. If not sure, contact Chase or do a trial-and-error thing by doing the math on your statement.

If you have multiple Chase Freedom credit card, each one has a limit of $1500 in purchases. In other words, the maximum reward you will earn from this promotion during a calendar quarter is $75 (5% of $1500). Any orders above $1500 in those categories will simply earn the usual 1% cashback. So if you have multiple cards, strategically split your orders between them if you are anywhere near the quarterly limits.

UPDATE: Chase has a list of eligible Restaurants, of interest if you are wondering whether your favorite chain stores are eligible. Independent and individual restaurants are NOT listed there but they are eligible.

5% Chase Freedom cashback for Q2 is nice: Grocery Stores and Wholesale Clubs (with some restrictions)

The second quarter of 2016 (April 1st until June 30) is a very quarter to be a Chase Freedom credit card holder. Their 5% Cashback Promotion is Grocery Stores and Wholesale Clubs. The usual limit of $1500 per credit card applies. If you spend more than $1500 in these two categories per individual card, you will earn the usual 1% for amounts over $1500. You still get 5% for the first $1500 per card.


There are some restrictions as usual. The grocery stores do not include Walmart or Target. The wholesale clubs do not include services or travel or insurance and such. Check the FAQ on the Chase website for all the restrictions. If you are not certain about a specific store, don’t be shy, contact their customer service! Better to know than not to 🙂

One nice thing Chase does with their quarterly rewards is that it allows you retroactive activation. For this quarter, you have until June 14 2016 to activate. All purchases from April 1st on-wards will earn the rewards even if you activate in June. But it’s better to activate now, because you will get the rewards faster 🙂

TIP: If you don’t regularly spend $1500+ in those categories, there’s another way to make the most of this offer, gift cards from grocery stores. You buy gift cards for some of the places you regularly shop at, effectively getting a 5% discount. Make sure you don’t overbuy, and avoid any companies that may be on the brink of extinction 🙂

Chase has the same 5% cashback categories as Discover for Q1 2016

It looks like we are having a quarterly face-off between Discover and Chase in Q1 of 2016. We already mentioned that Discover’s Q1 5% Cashback is Gas and Ground Transportation services, and guess what? The same category is also offered for Chase for the same time period (January 1st through March 31st). The usual limit of $1500 per quarter per credit card applies.


As you can (barely) see above, this is not just gas, but also a variety of other transportation services, including buses, trains, taxis, and subways. But not everything is covered, for example, Amtrak, parking fees and tolls are EXCLUDED! Check your account page for more details.

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Activate now: Chase Freedom 4th Quarter 5% rewards – it’s all about Amazon

It’s September 15, and this means, among many other things, you can now activate your 5% Chase Ultimate Rewards categories for the fourth quarter of 2015 (October 1st until December 31st). As usual, the quarterly limit is $1500 in eligible purchases. After that, you earn the standard reward amount (1% in most cases).

You can easily activate them when you login to your Chase account, in the summary page, there is an “Activate Now” button in the “5% Cash Back status” line for every eligible card in your account. You have to do this for each card. The 4th quarter is very Amazon-centric as it features purchases at Amazon, Zappos, Diapers and Audible, all original or purchased Amazon companies.


Strategy vs the Discover Q4 5%
Speaking of rewards, don’t forget to also activate your Discover Q4 rewards which also include Amazon, along with various department stores and clothing stores.

Strategically, depending on your purchases, you may want to use Discover for the department/clothing stores and shift the Amazon purchases to the Chase card. That’s if you are going to get close to the $1500 limits (for the 5% rewards).