Chase revealed its Freedom card’s 4th Quarter 2019 5x categories this morning to be Department Stores, Chase Pay, and Pay Pal transactions.
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.
Department Stores are a normal fourth quarter rotating category for the Chase Freedom. While not everyone shops at department stores, more people will because of the upcoming Holiday Season. Your mileage may vary for maximizing the department store category. How much you spend at department stores depends on how many people you are buying holiday gift for and your budget.
Target, Walmart, and other mass retailers are not considered department stores according to Chase. But not to worry. The Discover It is offering 5% cash back at Target, Walmart.com, and Amazon.com for the 4th Quarter. You can use both the Freedom and the Discover It together to get 5% or 5x UR points at mass retailers and regular department stores.
Chase Pay and Pay Pal are also interesting because you can use them to purchase almost anything and easily earn 5x points. Some people might be confused by Chase’s choice of Chase Pay. While the Chase Pay app is being discontinued, the service itself is not. You can still use the service to get 5x points from October through the end of the year.
Pay Pal is nice for sending people money and earning points in the process. That could work for people who have friends or family who want money for the holidays instead of a physical gift.
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. All three categories 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 bonus category cards come into play.
Just use the Freedom if you can’t maximize the categories. But if you spend more than $1,500 at department stores, purchasing gift cards with a non-Amex card is the best strategy. I recommend the Chase Ink Business Cash, which earns 5x UR Points at Office Supply Stores. The same strategy applies for Pay Pal and Chase Pay purchases except you would switch back to a flat rate or bonus category card after maximizing.
The fourth quarter of 2019 should be bountiful for some Chase Freedom cardholders, especially those who love department stores. But I am personally not a fan of Pay Pal or Chase Pay because I don’t use those services. My Discover It might be getting more swipes during the fourth quarter. However, your mileage may vary as everyone has different spending habits.
The current set of categories for Chase Freedom are gas stations and streaming services. Registration to earn 5x points closes tomorrow (September 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.
Registration for the fourth quarter’s categories opens on Saturday, September 15, 2019. Use the same registration page link and follow the above steps to apply.