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Chase Freedom was the first Chase credit card I got. It has been in my wallet now for many years and continues to provide outsized value. The key to earning value is based on maximizing the 5% cash back categories each quarter. Here’s a detailed look at how you can maximize earning to get $75/7,500 Ultimate Rewards points for the final quarter of spending on the Chase Freedom card.

Chase Freedom Sign-up Bonus

Currently, you can earn $200 in cash back or 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $500 in the first three months. Once you meet the minimum spend, you get 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Reserve or have the Ink Business Preferred, then you can use the points to transfer them to Chase’s travel partners. If not, then you can simply redeem points to get $200 in cash back.

Apply Now: Chase Freedom Card

Bonus Category Earning

Chase recently announced the bonus categories for Q4. In essence, you can earn 5% cash back or 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent in these qualifying categories. You will first need to activate the cash back by clicking on this link. You can earn a maximum of 7,500 points or $75 cash back per quarter. That amounts to a total of $1,500 in spending each quarter. You will need to complete activation before December 14, 2019 in order to earn the bonus for Q4.

Bonus Spend Categories for Q4

Chase announced the following categories for bonus spending in Q4:

Department Stores

Qualifying Stores

Beall’s of Florida
Bergdorf Goodman
Boscov’s Department Store
Boston Store
JC Penney
Lord & Taylor
Neiman Marcus
Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
Peebles Dept Store
Saks Fifth Ave & Off Fifth
Stage Stores
Stein Mart
The Bon Ton
Von Maur

Please note that purchases at the following stores will not be considered as Department Stores for Q4 spending:

Discount stores such as TJ Maxx
Electronics Stores
General merchandise and Variety stores
Gift cards purchased at any locations other than department stores on the inclusion list

This category seems to be pretty easy to use to get the added bonus. If you’re looking to do some shopping for the holidays or buy some stuff for the home, it shouldn’t be too difficult to meet the $1,500 in spend over the last three months of the year. If you’re falling short, you can always buy gift cards that you can use later.


Interestingly, in addition to PayPal purchases, you’ll also earn the bonus cash back/points for sending money. Purchases made with Xoom, PayPal’s international money transfer partner, do not qualify for the purpose of the bonus. A number of merchants online accept PayPal as a payment method. In my opinion, this is the easiest way to max out the $1,500 spend by just buying what you usually buy online and by paying via PayPal.

Chase Pay

If you use Chase Pay frequently, then this could be a good category to max out the bonus. I’m personally counting on PayPal being the easiest option to max out the bonus categories during this quarter.

The Pundit’s Mantra

With lucrative categories like Department Stores and PayPal, I’m confident of hitting the 7,500 points mark in the upcoming quarter by maximizing spend in these categories.

Chase Freedom continues to be one of my favorite cards that I’ve held long term. On top of the 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points sign-up bonus, you can earn up to a total of 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points if you maximize the 5x bonus categories in each quarter. The card has no annual fee. However, please note that Chase Freedom is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule.

How do you plan to maximize your Q4 spending? Let us know in the comments section.

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