Chase has announced the Freedom card's Q1 bonus categories - including 5% cash back at CVS and Walgreens
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- The Chase Freedom card offers 5% cash back - or 5x points - in different categories each quarter.
- The categories for the first quarter of 2019 have been announced.
- You can combine your cash back with the points earned from cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, making it even more valuable.
Chase offers two strong cash-back cards - the Chase Freedom, and the Chase Freedom Unlimited- that offer great rewards that you can combine with the points you earn from other cards. While both cards are slightly different, they're both great options and both earn points quickly. I personally have both cards.
What's unique about the regular Freedom is that while it generally earns 1% cash back - or 1x Chase Ultimate Rewards point per dollar spent, if you combine that "cash back" with the points you'll earn from a card like the Sapphire Preferred- it earns 5% (or 5x points) in a different bonus category each quarter.
Chase has announced that this year's Q1 bonus categories are:
- Gas stations, including convenience stores like 7 Eleven when they have gas pumps
- Tolls, which includes loading up an EZPass account with credit
- Purchases made at drugstores, including major brands like CVS and Walgreens
Any purchases that fall into those three categories will be eligible to earn 5% throughout January, February, and March. The category list is a decent one, especially since drugstores sell such a wide variety of essentials - and, of course, if you drive often, gas and toll expenses can add up quickly.
The bonus is capped at $1,500 of spend each quarter. After that, you'll still earn the normal 1% back. Keep in mind that in order to get the bonus, you need to activate your account each quarter. To do so, just log into your account or visit this site.
Chase usually announces Q2's categories sometime in March; and activation is scheduled to start on March 15.
If you don't have the card, this is a good opportunity to sign up. In addition to points you earn from spending, you'll get a sign-up bonus of $150 (or 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in the first three months.
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