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The last day to register for the Chase Freedom Q4 2018 bonuses is tomorrow (14 December) and that means that it’s time for Chase to reveal the bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card for 1Q 2019.
In Q4 2018 the Chase Freedom card earned 5% cashback (or 5 Ultimate Rewards Points/dollar if you also have a Sapphire branded Chase card) on the first $1,500 spent at department stores, wholesale clubs and everywhere that card holders used Chase Pay to pay their bills.
These were very useful categories considering the period in question will have included Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the December festivities.
Now Chase has let us know what spending categories will offer the 5% cash back/5 points per dollar spending bonus between 1 January and 31 March 2019:
- Gas Stations
As usual, in addition to the quarterly category offers, the Chase Freedom card will continue to offer 1% cash back/1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Although I’m not sure just how useful the “tolls” category will be to most Chase Freedom card holders, the other two categories should make it pretty easy to max out the bonus earnings for Q1 2019.
Gas can be a significant cost for some households and, if you don’t already have a good credit card to use when you fill up your vehicle (like the Citi ThankYou Premier card), the fact that the Chase Freedom card will offer 5% cash back (or 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) for the first 3 months of 2019 will be good news.
If gas isn’t a major cost for you there are other ways to make the most of the gas bonus category in Q1 – most gas stations sell a variety of gift cards which you can use to bring forward some spending (and earn a healthy bonus).
The bonus for drugstore spending should also bring a smile to a few Freedom card holders’ face as, once again, this is an easy category to use to max out the bonus available in Q1 2019.
Most drugstores carry an even more impressive selection of gift cards than gas stations so these should help cardholders spend $1,500 in the first three months of the year…especially if they’re fortunate enough not to have any major drugstore needs.
Credit cards (like the Chase Freedom card) offer a lot more consumer protection than gift cards so I primarily look to buy gift cards for retailers where I feel I’m least likely to need consumer protection.
This usually sees me concentrate my spending on restaurant/food outlet gift cards (Starbucks, Wholefoods, PF Changs etc…) and on gift cards for the cheaper items I may need from retailers like TJ Maxx.
I avoid buying gift cards for airlines (like Delta or Southwest) as I can already earn 5 points/dollar using my Platinum Card from American Express and I avoid buying gift cards for higher-end retailers too.