Chase Sapphire Preferred

New Chase Freedom® Bonus Categories Revealed for Q3 (5% Cash Back)

Restaurants for Chase Freedom Q3 Bonus

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The Chase Freedom® Card Bonus Categories for Q3 have been announced and people are pretty happy about it.

Activating your Q3 bonus will earn you 5% cash back / 5x points up to $1,500 at Restaurants and Movie Theatres from July through September 2017.

Chase Freedom Cash Back Bonus Calendar
image courtesy of creditcards.chase.com

The Fine Print

Cardholders spending in these bonus categories will earn a total of 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases at Restaurants and Movie Theaters from July 1 through September 30, 2017.

Per Chase, the following types of merchants are included in the Restaurant category:

  • Merchants in the Restaurants category are merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food Restaurants as well as fine dining establishments.
  • Exclusions: Please note that some merchants that sell food and drinks located within larger merchants such as sports stadiums, hotels and casinos, theme parks, grocery and department stores will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category.

Per Chase, the following types of merchants are in the Movie Theatre category:

  • Merchants in the Movie Theaters category show motion pictures to an audience, including at drive-in theaters.
  • Exclusions: Please note that theaters that provide live entertainment and merchants that sell and rent movies or provide movie subscription or streaming services are not included in this category. In addition, if you make purchases that are not processed by the merchant in the Movie Theaters category, the purchase will not qualify; for example food and beverage, or merchandise purchases.
Chase Freedom Q3 Bonus
image courtesy of creditcards.chase.com

The Chase Freedom® Card, Explained

The Chase Freedom® Card is a fantastic option for general spending.  Here’s why in a nutshell:

  • No annual fee
  • Earn $150 in bonus cash back after spending $500 in purchases in your first 3 months
  • Earn 5% cash back for the first $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter in rotating bonus categories (new categories every 3 months)
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers

If you’re interested in reading more about the card, we go into detail in our Chase Freedom® Credit Card Review here.

How To Get Your Bonus

In order to earn 5% cash back on qualifying purchases, users must activate their bonus offer every quarter.   Cardholders can activate their offer online, via e-mail or phone, at a Chase Bank location, or at an ATM.

Then it’s simple, just put your spend in these categories on your Chase Freedom® card and see the rewards reflected on your statement.

The current activation period for Q3 bonuses (Restaurants & Movie Theatres) will run from today through September 14, 2017.

Hot Tip:  A cardholder may activate their bonus well into the quarter and still receive benefits.  As long as the offer is activated by the advertised deadline (Sept 14, 2017), all qualifying purchases from July 1 will still be applied.      

5% Cash Back vs. 5x Points?

Cash Back: The Chase Freedom® card is a classic cash back card by nature.  This means if you’re spending on this card alone, you can earn: $150 if you hit your sign up bonus, up to $75 per quarter ($300/yr) in category bonuses, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases. That’s a pretty great return for a no annual fee card!

You can also redeem your cash back for a number of gift cards at a 1:1 value with absolutely no markup, but we definitely don’t recommend this option (see why below).

Points: In order to earn Chase points instead of cash back, cardholders must also carry an additional ‘premium’ Chase card (which typically has an annual fee).  For the Chase Freedom® card, cash back gets converted into points at 100 pts/$1.  When you consider the quarterly bonus, maxing out on the 5x points bonus relates to 7,500 points per quarter or 30,000 points per year which starts to present options for redeeming those Chase points.

Some popular options for these ‘premium’ cards include:

Don’t Have a Chase Freedom® Card?

If you think you could take advantage of Chase’s quarterly bonuses, grabbing this card is a no-brainer.  Chase chooses categories that benefit the average household so it’s relatively easy to maximize your spend in the bonus categories.

Considering previous categories have included grocery stores, gas stations, drug stores, department stores, wholesale clubs, and even Amazon, 5% cash back or 5x points start to look pretty nice!

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards
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