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Note: This post was updated on April 2, 2020 to reflect Chase's addition of select streaming services as a Q2 category.
Activation of the Chase Freedom® Q2 5% bonus categories is now open. From April 1 through June 30, 2020, Freedom Card cardholders can earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 of purchases at grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships, and select streaming services.
The fitness clubs and gyms category isn't going to be very useful this quarter due to the coronavirus situation. However, grocery stores and streaming services are a welcome inclusion.
- You need to activate your card by June 14, 2020.
- Earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in purchases at qualifying merchants, earn 1% after that.
- This quarter the bonus categories are grocery stores, fitness clubs, gym memberships, and select streaming services.
- Purchases that post to your account between April 1 and June 30, 2020, are eligible for the bonus.
It is worth remembering that—as long as you activate your bonus by June 14, 2020—you will earn cash back for the whole promotion period. That includes purchases made before the date of activation.
Hit-and-Miss Categories this Quarter
Chase’s selection of bonus categories this quarter is a bit strange. In a quarter likely to be dominated by the coronavirus and a worldwide lockdown—with restrictions on movement already in place in many states—most cardmembers aren't going to be using fitness clubs and gyms. While people need to stay healthy, most cardholders should be working out in a more private setting to keep their social distance.
However, the inclusion of grocery stores and streaming services is very timely and means it should be easy to maximize your earnings this quarter from your Freedom Card. Before you go shopping, make sure to check the huge list of participating merchants.
Note that Walmart and Target aren't included on the list of grocery stores. Also, grocery delivery service merchants aren't going to count “unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in the grocery stores category.” You can see how specific merchants code using AwardWallet's Merchant Category Code Lookup tool. For example, grocery delivery service Shipt codes as a grocery store:
As you can see in the screenshot above, there are other credit cards that earn a bonus on grocery store purchases. Check out our dedicated post for a roundup of the best credit cards for grocery stores and supermarkets.
While the inclusion of grocery stores certainly is timely, it's become an informal tradition to include grocery stores in the Q2 bonus categories. 2020 will mark the 5th straight year that the grocery category has been included in Q2.
Maximize Your Value with a Premium Card
The best way to leverage the points earned from your Freedom Card is by combining it with a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
The way this works is straightforward. If you only hold the Freedom Card, you can only redeem your earnings at a value of 1 cent per point.
However, if you hold a premium card, you can transfer your Freedom Card points to the premium card. Then, you can redeem these points through the Chase Travel Portal at either 1.25 and 1.5 cents apiece, which is already a substantial improvement. Moving points to a premium card also opens up the option of transferring these points to a Chase travel partner where you can get even more value for your points.
You can maximize the earning potential on the Freedom Card by just spending $500 per month. If you do, you'll earn $450 cash back—or 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points—each year.
If you hold the Freedom Card, then activating your bonus is a must-do. The 5% rotating bonus is the main feature of the card and where it delivers excellent value. Considering the overall global situation, spending $1,500 on groceries and streaming services in 3 months should be a breeze for many cardholders. So, take a couple of seconds and register for your bonus now! And then set your Freedom Card out for use at the grocery store and select streaming services starting April 1, 2020.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter.
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
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