How to Maximize the Chase Freedom 5x Bonus for Q2 2018: Grocery Stores, PayPal, and Chase Pay

The Chase Freedom Q2 categories have not been officially released by Chase yet, but after calling in and confirming with customer service agents, the categories are groceries, PayPal, and Chase Pay. h/t Doctor of Credit

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If you have a Chase Freedom card, you can 5x back on up to $1,500 in combined cash back categories during Q2 2018 (April-June). Note that you will not earn 5x back at a grocery store AND using Chase Pay, so you can't double dip the 5x. 

For example, if you pay with Chase Pay at a grocery store, you will only earn 5x, and not 10x. 

Grocery Stores

It's not surprising that grocery stores are a 5x category this quarter because Chase often tries to match the same cash back categories as the Discover It card.

In the past, I've pre-paid for grocery store gift cards for the whole year to max out the 5x category. If $1,500 in groceries is too much, then select grocery stores may have third-party gift cards available. 

As a reminder, Costco, Sams Clubs, Target, and Walmart do NOT code as grocery stores. 

PayPal

If you do a lot of online shopping, PayPal should be an easy category to maximize. A lot of online merchants have the option to pay with PayPal or a credit card.

Chase Pay

The last category is Chase Pay. You can use Chase Pay at select retailers like Walmart and Best Buy. Chase Pay is free to use, but message and data rates may apply. 

How to use the Chase Pay app (mobile):

  1. Download Chase Pay onto your phone
  2. Sign into the Chase Pay app with your chase.com username and password
  3. When paying in-store, tap the "Pay" button and show the cashier your QR code

How to use Chase Pay Online:

  1. Shop at a participating partner online. If the merchant accepts Chase Pay, there will be a Chase Pay button at checkout.
  2. Sign into Chase Pay with your Chase login credentials
  3. Confirm which card you would like to use for the transcation
  4. You'll be taken back to the checkout screen to complete the purchase

Optimal Strategy

Given the number of options and flexibility of the categories, I don't recommend buying gift cards at the grocery store unless it's towards the end of the quarter and you still have room to spend.  

PayPal seems like the most valuable category since a wide range of retailers take it as a payment option.