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If you think of yourself as a cashback rewards hound and are pretty good at planning a schedule, you need to consider the Chase Freedom card. With no annual fee and 5 percent cashback on selected rewards categories, it offers one of the biggest rewards bang for your buck.
The cash back rewards are limited to $1,500 per category per quarter, which seems restraining. But because the Chase Freedom categories rotate each quarter, there is ample opportunity to earn rewards throughout the year. And when you’re not earning 5 percent cashback on category spending, you earn 1 percent cashback on all other spending.
Chase First Bonus Category for 2020
Chase recently announced its 2020 first quarter schedule, which offers an interesting blend of spending opportunities in three different categories:
- Gas stations
- Internet, cable, and phone services
- Select streaming services
The Chase Bonus Category Calendar
The key to maximizing your cashback rewards on the Chase Freedom card is knowing what the spending categories are and when they are scheduled. For that, you can turn to the Chase Freedom bonus category calendar.
The Chase Freedom bonus categories for each quarter are published in advance, so you can plan your shopping for the year. In 2020, the bonus categories are as follows:
|Q1: Jan. 1 – March 31||Gas stations, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming services|
|Q2: April 1 – June 30||Coming soon|
|Q3: July 1 – Sept. 30||Coming soon|
|Q4: Oct. 1 – Dec.31||Coming soon|
It is important to note that you are not automatically eligible to earn 5 percent cashback. You have to register for each spending category, which can be done online or by phone. Most quarters you are able to activate the spending category a couple of weeks before the start of the quarter. You may want to add a reminder to your calendar for each quarter so you don’t forget to register.
What to Expect for the Remainder of the Year
Chase has yet to announce its bonus categories for the rest of the year. It typically waits until about a few weeks before the end of the winter quarter to announce the Chase Freedom categories for spring and summer, and it waits until September to announce the fall quarter (October – December).
You can expect to see most of the same spending categories, but not necessarily in the same order. The gas station category is in the same quarter as it was in 2019, but you can’t count on the other quarters repeating.
What Makes Chase Freedom a Valuable Rewards Card?
It’s worth repeating that you pay no annual fee for the Chase Freedom card, which makes its cashback rewards all the more valuable. Plus, when you open an account, you can earn a $150 bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months.
You can earn additional cashback bonuses by purchasing through Chase’s online shopping mall, which pays up to 3 percent cashback on purchases made through selected merchants. Finally, you can take as long as you want to redeem your cashback rewards because there is no deadline.
Author: Jeff Gitlen
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