Rumor: Chase Freedom 2017 Q1 and Q2 Categories

by Enoch

Chase Freedom offers 5x points in selected categories, which rotate throughout the year. For example, from October to December this year, you can earn 5 points per dollar spent in department stores, wholesale clubs, or drug stores. With just the Chase Freedom card, this amounts to a 5% cash back.

However, if you also have a flexible points earning card, like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you can transfer the points between accounts. This means the 5x points you earned from Chase Freedom can be transferred to airline and hotel programs. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can redeem Tham at 1.5 cents per dollar at their travel portal; this means you can effectively get 7.5% cash back when you spend it on airfare.

Reddit user snorkage says that a Chase representative told her/him that the bonus-ed categories for Q1 and Q2 2017 will be the following:

  • Q1: Gas stations and commuter passes
  • Q2: Grocery stores and drug stores

As a reminder, this is the 2016 bonus calendar.

Chase Freedom Card's Bonus Calendar for 2016

Chase Freedom Card’s Bonus Calendar for 2016

Of course, it remains to be seen whether this is true. But personally, I think it’d be pretty sad if grocery stores and drug stores ended up in the same quarter. This is because these merchants can be hugely useful in stocking up on gift cards (which effectively gives you 5x virtually anywhere you want). But since Chase imposes a limit of $1,500 in combine spending (a limit of 7,500 points per quarter), having both categories in the same quarter will reduce the earning potential significantly.

Just for the sake of comparison, the Discover Card also offers 5% cash back on rotating categories. They have already announced the categories for Q1 of 2017: gas stations, ground transportation, and wholesale clubs. This is basically the same as the (rumored) Chase categories. Personally, I value Chase Ultimate Rewards point way more than 1 cent/point, so I’d definitely recommend using the Freedom card first.

What do you think of these rumored categories?

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


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Sam December 2, 2016 - 4:27 pm

Anybody know if Costco gas will count toward the gas stations bonus category?

nirakar thakur December 2, 2016 - 7:45 pm

No. But go into the store and purchase a gift card from the cashier and use the gift card at the pump. Viola…5X.

Lea December 2, 2016 - 9:05 pm

Just know it puts a large hold on the card until the charge clears so it could be several days before that credit is freed up.

Erik December 13, 2016 - 11:23 am

For Gas purchases In January of 2016, it makes no mention that it excludes costco gas. This could be because Costco Gas could not be purchased with the Visa card. I’m not sure how the people here are so sure it won’t count, as the calendar is not out yet, we have not seen the list of exclusions. He is right… if it excludes costco Gas, buy a gift card inside and you’ll get 5x on that purchase.

Lea December 2, 2016 - 9:07 pm

I hate it when the categories overlap between Discover & Freedom. And I really hope grocery stores and drug stores are two separate quarters as I like those $500 gift cards. I only wish my Sam’s Club sold Visas instead of MCs.

Erik December 13, 2016 - 11:24 am

Isn’t it dangerous buying gift cards in such large qty’s? What if they are lost or stolen? Personally it’s not worth it to me to earn a few extra dollars in rewards.


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