Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q3 17

Credit CardLast month, I wrote about our Smart Financial Decision to sign up for the Chase Freedom Credit Card.

As a reminder, Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in specific spending categories each quarter, and 1% cash back on everything else. Our Fidelity Rewards card offers 2% cash back on all purchases.

We’ve now maxed out our spending on groceries, the current 5% cash back category for Chase Freedom, so we’ve switched back to our Fidelity Rewards cards for all of our spending.

In just over two months, we’ve earned $250 in rewards from Chase Freedom ($150 bonus, $25 for an additional user, and $75 in 5% cash back on the $1,500 we spent on groceries). So I still view the decision to arm ourselves with the Chase Freedom Card as a Smart Financial Decision.

But earlier today, I received an email from Chase announcing the 5% bonus categories for Q3 17.

They are Restaurants and Movie Theaters.

As I mentioned in my original post, we don’t dine out that often, and Mrs. ROMT and I haven’t been out to the movies together since before our first child was born, so unfortunately these new categories won’t do much for us. We do plan on going to New England for vacation in July, which will likely result in a handful of restaurant bills, but I would be shocked if we spend more than a few hundred dollars in the new bonus categories over the next three months.

So our cumulative benefits from Chase Freedom are unlikely to be much higher at the end of September than they are right now.

In my original post, I noted that a potential risk of the Chase Freedom card could be increasing spending unnecessarily to maximize cash back from bonus categories.

I’m going to do my best to avoid that, but I’ve already started wondering whether the cafeteria at my office qualifies as a restaurant. As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, I’ve been doing a good job paying attention to the little things by bringing my lunch two or three times a week since taking this Rockstar Finance Challenge.

Hopefully today’s announcement by Chase doesn’t encourage me to fall off the wagon of my newfound frugality at lunchtime!

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