Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q1 18

Financial IndependenceEarlier this year, I wrote about our decision to sign up for the Chase Freedom credit card.

So far it has been a Smart Financial Decision for our family.

We haven’t changed our spending habits to take advantage of the 5% cash back rewards Chase Freedom offers on rotating categories every quarter. But we have reaped the benefits of switching normal spending from our Fidelity Rewards card, which offers 2% cash back on everything, to our Chase Freedom card when we can earn 5% on purchases we would have made anyways. Chase Freedom offers 1% cash back on purchases that aren’t in the specific spending categories eligible for 5% cash back, so we still use our Fidelity Rewards card for most of our spending.

Since we started using the Chase Freedom card in the spring, our family has received almost $290 in sign up bonuses and cash back!

Chase recently announced the 5% cash back categories for Q1 18, and they should work out well for the ROMT family.

Spending at gas stations will qualify for 5% cash back during the first quarter. This will be good for our family given that I have a long commute to work.

Even better is that spending on internet/cable/phone services and Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay will also qualify for 5% cash back from January through March.

We already pay our monthly cell phone bill with our Fidelity Rewards card, so switching that over to Chase Freedom for the next three months to earn an extra 3% cash back should be pretty easy. We normally pay our Comcast triple play bill via electronic funds transfer from our checking account, so when we switch that expense to our Chase Freedom card for the next three months we’ll save a full 5% off of that!

We don’t currently use Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, or Samsung Pay, so extra cash back on those methods of payment won’t do anything for us.

That said, given what we normally spend on gasoline, cell phone service, and cable/internet/landline, we should come close to reaching the $1,500 maximum in spending eligible for 5% cash back over the next three months. If we get all the way there, the $75 in cash back we earn from Chase Freedom will be $45 more than we would have earned if we had put all those expenses on our Fidelity Rewards card.

Not a bad way to start our pursuit of financial independence in 2018!


  • Arrgo

    December 28, 2017

    I saw the categories recently and will be switching the bills over to my Freedom card also. I use Samsung Pay quite a bit so that will help also. It may not be a lot, but when you combine all of your savings ideas over the year it can really add up. Even the small wins matter.

    • ROMT

      December 29, 2017

      You are totally right that the small wins matter. A few dollars here, $20 there, $10 over here doesn’t seem like it makes a huge difference. But repeated consistently, over an extended period of time, the small wins really can add up!


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