Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q2 18

Financial IndependenceLast year, I wrote about our decision to open up a Chase Freedom credit card account.

It remains a Smart Financial Decision for the ROMT family.

We haven’t changed our spending habits to take advantage of the 5% cash back rewards Chase Freedom offers on up to $1,500 in spending in 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 last spring, our family has received over $350 in sign up bonuses and cash back!

Chase recently announced the 5% cash back categories for Q2 18, and they should once again work out well for the ROMT family.

What initially attracted us to Chase Freedom was 5% cash back on purchases at grocery stores during the second quarter of last year.

This year, spending at grocery stores will once again qualify for 5% cash back during Q2, and our family will almost certainly reach the $1,500 maximum in spending eligible for that benefit. Using Chase Freedom for those expenses means we’ll earn $75 in cash back, as opposed to the $30 cash back we would have earned on those purchases using our Fidelity Rewards card, for a net benefit of $45 by taking just a few seconds each time we check out to make sure we’re using the right credit card.

Purchases through Chase Pay and Pay Pal transactions made with the Chase Freedom card will also qualify for 5% cash back in April, May, and June. For the record, grocery spending at Wal-Mart and Target is specifically excluded from earning 5% cash back in Q2 by Chase.

With a couple of weeks left in March, we’re also poised to max out our 5% benefits from Chase Freedom for Q1 18. The bonus categories for this quarter included spending at gas stations, in addition to spending on internet/cable/phone services. We made sure to use our Chase Freedom card every time we had to fill up with gas, and also paid our monthly cable and cell phone bills online with Chase Freedom for the past three months.

By the end of June, we should have an extra $90 in our pockets simply by strategically using our credit cards to maximize our cash back rewards.

Using Chase Freedom has been a small, but effective, step on our way down the path to early retirement and financial independence!

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