Update: Chase Freedom Announces 5% Cash Back Categories for Q3 18

Financial IndependenceLast year, we wrote about our decision to begin using a Chase Freedom credit card with 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories every quarter.

Because Chase Freedom offers only 1% cash back on purchases that do not fall into the special categories, and the 5% cash back incentive applies only to the first $1,500 in qualifying purchases every quarter, we still do most of our spending on our Fidelity Rewards card that offers 2% cash back on all purchases.

That said, adding the Chase Freedom credit card into the mix has proven to be a Smart Financial Decision for the ROMT family.

Since we started using the Chase Freedom card last spring, our family has received about $375 in extra cash back and sign up incentives!

Not a bad payoff for a brief online application and spending a few seconds to make sure we are using the right credit card when making purchases!

We maxed out our potential bonuses in both Q1 18 (when purchases at gas stations and for internet/cable/phone service were eligible for 5% cash back) and Q2 18 (when grocery purchases were eligible for 5% cash back).

Chase recently announced the 5% cash back categories for Chase Freedom for Q3 18, and unfortunately, we probably won’t max out our potential benefits over the summer!

The good news is that purchases at gas stations are once again eligible for 5% cash back from July 1 through September 30. We’ll certainly purchase all of our gasoline on our Chase Freedom card over the next three months so we earn 5% cash back instead of the 2% we earn on our Fidelity Rewards cards.

However, even with a couple of road trips planned for the ROMT family this summer, there’s no way we’ll spend anywhere near $1,500 at gas stations, even if we pick up an occasional snack after filling up the car!

And we’re unlikely to spend much at the other businesses that are also eligible for 5% cash back in the coming months, Lyft and Walgreens.

While I’ve used Uber a few times in the past while traveling for work, I’ve never used Lyft before, and am unlikely to be anywhere I’d need to use their service during Q3.

It’s possible we might spend a few bucks at Walgreens, as they will be taking over a local Rite Aid store we occasionally shop at soon. We probably only shop at that Rite Aid once a month, and don’t often spend more than $20 or $30 while we’re there. Unless someone in the ROMT family needs an expensive prescription that’s not covered by our health insurance, we’re unlikely to spend a sizeable amount at Walgreens over the next few months.

That said, we’ll still make every effort to maximize the cash back we earn on our credit cards during Q3, while also making every effort to not change our spending habits to purchase things we don’t really need simply because we can earn a little bit extra by purchasing from a specific merchant!


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