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The Chase Freedom 5x bonus categories for the first quarter of 2018 are now up and running (be sure you activate yours). For me, it is always an adjustment to memorize the new categories at the start of each quarter and retrain myself on which card to use for which purchase. In case you also fall into that camp, here’s a reminder of the first quarter 2018 Chase Freedom 5x bonus categories.
- Gas stations
- Internet/cable/phone services
- Digital wallet payments including: Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, Samsung Pay
Chase Freedom 5x 2018 1st Quarter Bonus Categories
Gas stations are an easy and self-explanatory 5x bonus category that will help those of us who drive cars more days than not, though most of us are not likely to spend money at gas stations to the tune of the $1,500 quarterly 5x max. The internet/cable/phone services categories, while handy for some, are redundant for those who have an Ink Plus or similar that already awards 5x points in many of those categories. That said, there are some unique inclusions such as Netflix, Hulu, GoGo In-flight, and Spotify.
However, it is the final Chase Freedom 5x bonus category of digital wallet payments that is very intriguing to me and potentially very useful for all of us with this card. If you have never used a digital wallet payment in your life, consider this a great time to learn something new in 2018.
Earn 5x Points Using a Digital Wallet
One of the most popular of the digital wallets, Apple Pay, can be used at tons of retailers, including these popular examples:
- Best Buy
- Chick Fil A
- Disney Store
- Pizza Hut
- Trader Joe’s
- Toys R Us
- Walt Disney World
- Whole Foods
- Winn Dixie
Here are some instructions on how to use Apple Pay if you are brand new to paying for things with your cell phone. Once you get your Chase Freedom added to the Wallet section of your iPhone it is really easy to hold it near an Apple Pay reader in a retail store or restaurant and instantly pay for your items. Just be sure it is the Freedom card that is loaded and selected or you won’t earn your 5x bonus points.
You can use Chase Pay at fewer retailers, but there are still some good options such as Walmart, Best Buy, ShopRite, eBags, and more. Walmart.com accepts Chase Pay on their website, so that may be an easy way to earn 5x points without having to pay for something with your cell phone. I used Chase Pay online for the first time during the holidays and it was as simple as using Visa Checkout. When you select Chase Pay at your online retailer of choice, you then log into Chase Pay with your regular Chase.com account log-in information just as you would on the Chase website. You don’t have to actually download a Chase Pay app to make it work.
I don’t have Samsung Pay, so can’t really add much to that discussion first-hand, but here is an article on how to use it. Based on that article and a comment on this post Samsung Pay looks to be really easy to use since it doesn’t require a special NFC-based terminal.
I’m working on some online test purchases using Chase Pay and similar to be sure it posts as 5x points as it should, but there’s no reason to doubt that it will work. For most of us, it should be realtively easy to max out the $1,500 quarterly max with the Chase Freedom over the next three months and earn an easy 7,500 points this quarter with just $1,500 in spending. It may mean dipping your toes into the world of digital wallets, but the payoff is worth the effort and I promise it isn’t as scary as you think!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.