How to Earn 5x Points This Quarter at Hundreds of Retailers

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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
  • Gap
  • JetBlue
  • J.Crew
  • McDonalds
  • Panera
  • PetSmart
  • Pizza Hut
  • Sephora
  • Staples
  • Starbucks
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Toys R Us
  • Walgreens
  • 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. 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 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.

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


  1. I’m a little disappointed that you didn’t touch the topic of Samsung Pay other than including it in the copy/paste from Chase’s website of what counts. Samsung Pay is actually WAY more versatile than Chase/Apple/Android pay. It simply mimics a magnetic swipe, thus making it work on WAY more payment systems than all 3 work at. I just tested it out today, it’s actually pretty awesome

    • The main reason is I don’t have Samsung Pay so haven’t ever used it, but I can add some info in the post about it and a link to how to use it for those with Samsung phones. Glad to hear it is easy to use!

    • I picked up a used Samsung S6 Active for cheap on eBay in anticipation of this. I’ve had exactly one place where I tried to use it not work, and some of that was because I was in a hurry. Restaurants where they take your card are a little bit trickier, but doable if you follow your server. It’s a super easy category to max out this quarter.

  2. Also Chase Pay has had massive problems in rollout. Surprised you even included it. I tried it several times and it never worked. At Walmart which is one of the highlighted vendors. Jeez.

    • I used Chase Pay successfully a few times in the last month including today. That said said, at Walmart specifically it is giving me trouble today. Hopefully they can work the bugs out soon!

  3. How do you set it up? I couldn’t figure it out. Walmart says you have to link it in the Walmart Pay feature of the Walmart app, but I couldn’t find it.

  4. The Discover card doesn’t seem to get the love it deserves from bloggers. This quarter the Discover 5% bonuses are gas stations and wholesale clubs. I’ll be using Discover for gas stations, thereby freeing my entire $1500 Freedom allotment for Apple Pay.

  5. I tried using it Trader Joe but it didn’t work. They have it for Apple Pay, yet not Chase pass, they don’t have anything to scan the bar code. If you are using Apple Pay, you can just tap it.

  6. I’m 64 and trying something like Samsung pay with my phone has intimidated me up to now. I don’t want to miss out on 7500 Ultimate Reward points this quarter. So I’m facing my fear. So far I like it. I think I will continue to use it regularly after I get my 7500 point bonus. It worked at Starbucks, a local bike store, Whole Foods and other places that are part of normal life. You can keep up to 10 credit cards stored for use on it so not carrying them in my phyical wallet might be nice if it becomes universally accepted. The app only displays the last four numbers of a digital card number which is created to provide to the merchant. The merchant never gets my actual credit card number. The app is accessed by my finger print or by a 4 digit pin. I thought setting fingerprint access would be more secure and would take the place of the pin. However after setting up fingerprint access the pin access option remains. I’ve read that 4 digit pin is weak security. So that concerns me. Does anyone have info about that issue. I would prefer the fingerprint be the only option or else require both pin and fingerprint.

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