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The first quarter Chase Freedom 5x bonus categories of Gas Stations, Internet/Cable/Phone Services, and mobile payment services including Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay, are about to wrap up on March 31, 2018. You need to have already activated the 5x bonus to earn extra points in these categories, up to a $1,500 quarterly max. Assuming you already did that, you have until this Saturday (3/31/18) to earn 5x points on those purchases. If you are like me and still have some room to max out those categories, I want to walk you through a few options that you can easily take advantage of this week to earn bonus points on purchases you were (eventually) going to make anyway.
The easy ways to earn 5x points this week
The easiest way to earn 5x points on expenses you would have anyway would be to make larger than normal payments to your internet, cable, or phone services providers. However, I’m not going that route since I already earn 5x points per dollar in those categories thanks to auto-paying those bills each month with my Ink Plus Card. The Ink Plus Card is no longer available, but keep in mind that you can do the same with the no annual fee Chase Ink Business Cash Card that currently has an increased $500/50,000 point sign-up bonus.
Another easy option for those of us who drive cars regularly is to be sure and fill-up your vehicles at gas stations this week for 5x points thanks to the Freedom. If you frequent a particular gas station that sells gift cards, you could grab some for future fill-ups, too.
Once you move beyond those two categories, it is time to look at mobile payments, which is actually a very wide-ranging category when you dig into it. There are almost infinite ways to use mobile payments these days, but I’ll highlight a few easy ways you can earn 5x points this week without buying extra ‘stuff’.
Earn 5x points and save $10 at Whole Foods
My favorite deal available today is a $100 Whole Foods e-gift card available from Staples.com for $90. If you download the Staples app, you can make this purchase using Apple Pay from the comfort of your couch, save $10 on the $100 purchase, and earn 5x points in the process if you pay with your registered Chase Freedom. If you are a regular Whole Foods shopper, you can pick up a maximum of three of these discounted gift cards. I’d act quickly on this one since these discounted e-gift cards do sell out.
Of course, if you happen to need to run into a Whole Foods to pick-up groceries or even gift cards to other retailers, such as Amazon, the Whole Foods stores themselves also take Apple Pay, as does Instacart if you like someone else to do your grocery shopping.
Stock up on gift cards
Best Buy stores accept Chase Pay, so you could stop in there and pick-up Best Buy items or a gift card from their healthy selections of third-party gift cards. Chase Pay only works in-store for Best Buy, not online. Chase Pay theoretically works online at Walmart.com (not in-store), though I can’t get it to actually work.
Office Depot and Staples stores accept Apple Pay, so you could be able to drop in and earn 5x points on their third-party gift cards including Amazon, Southwest, and more that you can traditionally purchase with a credit card. Of course, if you have an Ink card that normally gives you 5x points at office supply stores, this is probably not that exciting of an option, but not everyone has an Ink card so it is worth a mention. Walgreens also has a healthy gift card rack and accepts Apple Pay.
Another option for getting the most out of mobile payments category this quarter with your Freedom is to reload your Starbucks balance using Chase Pay or Apply Pay for 5x points. You can do this right in your Starbucks app from home.
Get creative to max out your 5x earnings
If you need to book a flight in the United app, the Delta app, or make an airbnb booking, you can use Apple Pay for all of those travel bookings. The tricky thing about these mobile payment options is that some are in-store, some are online, and some are in app only.
As you go about your life this week, note that you can use Apple Pay in the Target app, in the Uber app, via GrubHub or Postmates, at Panera, Etsy, and more.
How have you done maxing out the Chase Freedom 5x categories in this first quarter of 2018?
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.