Chase just unveiled the categories for 2019’s Q1, so here’s what we’ve got.
Chase Freedom’s Q1 Earning Categories
In Q1, you can earn 5X cash back on $1,500 worth of spending in the following categories:
- Gas stations
For all other purchases, you earn 1X cash back.
Making it Work For You
But how do you make all this cash back work well for you if your end goal is to earn travel miles? Thankfully, if you have the Chase Freedom Card, you can transfer the cash back into Chase Ultimate Rewards points IF you also hold a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Ink Business Preferred or Ink Business Plus card.
When you do so, that equals out to about $75 worth of free travel per quarter.
Don’t think you’ll be spending $1,500 at drugstores, tolls and gas stations over the first quarter? While you can purchase all your auto gas through the quarter at gas stations that fall within the earning category, that still might not be enough to get you to $1,500, and if you don’t frequently encounter tolls, you might be out of luck. The good thing is that drugstores offer a huge variety of products that you’re probably already purchasing elsewhere — it’s worth looking there for items like groceries and even just gift cards.
The Fine Print
Do note that there’s some fine print involved.
In the gas stations category, spending is only valid if it’s at a merchant that specializes in selling only automotive gasoline. They can sell other items, but their main business must be gasoline. So you could not go to a truck stop, boat marina or something like that and purchase gasoline.
The tolls category includes toll roads, toll highways, toll bridges and electronic toll services. This category is pretty cut and dry, with no confusion.
The drugstores category includes merchants that specialize in selling prescription drugs and other health-related items. They can sell a lot of other things, but the specialty must be prescription drugs and health-related items. Discount stores, grocery stores, warehouse clubs and the like are not included. However, you can often go to a drugstore and buy groceries, toiletries, cosmetics and even gifts.
Additionally, in order for your spending to count, you have to activate the offer in your Chase Freedom account. You can already register for the spending and registration ends March 14, 2019.