[Expired] Chase Freedom 2022 Q3 Bonus Categories

The Deal:

UPDATE: If you don’t have the Chase Freedom Flex, and you are eligible for a Chase credit card, then right now, the extra cash back gas station offer stacks for a total of 9%/9x on gas station purchases (1% normal + 4% sign up bonus for new Freedom Flex cards + 4% 2022 Q3 bonus categoy = 9% cash back, or 9x Ultimate Reward points … so potentially 18% back when transferring to Chase loyalty partners)!!

The Chase Freedom Visa (no longer available) and the Chase Freedom Flex (review) are great no-annual-fee credit cards that earn 5x back on rotating quarterly categories. While these cards are advertised as cashback cards, they actually earn Chase Ultimate Rewards. Therefore, the default is 5% cash back, but see below on how to get greater than 1 cent per point when redeeming Chase Ultimate Reward points (hint: I routinely easily get about 2 cents/point when transferring to Hyatt)!

The categories for July – September 2022 are:

  • Gas Stations
  • Car Rental Agencies
  • Movie Theaters
  • Select Live Entertainment

Key Info:

  • ACTIVATE at chase.com/freedom or chase.com/freedomflex
    • Must Activate no later than September 14, 2022
    • Activation is retroactive – you will earn 5x for all qualified bonus category purchases since July 1
    • NOTE: If you have more than one Freedom Visa and/or Flex card, you MUST ACTIVATE each one separately
  • Purchases must POST to your account between July 1 and September 31.
    • Bonus only applies to the first $1,500 in net purchases

What Counts for the Spend?

A common question with the Freedom bonus categories is what counts and what doesn’t count. There is a Merchant List but here are the highlights …

Gas Stations

This category includes what you would expect – basically if the merchant is a standalone gas station, it will likely work – though if you are unsure, do a small test purchase to verify. The merchant list does include a number of examples.

  • Merchants in the gas stations category:
    • Sell automotive gasoline that can be paid for either at the pump or inside the station
    • May or may not sell other goods or services at their location.
    • Note: Costco (at the pump) is specifically listed as being included!
  • Merchants that do not specialize in selling automotive gasoline are NOT included in this category; for example:
    • Truck stops
    • Boat marinas
    • Oil and propane distributors
    • Home heating companies

Car Rental Agencies

This category is for charges directly with agencies that directly rent transportation. The merchant list does include a number of examples.

  • Merchants in the Car Rental Agency category:
    • Rent vehicles for the purpose of driver and passenger transportation
    • Qualifying purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal will only earn a total of 5x.
  • Merchants that are specifically EXCLUDED:
    • Travel agencies
    • Discount travel sites
    • Vacation clubs
    • Tour Operators
    • Cruise line packages that include car rentals
    • Railway packages that include car rentals
    • RV rentals
    • Vehicle rentals for the purpose of hauling

Movie Theaters

This is a category that I doubt you will get a significant amount of spend, but if you are heading out to the movies, this will help ease the cost of the movies! The merchant list does include a number of examples.

  • Merchants in the Movie Theater category:
    • Show motion pictures to an audience
    • Drive-In theaters are specifically included
    • It is POSSIBLE that the following will count, depending on how the charge codes, so a test purchase might be prudent:
      • In theater dining
      • Food and Beverage
      • Merchandise purchases
  • Merchants that are specifically EXCLUDED:
    • Provide live entertainment
    • Sell and rent movies
    • Provide move subscriptions
    • Streaming services

Select Live Entertainment

This category has a number of activities that are fun for the whole family or just getting together with a bunch of friends. The merchant list does include a number of examples.

  • Merchants in the Select Live Entertainment category:
    • Sell tickets for in-person entertainment such as:
      • Major sporting events
      • Zoos
      • Aquariums
      • Concerts
      • Theatrical Productions
      • Museums
      • Tourist Attractions and Exhibits
      • Amusement Parks (e.g, Disney)
      • Circuses
      • Carnivals
      • Bands
      • Entertainers
    • Ticket agencies selling on behalf of the entertainment venue are specifically included, some examples are:
      • Eventbrite
      • Live Nation
      • Stub Hub
      • Ticketmaster
  • Merchants that are specifically EXCLUDED:
    • Movie Theaters
    • Bowling Alleys
    • Horse Racing Tracks
    • Casinos
    • Dance Hall / Clubs
    • Purchases from a hotel / concierge
    • Travel Package excursions purchases

Quick Thought

Overall, this is a new and decent selection of categories that are available this quarter, and I for one, should be able to maximize my $1,500 spend allotment! With the high price of gas, coupled with the planned movies (Marvel) and the wide selection of what is included for Live Entertainment, I think Chase did a good job of realizing how they can help us enjoy the summer just a little more!

Hacking the Deal:

Get the Freedom Flex Card

If you don’t already have one, then you can apply for a Chase Freedom Flex card now, and still have plenty of time to utilize the card for the first quarter. Just make sure that you are eligible for the Freedom Flex:

  • You don’t already have the Freedom Flex card. (Having the Freedom Visa or Freedom Unlimited does not preclude you from getting the Freedom Flex.)
  • You have not earned the bonus on the Freedom Flex in the past 24 months
  • You have not opened 5 or more credit cards from any bank in the past 24 months (the Chase “5/24” rule)

For reference, here is the 2022 Quarterly Calendar:

Use a Shopping Portal when Renting a car, buy tickets for a movie / live entertainment:

Before going to the merchant to make a purchase in person, see if (A) they have an online presence, and (B) there is extra cashback for using an online shopping portal. My current favorites are:

Redeem Ultimate Rewards for > 1 cent per point in Value

There are a number of ways to increase the Value of an Ultimate Reward point. As a baseline, they are worth $0.01 per point in value by getting a statement credit or redeeming it in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

Get 1.25 cents per point

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth $0.125 each when redeemed in the Chase Travel portal or using the Pay Yourself Back feature if you have one of the following credit cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred
  • Chase Ink Business Preferred

Get 1.50 cent per point

Ultimate Rewards Points are worth $0.150 each when redeemed in the Chase Travel portal or using the Pay Yourself Back feature if you have one of the following credit cards:

  • Chase Sapphire Reserve
  • J.P. Morgan Reserve

Transfer Points to Partners for outsized value

If you have one of the following Chase cards , then you can transfer your points to one of Chase’s Transfer airline or hotel partners for potentially outsized value:

  • Consumer Cards
    • Chase Sapphire Preferred
    • Chase Sapphire Reserve
    • J.P. Morgan Reserve
  • Small Business Cards
    • Chase Ink Business Bold (No longer available)
    • Chase Ink Business Preferred

I am often able to get at least 2 cents per point, which makes this card earning effectively 10% cashback on above bonus categories!

Chase Airline Transfer Partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Emirate Skywards
  • Flying Blue Air France KLM
  • Iberia Plus
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United MileagePlus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Chase Hotel Transfer Partners:

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Marriott Bonvoy
  • World of Hyatt
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[…] consumer cards! So 5x and 7x on Gas Stations, Groceries, and Home Improvement stores. Plus, my Chase Freedom Visa cards are getting 5x on Gas Stations, Car Rental Agencies, Movie Theaters, and Se…– Chase will be getting a lot of my swipes this quarter! What about you, what did you […]