The Chase Freedom calendar is a quarterly schedule for the Freedom Card’s 5% bonus rewards, which Chase posts online and updates every 3 months. Chase Freedom offers 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent in a new set of bonus categories each quarter. The Chase Freedom calendar shows what those categories are, along with details on what purchases apply. It also has a link to “activate” the current quarter’s bonus, which cardholders must doto earn the 5% rate.
The Chase Freedom 5% calendar is pretty straightforward and easy to use. Chase generally announces the new quarter’s bonuses during the month before they take effect. Some bonus categories repeat from year to year, as you can see from 2018 and 2019, but most don’t.
Chase Freedom Calendar for 5% Rewards:
Q1 2019: 5% back at gas stations, tolls, and drugstores. Activation closed.
Q2 2019: 5% back at home improvement stores and grocery stores (not including Walmart and Target). Activation closed.
Q3 2019: 5% back at gas stations and select streaming services. Activate by September 14, 2019.
Q4 2019: TBA. Activation begins September 15, 2019.
The 2018 Chase Freedom calendar for 5% bonus rewards was: Q1 – gas, telecom and mobile payments; Q2 – groceries and mobile payments; Q3 – gas, Lyft and Walgreens; and Q4 – department stores, wholesale clubs and Chase Pay. And the 2017 Chase Freedom bonus calendar was: Q1 – gas and commuting; Q2 – groceries and drugstores; Q3 – restaurants and movie theaters; Q4 – Walmart and department stores.
It’s important to look past the headlines, at the specifics, though. There are some details about where exactly Freedom’s 5% rate does and does not apply that you don’t want to miss.
Some of the Chase Freedom categories are very broad, and others are very narrow. On the online Chase Freedom calendar, click on the footnote next to each category to see what purchases qualify. Cardholders can activate each quarter’s bonus starting on the 15th of the month before. The last day to activate the categories for any given quarter is always the 14th of the last month in the quarter.
To activate Chase Freedom bonus categories, click “Activate Now” on the calendar and enter your last name, the last 4 digits of your card number and your zip code.
Unfortunately, Chase does not announce the Chase Freedom calendar for the whole year in advance. But there is at least a month’s notice, and Chase is very transparent about the activation dates. Just be sure to activate the bonus categories each quarter. And read the fine print to see which purchases qualify for 5% cash back.