The Chase Freedom® is starting off the new year with old, familiar bonus categories that are practical but unexciting.
From January through March, the card will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases in the following categories:
Select streaming services: Netflix, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, Hulu, Disney+ and ESPN+.
Internet, cable and phone services.
The card earns 1% cash back on all other purchases. As always, you'll need to activate the bonus categories to earn 5% cash back. You can do this by opting in online or by phone by March 14, 2020. If you activate the categories later in the quarter, you can earn rewards retroactively on qualifying purchases made before activation.
Chase Freedom® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus rewards categories for 2021
Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)
• Wholesale clubs. • Select streaming services. • Internet, cable and phone services.
Q2 (April 1 - June 30)
• Gas stations. • Home improvement stores.
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)
• Grocery stores. • Select streaming services.
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)
TBD (In 2020: Walmart; PayPal.)
These 2020 first-quarter categories, which are all expenses that are generally regular or recurring, probably won't inspire any big shopping trips. But they might be easy to max out, especially if you have a big internet, cable or phone bill you can pay with your card.
A cell phone bill of $300 a month, for example, could earn you $45 in rewards in the first quarter and get you much closer to that $1,500 quarterly spending cap.
The gas station category could prove useful to those who spend a lot at the pump. And while monthly fees for streaming services are usually relatively low, the rewards could add up if you have several subscriptions.
Before you change the payment method for your cell phone bill, note that the Chase Freedom® doesn't offer a cell phone protection benefit. If you're already paying the bill with a card that does, you'll lose that protection by switching.
It's not the first time the Chase Freedom® has featured any of these categories. In the past two years, the card has offered gas stations as a bonus category four times. Select streaming services were also a bonus category in the third quarter of 2019, and internet, cable and phone services were bonus categories in the first quarter of 2018.