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Chase Freedom Q1 2019 Bonus: Gas Stations, Drugstores, Tolls

Jan. 22, 2019
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Promos, Rewards Credit Cards
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Ask not for whom the Chase Freedom® rewards spending on tolls. It rewards spending on tolls for thee.

The Chase Freedom® categories for the first quarter of 2019 have been announced, and they feature a new category: tolls. That includes bridge, highway and road tolls. Here’s the full list of categories that are included in the first quarter:

  • Gas stations.
  • Drugstores.
  • Tolls for bridges, highways and roads.

With this card, you can earn 5% cash back in combined purchases in these bonus categories on up to the first $1,500 in spending, from January to March 2019, as long as you activate the new bonus categories by March 14, 2019. After spending a combined $1,500 in these categories in the first quarter, you’ll earn 1% cash back on those purchases.

These first-quarter bonus categories may prove a little more challenging to max out for some. For starters, U.S. households spent less than $2,000 each in 2017 on “gasoline, other fuels and motor oil” on average, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That translates to less than $500 a quarter, a third of the quarterly spending cap on the Chase Freedom®. And it’s hardly the first time the card has offered rewards on this spending; “gas stations” was also a featured bonus category in the first and third quarters of 2018.

Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2019
Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)Gas stations, tolls and drugstores
Q2 (April 1 - June 30)"Spring" — TBD
(In 2018: Grocery stores, PayPal, Chase Pay)
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)"Summer" — TBD
(In 2018: Gas stations, Lyft, Walgreens)
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)"Holiday" — TBD
(In 2018: Department stores, wholesale clubs, Chase Pay)

It’s also worth noting that not all cardholders own cars, much less drive on roads, highways and bridges that charge tolls. Aside from that, folks might not be shopping at drugstores as often as they used to. In the past year, some major drugstore companies have seen general merchandise sales decline.

Still, the categories could prove useful for cardholders with long commutes. And for those who can shift some of their everyday shopping to drugstores for a few months without much hassle — for, say, paper goods, medicine and certain food items — it could be a boon. If you’re picking up a prescription medication in a drugstore pharmacy and haven’t yet met your health insurance deductible in the new year, you could also benefit from using your Chase Freedom® on those larger out-of-pocket expenses.

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