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Chase recently announced the third quarter bonus categories for the Chase Freedom credit card. Chase Freedom cardholders receive 5% cash back on gas station, Lyft, and Walgreens purchases, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases made between July 1 and September 30. Cardholders receive 1% cash back on all other purchases.

If you do a lot of spending at gas stations and Walgreens — or if you take a lot of Lyft rides — earning 5% cash back on the first $1,500 in purchases is a pretty attractive deal. Does that mean you should sign up for the Chase Freedom card and earn your rewards? Let’s take a look at everything Chase Freedom has to offer.

Chase Freedom card benefits

The Chase Freedom credit card offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus category purchases, for up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter. That’s $75 cash back per quarter if you maximize your bonus category purchases.

You also get an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases, including bonus category purchases after you hit your $1,500 quarterly cap.

There’s no annual fee associated with the Chase Freedom card. New cardholders get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, followed by a 16.99% to 25.74% variable APR.

For more info about the Chase Freedom card, read our detailed review.

Is this right for me?

The Chase Freedom is designed for consumers with good or excellent credit who are interested in earning high-value rewards on rotating bonus categories.

Here are the Chase Freedom bonus categories for 2018:

  • January 1 – March 31: Gas stations, internet/cable/phone services, Chase Pay®, Apple Pay®, Google Pay, Samsung Pay
  • April 1 – June 30: Grocery stores (not including Walmart® and Target® purchases), PayPal, Chase Pay®
  • July 1 – September 30: Gas stations, Lyft, Walgreens
  • October 1 – December 31: Department stores, wholesale clubs, and Chase Pay®

If you don’t make a lot of purchases in these bonus categories, the Chase Freedom card might not be the best card for you. You could be better off with a flat rate cash back card, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited, which gets you 1.5% cash back rewards on all purchases.

Don’t know whether a bonus category cash back card or a flat rate cash back card is best for you? Here’s a guide to help you make your decision.

How to activate your bonus

Before you can start earning rewards on your Chase Freedom bonus category purchases, you have to activate your bonus.

There are five ways to activate your bonus categories:

  • Sign into your Chase account at ultimaterewards.com or visit chase.com/freedom. Look for the “Activate Now” button.
  • Ask Chase to send you an email when it’s time to activate your bonus categories. Your email will include a one-click activation button.
  • Call the number on the back of your card and activate your bonus categories via phone.
  • Visit any Chase bank location and ask a personal banker to help you activate your bonus categories.
  • If you have a Chase checking account, you can activate your bonus categories while making a cash withdrawal at the ATM.

If you have multiple Chase Freedom cards, you need to activate each card individually.

Chase gives you 5% cash back on all bonus category purchases throughout the quarter, no matter when you activate. You have until September 14, 2018, to activate your bonus and receive 5% cash back on gas station, Lyft, and Walgreens purchases made since July 1.

Interested in learning more about cash back rewards cards? Check out our Best Cash Back Cards of 2018.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.