Cardholders can earn 5% cash back at department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay®.

Do you own the Chase Freedom card? Then you might want to listen closely.

Chase has announced their quarterly category for October through December 2019 — just in time for the upcoming holiday season. Cardholders will now earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at department stores, PayPal and Chase Pay®.  To receive rewards on these purchases, make sure to activate by December 14, 2019.

With holiday shopping ramping up, you’ll now earn rewards for purchases made at Bloomingdales, Macy’s, Belk, Nordstrom and more. Any transactions made using your card with PayPal for purchases or sending money and any purchases made with your card using Chase Pay digital wallet will also earn rewards.

An additional perk? Activating your 5% bonus category just got easier. Cardholders will be able to activate their quarterly categories using the Chase Mobile® app, in addition to the website. You can also set an activation reminder on your online calendar or print out a calendar for safe keeping.

Chase Freedom will still offer an unlimited and automatic 1% cash back on all other purchases, as well as after the $1500 quarterly category cap has been met. Your rewards won’t expire, and there’s no minimum redemption value.

For more information on Chase Freedom bonus categories, click here.

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 16.74% to 25.49% 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.

If you don’t make a lot of purchases in the rotating 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 an unlimited 1.5% back 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.


Stay up-to-date with the industry’s top news and strategies for earning cash back. Check out Bankrate’s cash back catalog for everything you need to know to earn the most out of every swipe.

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.