June is the final month of Q2 2018, and we’re already halfway through it! And so, it’s time now to register for the Chase Freedom Q3 bonus categories.
As you may recall, the Chase Freedom Q2 2018 bonus categories included PayPal, Chase Pay, and grocery stores. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to maximize those categories, but thanks to Chase Pay working at Shell Gas Stations and some other purchases, I did. PayPal, as it turns out, is accepted at MANY of the merchants I shop with. Who knew? But Q3 is going to be a lot more challenging to maximize.
Chase Freedom Q3 2018 Bonus Categories
Beginning today, you may register for the Q3 2018 Chase Freedom bonus categories. And this quarter, those categories include:
- Gas stations
That’s a VERY narrowly defined set of bonus categories. Much more than any previous quarter, in my opinion. So it’s a given that I have no chance of maximizing the Q3 2018 bonus. Primarily since I don’t really ride Lyft, I rarely shop at Walgreens, and I only spend $30 to $40 per week on gas. And, that’s probably the point. I wouldn’t be surprised if Chase is trying to curtail point earnings.
In fact, if we look back at Q2 2017, the bonus categories included grocery stores and drug stores in general. While Q1 2017 included gasoline and local commuter transportation, which is a much broader category than just Lyft. Better yet, look at the difference between Q4 2017 and 2016. In 2016 the bonus categories included department stores, drug stores, and wholesale clubs. But in 2017, the categories only included department stores and Wal-Mart.
Chase Freedom Q3 2018 Bonus Categories, Final Thoughts
Having such restrictive categories next month is a letdown. Chase Ultimate Rewards are my favorite rewards currency, so earning more is always a priority for me. As a result, it looks as if my Chase Freedom will hide in my wallet next quarter. Instead, I’ll only use it via Chase Pay to pay for gas. But other than that, all spending will go onto other cards, which I’m ok with. I have a signup bonus I need to attain, so I won’t feel so bad switching spend to that card instead.
Either way, for those of you in Hawaii that are still stuck on your HawaiianMiles cards, Ultimate Rewards remain the superior option. You’ll earn far more points this way, and it’ll cost you fewer points to travel on Hawaiian Airlines using Ultimate Rewards via Korean Sky Pass.