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Chase Freedom Q4 Categories: Oct-Dec 2019 [UPDATED]

The final quarter of Chase Freedom bonus categories of 2019 are available for activation. Spoiler: this is going to make holiday shopping a breeze.

Chase Freedom Bonus Categories Q4 2019

The last round of Chase Freedom’s rotating 5% cash back reward categories has been released for 2019. Beginning October 1st, Chase Freedom cardholders will be able to earn 5% back from department stores, PayPal, and Chase Pay purchases up to $1,500 in combined categories. (Don’t already own the Chase Freedom? Here’s why you should). Activation for the fourth quarter of Chase bonus categories is available beginning September 15, 2019. Click here to activate your 5% bonus categories for the last quarter of the year.

Department Stores

Just in time for the upcoming holiday shopping season, there are 25 eligible department stores to earn 5% cash back from. The Chase Freedom 4th quarter department stores list includes:

  • AliExpress
  • Beall’s of Florida
  • Belk
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bergners
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boscov’s Department Store
  • Boston
  • Dillards
  • Goody’s
  • Gordmans
  • JC Penny
  • Kohls
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
  • Peebles Department Store
  • Saks Fifth Ave & Off Fifth
  • Sears
  • Stage Stores
  • Stein Mart
  • The Bon Ton
  • Von Maur
  • Younkers

Didn’t see your favorite store on the list? Unfortunately, variety and general merchandise retailers are excluded from the department store category. This includes popular retailers such as:

  • Walmart
  • Target
  • Kmart
  • TJ Maxx
  • Electronics stores

Chase Pay and PayPal

The Chase Pay and PayPal categories offer a fantastic opportunity to bypass the limitations of the department store category. While Chase’s mobile payment app is much more limited compared to the widespread use of Apple or Samsung Pay, this still offers a worthwhile option to supplement the limitations of the department store bonus category. With PayPal being one of the most widely accepted methods of payment, you’ll have no shortage of options when it comes to earning that 5% bonus. Look for vendors that accept PayPal such as these well-known retailers:

  • Best Buy (also accepts Chase Pay)
  • Ebay
  • Google Play
  • Microsoft
  • Bed Bath & Beyond
  • Expedia
  • Forever21
  • Ikea
  • Wayfair
  • Zara

To take advantage of this offer, make sure to link your PayPal account to your Chase Freedom card before making any purchases. Our editor used PayPay to buy the iPhone 11 through Apple.com and scored over 3,700 Ultimate Rewards points – sometimes it pays to pay for things indirectly. For the next few months, take a second before hitting that ‘checkout’ button and check whether the online retailer accepts PayPal.

How to Maximize Chase Freedom Q4 Categories:

Use participating department stores as the primary place to shop for holiday gifts

Department stores sell a lot more than just clothes these days, and you’ll be able to score 5% on items you never would’ve expected a department store to carry if you’re willing to look around and think outside of the box. Many department stores carry a wide array of home appliances and decor, beauty products, tools, and even technology. Before you solidify your Christmas shopping list, it’s worth a look to poke around the inventory of stores that you usually don’t shop at.

Download the Chase Pay app

Chase Pay is a digital wallet app that functions similarly to other online payment options such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Unfortunately, it lacks the wide range of participating merchants and ease of use as the other two which might explain why Chase is planning on cutting the app in 2020. The limited number of participants might make it a challenge to score big with this redemption method, but is accepted by a few big names that you’ll likely stop by during the holiday season such as Starbucks, Best Buy, Shell gas stations, and Boston Market. Availability varies based on your location – check your app to find participating retailers near you. Keep in mind that Chase Pay might not be accepted by franchises, so don’t assume that every single Starbucks will accept the Chase digital wallet payment. (Were you loving the Q3 bonus categories on gas stations and hate to give it up? Use Chase Pay to fill up at your local Shell station to continue earning that sweet 5% back) When it comes to earning rewards, pay close attention to the setup process, as failing to select one single button could negate all your strategic spending decisions. Once you’ve synced Chase Pay to your Chase account, any debit or credit cards will automatically be synced. When you select the ‘Pay at Cashier” option in the app, you will be prompted to select which card you would like to use to carry out the transaction. The default setting will have the ‘Pay with points’ features turned on which won’t earn you that juicy 5% return. Pay close attention and be sure to swipe this feature ‘off’ every time.

Purchase gift cards from eligible department stores through Paypal

If your favorite retailer doesn’t accept PayPal at checkout or it’s a brick-and-mortar only brand, then gift cards make for a great way to beat the system. Visit PayPal’s gift card page to shop for hundreds of available gift cards. Kick the savings up a notching and keep an eye out for PayPayl gift card deals: shoppers can score moderate discounts on gift cards from popular retailers like Chipotle and Target (while supplies last). Offers change fairly regularly, so it pays to check-in frequently. While the savings might not be substantial, we certainly aren’t going to complain about getting a few free bucks towards your favorite store while also cashing in on the 5% bonus. Pro-Tip: Take advantage of this cash-savings and point earnings while also knocking out some of your Christmas shopping.

Editorial Disclosure — The opinions expressed on BestCards’ reviews, articles, and all other content on or relating to the website are solely those of the content’s author. They are not reflective of any card issuer or financial institution and have not been reviewed or approved by these entities unless otherwise noted. Further, BestCards lists credit card offers that are updated daily with information believed to be accurate to the best of our knowledge.

About: Allan
Allan Guzman Chinchilla

Allan is the Managing Editor at BestCards.com. In addition to leading a robust team of writers in the pursuit of thorough credit cards expertise, he is an avid fan of films, food, traveling, and Star Wars.