The Chase Freedom is a great card for beginners who are trying to get on board with a rewards credit card but it’s also a great card for people who like to earn a lot of points when they make purchases on 5X categories. Each quarter of the year, the Chase Freedom has a new category where you can earn 5X for up to $1,500 worth of expenses.
The Q4 Category
Currently, the 5X category is for dining and movie theaters but for this quarter coming up, (October through December) the new category will be Wal-Mart and Department Stores.
This is a bit disappointing to many people who were probably looking forward to seeing Amazon become another 5X category. But who knows? Chase might offer a special Amazon promo as we get closer to the holidays.
Here are the terms for the new categories:
Purchases in the ‘Walmart’ category include purchases at Walmart Discount Stores, Walmart SuperCenters, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, www.walmart.comopens overlay, Walmart branded gas stations operated by Walmart, and any other Walmart branded retail stores operated by Walmart. Please note that merchants operating within or on Walmart premises such as merchants that sell fast food, beauty services, and gas stations that are not Walmart branded are not included in this category. Walmart affiliate businesses such as Sam’s Club are also not included in this category.
The “Walmart” category does not include merchants operating within or on Walmart premises such as merchants that sell fast food, beauty services, and gas stations that are not Walmart branded. Walmart affiliate businesses such as Sam’s Club are excluded and will not earn bonus rewards. Please see https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/merchants for merchants included and merchants not included in the Walmart Category. For more information, please see Chase Freedom Frequently Asked Questions. Visit Walmart.com to find the location nearest you.
The Department Store category does not include supercenters, discount stores or specialty stores (i.e. stores that sell primarily one line of products such as shoe stores, pet stores, electronics stores, clothing stores); if a merchant is not on the list, you will not earn bonus rewards. Department Store gift card purchases outside of the specific Department Store are excluded and will not earn bonus rewards. Please see https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/merchants/ for merchants included and merchants not included in the Department Store category. For more information, please visit chase.com/freedom and click on the “View Chase Freedom FAQs” link at the bottom of the page
As you can tell, qualifying department stores consist of: JC Penney’s, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Sears, Dillard’s, etc. There are also some notable exceptions.
Merchants Not Classified as Department Stores:
|Discount stores such as TJ Maxx|
|General merchandise and Variety stores|
Gift cards purchased at any locations other than the department stores on the inclusion list
Walmart Category Inclusions
|Walmart Discount Stores|
|Walmart Neighborhood Markets|
Walmart branded gas stations operated by Walmart
Walmart Category Exclusions
|Non-Walmart merchants operating within or on Walmart premises including merchants that sell fast food, beauty services, and gas stations that are not Walmart branded|
Walmart affiliated merchants including Sam’s Club
It’s not 100% clear to me that purchases made on Walmart.com will qualify. I think that they will since Walmart.com is not listed in the category exclusions but I’ll have to await confirmation on that. Update: Walmart.com is included.
These categories will be perfect for some but very average for others. One way to look at it is that it’s not hard to earn 5% back from Amazon via other credit cards, so this opens up a new category for earning 5X. I think this also goes to show that it can make sense to hold multiple 5X cash back credit cards so that you don’t get stuck with “useless” categories at any time of the year, since the Discover it® will be offering 5X on Amazon and Target.
Daniel Gillaspia is the Founder of UponArriving.com and creator of the credit card app, WalletFlo. He is a former attorney turned full-time credit card rewards/travel expert and has earned and redeemed millions of miles to travel the globe. Since 2014, his content has been featured in major publications such as National Geographic, Smithsonian Magazine, Forbes, CNBC, US News, and Business Insider. Find his full bio here.