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The holiday season is here, which means you’re most likely ready to shop. The average American spends $700 on holiday gifts. Now is the perfect time to find out the best ways to maximize your holiday spending, especially if you use credit cards. Specifically, if you use a Chase Freedom®.

chase freedom paypal
Here’s how you can maximize the Chase Freedom Paypal category. Photo by from Pexels

Until Dec. 31, 2019, the Chase Freedom is offering 5% cash back (5x the points) if you make purchases using PayPal, Chase Pay, and at department stores. Most quarters have specific stores in their rotating bonus categories. For this shopping-friendly quarter, however, you can earn 5% cash back almost anywhere, by using PayPal.

Keep in mind there is a $1,500 spending cap for the quarter. But that easily covers your Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday shopping. And it’s still one of the best cash back credit cards.

So let’s look at three methods you can use to earn 5% cash back (5x points) on almost every purchase you make.

Method 1: Checkout With PayPal

Use PayPal as your checkout option whenever possible. PayPal is accepted at many online stores, including Best Buy, eBay, Expedia, Forever 21, IKEA, Lowes, to name a few. Because PayPal increases the number of sales online stores make, more retail shops are adopting PayPal as a method for checkout.

If you’re not familiar with PayPal, it’s an online payment platform you can use to link your credit cards or bank account. You can use it to shop or send money to your friends, family, and pay for services. It’s completely free to use, so sign up if you haven’t already.

So, rather than using your debit card when you make that online purchase, link your Chase Freedom to PayPal and choose it as your method of payment.

Method 2: Load Up Money On a PayPal Gift Card

Of course, not every retail store accepts PayPal. For instance, Amazon doesn’t accept PayPal because it’s a direct competitor to Amazon Pay. However, there’s a small trick you can use so you can still earn 5x the points for Amazon purchases.

Buy a PayPal gift card and load it up with your desired funds.

The process is simple:

  1. Buy a PayPal gift card
  2. Link the PayPal gift card to your Amazon account “payment method”
  3. Use the gift card for holiday shopping

Using PayPal as an intermediary between your Chase Freedom and the store will still earn you five times the points. Then you get the flexibility to shop anywhere you want, including Amazon.

Method 3: Send Money Through PayPal Via Chase Freedom

Since PayPal also lets you pay friends and family (similar to Venmo or Zelle), you could also use this method to gain points. Instead of sending money through your bank or Venmo, consider using PayPal.

Just make sure to select your Chase Freedom card as your payment method.

I recently sent $800 to my parents and earned over 4,000 points.

Remember, there is always a fee associated with using credit cards on PayPal (vs. your debit card), but for me, the bonus points outweighed the fee. This particular transaction fee was $23.

Purchases You’ve Already Made Still Earn Points

Most credit cards require you to activate the spending category before earning points or cash back. The Chase Freedom is different. As long as you activate the 5% bonus by Dec. 14, 2019 you earn points and cash back on every eligible purchase from Oct. 1, 2019.

That’s right, you can earn today on purchases you made a month ago. So that Halloween costume or decorations you bought last month with PayPal will still earn you 5x the points.

Even if you’re not sure if you want to take the time to maximize your earnings, take five minutes right now to activate the spending category.

Earn Points Automatically

To ensure your purchases qualify for the 5% bonus, make sure your Chase Freedom is linked to your PayPal account. Only purchases on the Chase Freedom card and made through PayPal are eligible.

Here are simple steps to make the process as automatic as possible.

  1. Log into PayPal
  2. Add Chase Freedom as a method of payment
  3. Link your Chase Freedom card to PayPal (go to settings and “Account Settings,” then look on the left side for “Money, Banks and Cards”)
  4. Set Chase Freedom as your primary payment method
  5. Use PayPal when you shop online or pay friends or family

PayPal is easy to use and can be used for many purchases. Use it to quickly maximize your earnings this quarter. It’s a no brainer.

Related Articles:

Claire Tak

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.

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5 Comments On "3 Easy Ways to Maximize Chase Freedom's 5% PayPal Spending Category (Expired)"
  1. Mike V.|

    Using Samsung Pay on my Android device, I was able to add Chase Pay as an option. So I can tap to pay most places and also get the 5X.

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Good tip!

  2. Mel|

    What is the PayPal fee for using a credit card (i.e., the Chase Freedom Rewards Visa) to pay? If the Chase Reward is 5%, how much is that reduced by the PayPal fee for using a credit card? Is it “1% of amount transferred” or “2.9% of the amount funded this way, plus a fixed fee”? Thank you!

  3. Dan|

    Regarding Mike V’s tip, do you know if it still works in Q4 2020? The rules of the Chase Freedom 5% back offer are a little different in Q4 2020 than in Q4 2019. Thanks!

    1. Johnny Jet Editorial|

      Sorry, its expired.

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