September 29th, 2013
-Chase Freedom Visa-Earn 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points when you spend $500 in 3 months.
There is no annual fee for Chase Freedom!
-You can click here to activate your Q4 Chase Freedom 5% categories. Although they are called “5% categories” you really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be cashed out for 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending you will earn at least 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points. If you or your spouse has a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold card you can transfer Freedom points over to one of those cards and then transfer them at a 1:1 ratio into much more valuable airline miles (United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, etc) or hotel points (Hyatt, etc). The $1,500 quarterly limit is per Freedom card.
-If you have a Chase checking account you will also earn a 10% bonus on all points earned during 2013 on your January or February 2014 statement. That means you’ll earn a whopping 5.5 points per dollar in these categories or 8,250 points each quarter.
The 5 point categories for 2013 are as follows:
Q1, January – March: Gas stations, Drugstores & Starbucks
Q2, April – June: Restaurants, Movie theaters, and Lowe’s.
Q3, July – September: Gas stations, Theme parks & Kohl’s
Q4, October – December: Select department stores & Amazon.com
Q3 Spending: You will earn 5 points per dollar on gas stations and on all items sold by gas stations. Many gas stations sell a variety of gift cards and even vanilla reload and other prepaid cards! I picked up Giant Eagle cards at GetGo last year which are good for groceries, gas, gift cards (great when there is a sale on them at Giant Eagle), and even the liquor agency located inside Giant Eagle.
-You can buy Kohl’s gift cards to lock in savings. There are offers to buy amusement park season passes for next year and go for free this year as well.
-I have been buying One Vanilla gift cards at 7-Eleven on my Freedom cards. Most 7/11s are categorized as gas stations, you can confirm each one on the Visa merchant categorization site. The system wouldn’t let me buy Vanilla Reloads but I was able to buy 3 $500 One Vanilla cards for $1,514.85. Then I went next door to Walmart to load them onto Bluebird cards using the last 4 digits of the card as the pin number without even needing to register the card. 8,250 points for $14.85…yes please! That’s 0.18 cents per point or in more practical terms that’s like buying a nonstop one-way business class ticket to Israel on United for $108 or a one-way short-haul flight on American for $8.10.
Of course if you have an Ink Plus, Ink Bold, or Ink Cash card you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent all year round on telecom, cable, internet, as well as everything from office supply stores, which includes gift cards to other stores and prepaid cash cards that can be used anywhere. With the Bold/Plus cards that’s capped at $50,000 per year and with the Cash card that’s capped at $25,000 per year. The cards also earn 2 points per dollar year-round at gas stations and either hotels (Bold/Plus) or dining (Cash)
-Valid Amazon spending includes Amazon.com, Amazon Prime, Amazon Fresh, Amazon Local, Amazon Magazines, and Amazon Digital Downloads. Amazon Payments will not get the bonus.
-Department stores include JCPenney, Kohl’s, Macy’s, Nordstrom, Sears, Bloomingdale’s, Loehmann’s, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Ave and Off 5th, and more.
Don’t forget that stores like Kohl’s also sell gift cards for lots of other stores.