Update: Don’t forget to lock in those gift cards to get up to $1,500 in Q1 spending on your Freedom card!
Originally posted on 03/26:
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First of all as a reminder, Saturday is the last day to earn 5 points per dollar at Amazon.com and Gas Stations with Chase Freedom as part of the Q1 bonus categories. You can earn the bonus points on up to $1,500 of spending between 01/01 and 03/31 at Amazon and gas stations. That’s on top of 10% bonus points and 10 points per transaction if you also have a Chase checking account.
Don’t have anything to buy right now? Buy some Amazon gift cards or buy gift cards at your local gas station to get a ton of bonus points up front on up to $1,500 of spending and then use the gift cards as needed! I personally value my Ultimate Rewards points at a minimum of 1.8 cents each, so this is like a rebate of more than 9% at Amazon and on gas. Remember that gas stations will be back in Q3 as a bonus category but Amazon will not return in 2012.
Next, don’t forget to activate your Q2 Chase Freedom 5% categories.
For 04/01/12-06/30/12 the 5 point categories are for all spending at Grocery Stores and Movie Theaters!
My local grocery store, Giant Eagle, sells gift cards for dozens of different stores, and they also provide free gas (typically about $3-$6 worth) for every $50 of gift cards purchased. Add to that the 5x Freedom bonus and it’s quite lucrative to stock up on gift cards!
Here is the 5% calendar for the rest of 2012:
Q3: Gas stations and restaurants
Q4: Hotels, airlines, Best Buy, and Kohl’s.
You earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 of spending per quarter.
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.
However if you have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold card then you can transfer the 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).
Have any Chase checking account as well? You qualify for Chase Exclusives which gives you even more bonus points!
You will earn:
-10% bonus points on top of all base points earned.
-10 bonus points for every transaction you make.
And that’s on top of points for spending in 1% and 5% categories!