Chase Freedom is an excellent no annual fee card thanks to its quarterly 5% categories. While they call it 5% cash back you’ll really get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash. For $1,500 in spending per quarter you will earn at least 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points over the course of a year (7,500 points per quarter at 5 points per dollar spent).
For a limited time only the signup bonus is increased to $150 for spending $500 in 3 months plus $25 for adding an additional user and making a purchase. Those actually come in the form of 17,500 points that can be used for $175 cash back, but would be put to better use if used as airline miles.
The Chase Freedom card normally give 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in spending in each quarter of the year in rotating categories.
However for the Freedom card Q4 will effectively end on 11/22 instead of 12/31, so you can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 spent between 10/01-11/22.
From 11/23-12/31 will be “Q5”. It will have the same categories as Q4, but you will earn a whopping 10 points per dollar! Plus your spending will reset on 11/23 so that you can earn the 10% on the full $1,500 of spending. That’s 15K points for $1,500 in spending.
You can also now click here to activate the Q4/Q5 categories. If you’ve already activated the Q4 categories you don’t need to do it again for “Q5”. Here are the Q4/Q5 stores:
-Amazon Prime Subscriptions
Through the end of 2015, the Freedom card also earns a 10% annual point dividend. The final dividend will be paid out in February 2016 for 2015 purchases. That means for Q5 that you’ll earn an effective 11 points per dollar on purchases from the bonus point categories and you’ll earn an effective 1.1 points per dollar everywhere else.
Freedom alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline/hotel/train currencies, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. You can read at the end of this post which currencies they can transfer to and why those points are much more valuable than just taking cash back. The Freedom card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those cards.
If you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each and then you’ll have effectively earned 20-22% back on those “10 point categories.” The sky is the limit of the value of airline miles as they aren’t tied to the cost of a ticket. That’s good for people in the know and bad for those who are not. 1 mile can be worth 0.25 cents or it can be worth 25 cents, it all just depends on how you use them.