Chase Freedom Flex and Freedom are excellent no annual fee cards thanks to their quarterly 5% categories. While the rewards are marketed as 5% cash back, you’ll actually get 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent which can be worth much more than 5% cash.
If you max out the $1,500 in bonus 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). My wife and I have 6 Freedom cards, which makes it all the more lucrative!
Today is the final day to activate Chase Freedom Q3 5% categories. If you activate today you will retroactively receive 5 points per dollar for all bonus spending since the beginning of this quarter!
Q3 spending is valid from 7/1-9/30 for:
- Grocery stores. This includes large grocery chains and small local grocery stores. These stores sell gift cards to other stores as well. You can lookup how a store is categorized here.
- Select streaming services, including Disney+, Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, and ESPN+.
Tomorrow, you’ll be able to register for 2021 Q4 spending which will be valid 10/1-12/31 for:
- Walmart and Walmart.com, including gift cards sold for other stores.
- Paypal, including purchases, charity, or peer to peer payments.
- Anywhere online, via Paypal Key
You can check your current 5% earnings here by clicking on “Your Dashboard.”
You can currently earn a $200 signup bonus in the form of 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points for spending $500 on the Freedom Flex Mastercard. Plus, you’ll earn 5 points per dollar on up to $12,000 of grocery spending in your first year, so you can earn another 60,000 points on your grocery spending! Plus you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on drugstore and dining purchases and 5 points per dollar on all Travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. Read more about the Freedom Flex card here.
While Chase Freedom Flex is a great card for the bonus categories, it’s not a great card for everyday spending. However the Chase Freedom Unlimited card also has no annual fee and the same signup bonus, plus it’s excellent for everyday spending thanks to 1.5 points per dollar that can be earned everywhere with no limit, though it doesn’t have rotating 5x categories! Read more about the Freedom Unlimited card here.
The no annual fee business version of Freedom Unlimited is the Chase Ink Unlimited Card, which offers $750 in the form of 75,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $7,500 within 3 months plus 1.5 points per dollar spent. Read more about the Ink Unlimited card here.
Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, and Ink Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has an Ink Preferred, Sapphire Reserve, or Sapphire Preferred, then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. Those cards also allow you to redeem your points for paid travel or other select consumer categories and business categories at a value of 1.25 or 1.5 cents per point. The Freedom, Freedom Unlimited, or Ink Unlimited card can also keep your points alive for free if you do close one of those premium cards.
The value of the points will be based on where you use them, but if you use those points for a trip worth where they are worth 2 cents each then you’ll have effectively earned 10% back on those “5 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!
Where will you make your Q3 and Q4 purchases?