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. 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).
Sunday is the final day to finish spending on Chase Freedom Q1 5% categories.
Q1 spending is valid from 1/1-3/31 for:
- Gas stations: This includes most 7-Eleven stores and gas stations that sell gift cards for other stores as well. You can lookup how a store is categorized here.
- Drug Stores: This includes everything from prescriptions to gift cards for other stores bought from stores like CVS and Walgreens.
- Tolls: Including tolls paid to attendants or via EZ-Pass prepaid or postpaid payments.
- You can also buy gift cards at any of these stores above to lock in savings!
- 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.
- Home Improvement stores. This includes large chains like Home Depot and Lowe’s and smaller home improvement stores. These stores sell gift cards to other stores as well.
While Chase Freedom 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 is excellent for everyday spending thanks to 1.5 points per dollar that can be earned everywhere with no limit.
Freedom or Freedom Unlimited alone can’t transfer points into much more lucrative airline or hotel miles, but if you or your spouse has a Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Preferred card then you can transfer points from Freedom to one of those cards and from there to your favorite travel currency. The Freedom or Freedom 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 Q1 purchases?