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).
Tomorrow 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:
- 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.
- Streaming services: This includes Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora and Spotify.
On 9/15, you’ll be able to register for 2019 Q4 spending which will be valid 10/1-12/31
- Paypal purchases. This includes online stores that accept Paypal, eBay purchases paid with Paypal, charity donated with Paypal, as well as payments made to friends and family for goods paid with your credit card.
- Purchases made with Chase Pay. You can use Chase Pay at stores like Best Buy, Cinemark, eBags, Parkmobile, Shell, ShopRite, Walmart.com, and more.
- You can also link Samsung Pay to Chase Pay and use your phone to pay in nearly every store while earning 5 points per dollar!
- Department stores. These include stores like Bloomingdale’s, Dillard’s, JCPenney, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Macys, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, Saks Fifth Avenue, Saks Off 5th, Sears.
- You can also buy gift cards at any of these stores above to lock in savings!
It’s interesting that Chase Pay is a bonus category as the app is slated to be discontinued in early 2020.
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. You can also earn 3 points per dollar on up to $20K of spending for the first year that you have the card.
The no annual fee business version of Freedom Unlimited is the Chase Ink Unlimited Card, which offers $500 in the form of 50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $3,000 within 3 months plus 1.5 points per dollar spent.
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 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. Those cards also allow you to rdeem your points for paid travel 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?