Update, 03/11: Don’t forget that you have to register your card by 03/14 to participate in the Q1 bonus categories!
Update, 01/08: I’ve already spent the $3,000 max on 2 Freedom cards this quarter on Vanilla Reloads from CVS and moved the funds over to Bluebird to pay off the Freedom bill. Total points=15,360. Total cost=$23.70. Hard to beat that!
If your local store does not have Vanilla Reloads you can also use MVDs.
Read this post for more information (with pictures) on the entire process.
-Chase Freedom Mastercard-Earn $100 cash back (in the form of 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in 3 months.
-Chase Freedom Visa-Earn $100 cash back (in the form of 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $500 in 3 months.
There is no annual fee for Freedom!
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.
If you or your spouse has a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card you can transfer Freedom 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)
If you are grandfathered for Freedom Exclusives you also get 10 points per transaction and a 10% bonus on base spend points.
The 5 point categories for 2013 are as follows:
Q1, January – March: Gas stations, Drugstores & Starbucks
Q2, April – June: Restaurants, Movie theaters, and Lowe’s.
Q3, July – September: Gas stations, Theme parks & Kohl’s
Q4, October – December: Select department stores & Amazon.com
Don’t forget that at gas stations and drug stores you can buy gift cards for other stores so that you earn 5 points per dollar there as well.
Of course if you have an Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Ink Cash card you will earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent all year round on telecom, cable, internet, as well as everything from office supply stores, which includes gift cards to other stores and prepaid cash cards that can be used anywhere. With the Bold/Plus cards that’s capped at $50,000 per year and with the Cash card that’s capped at $25,000 per year. The cards also earn 2 points per dollar year-round at gas stations and either hotels (Bold/Plus) or dining (Cash)