5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent between April 1 and June 30, 2013 at Restaurants, Movie Theaters, and Lowe’s

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I love the Chase Freedom® Visa and Chase Freedom MasterCard because it makes it really easy to earn 5 times the number of Ultimate Rewards points (up to $1,500 or 7,500 points a quarter) for purchases which Emily and I would make in any case.  There are different bonus categories for each quarter in 2013.

This means that spending $6,000 a year ($1,500 each quarter) can get you 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points which is a very good return for your spending!

The Chase Freedom® is a fee-free card, so it is a good Chase card to keep for a long time.  Keeping a card for a long time helps increase your credit score and builds a history with Chase which often has the best offers.

You can also convert your Chase Sapphire Preferred® (if the annual fee is coming due) or Chase Slate card to the Chase Freedom card by calling the number at the back of your card.  You won’t get the 10,000 points sign-up bonus, but you will be able to keep the credit history associated with your older card.

April, May & June 2013 5X Bonus Categories

From April 1, 2013, to June 30, 2013 you earn 5 times the number of Ultimate Rewards points for up to $1,500 in restaurants, movie theaters, and at Lowe’s with the Chase Freedom® Visa and MasterCard (provided you activate the category by June 14, 2013).

Activating by June 14, 2013 will ensure that you earn the 5X bonus for all restaurants, movie theaters, and at Lowe’s during April, May and June, even if you spent money in those categories before activating.

Note that the $1,500 limit applies to quarterly purchases among ALL categories – restaurants, movie theaters, and at Lowe’s.

You can either redeem the points earned for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby and some folks prefer cash back).  Or you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Ink Bold®, Chase Ink Plus® or theJP Morgan Select card and from there to airline or hotel partners such as Hyatt or United.

How To Get the Most Points

Emily and I will use our Chase Freedom for all our restaurant expenses this quarter because it will earn 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points or 5% cash back.  This will give us the highest return for our restaurant expenses in April, May & June 2013.

But we won’t be able to spend $1,500 within 3 months because we don’t eat out that much.  We also rarely go to movies thanks to our Netflix subscription!

So in June we’ll go to Lowe’s and buy gift cards to other restaurants and shops (such as Amazon, TJ Maxx, etc.) which we know we’ll use later on.

Many folks have home improvement project planned for summer, so you can buy material from Lowe’s with your Chase Freedom card for 5X Ultimate Rewards points or 5% cash back.

Commenter harvson3 writes that you may be able to get an extra 5 Ultimate Rewards points by ordering your Lowe’s items online and then picking them up at the store.

Bottom Line

Don’t forget to activate the Chase Freedom categories (restaurants, movie theaters, and at Lowe’s) before June 14, 2013.

You can earn up to 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points or $75 in cash back for spending at restaurants, movie theaters, and at Lowe’s!

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34 responses to “5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent between April 1 and June 30, 2013 at Restaurants, Movie Theaters, and Lowe’s

  1. yes, i agree on how great chase freedom is. Buying gift cards from lowes can give you a lot better chance earning points..for example, buy shell gas gift card for earning 5X point instead of 1 point or..buy southwest gift card for using southwest.

  2. Daraius – thx for a great post. My mother is an authorized user on some of my credit cards, including Freedom. Do her purchases count for my $1500 cap, or does she have her own $1500 cap?

    Related – does her spending as an authorized user count toward meeting my minimum spend for signup promotions? She doesn’t mind helping me but doesn’t like signing up for her own cards.

  3. Does anyone know what gift cards lowe’s sell at their stores? i.e. Do they sell any third party gift cards at all? specifically, say visa gift cards ?

  4. Raj – no Visa cards at Lowesd unfortunately.

  5. Thanks Daraius. Raj, I like where you’re going with this…

  6. Can i get Home Depot gift cards at Lowes?

  7. I think I read somewhere that the restaurant spending category was expanded to include other food related stores. Would you please help with the details on this.

  8. Sorry Daraius, but FMiler did it better and earlier, without the affiliate links blast.

    One thing he mentioned that you didn’t: you can currently get an 5 extra UR points by going through the UR mall for non-GC purchases at Lowe’s, and you can pick up goods in-store to save on shipping. We’re using this for garden projects this weekend. (Also 6 AA miles/dollar, but … grrr…. Cartera.)

    Also, in response to The Gance’s, the Home Improvement Gift Card site doesn’t list sale locations at home improvement stores; the card seems to be sold at supermarkets, CVS, and gas stations. See “store locator” on that site.

  9. Can I convert my United mileage explorer card to a chase freedom??

  10. @Joel s, I actually did that awhile back, I had the United Card a few years ago before the merger took place, and they converted it for me to the Freedom, so I would assume it would still be the case?

  11. Yesterday, I tried purchasing Shell and iTunes gift cards using my Chase Freedom at a Lowe’s in Los Angeles. I was told by two different employees that gift cards can only be paid with cash or a debit card. Has anyone else experienced this?

  12. Darius – Since you have several Ink cards which earn 5x all the time at office stores for gift cards, so why would you try to maximize the Freedom 5x at Lowes in June? Office stores also have amex/visa/mc gift cards which Lowes does not, and the 5x bonus is all year round. For restaurants & movie theaters, it make sense to use Freedom this quarter, as they apply to ALL restaurants/theaters.

  13. @Michael – that does not make sense at all. Last friday, I bought southwest, shell, bed & bath beyond GC from lowes without any troubles. I clearly asked employee there if I could buy them and she said yes! and of course i bought it with my chase freedom. go find another lowes or talk to higher person from that lowes.

  14. My CITI Dividend card is also earning 5% cash back for home improvement this quarter. I recall warnings not to use CITI for gift card purchases since they incur a cash advance fee. But wouldn’t I be able to sneak a few into a Lowes purchase? Thanks for clearing this up.

  15. What would the process be to convert my Chase Sapphire to the Freedom so I could apply for the mastercard version of the CS. I have a Chase Ink so would I first have to transfer the points from my CS to my Ink or would the points just go to my Freedom. Then how do you get the points from your Freedom to UR points? Thanks

  16. Hello,

    I have had my Chase Sapphire Visa for about two years now and applied for the Mastercard version last week. I was approved after talking to them on the phone. So, I have both Visa and Mastercard versions of the card. I was planning on closing the Visa account and moving the credit over to the Mastercard account. I already have the Freedom card, but would it be possible to switch my Chase Sapphire Visa card to one of the other no-fee card to keep my credit history associated with this card? Maybe the Chase Amazon Card?



  17. I read in other blog that someonedid a double dip by buying something at Lowe using the Freedom card then going to Lowe and “changing his mind” and getting amazon and gas gift cards instead. so he gets the x4 at ultimate rewards shoping plus the x5 of the freedom card. I haven’t done it but I’ve seen other stores that recredit on the cc , they dont replace for other product. DO you know if the double dip is possible?

  18. @luchex I ran that same experiment this weekend – I ordered a $10 item through the UR portal, paid with Freedom and chose store pickup. I then went to pick it up and tried exchanging it for a Shell GC, but they said they had to return the item to the card first and then I could purchase the GC. They couldn’t manually exchange the items through the register transaction.

  19. @Michael – same here.

    • @harvson3 – Thanks for the tip on 5 UR points for online purchases!

      @Joel s – Unfortunately you can only convert a Chase card which isn’t co-branded with an airline/hotel or other partner to the Freedom. So you can’t convert the United card.

      @Michael – I believe it varies by stores and cashier, so I’d try again witha different cashier.

      @FB – Buying gift cards from Lowe’s would be a last measure if I didn’t hit the $1,500 cap on restaurants. I mostly use my Ink cards for business spending.

      @Melissa – Citi charges cash advance fees for purchases made directly from a financial institution. So gift card purchases directly from a shop should be fine.

      @Doug – I’d transfer your points to the Ink (you can do this online at Ultimate Rewards.com). Then call the number at the back of the Sapphire Preferred to convert the card to the Freedom. The Freedom does earn Ultimate Rewards points, but you have to transfer them to your Ink or new Sapphire Preferred if you want to transfer them to airlines or hotel points.

      @Jam – You may be able to do that. I’d call to see what your options are.

      @luchex – I don’t have personal experience with this.

  20. Thank guys
    I have a convoluted idea
    go to UR portal and use Freedom CC to buy Lowes GC, then go to the portal again and buy something using the GC and then exchange it for the shell or amazon. In that case, if recredited, it would be on the GC and not on the Freedom CC. I would only lose the UR x4 for Lowes but still get a double dip

  21. You cannot buy Gift cards through the Ultimate Rewards shopping site

    Lowe’s Terms & Conditions
    Not eligible on gift cards, gift certificates or any other similar cash equivalents. Not eligible using promo codes that aren’t listed on this site. Any return, exchange or other adjustment made at a physical store location for an on-line purchase may result in your purchase being deemed ineligible for reward.

  22. MMS, this is a little off-topic from this post, but I’m curious: Do you and Emily maintain entirely separate rewards accounts? For example, I’ve had a Marriott Rewards account for several years (but not the credit card). My wife is getting ready to apply for the Marriott card. Should we just put down the info for my rewards account, or should we open a second account? Pros/Cons?

  23. Double dip with freedom 5% on restaurants and double miles from united dining from Apr 16-30.

    You can always buy some restaurant gift cards at you favorite place and use them after the promotion expires.

  24. I did a triple double dip with dining programs bonus. Sign up for UA, AA and SW dining programs. It’s the same company which. handle the three of them. I added my freedom cc on UA diningn spent $40 and got my 1000 points, then I removed it and added to SW Dining, spent $ 25, got 300SW points then went to AA dining did the same and got 1000 AA points. I think Delta and US Airways also use the same dining program company so I may as well get those miles too.

  25. Priority club uses the same dining program company also. There you have 6 double dips with big bonuses. I will check who else uses the same dining program.
    Don’t you guys love multiple dips?
    If anybody knows were I can read more about multiple dips opportunities , I would really appreciate you posted.

  26. Daraius,
    My wife has the Chase Freedom Visa and I would like for her to get the Chase Freedom MasterCard too. She had the Chase Sapphire Preferred Visa but we closed it in 2012. I am thinking of 2 options. Option 1: Apply for the regular Chase Sapphire Visa and then convert it later to a Freedom MasterCard. Option 2: Apply directly for a Freedom MasterCard. From what I have read, the first option has been successful with some people and the second option has not. What do you think of these options or is there another option?

    • @Charles – I know that you won’t get the bonus with option #1, but will get it with #2. You could get the MasterCard and add your wife as an additional user on the card to increase the amount of points you earn.

  27. I bought $500 amazon e- card with Freedom after activating Q4 and blueprint shows it as “entertainment”. Will I still get 5x? Tx

  28. Pingback: Chase Freedom 5% Merchant Categories - Page 13 - FlyerTalk Forums

  29. I can buy gift cards at 5x at OD, Staples, etc using my Ink card at anytime. Why would I want to buy gc’s at Lowes? Am I missing something?