[Emily and I get a commission for links to the cards in this post. You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do!]
The 2014 category bonuses for the Chase Freedom credit card are out!
I love the Chase Freedom Visa 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 normally make.
The Chase Freedom is a fee-free card so you can keep it 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 credit card offers.
You can redeem the Ultimate Rewards points for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby). Or you can transfer the points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, or the Chase Ink Plus and from there to airline or hotel partners such as Hyatt or United.
The main benefit of the Chase Freedom credit card is being able to take advantage of the quarterly bonus categories which offer a 5% bonus up to $1,500 or an extra 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points per quarter for spending in those categories.
That’s 30,000 Ultimate Reward points a year for $6,000 in spending ($1,500 X 4 quarters) if you max out the quarterly bonus categories by spending in specific categories.
2014 Chase Freedom Categories:
January to March
- Gas stations, Movie Theatres, & Starbucks
5X points for gas is pretty great by itself. But gas stations often sell gift cards to other stores and some even have Southwest and Marriott gift cards. Some gas stations even sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards.
Some gas stations are part of larger grocery store chains and you can usually use the gas station gift card at the grocery store!
For example, Kwik Shop gas stations are owned by Kroger/Dillon’s. So you can buy Kwik Shop gift cards with a credit card and use them at Kroger/Dillion’s for groceries!
April to June
- Restaurants & Lowes
I don’t spend $1,500 in restaurants and home improvements every 3 months.
But Lowe’s does sell gift cards to other stores such as Amazon, Southwest & PetSmart. So we will stock up on gift cards instead!
July to September
- Gas stations & Kohl’s
5X points for gas is pretty great by itself.
But gas stations often sell gift cards to other stores and some even have Southwest and Marriott gift cards.
Some gas stations even sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards!
October to December
- Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and select department stores (great for Holiday shopping!)
This is my favorite quarterly bonus, because I can buy Amazon gift cards on Amazon.com and immediately load it to my Amazon account!
And I’m sure a lot of folks will be shopping at department stores such as JCPenney, Nordstrom, Kohls etc.
These 5X categories makes the Chase Freedom card the best Ultimate Rewards point earning card in 2014 for the quarters in which they are eligible for the 5X bonus (up to $1,500 in purchases).
Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Hotels and Airlines
Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom can’t be transferred by themselves to air and hotel partners.
But if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Ink Bold or Ink Plus, you can combine Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom.
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to transfer points from the Chase Freedom to a card which allows you to transfer them to hotels and airlines.
And then transfer them to air and hotel partners such as United, British Airways, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Priority Club, Korean Air, and Amtrak at a 1:1 ratio.
The quarterly category bonuses make the Chase Freedom Visa one of the best fee-free credit cards in the market. That’s because you can earn up to 30,000 points a year by maxing out on the quarterly 5X categories.
Now if only they would eliminate the foreign transaction fee on the card!
* If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 14,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) or in a RSS reader …because then you’ll never miss another credit card update!