5X Ultimate Rewards Points (or 5% Cash Back) on Gas, Movies & Coffee! [EXPIRED]

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What do movie theaters, gas stations, and Starbucks have in common?

Nothing really, except that you can get 5X Ultimate Rewards points or 5% cash with your Chase Freedom card in January, February and March 2014!

Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   Activate 5% Category for January to March 2014

I love the Chase Freedom because it’s really easy to earn 5 times the number of Ultimate Rewards points (up to $1,500 or 7,500 points a quarter) on purchases which Emily and I normally make.

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

The sign-up bonus used to be 20,000 points, but is now lower.  If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can call the number at the back of the card to downgrade to the fee-free Chase Freedom.  You won’t get the sign-up bonus, but the value of the Chase Freedom is in using it for the 5X categories.

You can redeem Ultimate Rewards points for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby).  Or you can transfer your points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, (no longer offered) Chase Ink Bold, or the Chase Ink Plus and from there to airline or hotel partners such as Hyatt or United.

The biggest benefit of the Chase Freedom credit card is 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.

Redeeming Discover Cash Back For Travel Gift Cards Is It A Good Deal

You Can Earn Up to 30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards Points ($300 Back) If You Take Full Advantage of the 5X Points Categories Each Quarter With the Chase Freedom

You have to activate each quarter’s category bonuses in advance to earn the 5X extra points.  This quarter’s bonus categories are movie theaters, gas stations, and Starbucks.  You can active your first quarter bonus now and have to do so before March 14, 2014 to get the 5X points.

You’ll get the 5X bonus for all spending up to $1,500 a quarter even if you activate the bonus on the very last day!

You can sign-up for reminders on the Chase website, and I’ll also remind you!

You can earn 30,000 Ultimate Reward points a year by spending $6,000 ($1,500 X 4 quarters) in the specific bonus categories.

Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Hotels and Airlines

Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom can’t be transferred directly 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 the points to hotels and airlines.

5X Ultimate Rewards Points Or 5% Cash Back On Gas, Movies And Coffee

You can Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points From Your Chase Freedom Card to Other Ultimate Rewards Cards and Then Transfer to Airlines or Hotels!

You can transfer points 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.

Bottom Line

You can earn 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points a year when you max out the Chase Freedom bonus categories each quarter.  But don’t forget to active your bonus categories!

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20 responses to “5X Ultimate Rewards Points (or 5% Cash Back) on Gas, Movies & Coffee! [EXPIRED]

  1. It’s hard to find gas stations with marts that sell cards in NYC. Do 7/11s still code as gas stations?

  2. Lake Forest David

    There is another way to look at the Freedom bonus. The economic benefit is the 5x versus the best alternative. For example, for gasoline there are several 3x cards that earn 3x all year long on gasoline. 5x minus 3x is only a 2x economic benefit by using Freedom this quarter. A 2x economic benefit applied to $1,500.00 equals 2000 extra points for the per quarter.

    You can fine tune this for your own circumstances, and your own valuation of UR points.

  3. I just recently received the Freedom card. Trying to figure out how to maximize the gas stationsthis quarter,,,don’t need it for a actual gas since I already get Shell cards at Staples. Called Chase with a question and in the course of conversation agent volunteered that the 5 percent applied only to purchases at the pump, not to purchases in the convenience store. Any information on whether this is changing?

  4. 3 questions:

    1. This promotion runs 1/1/14 – 3/31/14, but is that based on transaction date or post date?

    2. What happens (in theory) if I forget to sign-up for the quarterly promotion right away? For example, if I sign-up next week on 1/15/14, will I get 5X retroactively back to 1/1/14?

    3. I almost never go inside gas stations anymore because I pay at the pump. Do you have any strategies on how to find gas stations that sell gift cards?

  5. Hey Daraius, I have the chase sapphire preferred… if i downgrade to the free chase freedom, does the age of my current sapphire preferred continue with the chase freedom? i looked at my credit score and although good (~745) my average account age is super low because i keep some of my cards for less than a year as I try and churn as many rewards as possible (just got approved for the barclays US airways card with 35,000 mile bonus a month after I canceled my first one!)

    Thanks for the great posts and happy new year to you and Emily!

  6. Daraius, I have a couple questions:
    1. If I have Sapphire Preferred and I downgraded it to Freedom, can I still apply for it again after couple months and get the sign up bonus for Sapphire Preferred again?
    2. So the correct one bonus promo is 5X points OR 5% cashback? Sorry I am still confused since 5X and 5% are two different things. If it is 5X bonus, for example, I will automatically get 5 points every $1 purchase ?

  7. Any stand alone 7-11 non gas, get coded as gas, I found some 7-11 selling VR with credit card.

  8. The only problem with this is there are rarely any gas stations that sell any GC’s with CC. Anyone has any success in and around Seattle area? Seattle has become a barren land….

    • @Lake Forest David – That’s true, but some of the other cards with gas as a bonus category have annual fees. But the analysis works if you have other cards with gas a bonus category.

      @Kate @adnan – It has worked in the store, but best to make a small purchase and test it out.

      @Tommy Z – #1 – It is based on when the transaction was made. #2 – Yes, you will get the bonus retroactively. #3 – If the gas station is affiliated to a large grocery chain (Kroger) the convenience store should sell gift cards. But best to run in and check.

      @BartNY – Happy New Year to you too! Yes, you get to keep the age of your account when you downgrade. That’s why it is a good option for some b/c the sign-up bonus is low.

      @ David – You should be able to apply for it again if you feel you need a card with no foreign transaction fees etc., but getting approved depends on your credit profile. You get 5X Ultimate Rewards points. But you can redeem 1 Ultimate Rewards point for 1 cent in cash back, so it depends on what you prefer earning.

  9. @David The automatic bonus on the Freedom card is 5% cash back on the designated categories, up to $1500 per quarter. If you have a Sapphire or Ink card, and transfer those bonus Freedom points to that card, they transfer as 6 UR points per $ spent. So 5 extra points per $, up to the $1500 limit. From the Sapphire you can transfer them to some airline and hotel accounts. The details on how to transfer them are in the post above…

    To the best of my knowledge you cannot downgrade the Sapphire and reapply a couple of months later and get the bonus again. Chase MIGHT give you a second card, but most likely would follow that up a month or two later with a letter explaining that it won’t qualify for a signup bonus.

    You MAY be able to get a second sign up bonus on a Sapphire if you cancel it, and wait 2 years or longer before reapplying. But who knows what the rules will be 2 years from now anyway?

  10. @ Daraius My post cross posted with yours.

    “You should be able to apply for it again if you feel you need a card”…

    Really? This is from the FT Chase thread:
    ……………………………………..
    “Customers may also be able to “churn” the same card by waiting for a certain period between cancellation and reapplication. Chase’s policy is not public, and FTers have devoted much discussion and speculation to this topic, both in this master thread and in the various card-specific threads. There is rough consensus that a two-year wait between cancellation and reapplication is sufficient to allow earning the bonus a second time.”

    “Finally, note that if you reapply too soon, Chase may still issue you the new card. (This differs from other card issuers, such as Citibank, which denies such applications outright.) In this case, Chase typically notifies you by letter within a month or two after approval that, as a previous cardholder, you will not receive the bonus a second time.”
    …………………………………..

    The only exception I’m aware of involved applying for the Sapphire MC, which no longer exists.

    If you have any information that the above is incorrect, please let me know, I’d love to get the Sapphire bonus again. ;

  11. I can attest that agent that stated 5% is only at pump is dead WRONG. I use 7/11 that does not sell gas and gets coded as gas no matter what I buy, including GC.The 7/11 in my area do not take CC for VR, but do for other GC.

  12. What is “VR” and why is it so good? Is it cash equivalent?

    To echo what some other people already mentioned here, I had a Sapphire but I canceled it a while back, so I’m also wondering if anybody has first hand experience on how long is required to sign-up again and get another bonus.

  13. @ Tommy Z To find out what VR is, and why it is so good, Google “million mile secrets vanilla reload”

    As for reapplying for the Sapphire, see my comment listed as 2:26 pm

  14. Be very careful about what is a gas station, and you might even be able to take advantage of a few misclassifications : http://patrickstravelogue.blogspot.com/2014/01/what-is-chase-freedom-gas-station.html

  15. Daraius,

    I read on one of your blogs that you could downgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred card to the Chase Freedom card. So since the annual fee is coming up on my card, I called to do this. They suggested that I should downgrade to the regular Chase Sapphire card. Then if I needed to transfer points again to a partner, I could upgrade back to the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the annual fee would be waived for the first year again. Since it is good for your credit score to keep cards open for longer, it seems like it would be good to keep downgrading and then upgrading especially if the first year annual fee is always waived. From your experience, are you able to do this? It just sounds a little too easy.

    • @Big D – You can downgrade to either the Chase Freedom or the Chase Sapphire, and later reapply for the Sapphire Preferred if you need it. Downgrading lets you keep the credit history associated with the card.

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