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The new Chase Freedom bonus spending categories for the 1st quarter of 2015 are out!
From January 1, 2015, through March 31, 2015, you’ll get 5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) per $1 you spend in special categories. The limit is $1,500 in combined purchases, so you can get a total of $75 back at:
- Grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target)
- Movie Theaters
If you don’t have the Freedom card yet, now is a great time because the sign-up bonus has been doubled to 20,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($200) for a limited time.
And because Chase has changed their rules, you can get the bonus again even if you’ve had the card in the past. I’ll explain!
What’s the Deal?
Link: Chase Freedom 20,000 Points ($200 Cash Back)
Emily and I love this card because it makes it so easy to earn 5 points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) on rotating categories each quarter.
With the Chase Freedom, you’ll get:
- 20,000 points ($200 cash back) after you spend $500 in the 1st 3 months
- 2,500 points ($25 cash back) when you add an authorized user who makes a purchase in the 1st 3 months
- 5 points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) on rotating quarterly categories like gas stations, grocery stores, and department stores, up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter
- 1 point per $1 you spend on all other purchases (with no limit)
- 3% foreign currency fee
- NO annual fee
Because the Chase Freedom has no annual fee, it’s a good card to keep for a long time. This builds your history with Chase and can improve your credit score.
But don’t use the card when you’re traveling abroad, because you’ll be charged a 3% foreign transaction fee! Instead, use 1 of these cards.
This is perfect timing for folks who have yet to do their holiday shopping, because if you get the card now, you’ll still be able to make the most of the 4th quarter category bonuses (as long as you activate the bonus by December 14, 2014).
And for the 1st quarter of 2015, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) at grocery stores, Starbucks, and movie theaters, up to $1,500 in combined purchases for the quarter.
That’s worth 7,500 points ($75)! You can activate the bonus starting December 15, 2014.
Many folks could hit the spending limit just from their regular grocery shopping
You can activate the 2015 1st quarter bonuses starting December 15, 2014.
What If You’ve Had the Card Before?
It used to be difficult or impossible to get the sign-up bonus on Chase cards more than once. But the rules have changed!
Now, most of their cards (including the Chase Freedom) say:
This new cardmember bonus offer is not available to either (i) current cardmembers of this consumer credit card, or (ii) previous cardmembers of this consumer credit card who received a new cardmember bonus for this consumer credit card within the last 24 months.
So even if you’ve had (and cancelled) the card in the past, you could get it again as long as you haven’t received the bonus in the past 2 years. That’s great news!
Some folks prefer cash back, but I like using my Chase Freedom points for travel. That’s because you can transfer your points to airline, hotel, and rail partners if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) cards.
A paid night at this hotel costs over $400 in February. That’s a great way to use the Chase Freedom sign-up bonus, and worth much more than getting cash back!
Or you could transfer the 20,000 points to United Airlines. Round-trip domestic coach flights are 25,000 United Airlines miles.
Remember, you can only transfer points from the Chase Freedom to airline, hotel, and rail partners by transferring them to your Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (discontinued) account first.
From January 1, 2015, to March 31, 2015, you’ll earn 5 points per $1 you spend (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 in combined purchases at grocery stores, Starbucks, and movie theaters.
Also, Chase has increased the sign-up bonus on the Chase Freedom card to 20,000 points ($200 cash back) after spending $500 in the 1st 3 months. And you’ll get another 2,500 points ($25) when you add an authorized user.
The higher sign-up bonus is only available for a limited time. And folks who’ve had the card before can get it again so long as they haven’t received the bonus in the past 24 months, and don’t currently hold the card.
How will you make the most of the new Chase Freedom category bonuses?