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Department stores include stores like Macy’s and Sears, but NOT Target and Walmart. And purchases at stores like CVS and Walgreens will count as drugstore spending.
You can find the full list of qualifying stores here.
Even if you don’t plan on spending a lot in these categories, you should activate your card anyway because it’s free and easy.
When you activate the bonus, you’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 in combined spending in these categories from October 1, 2016, to December 31, 2016.
Activate the Chase Freedom Bonus to Earn Extra Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!
Link: Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom at Costco
Plus, folks who spend a lot on groceries and household goods at warehouse clubs can earn lots of bonus points, too! Because wholesale clubs like Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club sell much more than groceries.
Don’t forget, wholesale club gas and fuel purchases, or specialty services like travel, insurance, cell phone and home improvement, will NOT qualify for the bonus.
You’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 in combined spending in these categories between October 1, 2016, and December 31, 2016. But remember, you must activate the bonus by October 14, 2016.
Even if you activate the bonus late in the quarter, you’ll still earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points on bonus category purchases you made from October 1, 2016.
If you spend the maximum, you’ll earn 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($1,500 X 5 points per $1 you spend). That’s worth $75 in cash back.
I’ve Kept My Freedom Card for Many Years
Earning 5X Ultimate Rewards points with a card that has no annual fee is the reason I keep the Chase Freedom in my wallet year after year!
If you don’t have the Chase Freedom, you can currently earn 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150) when you sign-up and spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account. Here’s my full review of the card.
But keep in mind, Chase now has stricter application rules. If you’ve opened ~5 or more credit cards from any bank (not including many small business cards) in the past 24 months, it’s unlikely you’ll be approved for any Chase Ultimate Rewards points-earning card, like the Chase Freedom.
Sweeten the Deal If You Have Certain Cards!
If you also have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Chase Ink Bold (no longer available) card, you can move Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Freedom to one of those accounts.
Or use your Chase Ultimate Rewards points toward paid travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal at a rate of 1.25 cents per point (1.5 cents per point with the Sapphire Reserve). That’s a good option if award seats or nights aren’t available, because there are no blackout dates.
I’m happy to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points for purchases I’d make anyway. Because every time I buy a present this holiday season, I’ll get closer to an award stay at Hyatt because I move the points to my Chase Sapphire Preferred.