Can I Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Buying Gift Cards at Grocery Stores?

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Million Mile Secrets Reader Swapnil emailed:

Can I buy three $500 gift cards from grocery stores like Fry’s or Safeway for 1st quarter 2015 and earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points with my Freedom card?

That would be great if I can know which stores are eligible in the grocery category for the Freedom card quarter 1 2015 bonus.

Can I Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Buying Gift Cards At Grocery Stores
Swapnil Can Get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Buying Gift Cards at Grocery Stores With His Freedom Card During the 1st Quarter of 2015

Swapnil can buy $1,500 in gift cards from grocery stores with his Freedom card and get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the 1st quarter of 2015.

That’s because grocery stores are 1 of the Freedom card bonus categories for the 1st quarter.

I’ll explain how to check if your favorite supermarket will count as a grocery that earns 5X points!

Freedom Card

Link:   Freedom card

Link:   My review of the Freedom card

The Freedom card is 1 of my favorite cards!   Because it has no annual fee Swapnil can keep it for a long time which helps build his credit score and relationship with Chase (which has the best credit card offers).

Every quarter, Swapnil can earn up to 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points (30,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points a year or $300 cash back) when he spends up to $1,500 in the bonus categories.

For the 1st quarter of 2015, he can earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at grocery stores, movie theaters, and Starbucks.

Most supermarkets DO count as “grocery stores” and will earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.  But general discount stores such as Target and Walmart do NOT count.  

The Chase Freedom website limits what counts as a grocery,

Does not include purchases made at Walmart®, Target®, discount or warehouse club stores.

So while buying vegetables at Costco will NOT count, your shopping WILL count at most dedicated supermarkets such as Kroger, Publix, Safeway, ShopRite, etc.

Swapnil can use the Visa Supplier Locator to see check the store’s merchant code classification to be certain.

That’s because the Chase Freedom card is a Visa.

Note: Swapnil has to activate each quarter’s category bonuses to earn the 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Using the Freedom Bonus to Get Big Travel

Swapnil can transfer his points to his Sapphire PreferredInk Bold, or the Ink Plus card and from there to airline or hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

But he can NOT transfer to airlines or hotels without 1 of those cards.

 Chase Ultimate Rewards Airline Transfer Partners 
Aer LingusBritish AirwaysFlying Blue (Air France/KLM)
IberiaJetBlueSingapore Airlines
SouthwestUnited AirlinesVirgin Atlantic
 Chase Ultimate Rewards Hotel Transfer Partners 
HyattIHGMarriott
Ritz-Carlton
Can I Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Buying Gift Cards At Grocery Stores
Swapnil Can Use His Chase Ultimate Rewards Points on United Airlines to Visit the Colosseum in Rome

Buy Gift Cards to Fill Your Shopping Cart With Points

Some folks such as Swapnil might not normally spend $1,500 at grocery stores in a quarter.

So they prefer to buy $1,500 worth of supermarket gift cards at their favorite grocery store to get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (or 5% cash back) when buying groceries later in the year.

Other folks who won’t spend $1,500 in a quarter at grocery stores prefer to browse the gift card racks for preloaded cards to department stores, restaurants, and movie theaters.

Bottom Line

Swapnil can get 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points buying gift cards at grocery stores with his Freedom card in the 1st quarter of 2015.  That’s because grocery stores are a Freedom card bonus category in the 1st quarter.

But Swapnil has to activate his category bonus each quarter to earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points.

Swapnil can check the store’s merchant code classification with the Visa Supplier Locator before he shops to be certain the store counts as a grocery.

For the most part, supermarket purchases get the 5X points but warehouse clubs such as Sam’s Club and discounters such as Walmart and Target do NOT count.

 

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