Use Gift Cards to Max Out the 5% Chase Freedom Grocery Category Bonus

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Use Gift Cards to Max Out the 5% Chase Freedom Grocery Category Bonus

Million Mile SecretsUse Gift Cards to Max Out the 5% Chase Freedom Grocery Category BonusMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I love the Chase Freedom Visa and MasterCard 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 would make in any case!

The Chase Freedom is a fee-free card, so it is a good Chase card to keep for a long time.

My Favorite Section in the Grocery Store!

Up to the end of June (10 days away!), you earn 5 times the number of points for purchases in grocery stores and in movie theaters with the Chase Freedom Visa and MasterCard (provided you already activated the category).  And from July to September, you get 5 times the number of points for purchases in gas stations and in restaurants.

You can either redeem the points earned for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby and some folks prefer cash back) or transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold/Plus card and from there to airline or hotel partners.

We did not max out the $1,500 spending limit for grocery stores, so I went to the local Dillon’s grocery store and stocked up on the following:

1.   Dillon’s store brand cards.   We can use the Dillon’s gift card to not only  pay for groceries, but also to pay for gas because Dillon’s store cards are also valid at Kwik Shop & Quik Stop gas stations.

Buying grocery store gift cards

We also sent a Dillon’s grocery gift card as a gift to a relative to use at a Kroger store.  Dillon’s is part of the Kroger family of stores, so you can use their gift cards at either store!

2.  Southwest gift cards.  We stocked up on ~$200 worth of Southwest gift cards.  I know I’ll use them at some point, so I might as well earn 5 times the number of points!  I didn’t buy the BP and Shell gas cards because they charge more for gas where I stay, but could be worth it if they have cheaper gas in your area.

Southwest Gift Cards For Sale in my Grocery Store

3.   Amazon gift cards.  I try to do as much of my shopping online, so I bought ~$100 worth of Amazon gift cards and applied them to my Amazon account.

Amazon Gift Cards For Sale in my Grocery Store

As I expected, all these purchases counted towards the 5% category bonus for grocery stores!

Grocery stores carry a HUGE selection of gift cards – Starbucks, Bob Evans Restaurants, Target, Marriott, McDonalds, Lowes, Home Depot – so don’t give up if you haven’t yet maxed out the 5% category bonus for grocery stores with your Chase Freedom!

Huge Selection of Gift Cards in my Grocery Store

Bottom Line:  If you suspect that you won’t max out the 5% category bonus for grocery stores with the Chase Freedom Visa and MasterCard, buy gift cards and use them later on, but make sure that you can pay off your entire credit card balance when it comes due!

You could even buy a $500 Visa, MasterCard, or AMEX gift card and use that for regular purchases.  You’d still come out ahead, even with the ~$6 purchase fee.

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Is this going to work

Jerry W,

We dont have Ralphs in my area, but Kroger fuel points can be used for a max of $.10/gal off on gas at Shell stations, or $.10/ gallon up to $2.00/gallon off on gas at Kroger fuel stations (up to 35 gallons per purchase).

So, I took my empty gas tank plus (4) 5 gallon gas cans to the Kroger fuel station and loaded up.

I haven’t bought gas for $1.35/gal since, … the nineties?

I had never taken the Freedom 5% cash back categories seriously until this quarter’s grocery category. I got my Freedom card 14 months ago, since then the categories were just not for me. But two months ago, the Safeway/Vons had a MasterCard gift card promotion: buy $100 or more MasterCard gift card, get a $10 store coupon for next grocery shopping. I bought two $500 value gift cards and one $200 value card separately and got three $10 store coupons, and of course, those 4x bonus Ultimate Rewards points. My wife thought it was quite a deal so she applied her Freedom card last month. Now, Safeway/Vons is having a similar gift card promotion this week: buy $100 or more VISA gift card, get a $10 store coupon for next grocery shopping. We bought a $500 VISA gift card yesterday for $505.95, but there was no coupon issued. After talking to the manager, we got refunded $10 IN CASH and the manager apologized for the inconvenience. I will buy again later this week until maxing out the $1500 limit.

If your grocery store carries ebay GCs, get them instead. You can usually buy the other GCs cheaper on ebay and get 2% ebay bucks to boot.

Hi DD!

I have a question for you. We have been thinking of applying for united chase + ink bold cards. Also we are planning to open a citibank checking account. Can you tell me if I can fund my citi account with chase cards? If not, what other cards can I use to fund?

Thanks,

Diana

Author
Million Mile Secrets

@rob – I don’t live in IL so I’m not going to be of much help!

@Diana
– You used to be able to fund a citi checking account with a credit card but not any more. Also be careful that you’re not charged cash advance fees for the account funding.

@HikerT – Good point!

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