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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!
Link: Chase Freedom
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.
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.
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.
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!