Chase Freedom 2013 5X Ultimate Rewards Points (or 5% Cash Back) Category Bonuses Announced!

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Chase Freedom 2013 5X Ultimate Rewards Points (or 5% Cash Back) Category Bonuses Announced!

Million Mile SecretsChase Freedom 2013 5X Ultimate Rewards Points (or 5% Cash Back) Category Bonuses Announced!Million Mile Secrets Team

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Via The #Hustle blog, the 2013 category bonuses for the Chase Freedom credit card were just released!

I love the Chase Freedom Visa 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.  You can either redeem the points earned for cash back (5% cash back isn’t too shabby and some folks prefer cash back).  Or you can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus or the JP Morgan Select card and from there to airline or hotel partners such as Hyatt or United.

The main benefit of the Chase Freedom credit card is being able to take advantage of 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 before the quarter to earn the 5X extra points.

That’s 30,000 Ultimate Reward points a year for $6,000 in spending ($1,500 X 4)  if you max out the quarterly bonus categories by spending in specific categories.

2013 Chase Freedom Categories:

January to March

  • Gas stations, Drugstores, & Starbucks

April to June

  • Restaurants & Movie Theaters

I don’t see how I’m going to maximize the bonus in this quarter.

July to September

  • Gas stations, Theme parks, & Kohl’s

October to December

  • Select “department stores” & (great for Holiday shopping!)

This makes the Chase Freedom card the best Ultimate Rewards point earning card  in 2012 for the quarters in which they are eligible for the 5X bonus (up to $1,500 in purchases).

Transferring Ultimate Rewards Points to Hotels and Airlines

Ultimate Rewards points from the Chase Freedom cannot be transferred by themselves to air and hotel partners.

However, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Chase Ink Bold/Ink Plus, or the JP Morgan Select card you can combine Ultimate Rewards points from this card (Chase Freedom) and transfer them to air and hotel partners (United, British Airways, Southwest, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz Priority Club, Korean Air, and Amtrak) at a 1:1 ratio.

Bottom Line

The quarterly category bonuses make the Chase Freedom Visa & Chase Freedom MasterCard one of the best fee-free credit cards in the marketNow if only they would eliminate the foreign transaction fee on the card!

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Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Royce, I had the same idea! Bummed it won’t work…

not sure if they had amazon on last year, but do you know if you can get the 5% using the AP sending cash method?

Million Mile Secrets

@royce – It doesn’t work.

Sorry it has been shared before, but I just found out about this myself. The restaurant 5% back for Freedom only apply to about 150 chain/restaurants and they are keep changing. so not all restaurant expense will work. One example of fast food chain that is not in the list is Taco Bell.

Anybody know if Sapphire restaurant classification also follow such restriction?

Million Mile Secrets

@jack – I don’t have personal experience, so the best way is to do a small test, but I suspect it should get you 5x.

@ec – Are you sure about the Freedom classification? I believe most restaurants should get the bonus like it does with the Sapphire.

i thought for sapphire preferred, starbucks counts as a restaurant…would this be the same for chase freedom and thus qualifying for 5% on Q2?

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