Today: Activate New 5X Bonus Categories With Chase Freedom

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Today: Activate New 5X Bonus Categories With Chase Freedom

Million Mile SecretsToday: Activate New 5X Bonus Categories With Chase FreedomMillion Mile Secrets Team

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Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

Starting today, September 15, 2016, you can activate the Chase Freedom bonus for the 4th quarter categories, which are department stores, drugstores, and wholesale clubs like Costco!

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.

Chase Freedom Activate Bonus
Unfortunately, Purchases at This Shop in Jaipur, India, Will NOT Count Towards the Freedom Card’s Bonus. But Emily Enjoyed Herself Anyway!

Activate the Chase Freedom Bonus to Earn Extra Chase Ultimate Rewards Points!

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   Activate the Chase Freedom 4th Quarter Bonus Categories

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 ReserveSapphire 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.

And then transfer them to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt like Emily and I did on our spring break trip to Maui a few years back!

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.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred named "Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption" - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, June 2018
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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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Can you purchase gift cards and they count?

Question on the 5/24 rule.

If I had a annual fee card and instead of outright cancelling, we downgraded to a no annual fee does that count as two cards or one card for the 5/24 rule.


Amazon used to be included in the 4th quarter. I do a lot of holiday shopping at amazon. Would have been nice if it were included as they were the past 2 years.

Looks like I’ll be going to CVS/Walgreens/RiteAid and picking up a hefty amount of Amazon gift cards

@Breechy – Yes! If your Son gets the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Plus, he’ll be able to move the Chase Ultimate Rewards points earned from the Chase Freedom to one of those accounts for Big Travel:

@Brian – I was disappointed too!

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