2012 Chase Freedom Categories Are Much Better!

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

2012 Chase Freedom Categories Are Much Better!

Million Mile Secrets2012 Chase Freedom Categories Are Much Better!Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing-up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Chase Freedom Categories 2012

Link:  Chase Freedom $300 cash back Offer

Link: Chase Freedom credit card review

Update:  The $300 offer is now dead, but the current best offers are always listed on the “Credit Card” tab on the blog.

New Girl in the Air emailed me yesterday (thanks!!) to let me know that the 2012 category bonuses for the Chase Freedom credit card were just released.

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.

She wrote (bolding mine):

“In my opinion, these are fantastic categories – better than 2011 – since they are broad categories that just about everyone spends on (i.e. groceries, gas, restaurants, travel vs. last year’s home improvement, department stores, etc.)”

2012 Chase Freedom Categories:

January – March
Gas stations & Amazon.com (How I wish Amazon.com was in the last quarter for Holiday shopping!)

April – June
Grocery Stores & Movie Theaters

July – September
Gas stations & Restaurants

October – December
Hotels, Airlines, Best Buy, Kohl’s

I completely agree with New Girl in the Air that the 2012 Chase Freedom categories are much, much better than the 2011 categories.  That’s because even cheapskates like me have to spend money on groceries, gas, restaurants, and travel!

In fact, this makes the Chase Freedom card the BEST cash back card (5%) or Ultimate Rewards point earning card  in 2012 for Gas, Grocery Stores, Hotels,  Airlines, and Amazon.com during the quarters in which they are eligible for the 5X bonus (up to $1,500 in purchases.)

$300 Sign-on Bonus

Now the $300 sign-up bonus (30,000 Ultimate Rewards points) on the Chase Freedom credit card after spending $500 is not a great offer by itself, but is an improvement over the other offers of 20,000 and 25,000 points.  There are offers for $250 or $250 floating around, but $300 is the best offer which I’ve listed on the blog for over a month!

As readers have pointed out, 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points is a pretty good sign-up bonus for a card with no annual fee.

How to Transfer Ultimate Rewards Points to Hotels and Airlines?

The 30,000 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 or the Chase Ink Bold card you can combine Ultimate Rewards points from this card (Chase Freedom) and transfer them to air and hotel partners (United/Continental Airlines, British Airways, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club, Korean Air, and Amtrak) at a 1:1 ratio.

Bottom Line:

I don’t have this card and won’t be applying for it (I’m maxed out of Chase!), but the new category bonuses make the Chase Freedom card the best fee-free credit card in the market! It also shows just how serious Chase is about gaining market share.

You can get 5X Ultimate Rewards points (or 5% cash back) on everyday purchases such as gas, groceries, dining, and also for hotels and airlines!

If you do decide to apply for the card be sure to apply for the $300 version and run away from ads with the $200 or $250 versions!



If you liked this post, why don’t you join the 37,000+ readers who have signed-up to receive free blog posts via email (only 1 email per day!) …because then you’ll never miss another update!

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! :)

Add comment

E-mail is already registered on the site. Please use the Login form or enter another.

You entered an incorrect username or password

Sorry that something went wrong, repeat again!


by Newest
by Best by Newest by Oldest

I’ve recently gotten the triple threat from chase and would obviously like to max out the bonus categories and i’ve read many threads about buying gift cards at the grocery store for later use for both gas and everyday purchases. Is there one tried and true method to go about this in anyones opinion. We primarily shop at Randalls, Kroger and Central Market. I know many people mention the pre paid visa card but are you allowed to load money onto it from a credit card? Any advice/suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Mainly concerned with just purchasing gas and groceries! Thanks!

Is the 5x bonus paid out on the monthly statements or at the end of the quarter?

Million Mile Secrets

@James – The bonus is paid out each month.

Corinne, BJ’s accepts VISA, so I usually use my Sapphire Preferred when I shop there.

@Matt M.

I don’t know what forms of payment BJ’s accepts, but Costco only accepts Amex, Debit cards, cash a check (personal or business depending on which account you have). So, you couldn’t use the Chase Freedom card to shop there.

Do Bj’s Wholesale, Costco, etc count as grocery stores?

Million Mile Secrets

@Matt M – I don’t have any personal experience so I’m not sure if Costco or BJs count. We’ll know more next quarter.

Load more