My Predictions for the New Chase Freedom 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Categories for Early 2019 — Based on the Last SIX Years of Categories

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My Predictions for the New Chase Freedom 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Categories for Early 2019 — Based on the Last SIX Years of Categories

Scott LiebermanMy Predictions for the New Chase Freedom 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points Categories for Early 2019 — Based on the Last SIX Years of CategoriesMillion Mile Secrets Team

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I’m anxiously awaiting Chase’s official release of the new Chase Ultimate Rewards points 5X categories on the Freedom card.  Each quarter I try to earn the maximum 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points in the 3-month period and then I transfer the points to my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.   Because my Chase Sapphire Preferred was the key to how I took a free round-trip Business Class flights to Europe last summer!

7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $75 cash with your Freedom card.  But when you have one of the following cards, you can make travel magic, like free flights and hotel stays:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (#1 card for folks new to using points instead of money for travel.  I love this card.  There is no annual fee in year 1.  If you’re like me and you end up getting awesome travel with it, you’ll find it’s totally worth keeping.)
  • Ink Business Preferred Credit Card (biggest Chase point sign-up bonus and best business credit card)
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve® (great pick if you know for sure you’ll be traveling a lot)

What you do is simply transfer Chase Ultimate Rewards points from your Freedom to one of the cards above.  Then you’re allowed to transfer to awesome partners like United Airlines (to fly on their partner airlines like TAP Portugal, Lufthansa, etc.), Southwest, Hyatt, JetBlue, Marriott, and more!

I Flew in Business Class bed to Europe using Chase points from my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points You Earn With Your Freedom Card Are Nice for Cash Back.  But They’re Not Getting You a Business Class Flight to Europe During Peak Summer Season. That’s Why I Move My Freedom Points to my Chase Sapphire Preferred!

How to Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points per $1 With Chase Freedom

  • Activate the bonus with a quick click in the email Chase sends you
  • You can spend up to $1,500 combined in the categories by the end date to earn 7,500 points

My Chase Freedom 5X Categories Predictions for Q1 2019

My predictions — and they’re just predictions — for January, February, March 2019 for Freedom 5X categories are:

  • Gas Stations and Chase Pay

Here’s Why I’m Guessing These Are the 2019 Chase Freedom 5X Categories to Kick Off the Year

  • Chase Pay has been a 5X category 3 out of the 4 quarters in 2018 and it looks like they really want you to use it!
  • Gas Stations have been a 5X Freedom Q1 category for 5 of the previous 6 years dating back to 2013

Historical Q1 (January – March) 5X Freedom Categories by Year

  • 2013: Gas stations, Drugstores, Starbucks
  • 2014: Gas Stations, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
  • 2015: Grocery stores excluding Walmart and Target, Starbucks, Movie Theaters
  • 2016: Gas stations and Commuter Transportation
  • 2017: Gas Stations and Commuter Transportation
  • 2018: Gas stations, Internet/phone services/cable, and Chase Pay/Google Pay/Samsung Pay, Apple Pay

Bottom Line

If you’re reading this I imagine you already have the no annual fee Freedom card just as I do.  If you like to travel, even just a bit, it makes a lot of sense to add the

to your arsenal like I did 5 years ago.  (And I still have it!) 

Because your Chase Ultimate Rewards points immediately gain 25% at a minimum.  Because instead of getting 1 cent per point for cash back, you can use your points on the Chase travel site (it’s like Expedia) for 1.25 cents each.  50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points are worth $625 with no blackout dates this way.

But even better, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Business Preferred Credit Card, and Chase Sapphire Reserve all enable you to transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners.  And that’s how I’ve enjoyed Business Class flights to Europe, luxury beachfront hotel stays in the Caribbean, regular flights around the US, and more!

If you have a small business, go for the

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is great if you’re just starting out with using points for travel because there’s no annual fee in the first year so you can try out the travel points hobby to see if you like it.

Chase Sapphire Reserve is your pick if you’ll use all the benefits because you’re certain you’ll travel a lot.



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Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card

  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more – your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • $95 Annual Fee

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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Your prediction seem logical. Gas stations are a pretty solid category. It might actually be my favorite for the Freedom. With the Amex Gold rocking 4X at restaurants and supermarkets now, those categories are pretty well covered.

Chase Pay is meh. They really are pushing it hard but they need to dramatically increase it’s acceptance and also think about some better technology. Apple Pay or Samsung Pay are far more ubiquitous and easy to use. I would love to see those back as categories again.

Mike – Chase Pay now uses Samsung Pay. Open the Chase Pay app, choose pay with Samsung Pay and not only do you get Samsung Rewards you get the 5% Chase Ultimate rewards for using Chase Pay.

Good to know. Now it just needs to come to Apple Pay.

My wife has the Ink Cash card. I have the CSR and Ink Business Preferred card. How does she transfer her points to either of my cards?

Hi Paul!

Here’s one of our guides on how you can transfer Chase points among family members. Hope this helps!

It’s been a while for restaurants. But if you’re prediction are true at least I can use at five guys…:/


Lisa, I’d love to be wrong and have restaurants be 5X! No problem eating my way to 7,500 points. 🙂