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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!
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
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
- Ink Business Preferred Credit Card first because it has the biggest sign-up bonus.
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.