Don’t Forget to Activate Your Q1 Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories

The Chase Freedom credit card offers a regular 1% cash back/1 Chase Ultimate Reward (UR) point on all purchases. Each quarter, however, Chase designates purchases in 3 separate categories to receive 5% cash back/5 UR points per $1 spent, up to $1,500 total for the quarter. For Q1, 2014, the categories are:

  1. Gas stations
  2. Movie theaters
  3. Starbucks

The quarter runs from January 1 to March 31, 2014 and purchases count retroactively, meaning that even if you don’t activate your bonus categories until March 1, for instance, all purchases made before March 1 still will receive 5% cash back/5 UR points per $1 spent.

It’s extremely easy to activate your 5% offer. Chase sends multiple emails and even texts if you sign up for them. I actually activated my bonus while withdrawing from an ATM. There’s even a website link. Chase will email you confirmation when you have signed up, as well.

photo (10)

The best strategy to maximize this bonus system is to purchase gift cards from in-category retailers. For instance, if you have a favorite gas station, consider buying $100 giftcards. Each $100 giftcard gives you %5 cashback, or 500 UR points. Same goes if you love coffee – buy Starbucks gift cards. Gift cards count just as much as an individual, regular purchase would in terms of earning cashback/points. I used $100 as an example because carrying gift cards of higher denominations is less safe, at least to me.

Remember, the limit is  $1,500 total – not per category. So buying $1,500 worth of Starbucks gift cards and $1,500 worth of gas station gift cards wouldn’t earn you $75/7,500 UR points in each category. One category would earn the full 5% bonus while the other would earn the normal 1%. Still, it’s a fantastic way to rack up easy points – gas stations for most people, especially. For us New Yorkers, the Starbucks category is the most important – this city runs first on caffeine!

So, if you haven’t already – go sign up and get your points!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s