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2012 Chase Freedom 5% cash back categories announced — remember to ‘activate’

by on Thu December 1, 2011 • No Comment

Chase announced its quarterly 5x point categories for the Chase Freedom card this week. As a reminder, you can 5x points (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 worth of spending each quarter in the categories. So, each year,  you have a chance to earn up to 24,000 points more than you would earning the standard 1 point per dollar rate.

That’s worth $240 in extra cash, or if you use it in conjunction with a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, 24,000 United/Continental miles, or a free night at any Hyatt. Using it for United/Continental flights or a free Hyatt night can be worth 2-3 times as much or more versus taking the $240 cash back (Hyatt’s best hotels go for over $500 per night).

Here are the categories (thanks View from the Wing)

January-March 2012

  • Gas stations (great!)

April-June 2012

  • Grocery stores (great!)
  • Movie theaters

July-September 2012

  • Gas stations (great!)
  • Restaurants (great!)

November-December 2012

  • Airlines
  • Hotels
  • Best Buy (use the Ultimate Rewards mall to buy online for an extra bonus)
  • Kohls  (use the Ultimate Rewards mall to buy online for an extra bonus)

Don’t forget…

  • You must register to ACTIVATE the bonus EACH QUARTER or else you’ll only receive the standard 1x points per dollar. This is a bit of a hassle, but Chase gives you a lot of options, including asking for a reminder email or text message each quarter. Here is a link with the information.
  • The good news is, you can activate until the 15th of the month before the end of each quarter, and purchases made prior to that still count for the bonus.
  • And if you don’t normally spend $1,500 in those categories in a 3 month quarter, you can buy gift cards in those categories and still get the bonus, so you can use them for spending later

How to really max out on value

The best way to max out on value is to carry this card in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which earns 2x points on all dining and travel purchases with no limit on the bonus points you can earn. So, for purchases in those 5X point categories above, use your Freedom card. For everything else, use the Sapphire Preferred® Card.

Learn more about how this works here (you can combine your Freedom and Sapphire points at any time — for cash back or travel).

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Miles dont expireas long as card is open
Learn more

Partner Offer

50,000 bonus points

Intro Offer

$0 introductory annual fee the first year, then $95

Annual Fee


Foreign Transaction Fee Waived

Yes - transfer to United MileagePlus, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Marriott Rewards, and more

Points Can Transfer to Airline Miles ?

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