Chase Freedom 2013 cash back categories announced

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Yesterday Chase Freedom announced the 5% cash back categories for 2013 on their Facebook page.

These bonuses are valid for the Chase Freedom®, which has no annual fee. You can earn the 5% bonus for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter.

If you plan your spend strategically it really shouldn’t be too tough to max out these categories (especially since drug stores and gas stations often sell gift cards). I think I’m the only person left in this country that doesn’t use Amazon religiously, so I’m not sure if the fourth quarter will work great for me, but other than that I’m good to go.

While the Chase Freedom card accruex cash back, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, or Ink Bold® Business Charge Card, you can convert those “cash back points” into Ultimate Rewards points. That means you’d be earning 5x points per dollar spent with United or Hyatt, for example.

There’s a limit of earning the bonus on $1,500 of spend per quarter, so you’re looking at an easy 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points per quarter, or 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points per year.

Believe it or not I actually don’t have the Chase Freedom card yet, even though it’s a no brainer given that it doesn’t have an annual fee. The issue is that Chase has had so many great card offers lately that I’ve just been going for the best bonuses rather than looking at which card will help me maximize long term, everyday spend. I’ll be applying for it in my next cycle, and it’s one of those cards that’s a keeper.

About lucky

Ben Schlappig (aka Lucky) is a travel consultant, blogger, and avid points collector. He travels about 400,000 miles a year, primarily using miles and points to fund his first class experiences. He chronicles his adventures, along with industry news, here at One Mile At A Time.

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  1. Very disappointing that grocery stores were left out for 2013. The categories are significantly worse at least in my opinion and have me considering canceling.

  2. Lucky, do you know if the cash back applies to the online stores as well (e.g., Best Buy, Kohl’s) or is it brick and mortar only?

  3. The good thing with these bonuses is you don’t need to click through a portal (for online purchases)…which means you still can click through a portal.

    The current bonus is good at Best Buy. There are also a few 6% cashback offers for Best Buy. Best Buy also had a free $25 gift card offer over the weekend (for in store pickup). All of which are stackable, so 11% + $25… not a bad deal.

    Unfortunately, it doesn’t look like something similar will be plausible next year (except maybe with Kohls).

  4. @Adasaw Not sure if you are trolling or serious, but I will leave this here in hopes it helps someone out.

    There is no good reason to close a no annual fee card unless you have to (ie moving the credit line to a new card, etc.). You maybe unhappy with the promos though just put the card in your drawer and don’t use it. Closing the card will only negatively affect your credit score and make it that much harder to get new cards in the future.

  5. Lucky,

    FYI I have the Chase Freedom and it automatically tallys the points as both Cash Back and Ultimate Rewards Points. I can redeem for cash or anything through Ultimate Rewards.

    And for the record this is the only Chase card I have. Discover is another great card for these 5% cash back offers too.

  6. Are you sure you’re reading the bonus threshold correctly?

    It says “5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent.” That’s a max of $75 in bonus each quarter. Read the small print at the top of your picture.

  7. I’m not too thrilled with these categories either. The gas stations are good, but no grocery stores is a disappointment.

    Maybe this is going to be the year when I stop making this my primary go-to card, and sign up for the Chase Sapphire Preferred or something (using one of Lucky’s referral links, of course).

  8. @ Adam — Sorry, I realize the way I wrote it isn’t clear. I didn’t mean to infer that you could earn $1,500 of rewards per quarter.

    @ Andrew B — You still don’t have the Chase Sapphire Preferred? What are you waiting for? 😀

  9. I’m a newbie so I may be asking a dumb question. By reading this am I supposed to sign up for a new Chase card for every promotion so that I can spend $1500 in each category?

  10. @ Amanda — Sorry for any confusion. You only need to sign up for a single Chase Freedom card. Then each quarter you earn a rotating bonus, and all you need to do is register once each quarter to activate those bonuses. But the first step would just be to sign up for a Chase Freedom Visa or MasterCard.

  11. @AdamH-You are right…no good reason to cancel. I’ll just be using it a whole lot less. Since I pay it off in full, Chase will probably be very happy about that :).

  12. The lack of a travel category bonus also makes it worse than prior years. I’ll probably still continue using this card a lot though as a Chase checking customer. Many of my credit card transactions are small in dollar value, so I like the 10 points + 10% bonus, which then has higher points than Sapphire for small dining and travel purchases (like daily parking).

  13. Thanks for posting this Lucky. However, I’m disappointed that Chase isn’t including Airlines or Hotels in 2013 (like they did in 2012).

  14. So I had a chase cash back cc that was automatically converted to the freedom visa a couple years back. Since I technically never received a signup bonus, would I be eligible for the bonus if I applied for a freedom mc?

  15. @ E — You’d be eligible for a sign-up bonus on another card, though not the Freedom if you have it right now unfortunately.

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