Chase Freedom 2014 5% Bonus Categories Announced

Chase just announced the 2014 quarterly bonus categories, on the no annual fee Chase Freedom Card which will be as follows:

Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2014): Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks® stores
Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2014): Restaurants and Lowe’s® home improvement stores
Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2014): Gas stations and Kohl’s®
Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2014): Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores

When you register your card each quarter you then earn 5x points for the first $1,500 spent in the category.With a bit of creativity it shouldn’t be too tough to max out the bonus categories each quarter, earning a total of 30,000 points for $6,000 of spend. That’s an amazing return, and the best part is that if you have a card that accrues “premium” Ultimate Rewards points (like the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, or Ink Bold® Business Charge Card), you can pool the points earned with your Freedom Card and transfer them to one of the Ultimate Rewards transfer partners.

I just recently picked up this card during a temporarily increased sign-up bonus, given that it’s a card I’ve always wanted. This is a card that’s worth keeping long term given that it has no annual fee and has the potential to earn so many points. I’m guessing most people won’t have any issues maxing out the second and fourth quarter bonus categories, while the first and third quarter bonus categories shouldn’t be too tough to max out with some creativity.

(In the interest of full disclosure, I earn a referral bonus for anyone approved through the above links. Thanks for your support!)

Comments

  1. I don’t understand the mechanics of how this cash back becomes eligible to convert to points. Do you get a $200 credit on your statement and then call Chase to convert to points? Coudl you explain what one needs to do to ensure that you get the points and not the cash back? Thanks!

  2. “great thing about this card is the earning potential.”? Well, a maximum of $300 a year on the 5% categories, and that is hardly a huge earning potential, especially as the random categories may not easily match your spending

  3. @ Ryan — Great question! Basically you’re not earning “cash” in your account, but rather points. If you redeem those points directly through the Freedom Card each point gets you a cent.

    However, if you go to ultimaterewards.com and enter your Freedom number and Ink Plus/Bold/Sapphire Preferred number, you can transfer those points at a 1:1 ratio to any of those cards. Very simple process.

    Does that make sense? 🙂

  4. @ Card User — Well I value Ultimate Rewards points at more than a cent a piece, so to me it’s worth quite a bit more than that. And we’re talking about a no annual fee card, so I do think it’s a very good return.

  5. Anyone have an idea of a “creative” way to spend $1500 at Lowes? {My kitchen is already remodeled}. 😉

  6. I am actually really disappointed in the 2014 categories. I was considering this card but I think I will pass this year. I can already get 5x for gas, movie theatres, starbucks, Lowe’s, Kohl’s, Amazon and several department stores and restaurants using my Ink card. And there is no limit. Where are the grocery store and drugstore categories?

  7. @Jessica,
    You are right. Also, Amazon has so many promotions like the current AMEX one that your Amazon Gift card balance can really go high and then you will have to use it eventually!
    Chase, if u r reading, bring back the Drugstore for every Quarter!

  8. What’s the creative way to max out at gas station? I heard about buying gc at gas station but here in Southern California, I haven’t seen any gas station that sells gc….

  9. ever since they stopped the 10 points per transaction this card has lost most of its appeal. not worth a credit pull with such a low sign up bonus.

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