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The Chase Freedom is one of my favorite no annual fee credit cards, as it offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter. Most people use this as a cashback card, meaning the 5x points really converts into 5% cashback in these categories.
For me, the best part of this card is that in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Plus® Business Credit Card, points earned on this card can be converted into “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, and be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. Since I value one Ultimate Rewards point at significantly more than one cent, that’s my preferred use of points.
As I posted about on Sunday, today is the last day to register to earn 5x points at grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the rest of the second quarter. While you can continue to earn 5x points for up to $1,500 of spend through June 30, registration cuts off today.
Bonus categories for the next two quarters just got better
Per View from the Wing, Chase has extended their 5x points category for wholesale clubs for all of 2016:
With the Costco credit card acceptance changing to Visa on June 20, including those issued by Chase, Chase Freedom is announcing that it will continue to offer the 5% cash back category of Wholesale Clubs through the end of the year. Chase Freedom cardholders earn 5% cash back each quarter on up to $1,500 in combined purchases from Wholesale Clubs, including Costco®, BJ’s® and Sam’s Club®, and other additional rotating quarterly categories.
As you can see above, wholesale clubs include Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s Club.
Essentially wholesale clubs will be added to the existing Chase Freedom categories for the third and fourth quarters, and you’ll still be capped at 5x points on a total of $1,500 of spend for each quarter. In other words, you earn 5x points on a total of up to $1,500 of spend on:
- Restaurants and wholesale clubs in the third quarter
- Holiday shopping (more details to be announced) and wholesale clubs in the fourth quarter
I suspect the reason for this bonus category extension is that Costco’s switch from American Express to Citi was delayed until June 20, 2016. While the switchover was previously supposed to happen a couple of months back, that was delayed because Amex sold their existing cardmember portfolio to Citi.
While the new partnership is with Citi, all Visa cards will be accepted at Costco, and the Chase Freedom is a Visa. So Chase is clearly trying to capitalize on this Costco switch as well, by getting people to use the Freedom Card there.
I know a lot of people who will get a lot of value out of being able to earn 5x points at Costco in the third and fourth quarters. If you don’t yet have the Chase Freedom, you should still be able to sign up and earn 5x points in the third and fourth quarter. Just keep in mind that Chase cards are tougher to get approved for than in the past.