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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 translates into 5% cashback in these categories.
The best part is that in conjunction with cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred℠ 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 those points.
Now open: register to earn 5x points at grocery stores and drugstores
Through March 31, 2017, Chase is offering 5x points on gas station and local commuter transportation purchases. However, registration for that category closed yesterday.
Chase has just opened registration for the second quarter bonus category. You can now register to earn 5x points on the first $1,500 spent at grocery stores and drugstores between April 1 and June 30, 2017.
Registration is easy — just go to the registration page and enter your last name, billing zip code, and the last four digits on your card, and you’ll be registered.
In case you’re wondering what specifically qualifies under the above categories, here’s how Chase explains them:
- Merchants in the Chase Freedom Grocery stores category that does not include Walmart® and Target® purchases, includes supermarkets as well as smaller grocery stores. Please note that some merchants that sell grocery items are not included in this category; for example, larger stores that sell a wide variety of goods, such as Target®, Walmart®, discount stores, warehouse clubs, and some smaller merchants such as drugstores and merchants that specialize in only a few grocery items. In addition, please note that purchases made at gas stations operated by merchants who also operate grocery stores are not included in this category.
- Merchants in the Drugstores category specialize in selling prescription drugs and over-the-counter medicines, supplements and various health-related items. These merchants may also sell cosmetics, toiletries, greeting cards, and various household items such as cleaning supplies and packaged foods and drinks. Please note that some merchants that sell a wide variety of goods including these items, and which may contain an onsite pharmacy, for example, warehouse clubs, discount stores, or grocery stores, are not included in this category.
This is a category that many people should have no trouble maximizing. However, do keep in mind that there are other cards offering a great return on grocery store purchases. For example, The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express offers 3x points on the first $6,000 spent annually on purchases at U.S. grocery stores.
On top of that you earn a 50% points bonus if you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle, meaning you can earn 4.5x points on grocery store purchases with this card. That’s not all that different than 5x points, though I know lots of people max out the grocery story bonus category on the EveryDay Preferred Card, which makes the Freedom Card bonus category even better.
How to make Chase Freedom points even more valuable
Just to recap, you earn points on the Chase Freedom, and each point can be redeemed for one cent cashback.
However, if you have this card in addition to one of the cards that accrues “premium” Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue “premium” Ultimate Rewards Cards include the:
So 5% cashback converts into 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with one of the above cards.
The Chase Freedom is one of the best no annual fee cards out there, and I do everything I can to max out the 5x points category every quarter. If you’ve already registered for the first quarter bonus category, you can continue to earn 5x points at gas stations and on local commuter transportation for the next couple of weeks.
Beyond that, you can now register to earn 5x points at grocery stores and drugstores between April 1 and June 30, 2017.
Do you plan on maxing out the Chase Freedom second quarter bonus category?