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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 restaurants and movie theaters
Through June 30, 2017, Chase is offering 5x points on grocery store and drugstore purchases. However, registration for that category closed yesterday.
Chase has just opened registration for the third quarter bonus category. You can now register to earn 5x points on the first $1,500 spent at restaurants and movie theaters between July 1 and September 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.
While I think these categories are quite straightforward, here’s how Chase defines qualifying purchases:
- Merchants in the Restaurants category are merchants whose primary business is sit-down or eat-in dining, including fast food Restaurants as well as fine dining establishments. Please note that some merchants that sell food and drinks located within larger merchants such as sports stadiums, hotels and casinos, theme parks, grocery and department stores will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in a restaurant category.
- Merchants in the Movie Theaters category show motion pictures to an audience, including at drive-in theaters. Please note that theaters that provide live entertainment and merchants that sell and rent movies or provide movie subscription or streaming services are not included in this category. In addition, if you make purchases that are not processed by the merchant in the Movie Theaters category, the purchase will not qualify; for example food and beverage, or merchandise purchases.
Personally the restaurants category is the one I’m most excited about, since I easily spend $1,500 per quarter on dining/restaurants.
Ordinarily some of the best cards for restaurant spend are as follows:
- Chase Sapphire Reserve℠ — 3x points
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — 2x points
- Citi Prestige® Card — 2x points
- Citi ThankYou Premier Card — 2x points
- Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express — 2x points
- Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card — 2x points
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 second quarter bonus category, you can continue to earn 5x points at grocery stores and drugstores for the next couple of weeks.
Beyond that, you can now register to earn 5x points at restaurants and movie theaters between July 1 and September 30, 2017.
Do you plan on maxing out the Chase Freedom third quarter bonus category?