Earn 5x Points At Costco For The Rest Of 2016

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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.

Bottom line

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.

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  1. I love that Chase is attacking Citi for Costco spend! This war will only benefit the consumer. And with our current spend amounts both my wife and I will have little problem hitting the max on our Freedom cards.

  2. I use Costco quite a bit. I am wondering if getting the Freedom card is better than Sapphire. I currently have the United Mileage Plus Visa and I am not crazy about it.
    My main objective is accrue points to get United air tickets for international trips. What would you suggest for me to do?

  3. Ben, real opportunity here is sams club……Greg is giddy is the clue for the masses.

  4. Well, the Costco offer ends June 30. Until June 20 still under Amex. I heard this 5% offer was extended until the end of the year but I cannot confirm it. I want to make sure before applying. Does anybody know?

  5. Kudos to Lucky for the recent Costco articles and mention of the non-commissioned visa card. Would be good to also see mention of the new switch of Fidelity 2% cash back card from Amex to Visa. That is big news too I think and will change my card spend pattern.

  6. Lucky, what card do you think is better: Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Unlimited? I just got the Chase Freedom Unlimited to pair with my Chase Sapphire card, which is why I’m asking.

  7. I’m always amazed when i read about people traveling on points to god knows places all the time.
    I have tried to upgrade or use points on Star Alliance members but availability of seats is a problem.
    I am now flying and paying for Bus. Class because i’m tired of the games airlines play.
    Am i missing something here??
    Advice appreciated . romeo

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