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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 the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, points earned on this card can be converted into 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.
For this quarter (September 1 through December 31), Chase is offering 5x points at Walmart and department stores. Registration for this bonus category closes today, so if you haven’t yet registered, be sure you do so today. You’ll continue to earn 5x points through the end of the month (assuming you haven’t maxed out the bonus category), though only if you activate the bonus by December 14.
Up until now, Chase has kept the 5x points category for the first quarter of 2018 a secret. It looks like we now know what that bonus category will be.
Between January 1 and March 31, 2018, the Chase Freedom will offer 5x points on the first $1,500 of combined purchases for mobile payments (Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay), gas stations, internet, cable, and phone services. Registration for this category will open tomorrow.
Here’s the fine print associated with these bonus categories:
Gas Stations does not include merchants that do not specialize in selling automotive gasoline; for example, truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors, and home heating companies. For more information, please see Chase Freedom Frequently Asked Questions.
Internet/Cable/Phone Services only purchases for internet, cable, satellite television, radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify. Please note that purchases of equipment are not included. In addition, if you purchase or pay for your internet, cable and satellite television, phone or related services in a merchant’s store that is not classified by the merchant in the applicable services category, the purchase or payment will not qualify; for example, phone bill payments in a merchant’s store that is classified as a telephone equipment store.
Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay includes purchases made using your Freedom card with your Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, or Android Pay digital wallet during check out. Eligible purchases only qualify for a total of 5% Cash Back rewards; purchases made using eligible wallets at other current 5% quarterly categories will be awarded a total of 5% Cash Back rewards on up to $1500 in combined purchases.
This seems like a pretty well rounded bonus category. Personally I don’t value the 5x points on internet, cable, and phone services much, since the Ink Business Cash already earns me 5x points in those categories. 5x points on gas stations is a nice bonus for many, though I don’t really drive, so that’s not very useful to me. Fortunately earning 5x points on mobile payment services should be super easy to do, so that’s how I plan on maximizing this category.
What do you make of the Chase Freedom first quarter 2018 bonus category?
(Tip of the hat to Doctor of Credit)