Chase Freedom Updates: New Category Bonuses and Potential Bonus Change

by on April 13, 2012 · 26 comments

in Chase, Credit Cards

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Update: the Chase Freedom card sign-up bonus is currently 10,000 points with $500 spend within the first 3 months.

Just a friendly reminder that the Chase Freedom card’s 5x point categories for Q2 (April 1-June 30) are grocery stores and movie theaters. If you already have the card, you can activate your bonuses here. The max you can get the 5x is $1,500 and remember- if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Bold card those points can be transferred to United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean, Hyatt, Marriott, Priority Club and Amtrak. I personally find United miles to be the most valuable transfer partner since their award thresholds are pretty low, they have generous routing rules and fees are dirt cheap. Earning 5 United miles for every dollar spent is a pretty amazing deal for a card that has no annual fee. 

You can also maximize Freedom if you have a Chase checking account because they give a 10% annual bonus at the end of the year on all purchases. So unless I’m spending on travel and dining, I’ll be putting most of my spend on my Freedom card to maximize these side bonuses. For more info on the Chase Exclusives/Checking program, check out this post.

These past couple weeks have been a roller coaster ride for Chase credit card deals and we saw the Freedom card go up to 35,000 points, then 30,000 and now it’s settled at 20,000. I got an email from my marketing company that the bonus may change on Monday, so it’s anyone’s guess whether it’ll go up or down. The good thing is that Chase will generally honor any higher public sign-up bonuses if you apply for a card within 90 days of the new bonus going up. Just send a secure message asking to be get the better deal.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Danny April 13, 2012 at 12:50 pm

A little pushback on the last point – I applied for both the Ink Bold and the Freedom last Monday. Within 24 hours there were public links for 10k more points for both cards. Chase has indicated some willingness to match the Ink Bold offer (though they said get back to them when I’ve done the spend) but they have thrice declined to match the higher Freedom offer of 35k saying in each case that the offer was not a valid Chase offer and they were very sorry but they couldn’t match it. I still love Chase but I’ve not had any success on Freedom bumping. YMMV.

Marzman77 April 13, 2012 at 12:51 pm

I got the 30k freedom deal about 6 weeks ago and asked for the difference since there was a 35K offer, but Chase said “this was not a legitimate offer.” They’re becoming as bad as Amex I think.

Mark April 13, 2012 at 12:55 pm

Nope – I got the freedom card two weeks ago with a 25,000 points ($250) bonus. I sent them a secure message twice asking for the 30,000 offer that had been out there, and they will not honor it. In the second response, they wrote “Although we appreciate your loyalty, we ask that you trust
that this decision is the same for all members. ”

Also, I called and tried to get in on the Chase “Exclusives” program since I have a Checking Account, Savings Account, Sapphire Preferred card and now the Freedom card. The woman I spoke to tried to tell me that the Freedom card was not eligible for the “10/10″ bonus and that it is a different promotion. After explaining to her what I wanted several times, she finally talked to a supervisor who said I would need to go into a branch and ask for the “Exclusives” program.

Nguyen April 13, 2012 at 1:31 pm

@Mark, since you already have the Chase Checking Account, the “Exclusive” program would start automatically after 30-90 days. In my case, it started after 1.5 months. Even if you go to the branch to ask them to link manually, it still has to wait. My data points…

monsoon April 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm

Just a little tip – in order to take advantage of the 5x point bonus for grocery store purchases, I purchased a Visa gift card in the amount of $500. The only additional fee was a purchase fee of $5.95. Just received my points a couple of days ago and am happy to say that it worked! 2500pts + 250pts (10% rebate) + 10pts (exclusive program) = 2760pts. This is all for the price of $5.95!

PJ April 13, 2012 at 1:50 pm

oh no dont lose faith on the GENEROUS Chase. I have many friends husband and wife both opened checkin account for $150 $200 bonus( a mail in offer instead of Ebay coupon for ~$20) 2 Sapphire preferred 50 K each ( one with just a purchase) 2 United Explorer waiting to get Hyatt or any chase card on promotion. adding up to 260K enough for 4 round trip to far east..

I bought $1000 grocery gift cards and paid $950 plus 950 X1.1 + 950X4 ~ 4850 UR and then buy gas gift cards from the same supermarket. When I fill the tank, i get the gas at Cash price not credit price.. much better than the plain vanila 5 % off credit. Thanks Chase

well I have two freedom cards well well before they rolled into Freedom. I got $100 signon bonus ; enough to lure me into 5% GAS AND GROCERY ALL YEAR around with annual bonus capped at $300 NO TRANSFER into United

PJ April 13, 2012 at 1:58 pm

sit tight dont sign up direct deposit YET until they lure you in with $150 bonus all I did was do an ACH trasnfer from my own account away ez as 123

AceTracer April 13, 2012 at 3:37 pm

Hey TPG, how long did it take for your 10% bonus to take effect? Chase tells me it’ll take up to three billing cycles, and there’s no way to expedite the process.

AceTracer April 13, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Thanks, that’s the info I was looking for. Kind of ridiculous that it takes that long.

AKold April 13, 2012 at 3:51 pm

My grocery store sells merchant gift cards for free … the cheapest gas station around here (ARCO) doesn’t take credit card, but they sell gift cards at our local grocery store. They are 20¢ a gallon cheaper than the competition, plus I get 5x miles and 2x rewards points at my local grocery store since they do a gift card promotion.

Our Safeway also has a deal where if you buy $100 in Mastercard gift cards, you get a $10 grocery coupon, which more than pays the ~$4 activation fee.

PJ April 13, 2012 at 5:35 pm

good to know :) safeway 10 dollars promotion

Jerry April 13, 2012 at 6:01 pm

I signed up for the same two cards last week and had the same response from chase after requesting the bump… Contact them after making the spend on the ink and was denied the bump on the freedom. I guess 80k ur points isn’t too bad for those two cards.

Raj B April 13, 2012 at 9:29 pm

Once the Exclusive bonuses take effect, do you get the 10% + 1o pts retroactive to the first Freedom charges, or just from that point forward? Thanks!

tassojunior April 13, 2012 at 11:27 pm

There are screenshots of the Freedom 35K on FT threads. I emailed it while talking with a rep activating my card and he said he would honor the bump from 25 to 35.

He said.

PJ April 13, 2012 at 11:39 pm

our supermarket sells their$1000 grocery gift cards for $950 it works too when I use the gift cards this quarter or later to buy grocery there including the gas gift cards you can virtually convert 5% all year around by just paying 5.95 more (1 %) AND CAN SHOP ANYWHERE also a good way to fill the Chase Freedom 500 Spend and get $ 250 sign on bonus

Nguyen April 14, 2012 at 2:41 am

@Raj, from my experience, the Exclusive bonuses, 10/10, take effect from that point forward. I once did the secured message to Chase to ask for the retroactive points to the first charges, but got the denial. I called the Chase CSR, and received the 10 pts per transaction. I did not want to press on with the 10% bonus. Hope this helps.

PJ April 14, 2012 at 7:43 am

ooops have I been goofing: are you sure you are getting 10 % more on the whole 2500? Chase confirmed with me you get 500 + 50 for 10% plus 2000 ( for 4% to make 5 % rebate) plus 10 points so 2560

Raj B April 14, 2012 at 10:05 am


Chuck Parrish April 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm

I applied just a couple of weeks ago. Got the card, met min spend, qualified for 25K UR. I sent secure message requesting a one time bump of 10K to match the 35k offer. It was declined with the reason given that the 35k offer was no longer active. FYI.

Nguyen April 14, 2012 at 5:23 pm

+1. I already had the Chase checking account. Went to the local branch on the day I got the card to ask the Chase CSR to link them together. Also, called # on the back of Chase Freedom card to verity the link process. Still had to wait for the “process” to take place…

guest April 16, 2012 at 8:40 pm

anyone know if freshdirect in nyc goes under the grocery store category? for the freedom thanks.

Nishanth May 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

So, I applied for and got approved for a Chase Freedom card. When I received a card and called to activate, I was told that what I got was a Chase Freedom Ultimate rewards card, not a Chase Freedom 1010 card, which has the 10% bonus and 10 bonus points with checking and they couldn’t convert it to the other. Now, why would they have the exact same card, with no annual fee, but one card gets bonus points for each transaction. Has anyone else faced this issue?

thepointsguy May 7, 2012 at 10:09 pm

Sounds like you got a clueless rep. Id call back again- never heard of a specific 1010 card

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