Chase Freedom 5x: Reminder to Activate 3rd Quarter and Gear Up For 4th!

by on September 12, 2013 · 9 comments

in Chase

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Just a quick reminder that Saturday, September 14, is the last day to activate your Chase Freedom card category spending bonuses for the third quarter of 2013. The Q3 2013 bonus categories where you can earn 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar up to $1,500 are gas stations, theme parks and Kohl’s. The bonus categories are in effect until September 30, 2013, and even if you haven’t registered your card yet, Chase will retroactively credit you with the bonus points on your category spending from the whole quarter.

Chase Freedom Q32013

You will also be able to register your card for the Quarter 4 bonus categories starting the following day, Sunday, September 15, and they will include select department stores (including Macy’s, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, Barney’s, Sears and more) and purchases made from October 1 – December 31, 2013.

If you don’t want to forget to activate your card in the future, you can have Chase send you a reminder by email or text. I also always get reminded at Chase ATMs and was able to activate this quarter’s 5X by clicking a button at the ATM.f

About Bonus Spending Categories

Freedom’s 5X spending bonuses are one of the best ways to rack up bonus Ultimate Rewards points using your Chase Freedom Visa or Freedom Mastercard. The only downside is the $1,500 quarterly cap ($6,000 annually). That’s still a potential total of 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points annually, which is pretty lucrative for a card with no annual fee.

Not only that, but the Freedom recently revised its bonus earning structure so that starting August 1, 2013, instead of the old Chase Exclusives formula where you earned a 10% bonus on the base points you earned every year and a 10-point per-transaction bonus to just earning a flat 10% bonus on all points you earn in the year, including the 5X bonus points, so if you max out these categories, you’re looking at another 3,000 points on top of it.

Those 33,000 points are equivalent to $330 in cash back if you just have the Freedom, or they can be transferred to Ultimate Rewards’ travel partners if you have one of the premium cards like the Sapphire Preferred, or Ink Plus.

If you have one of those premium Ultimate Rewards cards, travel partners include: United, British Airways, Southwest, Korean Air, Virgin Atlantic, Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club and Amtrak. I personally think United miles are most valuable transfer option since the airline’s award thresholds and fees are pretty low and it has pretty generous award/routing rules. Earning 5 United miles for every dollar spent is a pretty amazing deal for a card that has no annual fee.

Check out this post for how to maximize the Freedom/Sapphire Preferred/Ink combination’s points-earning potential.

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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  • Dhurd

    I think Kohls sells gift cards, so I think I will stop by there before the end of the year and buy gas cards or anything else I know I will need in the near future since I didn’t even come close to maxing out this quarter.

  • Lea

    Will using amazon payments next quarter be counted as an amazon purchase?

  • GAM


  • Chase me

    Can I go buy gas gift cards at a service station and count that towards the $1500 quarterly spend?


    5x points on Amazon purchases is a good deal!

  • Emily D


  • Emily D

    There’s no way I can spend $1500 next quarter in department stores – even including Amazon. Anyone have any tricks? Gift cards would work, but I have not seen any gift cards at these stores for anything other than the stores themselves.

  • BigL

    Do you know if Sears includes Kmart?

  • AJM

    If you have a Chase Ink Bold, you can always earn 5x UR Points at Amazon by purchasing Amazon gift cards at an office supply store (I go to my local Office Max) and then making your Amazon purchases with them.

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