Will The 5% Cash Back Through Chase Freedom Work on Purchasing Gift Cards at Nordstrom?

by on October 6, 2013 · 15 comments

in Chase, Sunday Reader Questions, Video Blog Post

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TPG Twitter follower Alexander is looking to take advantage of Chase Freedom’s 5% cash back bonus at select department stores in Q4:

“Will the 5% cash back through Chase Freedom work on purchasing gift cards at Nordstrom?”

Greetings from Madrid, everyone! I am currently at the Radisson Blu Hotel Prado, which is one of the new properties that I’ll be reviewing shortly, so stay tuned!

Earn 5% cash back at department stores this quarter.

Earn 5% cash back at department stores this quarter.

Alexander is asking about one of the best overall benefits of the Chase Freedom Visa card, the 5X points you earn at a rotating list of merchants or merchant categories each quarter up to a cap of $1,500. Quarter 4′s spending bonus categories include “Select Department Stores,” and among those is Nordstrom, so the answer is, yes, buying gift cards at Nordstrom will count, as well those at other department stores including Macy’s, Kohl’s and Bloomingdale’s.

As a reminder, 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. You can activate your Chase Freedom card category spending bonuses for the fourth quarter of 2013.

To earn even more points or miles, go through an online shopping portal.

To earn even more points or miles, go through an online shopping portal.

Whenever you make a purchase from one of these stores, the credit card company has no way of knowing exactly what you are buying, so as long as there is a purchase from one of the following department stores, you will get the 5X bonus points. To maximize your points earnings, you can even try to buy the gift cards online through one of the online shopping portals and earn even more bonus points that way. For example, right now, is offering 5 points per $1 through the Ultimate Rewards portal if you have a Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold or Ink Plus.

Screen shot 2013-10-04 at 4.40.44 PMSo you could potentially earn a whopping 10 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on your purchases. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, so in my estimation, that’s like getting 20% back on your spending. Sometimes shopping portals prohibit gift card purchases but some do allow it.

I’d always recommend trying to buy gift cards through one of the online portals if you were going to get it in the store anyway. You might as well try to bank those extra portal points!

List of major department stores included:

  • JCPenney
  • Kohl’s
  • Macy’s
  • Nordstrom
  • Sears
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Dillard’s
  • Loehmann’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Saks Fifth Ave and Off 5th

List of Shopping Portals:

Happy shopping!

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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  • Miles

    Do any of the department stores, including Nordstrom, sell PIN-enabled gift cards?

  • Billp

    Most stores don’t allow gift cards purchases as part of the mall rewards points. Check the fine print and exclusions.

  • Adam

    Nordstrom sells e-gift cards.

  • Adam

    True, i just checked Nordstrom on the UR Mall and the extra points will not count towards gift cards.

  • ROB

    Discover card has 5% back on online shopping, chase freedom 5% back amazon purchase, I have an offer from Citi for 2 miles per dollar on online shopping up to 2500 miles. I am trying to figure out how to get these done. Maybe big online retailers sell visa gift cards or amex or mastercard?

  • Jeff

    I was wonder about the same thing about buying giftcards….I assume that this article would apply to those giftcards as well??

  • Adam

    Use Citi Thank you is for Gas, Groceries and Department Stores. Discover is all online stores, and Freedom is Amazon and Department stores. You can purchase gift cards from Amazon to almost anywhere. Discover is for any online store. Simply shift your in-store purchases over if you don’t need the item(s) right away. Example i’m ordering a pair of New Balance sneakers from the Discover online store instead of going to the local store. You can also purchase gift cards from the grocery store and most likely earn big rewards plus fuel points.

    I stopped using Citi for air miles as they aren’t as rewarding to limit at $2500 in purchases.

  • AKCredit

    Hey TPG;
    Alaska just brought back the online shopping portable. You might as well put it on this post since its about online shopping. You can get up 1K free miles. 750 when you buy 1st purchase of $25 or more, also 250 when you signing up for shopping emails. Now for people that want to go on EK on AS miles this makes it faster to get the miles. AS also add EK award chart for Europe routes.

  • John

    I assume credit card charges via “Amazon Payments” won’t count as purchases as per the Chase Q4 promotion?

  • Kamal

    I use Citi EasyDeals to buy Staples gift card for 10% discount. I then use staples gift card to buy Amazon gift card, Shell gas gift card and other stores gift card making most of my regular purchases @ 10% discount. Hopefully Staples will continue with their policy of buying gift cards with Staples gift card.

  • Daniel

    How would I get 10 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 when buying through the Sapphire Ultimate Rewards portal, when the 5% reward is only on the Chase Freedom? Can I click through the Sapphire portal, pay with Freedom and still collect a total of 10 points per $1? I’m confused. Or is Sapphire offering the same quarterly 5% categories? Help!

  • BigL

    That trick works at Kmart too. EasyDeals sells gift cards for Sears, Lands End and Kmart. Kmart sells BP gas cards (and many other GC’s also). Plus, if you join Shop Your Way Rewards, every time you spend $50 at Kmart, you get a coupon for 30 cents off per gallon at BP gas stations, up to 20 gallons. It’s like getting 20% off gas.

  • Adam

    It’s only the Chase Freedom. Sapphire does not offer 5% categories

  • Marshall


    If I buy 1500 worth of amazon gift cards, will that qualify for the 5% bonus?

  • Marshall

    thru amazon, I need to add.

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