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One of the best ways out there to rack up bonus points on specific spending categories is with Chase Freedom’s quarterly rotating categories of merchants and retailers where cardholders earn 5 points per $1 up to a $1,500 quarterly cap.
Last month I shared the categories for the first cycle of next year from January to March, 2014, but now those for the entire year have been announced, which are as follows:
- Q1 from January 1-March 31, 2014: Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks
- Q2 from April 1–June 30, 2014: Restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores
- Q3 from July 1–September 30, 2014: Gas stations and Kohl’s
- Q4 from October 1–December 31, 2014: Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
If you maximize the $6,000 in yearly spend, you are looking at 30,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points, which may not seem like a ton, but it’s pretty awesome for a card that has no annual fee. Normally 30,000 Freedom Ultimate Rewards points equal $300 in cash back, but I value them at about $600, since I can transfer them to my Sapphire Preferred and Ink Plus Ultimate Rewards accounts and then transfer on to partners like United, Southwest and Hyatt.
If you haven’t activated your card for the final 5x categories of 2013 which are Amazon.com and select department stores you should do so by December 14th and you will be retroactively credited for all your pertinent spend this quarter. You can activate your card the following ways:
- Online: Visit chase.com/freedom.
- Text Message: Sign up for Chase Freedom 5% Text Reminders at chase.com/freedom and you’ll get a text reminding you when it’s time to activate.
- Email: Provide your email address at chase.com/freedom and they will send you an email when it’s time to activate.
- Phone: Call the number on the back of your card and let an adviser activate your 5% cash back.
- Chase location: Visit any Chase bank and see a personal banker.
- $200 bonus cash back after you spend $500 in your first three months from account opening.
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter.
- New 5% categories every month.
- Earn 1% cash back on everything else that you buy without limits on what you can earn.
- Earn extra cash back with you shop online at select merchants through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
For more on the Chase Freedom, read these previous posts:
Chase Freedom Visa 2014 5x Bonus Categories Announced
Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus Increased To 20,000 Bonus Points
Top 10 Cards In My Wallet And What I Use Each For