Chase Freedom 5x Category Bonuses Announced For Throughout 2014

by on December 4, 2013 · 12 comments

in Chase

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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:, and select department stores
Earn 5% cash back at department stores this quarter.

Earn cash back at department stores, gas stations, Amazon and Zappos.

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 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
  • Text Message: Sign up for Chase Freedom 5% Text Reminders at and you’ll get a text reminding you when it’s time to activate.
  • Email: Provide your email address at 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.
For those new to the the Chase Freedom, the current sign-up offer is:
  • $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.
Apply for a card here and you can take advantage of the increased bonus of 20,000 points after $500 in spend within 3 months, which is double the normal bonus.

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

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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  • michaelspain

    Are there new 5% categories every *month* or every quarter? Also, has Chase come up with an easy and (dare I dream) quick way to see our bonus category spend status? That’s what I want for Christmas!

  • GaryA

    Every quarter. I’m guessing that was a typo.

  • Sanders

    Just saying, but these categories for Chase freedom aren’t very good; at least for someone who lives in NYC with no car (and no gas stations). I much prefer the categories on my Discover card. What’s one to do to get the most points/cash in the 1st and 3rd quarters? Gift cards? I’ve heard mixed reviews of trying the Vanilla Reloads/Prepaid Debit card..

  • DaveL

    No more 5% drug stores (CVS VR)

  • Kg123

    Do you earn the annual 10% points bonus on the 5x categories, too?

  • thepointsguy


  • Chucks

    I used to exploit that and buy gift cards for other places (Amazon) at CVS. No more

  • Chucks

    I agree. Unless you’re some ridiculous soccer mom or a commuter in an enormous SUV, how are you supposed to get close to $1500/quarter in gas? I buy maybe a tank a month if that. Chase Freedom is on alert for losing its place in my wallet.

  • mailme

    I really need to maximize points this quarter, but there is no way I can buy visa prepaid cards this quarter. All I can buy are the gas cards or other store cards. I can’t buy $1500 worth of store cards. Visa prepaid cards would be good. Any pointers?

  • dsamso

    Brian. I was checking how much Amazon spend I had done with my Freedom card in Q4-03 so as to buy amazon gift cards directly to reach the $1,500 limit when I realized something interesting: when I returned items in Amazon, Chase deducts 1 point per dollar spent in the next billing cycle: they subtract my returns from my purchases and I get 1 point for the difference. However, they do not debit 4 points extra I received for the purchase I made in the first place and subsequently returned (legitimately, I am not running any kind of scam). Have you seen this before?

  • Kelly

    yeah these catagories are kinda lame. loews, unless you have a house, who goes there? home depot is better. and gas for nyc people that sucks movies and starbucks, where you dont spent a ton of money. better than nothing.

  • Chris Lieto

    “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 mySapphire PreferredandInk PlusUltimate Rewards accounts and then transfer on to partners like United, Southwest and Hyatt.” —>How did you come up with $600? I understand the transfer to the Sapphire Preferred but the transferring to partners is 1:1, so not sure how you come up with $600. Nice article, thank you.

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