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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.
There is a bit of overlap in the bonus categories here with one of my other workhorse credit cards, the Sapphire Preferred, which earns a total of 2.14x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar at restaurants including the card’s 7% annual points dividend. Because the Freedom’s quarterly cap is $1,500 and the Sapphire Preferred’s bonus is unlimited (and it earns 3x points per $1 on First Fridays), I’m going to concentrate my bonus spending at Lowe’s this quarter. I have a lot of home improvement to do this spring, actually, so this really comes in handy for me – especially since right now, I can earn an extra 5x points per dollar for clicking through to Lowes.com via the Ultimate Rewards shopping portal.
However, even if you don’t have $1,500 to spend at Lowe’s, you can always purchase something online at Lowes.com for in-store pickup and then go into the store to exchange it for retailer gift cards, like Starbucks and iTunes, since those are usually only sold in-store, and you can shift your spending that way. There are a lot of options!
If you haven’t activated your card for the 5x categories yet, 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.
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It's a stellar Cash Back card on its own, but when paired with the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred, the Freedom's 5x Category Bonuses let you rack up Chase Ultimate Rewards Points, transferrable to partners or redeemable via the portal.
- Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
- Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — it's automatic
- 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.49-24.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
- Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months
- Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
- No annual fee