Chase Sapphire Reserve℠

Reminder: Activate Chase Freedom 5X at Restaurants and Lowe’s April-June 2014

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New offer: The IHG Rewards Club Select Credit Card is a great way to pad your IHG balance with 70,000 points after $1,000 spent within the first 3 months.

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.

 

Strategy

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.

Right now Lowe's is offering 5x bonus points per $1 through Ultimate Rewards.
Right now Lowe’s is offering 5x bonus points per $1 through Ultimate Rewards.

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.
For more on the Chase Freedom, read these previous posts:
Chase Freedom 2014 5x Bonus Categories Announced
Top 10 Cards In My Wallet And What I Use Each For
Maximizing Dining Purchases
What is the Best Credit Card for Home Improvement Expenses?

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now
  • 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 14.24-23.24%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
0% for 15 months 14.24%-23.24% Variable $0 3.00% Excellent/Good