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Chase Unveils 5x Freedom Bonus Categories For 2016

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Chase Freedom’s latest cash-back promotion is officially available for enrollment, along with the announcement of 2016’s upcoming bonus categories. A couple weeks ago, a TPG Reader tipped us off to the first of 2016’s 5% cash back categories — gas stations and local commuter transportation. Starting today, Freedom cardholders can activate the bonus to earn a higher cash-back rate than the card’s standard 1%, starting in January.

The most recent bonus category was on purchases with select online retailers, including as Amazon and Zappos — and was bumped up to 10% on Amazon purchases in advance of the holiday shopping season. If you had activated the bonus before December 15, you have through the end of the year to earn on these purchases. And if you don’t already have the card, now’s as good a time as any to sign up — Chase Freedom is currently offering a sign-up bonus of $150 (or 15,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. You can redeem points for cash back (15,000 points = $150), or you can transfer them to Ultimate Rewards if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus. From there, you can transfer Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like Southwest, Hyatt and United.

Later in 2016, cardholders will also be able to earn bonus cash at grocery stores (excluding Target and Wal-Mart) in Q2, and restaurants in Q3. Chase should also release additional cash-back opportunities with retailers, such as Kohl’s or Bed, Bath and Beyond, which have been featured in the past.

If you’re already a cardholder, you can register here to activate your spending bonus each quarter. If you activate your card for these categories prior to each quarterly deadline, Chase will retroactively credit you with bonus points on your category spending from earlier in the quarter, though there’s really no reason not to activate 5% cash back as soon as the registration period opens.

On your statement, the bonus earned prior to your activation date will be listed separately and itemized by category. If you have multiple Chase Freedom accounts, be sure to activate them all.

For TPG’s review of the Chase Freedom card, watch this video:

For more info on the Chase Freedom card, check out these posts:

H/T: Mommy Points

Chase Freedom®

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  • 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
Intro APR Regular APR Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee Credit Rating
0% for 15 months 15.49% - 24.24% Variable $0 3.00% Excellent/Good