How to track your Chase Freedom 5x bonus spending
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One of the most powerful no-annual-fee credit cards is the Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants). While it isn’t a great everyday card — earning just 1% cashback as a base — the card offers 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter.
It gets even better for cardholders that have a Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. Cardholders can transfer cash back earned via the Chase Freedom to one of these other Chase cards and effectively earn 5 points per dollar spent in the rotating categories each quarter.
From that point, Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to travel partners like Southwest, Hyatt and United. That means you can essentially earn 5x airline miles or hotel points from money you spend in the rotating categories on the Freedom. And as TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, that’s effectively a 10% return.
The fourth quarter (October-December) 2019 category includes purchases made at select department stores and via PayPal and Chase Pay. Just remember that you must activate your card here by Dec. 14 to get the 5x earnings.
Whether or not you have a UR-earning card, Chase Freedom cardholders will want to make sure to take advantage of their 5x earning opportunities each quarter. But, Chase caps the 5x earnings at $1,500 worth of purchases each quarter. Once you hit this spending cap, you’ll surely want to switch your spending to another credit card.
That naturally brings up the question: how can I track my Chase Freedom bonus spending?
First, log in to your Chase account at Chase.com, and click your Ultimate Rewards balance to bring up the Chase Ultimate Rewards site. Alternatively, you can click this link to login and be directed to the Ultimate Rewards homepage.
If you have multiple Chase accounts, you’ll have to select your Chase Freedom account:
On the right side of the next page, you’ll see a summary of your 5% cash back earnings — including whether you’re activated your 5x earnings, the categories for this quarter and a progress bar showing your cash back earnings for the quarter. As you can see, I haven’t done a good job maximizing my earnings this quarter:
Chase now shows the exact amount you’ve earned toward the $75/7,500 points quarterly earning cap. To calculate how much 5x spending you have left, you’ll need to subtract the earnings so far this quarter from $75 and then multiply that amount by 20. For example, if the process bar shows $20, you have $1,100 of spending left before your earnings will reset back to 1% ($75 minus $20 equals $55, then multiply $55 by 20 to get $1,100).
If you’re not already a cardholder, now’s as good a time as any to sign up. The Chase Freedom is still offering a sign-up bonus of $150 — which could potentially become 15,000 Ultimate Rewards points — after you spend $500 in the first three months from account opening.
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