Chase Freedom 5x Categories 2017 – Q2
The Chase Freedom Credit Card’s bonus categories will be changing this weekend! The new Q2 categories will start Saturday, April 1, 2017. You need to activate the new categories to be eligible for the 5x points. Any purchases, up to $1,500 at grocery stores and drugstores (not including Walmart and Target) will earn 5x points April – June 2017.
How It Works
The Chase Freedom card offers select 5x bonus categories each quarter. Any purchases in the bonus category up to $1,500 will earn 5x points. Any purchases in the bonus category over $1,500 and all other purchases will earn 1x points.
Cash Back vs. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points
The Chase Freedom credit card is advertised as a cash back card. However, if you also have a premium Chase card like a Chase Sapphire or Ink card, you can turn your cash back into Ultimate Rewards points. So, instead of earning 5% cash back on a purchase you are earning 5x points on that purchase. Once you have a premium card, you will be able to transfer your points from the Chase Freedom card to the premium card (Sapphire or Ink) to use as points.
Transferring your points to a premium card (thus turning them into Ultimate Rewards points) will get you more value from each point. As cash back, you are getting 1 cent per point value. If you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, each point will be worth at least 1.5 cents per point. That’s a huge difference.
Chase Freedom vs. Freedom Unlimited
These are 2 separate credit card products and it is possible to have both (I do!). The great thing about these cards is that neither of them have annual fees so you can keep these in your wallet long term (which will help your credit score).
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card offers a flat 1.5x points on all purchases. As with the Freedom card, this is advertised as a cash back card, but if you have a premium card (Sapphire or Ink) you can transfer these points into Ultimate Rewards points. The Freedom Unlimited is a great card to have for non bonus category spending (those categories that typically only earn 1x points).
Both cards are currently offering $150 cash back (or 15,000 points) after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. Often, the offer will be doubled if you apply in a Chase branch so it might be worth it if you have one nearby.
What Can I Do With Chase Ultimate Rewards Points?
Chase Ultimate Rewards Points are my favorite type of points! They are super versatile and easy to use.
- Use your points to book travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Portal. Depending on which premium card you have, your points will be worth 1.25-1.5 cents per point when booking through the Chase portal. This is a great option if you want to book a hotel or airline that isn’t a Chase transfer partner.
- Transfer your points to a hotel or airline. This essentially turns your points into the hotel points or airline miles of your choice. You can generally get more value out of your points by transferring them. Chase Ultimate Rewards Points transfer to 4 hotel brands and 7 airlines.
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