Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories – 2018 Q1

If you have read my blog in the past you know that I LOVE Chase Ultimate Rewards!  These points are easy to collect, flexible and easy to redeem for free or deeply discounted travel.  Chase Freedom is a great card to have in your wallet since it has no annual fee and earns 5x points in rotating categories throughout the year.  Starting January 1, 2018 – March 31, 2018, the Chase Freedom 5x Points categories are Gas Stations, Internet/Cable/Phone Services and purchases with Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay.

 If you don’t already have a Chase Freedom card, sign up now to get a 15,000 point bonus (or $150 cash back)

Chase Freedom 5x Points | Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories

5xPoints?! Isn’t The Chase Freedom A Cash Back Card?

Well, yes and no.  The Chase Freedom is advertised as a cash back card, but if you also hold a premium card like the Chase Sapphire or Ink, you can turn your cash back into valuable 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 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories | Chase Freedom 5x Points | Ritz Carlton New Orleans
Transfer your points to stay at the Ritz Carlton New Orleans n the French Quarter.

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.   This card has no annual fee so it’s a great one to keep in your wallet long term!

Activate Your Bonus Categories

The 5x points bonus categories need to be activated each quarter.  If you don’t do this, you will only be earning the usual 1x points.   You can activate the 2018 Q1 bonus through March 14, 2018 in your online Chase account.

What’s The Difference Between Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Unlimited?


Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories (or 5x Points)

Starting January 1, 2018 through March 31, 2018, you can earn 5% cash back (or 5x points) at:

  • Gas Stations: Not including truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors, and home heating companies.
  • Internet/Cable/Phone: Purchases for internet, cable, satellite television, radio, cellular, wireless data, and landline services will qualify.  Equipment is not included.
  • Any purchase through Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay, or Samsung Pay digital wallet.

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.

Chase Transfer Partners | Chase Freedom 5x Points | Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories


Some of the links in this article are my personal referral links.  That means I would receive some bonus points if you choose to sign up through one of these links, however I receive no financial compensation.  I have this card and use it for the 5x bonus, and I am sure you will love it too!   Happy Travels!

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