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It’s the first day of a quarter, which means it’s potentially time to shuffle around one of the cards in your wallet.
The Chase Freedom is one of my favorite no annual fee credit cards, as it offers 5x points in rotating quarterly categories, for up to $1,500 of spend per quarter. Most people use this as a cashback card, meaning the 5x points really translates into 5% cashback in these categories.
The best part is that in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card, points earned on this card can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points, and be transferred to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners. Since I value one Ultimate Rewards point at significantly more than one cent, that’s my preferred use of those points.
Starts today: earn 5x points with PayPal, Chase Pay, and grocery stores
Until yesterday (March 31, 2018), the card offered 5x points for mobile payments (Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay), gas stations, internet, cable, and phone services. Now that it’s April 1, the card’s second quarter bonus categories are active.
Between April 1 and June 30, 2018, you can earn 5x points on the first $1,500 of combined purchases for grocery stores, PayPal, and Chase Pay.
If you haven’t yet registered, you can do so through June 14, 2018 — just go to the registration page and enter your last name, billing zip code, and the last four digits on your card, and you’ll be registered.
Just to clarify what’s included in these categories, here’s what the FAQs say:
PayPal includes purchases made using your Freedom card with PayPal for purchases or sending money.
Chase Pay includes purchases made using your Freedom card with your Chase Pay mobile wallet during check out.
Grocery stores does not include Walmart® and Target® purchases, but includes supermarkets as well as smaller grocery stores. Please note that some merchants that sell grocery items are not included in this category except for purchases made with these merchants using PayPal or Chase Pay (a 5% category). For example, larger stores that sell a wide variety of goods, such as Target®, Walmart®, discount stores, warehouse clubs, and some smaller merchants such as drugstores and merchants that specialize in only a few grocery items. In addition, please note that purchases made at gas stations operated by merchants who also operate grocery stores are not included in this category. Delivery service merchants will not be included in this category unless the merchant has set up such purchases to be classified in the grocery stores category.
I’d say this is a well rounded category, both for those who prefer in-store transactions and for those who prefer online transactions:
- Not only is PayPal great for sending money to people, but there are lots of merchants that accept payment by PayPal (as Andrew highlighted a few days ago)
- Chase Pay isn’t accepted by that many merchants, though could still prove useful to some
- Grocery stores is a category we’ve seen many times in the past, and is always popular with people
How to make Chase Freedom points even more valuable
Just to recap, you earn points on the Chase Freedom, and each point can be redeemed for one cent cashback.
However, if you have this card in addition to one of the cards that accrues Ultimate Rewards points, you can transfer these points to Ultimate Rewards. Cards that accrue Ultimate Rewards Cards include the:
So 5% cashback converts into 5x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar with one of the above cards.
The Chase Freedom is one of the best no annual fee cards out there, and I do everything I can to max out the 5x points category every quarter. I easily did so last quarter, and look forward to doing so again this quarter.
For those who aren’t sure how they’ll max out this quarter’s bonus, at a minimum it’s worth pointing out how easy it is to send money to someone by PayPal (rather than paying someone in cash). At most, PayPal charges 2.9% plus a 30 cent fee when you send money to a friend. So if you did that for $1,500 it would cost you $43.80, and you’d potentially earn up to 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points, which I value at $127.50. I’d say accumulating Ultimate Rewards points for 0.58 cents each is a killer deal.
How do you plan on maxing out the second quarter bonus category?