I just got an email letting me know that it is time to activate my second quarter Chase Freedom bonus categories: grocery stores and movie theaters. If you only have the Chase Freedom, then these categories will give you 5% cash back from April 1 – June 30th. However, what that really means for miles and points junkies is 5x Ultimate Reward points. Since I value UR points, in accounts that can transfer points on a 1:1 ratio to airline and hotel partners, at closer to 2 cents each than one cent (which is what the cash back means), then this deal is much better if you also have an Ultimate Rewards earning card with those airline and hotel transfer options.
A few days ago I checked my spending progress on the first quarter bonus categories of gas stations and Amazon.com, and we should hit the $1500 max for the categories for the quarter. That equates to 7,500 Ultimate Reward points for things we were going to buy anyway (or 6,000 more points than you would get without the bonus categories). I see no reason why we won’t hit the maximum each quarter, so that will equate to 30,000 Ultimate Reward points per year for everyday spending for our family. That is more than is needed for a domestic round trip flight, or a night at any Hyatt in the world, etc. In short, it is a good amount of bonus points.
Now that I have the “points trifecta” set up on my own account, I will post more soon about transferring the UR points earned on the Freedom to a UR card that allows transfers to hotel and airline partners, how the checking bonus comes into play, etc. For now, go activate your second quarter spending bonus for your Freedom card so that you don’t accidentally forget and miss out on lots of extra points.
If you are interested in setting up your own “points trifecta”, here are some links to applications for the relevant cards. You need at least one Ultimate Rewards earning card that allows for hotel and airline partner transfers (Sapphire Preferred or Ink Bold Business), a Chase checking account, and the Freedom to really maximize the Ultimate Rewards earning system. The only downside to applying now is that I have seen higher sign-up bonuses for the Chase Freedom card ($250 or $300 cash back – which equate to 25,000 or 30,000 UR points) and the Sapphire Preferred used to be at 50,000 UR points. Who knows if/when those larger bonuses will come back, but if you think you will max out the second quarter spending categories of grocery stores and movie theaters, then it might make sense to get the card now so you don’t miss out on those bonus points. I actually got my Freedom card by converting an old Chase I wasn’t using, so I didn’t get any sign-up bonus points, and I still love the card.
Ink Bold℠ with Ultimate Rewards
My family probably spends at least $500 per month at grocery stores anyway, but if we didn’t, we would certainly be buying gift cards to other retailers at the grocery store so that we could max out the 5x bonus category! Have you maxed out the Q1 bonuses? Are you looking forward to the Q2 bonus categories?
Disclaimer: I do receive a commission if you are approved for one of the cards listed in this post using my links. As always, I only link to the best offers that I am aware of. Thanks for your support!