One of my very favorite annual fee-free cards is the Chase Freedom. It is a very simple way to get 5x Ultimate Reward points on some common purchases that most families are going to make anyway. The card has different 5x (or 5% cash back) bonus categories every quarter, but you must activate the bonus each quarter in order to be eligible for the bonus points. Today registration for the first quarter is available. I highly recommend going ahead and registering now so you don’t risk forgetting about it later on.
You earn 5x points for the first $1500 cumulatively spent in the bonus categories for the quarter, so this isn’t a limitless bonus, but it is a great way to rack up 7,500 Ultimate Reward points each quarter. If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold Business Card, or Ink Plus Business Card then you can transfer the points earned on the Freedom at a rate of 1:1 to Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline transfer partners like United, Hyatt, British Airways, etc. Otherwise the 5x just results in 5% cash back or Ultimate Reward points that can be used at a value of 1 cent per point on things like gift cards, but can’t transfer to hotel and airline partners.
The first quarter bonus categories for 2013 are actually pretty stellar. They are:
Being that we live in Texas where car transportation is the norm, we will likely get close to $1,500 within three months on these three categories without putting in any extra effort. However, if we find ourselves a few hundred dollars short of the $1,500 limit we won’t have any issue hitting that target since drugstores and gas stations are known to sell some versatile items other than just gas and drugs. Plus, I do have a tiny bit of a Starbucks addiction anyway….thanks to the kid who wakes up waaaay too early every morning.
If you are interested in adding this card to your rewards earning repertoire, know that there are two flavors of this available – Freedom Visa and Freedom MasterCard . The sign-up bonus has been at 10,000 points after $500 in spending for many months, which certainly isn’t spectacular, but the power of this card is in the easy quarterly earning, not the initial bonus.
Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links. As always, thanks for your support and enjoy 5x!