A few weeks ago the bonus categories for Q1 (Jan, Feb, March) were announced, but now the full calendar year is available:
New 2014 Bonus Categories:
- January-March: Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks® stores
- April-June: Restaurants and Lowe’s® home improvement stores
- July-September: Gas Stations and Kohl’s®
- October-December: Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
Current 2013 Bonus Categories:
- January-March: Gas Stations, Drugstores, Starbucks
- April-June: Restaurants, Movie theaters, Lowes
- July-September: Gas stations, Theme Parks, Kohl’s
- October-December: Amazon.com, Select department stores
Overall, no major changes an still each quarter has at least one great category to maximize the $1,500 maximum for the 5x points. While Q1 no longer has drugstores, I do think gas stations alone will be fine for most (except for those that do not have a car). Q2 is practically the same as I am sure most did not spend most of their money at movie theaters anyways. Same goes for Q3 where you still have gas stations and Kohl’s, and Q4 Zappos.com was added so only a benefit there. Throughout the year there is also the possibility that more categories will get added.
Current Chase Freedom Card Sign Up Bonus: I recently wrote about the Chase Freedom credit card as their current offer is 10,000 points after meeting the minimum spend requirements of $500 within the first three months (related blog post).
Earning Chase Freedom Points: You earn 1x per dollar spent on all purchases, plus every quarter there are rotating bonus categories where you will earn 5x points up to $1,500 spent per quarter (not per category). You also must always activate your 5x point bonus every quarter.
Using Chase Freedom Points: You can request cash back for your Chase Freedom points where 1 point = 1 cent. So if you max out your points earned each quarter you’ll earn 7,500 points on those purchases which equals $75. You can also maximize your Chase Freedom points if you have another Chase Ultimate Rewards earning card (Chase Ink Bold, Chase Ink Plus, Chase Sapphire Preferred). You can read more here.
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