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 Card, 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:

Gas stations



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, go here: Chase Freedom Visa.  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!


Posted by mommypoints | 13 Comments

13 Responses to “Activate 2013 Q1 5x Freedom Bonus Categories Today”

  1. MilesAbound says:

    Within three months? Come on with VR at CVS it will take all of three minutes to tie up next quarters bonus :)

  2. I was gonna say. 1 stop on Jan 1 for 3 VRs and the bonus is done.

  3. Patty says:

    What is a VR?

  4. JAG says:

    @Patty – VR = Vanilla Reloads – a LONG story!

    By the way, Chase gives a good summary of what will “count” towards the 5% here …..

  5. VIvek says:

    Many drug stores these days cell gift cards to different vendors and the visa gift cards

  6. Webazoid says:

    It stars jan 1st New Year’s Day? Maybe some will stop by cvs at midnight for vanillas

  7. Chad M says:

    @MP, thanks, as always for all the great info! I applied for the Freedom this week using your link.

  8. Sam_Goh says:

    May have to try this…. vanilla is going dry. Got 4 cards visa/mc for self/spouse. CVS better love us!

  9. Patty says:

    I was always a big fan of the Freedom card and its 5X categories until just recently. I used the card in France to meet the bonus for my Hotel in October. The hotel was $1400 so it was done! I don’t shop at Kohl’s and don’t need anything at Best Buy.
    Unfortunately, when I did not get credit for the hotel I contacted Chase. The Hotel is listed as a RESTAURANT- not as a Hotel – and there is nothing Chase can do or will do to give me the points. Not only did I pay a foreign transaction fee but I could have gotten double points with the Sapphire card with no foreign transaction fee. I got screwed.

  10. Sarah says:

    Can you sign up until the end of the month as I just finished December apporama and need to wait untiln March for the next one and still want to get these purchases in?

  11. Sarah says:

    I meant wait until the end of March 2013 to sign up….still having a week or two to use the categories.

  12. Robert Concord says:

    An elementary question. Is this $1500 for EACH of these three categories ($4500 total), or is it a $1500 quarterly limit for all three of them combined?

  13. mommypoints says:

    Robert, it is $1500 combined total for all bonus categories for the quarter. As for everyone talking about VR’s…..yes, that will take care of it in no time!
    Patty, that stinks!
    Sarah, it is retroactive for the quarter probably until 3/14. ;)

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