No Annual Fee Chase Freedom Cards Can Give You an ‘Extra’ 24,000 Points Per Year, Each Year

You have to Registration for the first quarter 5 points per dollar earning categories is now available. You need to register to earn each quarter’s rotating set of bonuses.

Here are the full 2014 calendar year 5x earning categories. If you see these as valuable, getting the card now before 2014 starts is a great way to jump start your earnings.

  • Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2014): Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks® stores
  • Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2014): Restaurants and Lowe’s® home improvement stores
  • Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2014): Gas stations and Kohl’s®
  • Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2014): Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores

Since this represents an extra 4 points per dollar on top of the standard 1 you’d earn with most cards and in most categories of spending, you pick up an extra 24,000 points per year with Chase Freedom. Which is pretty good on a no annual fee card. (The math is 4 extra points per dollar x $1500 per quarter x 4 quarters, so 4 extra points on $6000 spend or 24,000 points.)

In addition, there’s a limited-time signup bonus on the card increased to 20,000 points after $500 spend within three months.

You can actually sign up any time during the registration period and earn the full 5x points for the entire quarter. So first quarter registration (earning period January – March) runs December 15 through March 14. If you sign up March 14, the earning period would be retroactive — your qualifying spending for the entire first quarter would count.

To Get the Most Value from the Freedom Cards, You Need Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus, or Ink Bold Too

The Freedom Cards are cash back cards only — 1% for normal spend, 5% for the 5x bonuses spend each quarter — unless you have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards.

If you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Ink Plus® Business Card or Ink Bold® Business Card, you can move your points earned with Freedom over to an account with one of these cards.

When you have one of the premium Ultimate Rewards cards like Ink Bold, Ink Plus, or Sapphire Preferred, all of the points are transferable to miles and points with Ultimate Rewards partners.

  • Airlines: United, British Airways, Virgin Atlantic, Korean Airlines, Southwest
  • Hotels: Hyatt, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton, Priority Club
  • Ground: Amtrak

That’s because you can transfer the points from your Freedom card to one of the other card accounts that allows transfers to miles and points… so you wind up with transferable points instead of 1% cash back.

All three cards have strong signup bonuses and strong value propositions on their own — e.g. 50,000 points after $5000 spend within 3 months and 5x points at office supply stores and telecommunications providers with the Ink Plus® Business Card (plus double points on hotels and gas), and all three have no foreign currency transaction fees.

(Note that cards in this post offer credit to me if you’re approved using my links. The opinions, analyses, and evaluations here are mine. The content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, by Chase, by Citibank, US Bank, Bank of America, Barclays or any other company. They have not reviewed, approved or endorsed what I have to say.)


  1. anna said,

    What’s the best way to maximize spending?

  2. JK said,

    Beware of chase., they will try to deny you points and stall if you call in to request them. Points are a ponzi scheme. People who profit are the ones who promote them

  3. Lonetree said,

    To max this out even more, sign-up for a Chase checking account and get an additional 10% in points for essentially 5.5x on bonus categories. $200 for new checking account sign-ups now.

  4. anna said,

    Thanks! I already have a chase checking. Do I have to link to my freedom or is the extra 10% automatic? Also any thoughts on buying gift cards from gas stations? Most of the ones don’t accept cc, cash only…

  5. Lonetree said,

    Just that the accounts be “linked”. I believe this means they need to be on the same login, but someone else correct me if I’m wrong.

  6. Tony said,

    How do we maximize Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2014): Restaurants and Lowe’s® home improvement stores? Are there any lowes who sell Visa GC?

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