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I have been trolling the internet looking for the Chase Freedom 2013 bonus categories for weeks now, and it looks like today is the day the information is released! Every quarter the Chase Freedom has rotating 5x/5% bonus categories that you can easily activate and earn five times the points (or five times the cash back if that is more your flavor) on the first $1,500 spent in those categories. I love that the categories are available in advance so that you can plan some purchases accordingly. The bonuses are typically advertized as cash back, but 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 1:1 to Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline transfer partners like United, Hyatt, British Airways, etc. That is how I use my points as I often get close to two cents value per point (and sometimes even more than that) instead of the one cent per point I would get if I just took it as cash back.
Here are the 2013 Chase Freedom 5x category bonuses:
January 1 – March 31:
April 1 – June 30th:
Lowe’s Home Improvement Store
July 1 – September 30th:
October 1 – December 31st
Select Department Stores
There are some popular 2012 bonus categories like Best Buy and grocery stores that didn’t reappear for 2013, but frankly the list still okay to me. Perhaps not quite as good as 2012, but I think we will still hit or get close to the $1500 maximum every quarter for most of these bonus categories without even trying hard (it is a cumulative quarterly total – not for each individual category). I imagine that most families with cars will find themselves in a similar situation. The only category that looks iffy to us is the second quarter. I’m not sure that we really spend $500 eating out a month, but I know we spend at least a few hundred each month. Having Amazon on the list around the holidays is perfect timing for us – I’ve been wishing that was the case this year! Drugstores can also be quite useful given the variety of items sold there. 😉
The sign-up bonus for the Chase Freedom has been at 10,000 points after spending $500 in the first three months for quite a while now. It is not a large sign-up bonus by any stretch, but I still keep the card in order to get up to 30,000 easy Ultimate Reward points each year just by spending $6,000 in the 5x quarterly categories. In fact, I actually converted a really old Chase Rewards card to this card as it was my oldest Chase card and I wanted to keep the account history – thus, I got no sign-up bonus at all. This card also carries no annual fee, so it is one you can easily keep in your wallet year after year and not have to worry about canceling to avoid fees.
Application Link: Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back
What do you think of the 2013 bonus categories? Do you think your family will still be able to spend close to the $1,500 max each quarter? Thank you to The Hustle Blog for sharing the info about the 2013 bonus categories!
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!