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I’ve written before that the 5x bonus categories for this quarter on the Chase Freedom cards include restaurants, Lowe’s Home improvement Stores, and movie theaters, but now that the second quarter of 2013 has started I wanted to mention it again so that no one misses out! I’m going to skip over movie theaters because I think most families figured out long ago that the opportunities to actually go to a movie theater with young kids are few and far between, but if you do be sure to use your Freedom card. Instead I’ll focus on Lowe’s and restaurants as even families visit those establishments with some regularity.
A few quick pointers before I get into the real details:
- You need a Chase Freedom card to take advantage of this deal. I turned an old nondescript Chase Rewards card into a Freedom card with an easy phone call to Chase. So, consider that type of method as a good way to get this card. Alternatively, just apply the old-fashioned way and get 10,000 bonus Ultimate Reward points after spending $500 in the first three months. This card doesn’t come with an annual fee so I recommend it being a long-term “keeper”. The sign-up bonus isn’t eye-popping, but this card provides an easy annual-fee-free way to easily get 30,000 Ultimate Rewards per year via the 5x bonuses.
- Assuming you already have the cards, make sure you have registered your Freedom card for this quarter’s 5x bonus.
- The 5x bonus is capped at $1,500 in bonus spending for a total of 7,500 points, so this isn’t the way to rack up a billion points, it is just the time to make sure you are getting as much as you can out of the promo.
- These Ultimate Reward points can only be transferred to hotels and airlines like United, Hyatt, British Airways, and more if you also have a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Ink Bold® Business Card, or the Ink Plus® Business Card. Otherwise you can use the points from your Freedom just for cash back or things like gift cards.
- The 5x bonus doesn’t just apply to fancy sit-down restaurants, but it applies to carry out and fast food joints like Chick-Fil-A and Chipotle. So, be sure to use it for all of your day to day “carry out” and eating out expenses.
- Consider picking up the tab when out with a group of friends and have them pay you back (or just be generous and let them get the next meal).
- Volunteer to be the one to pay for the catering bill for a group you are a member of and then submit for reimbursement.
- Use this card for reimbursable business meals.
- Be sure to register your Freedom for the Dining Reward Network so you are actually earning points or miles on top of the 5x at participating restaurants.
- If you know you have a big restaurant bill coming up later in the year, buy the gift card from the restaurant during this quarter and use it later.
Lowe’s Home Improvement Store:
- It’s springtime, it’s beautiful, just get some indoor and outdoor projects rolling while taking advantage of 5x. Truthfully I’m not going to get to be/have to be very creative this quarter as my husband is waist deep in projects that require regular visits to Lowe’s. In fact, we are now attempting to grow some of our own fruits and veggies in a garden he built in the backyard. So far the harvest is holding steady at two strawberries, but somehow this “small” garden is growing into a larger project, but that’s a story for another day. Adding shelves in closets, redoing the front patio, it all adds up.
- Bonus points (literally) for those who order what they need online via an online shopping portal and pay with their Freedom card. For example, Lowe’s is currently 5x via the Ultimate Rewards portal and that does stack, so you could easily be getting 10x for purchased made via that portal and paid with a registered Freedom card.
- If you aren’t in the market for DIY projects, then just head to Lowe’s and pick up gift cards to other retailers. They have plenty of other retail gift cards to pick from. Some stand-outs for me are Amazon and the Home Improvement gift card that can be used at a ton of others stores, but the list also includes tons of restaurants, clothing stores, travel providers and more. Here are a few photos of all the gift cards I saw available.
How do you plan to take advantage of the 5x bonus categories this quarter?