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In the bustle of all the new Chase offers on Monday, the news that the first quarter 2014 Chase Freedom® Visa bonus categories were announced got a little lost in the shuffle, so I wanted to list them here in case you missed them. These rotating 5x bonus categories are an insanely easy way to earn 5x Ultimate Reward points (or 5% cash back) with an annual-fee-free card. As you likely know, the 5x Ultimate Reward points are transferable to hotel and airline partners like United, Southwest, British Airways, and Hyatt if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus. If you don’t have one of those cards then you can use the points toward gift cards or as cash back at one cent per point.
There is a quarterly max of $1,500 at the 5x rate, so you can potentially earn 30,000 Ultimate Reward points per year with just $6,000 in spending at 5x if you max out the bonus categories each quarter.
2014First Quarter 5x Freedom Bonus Categories:
Gas Stations, Movie Theaters, Starbucks
You need to activate the 2014 first quarter 5x bonus beginning on December 15th. You can currently activate the 2013 4th quarter 5x bonuses of Amazon and select department stores. Gas stations are historically a very easy category to max out the 5x bonus, so I’m happy to see that return. If this year is like last year, I expect we will know the full 2014 calendar in the next month or so.
With the sign-up bonus temporarily increased to 20,000 points after spending $500 in the first 3 months, it is a good time to consider if this card and it’s rotating 5x bonus categories are for your family.
I’ll update when the full 2014 calendar is available!