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The Chase Freedom has rotating bonus categories every quarter where you can earn 5x points on up to $1,500 in the bonus categories. For the second quarter the bonus categories are restaurants and Lowe’s Home Improvement Stores. These bonus categories are great, but you do have to remember to activate the 5x bonus each quarter or you will miss out on the 5x bonus. If you haven’t already done so, make sure to activate the 5x bonus by June 14th (in two days). As long as you activate the bonus by that date you will get 5x retroactive all the way back to April 1, but if you don’t activate it by Saturday then you will miss out on 5x for the whole quarter.
Another thing you can check in the near future is how much you have spent in the restaurants and Lowe’s categories since April 1st. To do this you can use the BluePrint Feature on your Chase Freedom card. Some detailed instructions are in the post, but the short version is to log-in to your Freedom account, click on BluePrint, go to track expenses, and then click on I want to see purchases in categories.
I was able to see that my spending in restaurants for this account is still below $1,500 for the quarter. I haven’t had any Lowe’s expenses to count toward the $1,500 cumulative limit, so I know just by looking at restaurant spending that I have about $400 I can still spend at 5x before topping out at $1,500. Now that we are back home from our recent trips and end of school parties are finished, my dining expenses shouldn’t be too expensive before the end of June (thank goodness!), but I may be able to pick up some gift cards to other retailers that we need from Lowe’s.
Also remember that the Chase Freedom has a temporarily increased sign-up bonus to $200 (20,000 points) after you spend $500 in the first three months. This is double the normal sign-up amount and is pretty good considering the card doesn’t have an annual fee. You also get an additional $25 (2,5000 points) if you add an authorized user who uses the card in the first three months. You see this card marketed as $200 dollars, but that also equates to 20,000 transferable Ultimate Reward points if you also have the Ink Plus® Business Card, Ink Bold® Business Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.
If you already have the Freedom yourself you can potentially refer a friend or family member to the increased offer and get $50 (5,000 points) for yourself. I sent out a test referral and it took 6 days to get delivered, so don’t wait much longer since it has a June 30th referral deadline.
If you want to look ahead, the third quarter bonus categories that kick in on July 1st will be 5x on gas stations and Kohls. Gas stations have historically been pretty easy for many of us to max out, so I’m excited to have that bonus category coming up again!
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