Chase Freedom 2013 5x Bonus Categories Released!

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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:

Gas stations



April 1 – June 30th:


Movie Theaters

Lowe’s Home Improvement Store

July 1 – September 30th:

Gas stations

Theme parks


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!

The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.



  1. Not sure I’d sign just for those bonuses. You can max out Q1 in 5 mins at a CVS on jan 1. After that you have to sit til July 1 to do a similar move. I just cant get excited these days for a 7500 bonus. Too many other options out there earning tens of thousands of points.

  2. Starbucks and Amazon and theme parks makes me one happy mom!! Seriously, I like the idea of buying gift cards at gas stations, drug stores, and restaurants to maximize. I think the list is great. April – June we will see a lot of movies!

  3. in time for the holidays is pretty solid, but I’m with you on the second quarter bonus, not sure I want to spend $1500 at restaurant…

  4. Drugstores are a nice addition. I have two freedom cards so will be making the most of that one. However, I will miss the grocery category.

  5. Regarding the 2nd quarter bonus category of restaurants…might buy some restaurant gift cards to use later in the year, but don’t some of those lose value over time?

    Also is Starbucks also considered a restaurant in the 2nd quarter?

  6. For Q2 you can just buy restaurants gift certificate and use it for the rest of the year, if you go to the same set of restaurants. I used to do it all the time for restaurants that participate in miles for dining programs.

  7. Drugstores in Q1 is great since my local CVS has VR cards that I have been able to purchase with a credit card. And Amazon in the fourth quarter!!! I do not have big spend in the other areas, but not a bad list.

  8. I’ll probably spend about $500 on restaurants during the second quarter. Aside from that, I could easily max out the spending during the other quarters. That’s a guaranteed 25,000 miles. Not bad.

  9. Drug stores and gas stations certainly offer some nice prepaid card buying opportunities. At worst, I’ll stock up on $1500 in gas cards since I’m guaranteed to spend that in a year.
    Amazon in Q4 is good timing. I wish Q2 had another option though. 🙁

  10. Doesn’t bother me – although the drugstore bonus might be the final kiss of death for some of the more interesting items available there.

    I can see myself maxing out each quarter without much trouble. Gift cards are always a good buffer for things you won’t use in a single quarter…

  11. For me, gas stations are boring as I already have a PenFed card that gives 5% back all the time. I’ve never considered teh gift card option … does that work with PenFed? A slight advantage goes to the Freedom card because of the 1.1x+10.

    Our local supermarket (Giant Eagle) has double fuel perks for a short while, which works out to over $5 per $100 gas if you do it right. Their assortment of gift cards is impressive.

    I’ve never taken to Starbucks … they have good pasties, but against the norm, I think their coffee sucks.

    Theme parks are a waste for me. In all, I see some opportunities, but this last year’s categories were better IMO. Great idea to pick up restaurant gift cards for later … I’ll do that.

    For the guy who sees more points elsewhere, I get 11-12 miles every time me or my wife buys a $1 cup of coffee at McD’s. As long as “restaurants” include fast food, that would be 15-16 miles. This card is my first choice for any purchase under $10, as “Chase Exclusives” adds 10 points to every purchase, on top of the 1.1 points per dollar.

    Drugstores are big for me. Too bad they didn’t repeat THIS twice for next year!

  12. Gas is huge for us. Our business requires us to spend alot in that category. Restaurant spending will be easy to make. I don’t do starbucks because it is nasty and way too expensive for a cup of coffee. Amazon has some potential. The only problem with Kohls is this– I have a Kohls charge card. It is the only department card I carry. They frequently send me coupons for up to 30% off my purchase. You have to use the card to get the discount. I have gone in to Kohls this quarter and purchased gas cards though. Just an idea.

  13. Kathy C.-re: need to use Kohls card for the discount. Have them split your payment, putting $1 on your Kohls card and the remainder on your Freedom. A Kohls salesperson recommended this to me. As a bonus, when I received my Kohls statement, they had written off the $1 charge, leaving me with a zero balance.

  14. Rather disappointing. I use very little gas and don’t hang out at theme parks or Kohls. restaurants are the only item that would be significant in this lost for me. Shame no travel related expenses. Which reminds me I have a couple of flights to ad to the card for this quarter.

  15. do you know if the 5x bonus is per card or account ?
    ex: wife and I got one card each of the same account, does the bonus double or just single 1,500 x5 ? thanks

  16. I have 2 freedom card right now one mine the other my wife. I will have 3 soon after I change product my regular sapphire card to freedom MasterCard. That’s 22.5K in one quarter not bad!

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