Chase Freedom Sign-Up Bonus Potentially Improves

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The Chase Freedom® card has increased its sign-up bonus of 10,000 Ultimate Reward points (marketed as $100 cash back) after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months to also include an additional 2,500 Ultimate Reward points (marketed as additional $25 cash back) if you add an authorized user and make a purchase what that card within this same 3-month period.

That means the sign-up bonus is 10,000 + 2,500 points, which isn’t amazing, but it isn’t horrible considering it is a no annual fee card, and the real value of this card comes from the rotating quarterly 5x bonuses.  I got this card without a sign-up bonus myself (converted another old Chase card), so I think 12,500 total points isn’t too shabby of a way to start your time with this card.

Here are the 5x bonus categories for the rest of 2014:

April 1 – June 30th:

  • Restaurants
  • Lowe’s® home
    improvement stores

July 1 – September 30th:

  • Gas stations
  • Kohl’s®

October 1 – December 31st:

Freedom Calendar 2014

You are limited to 5x (or 5% cash back) on the first $1,500 spent at the selected retailers per quarter.  If you max it out all year, that comes to 30,000 Ultimate Reward points annually on this card just by spending $6,000 on the card.  Some of the retailer categories are easier than others to max out, but regardless of whether I max it out or not, I love earning 5x this way.

You can transfer these Ultimate Reward points earned by the Freedom to hotels or airlines if you also have the Ink Plus® Business Card, Ink Bold® Business Card, or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. (or presumably if your spouse does as spouses can transfer points to each other).

Being able to get 2,500 additional points if you sign-up and add an authorized user isn’t a huge change, but it is a small change in the right direction.


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    • Nick I agree, except that was pretty rare for the card and waiting too many quarters leaves easy 5x points on the table. No rush, but no reason to think 20k is coming back in the near term…though that would be great!

  1. I just went to a local Lowe’s and noticed that they have a gift card section. Among them are Staples and other office supply store gift card.

    1. Has anyone ever bought a gift card at Lowe’s with a cc? I assume that it would be fine?

    2. I am curious about trying out EvolveMoney. I want to try in small increment. I am thinking about buying a $25 Staples card at Lowe’s then go to Staples and get a $25 Visa gift card. I know there’s fee involved, but I think I’ll bite that just try. Then I am wondering if I can use the Visa gift card to load to EvolveMoney to pay a small bill. If that work, then I’ll do the bigger denom card, to offset the potential loss of VR as option since I can get a $500 denom Visa card. I am wondering if this will work? I mean with VR, I have a fee per $500 reload anyway.

  2. @Bob Don’t know about your whole strategy, but I just recently used my VGC on Evolve to pay my HOA fee. Was very surprised to find my small HOA already listed for payment, and the whole process was quick and painless.

    As for the $500 VGC, have you actually seen one at Staples? I recently looked at my local store, and the largest denomination was $100. The fees on that make it not worth bothering with.

  3. I recently called Chase to find out why my First Quarter bonus points from Jan haven’t posted yet. It turns out Chase waits until the end of the quarter to even add them up; then waits nearly another 2 months to post them. Jan bonus points won’t post until late May.

    Waiting up to 5 months for bonus points to post, plus having no idea of how to use the Lowes Second Quarter bonus category, has really dampened my enthusiasm for the Freedom card.

    Not to mention that the only local 7-11 I know of that was taking ccs for VGCs stopped doing that a few weeks ago. And it’s hard to understand Kohl’s as a bonus category at all. So Third Quarter now seems like a wash for me too.

    If this wasn’t a no-fee cc I’d cancel it. We don’t buy that much actual gas, (no boat to tow), nor dine out all that much. So we won’t come anywhere near maxing out that mere $1500 on my card. Without even thinking of putting anything on my wife’s Freedom.

    So just a few bonus points, posting nearly half a year later. It’s now mostly useful for us only in the final quarter. Amazon for me, and department store Christmas shopping for my wife. But that’s 6 months away.

  4. Robert Hanson – in my experience the Chase Freedom bonus points post every month, when the monthly statement is created.

  5. @Robert Hanson – thank you. Yes, I have seen those. I’ve seen one at a local Murphy Express just last month, but their machine to get the card authorized broke … :(, and when I got back there, it was no longer on the shelf.

    BTW, I should be able to get the Staples card at Lowe’s and use it to buy the Visa gift card at the Staples store, yes?

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