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Update: this deadline has passed.
The Chase Freedom® credit card is one of my absolute favorite rewards credit cards as it has no annual fee, but still earns 5x points in rotating quarterly “family friendly” categories such as restaurants, gas stations, and more. You do have to activate the 5x bonus categories each quarter, and the deadline to activate the third quarter 5x bonus categories of gas stations and Kohl’s is today, September 14th.
This means that if you haven’t already activated the bonus for this quarter, you should do so now. As long as you activate it by today you will earn 5x on gas station and Kohl’s purchases dating back to July 1st. Also make sure any other family members with the card have done so, too.
The points earned via the Freedom are worth one cent each toward cash back or gift cards unless you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card in which case you can transfer the points earned on the Freedom to hotel and airline partners such as United, Hyatt, Southwest, British Airways, Marriott, Singapore Airlines, and more – which is how I like to spend them.
Track Your 5x Spending:
While we are on the topic, this is a good time to check and see your progress toward the $1,500 5x quarterly max. To do so there are two options, you can use the BluePrint feature to have a good idea of your spending in the bonus categories, but it does require some manual addition, and of course the time to check it out.
The other option is to simply clicking on the blue box next to the date of the transaction in your online Chase account, I can see that this gas station charge for $63.65 in early September on my Freedom card earned the regular 63.65 points, plus an additional 4x of 254.60 points since it occurred during the third quarter 5x bonus for gas stations. Being able to log on and see if a transaction coded the way you expected is super handy for busy point-a-holics.
If you see that you are still a good ways off from spending the $1,500 quarterly max at gas stations or Kohl’s this quarter then remember that many gas stations sell lots of different gift cards, so that may be a good way to buy a gift card you need and earn 5x points in the process.
Looking ahead, know that the 4th quarter bonus categories of Amazon.com, Zappos,com, and select department stores will be open for registration starting tomorrow (September 15th) and valid for shopping from October 1 – December 31, 2014. That should be great for holiday shopping needs and an easy way to turn up to $1,500 in purchases into up to 7,500 valuable points!
Editorial Note: The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided, reviewed, by any bank, card issuer, or other company unless otherwise stated.