The Chase Freedom credit card is one of what I like to call “trifecta points cards.” It works as an excellent companion to its fellow Chase Ultimate Rewards points earning brothers the Chase Sapphire Preferred card and the Chase Ink Bold/Plus cards since they each earn bonus points on different categories but all accumulate points in the same Chase Ultimate Rewards program.
Every quarter, the Chase Freedom card grants 5% cash back for the first $1,500 in purchases in the specific categories for the quarter. This quarter (January through March) the cash back bonus categories are Starbucks, gas stations, and movie theaters. What some folks don’t realize is that the 5% cash back is actually 5x points per $1 spent in these categories, and that if you have a Chase Ink or Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can actually merge the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you get from Chase Freedom into your Chase Ink or Sapphire accounts so that you can transfer them into airline miles or hotel points!
That means the Chase Freedom card is my card of choice this quarter for all of my gas station purchases, Starbucks purchases, and movie theater purchases until I’ve spent $1,500 combined in those categories. If you maximize this benefit, you earn a bonus 7,500 points per quarter. Those points can easily add up for the year and earn you 30,000 bonus points annually from the Chase Freedom card alone. Keep in mind that an one-way economy trip from San Francisco to Sydney, Australia or San Francisco to Paris, France only costs 40,000 miles on United Airlines for a saver award flight. Making sure you maximize earning these bonus points is critical to getting free flights later on. Think about it like investing into a travel fund later, but not actually having to put money aside for the fund.
If you already have a Chase Freedom card, make sure to activate your cash back spending every quarter by going to the activation page here. You have to do this every quarter to actually get the 5% cash back.