Chase Freedom is one of the most awesome cash back credit cards and I use it on a regular basis. They offer 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter. I almost always use my Chase Freedom card whenever I make a transaction in one of these categories because 5% cash back is very hard to beat.
Second Quarter 5% Cash Back Categories
For April, May and June 2013 (the second quarter) Chase has chosen restaurants, movie theaters and the home improvement store Lowe’s as their 5% cash back categories. We normally end up at restaurants and Lowe’s on a semi-regular basis so these are useful categories for us. We don’t go to too many movies, but there is a local $2 theater that we could get 5% cash back at. Granted 5% off of a $2 ticket isn’t much, but it is better than 1%!
If you have a Chase Freedom card, don’t forget to activate your 5% cash back for the second quarter of 2013. You can activate your 5% cash back here. As always, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases you make your Chase Freedom card.
The Chase Freedom card also offers a $100 sign up bonus if you don’t have one yet. You only have to spend $500 within the first three months in order to qualify to receive the $100 sign up bonus. It is one of the easier sign up bonuses to qualify for due to the low $500 spending threshold. If you’re interested, you can apply for the Chase Freedom credit card here.
5% Cash Back Gets Even Better
A great benefit of getting 5% cash back on my Chase Freedom card is the fact that I can transfer the Ultimate Rewards points I earn to my Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. I can then transfer these points to other rewards programs such as the Southwest Rapid Rewards program at a 1:1 ratio.
This is great because 100 Southwest Rapid Rewards points can be exchanged for $1.67 in Wanna Get Away fares, essentially increasing the value of my points by 67%! If I use this strategy and transfer my points to the Southwest Rapid Rewards program, I could earn the equivalent of over 8% value on my bonus category purchases. There are a ton of other programs you can transfer your points to on a 1:1 value as well.
If you don’t have a Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card make sure to check out the Best Credit Card Sign Up Bonuses post to learn more about it. The Sapphire Preferred credit card offers a $400 sign up bonus and many other great benefits. Be careful though… it does come with a $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year.
A Word of Warning
I consider credit cards as a tool. If not used properly, tools can be very dangerous. Much like using a chainsaw, if you can not handle using credit cards properly you could easily become injured, although it would be financially and not physically.
Please don’t apply for credit cards if you cannot pay them off in full every month. There are other payment methods other than credit cards. You can always use debit cards, cash or even try to remember how to write a check.
Do you have a Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred card? Do you have any tricks to get more cash back or more value for your Ultimate Rewards points?