Activate Chase Freedom Bonus

Chase Freedom Calendar 2016

You can now activate the 5% Chase Freedom cash back bonus for the third quarter, which is restaurants and wholesale clubs like Costco. The third quarter bonus doesn’t actually start until July 1st and runs through the end of September, but you can activate it in advance as well as all the way up until shortly before the quarter ends.

The 5% cash back bonus caps out at $1,500 spent in these categories, but restaurants (including places like Starbucks) in addition to having wholesale clubs like Costco make this a pretty reachable cap. Erin and I actually each have one of these cards so we can double our cap.

The Chase Freedom shouldn’t be your primary card, but with no annual fee, it’s a great complimentary card to have in your wallet and get you to Disney sooner (or in style).

How Does it Work?

Your cash back comes in the form of points that you can redeem online and have deposited into a checking or savings account. You can also use them to lower your credit card balance. When you buy a $5 cup of coffee at Starbucks in the third quarter, you’ll receive five points per dollar spent or 25 points in this case. Those 25 points are worth 25 cents when you redeem them.

Chase does require that you redeem at least $20 worth of points (2,000) at a time.

Chase Freedom Minimum Transfer

Multiply the Value

While the Chase Freedom only allows you to redeem your points for cash, the Chase Sapphire Preferred uses the same points system but also allows you to transfer your points to programs like Hyatt and Southwest. And, if you or someone living your house, like a spouse, has a Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can transfer your Chase Freedom points onto that card, which allows you to transfer them to any of eleven travel partners.

Why does that matter? Hyatt points, for instance, are worth about two cents each when you redeem them at Hyatt hotels. If you earned 25 points from that $5 cup of coffee at Starbucks, then transferred those points to a Chase Sapphire Preferred, then onto Hyatt, the points are now worth about 50 cents. It’s still 25 points in the Hyatt program, but those points are worth about twice as much. So, that $5 cup of coffee just effectively got you a 10% rebate toward you next Hyatt stay. And there are some great Hyatt hotels around Disney Parks as you can see on our Hotel Maps page.

Strategy

If you’re thinking about ways to maximize credit card rewards, a great strategy to consider is a Chase Sapphire Preferred/Chase Freedom combination. The Chase Sapphire Preferred gets you double points in travel and dining categories year-round. But, more importantly, it gives you the ability to transfer points to valuable partners like Hyatt and Southwest. Combine that with the rotating categories of the Chase Freedom that will get you five points per dollar in rotating category bonuses, and you can start racking up the points quickly.

Chase Freedom

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  • What kind of points: Cash
  • Sign Up Bonus: $150 after spending $500 in three months, and another $25 for adding an authorized user
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • How to Earn Points: 5% cash back up to $1,500 each quarter in rotating categories, 1% cash back on everything else
  • Value of a Point: 1.0 cents
  • How to Spend Points: Redeem for cash or combine with Chase Sapphire Preferred points
  • Our favorite Use: Combine with Chase Sapphire Preferred points and use for stays at Hyatt hotels