Chase has announced the 5 point rotating categories for 2014. The Chase Freedom® card rewards us for spending on our regular everyday expenses such as dining, gas, grocery stores, drugstores, department stores, etc. Every quarter, the set of bonus categories changes and you need to register for the new bonus categories. You receive 5 points per dollar for up to $1500 spent each quarter (earn up to 7,500 points every quarter). That’s up to 30,000 points every year that we can earn with the cards.
The Categories for 2014
- January 1 – March 31, 2014: Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks stores
- April 1 – June 30, 2014: Restaurants and Lowe’s home improvement stores
- July 1 – September 30, 2014: Gas stations and Kohl’s
- October 1 – December 31, 2014: Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
Overall the categories are fairly similar to this year with high potential to maximize the bonus every quarter. Since I already worked out the strategies to earn the full 7500 points every quarter this year, I can just reuse them next year.
- Gas stations: Although I don’t own a car (I live in New York City!), gas stations do sell Visa and MasterCard gift cards so I can buy those and use them for my regular spending. They also sell merchant gift cards, including ones to Amazon.com. Additional Reading: Chase Freedom Bonus Categories Q3 2013: Theme Parks, Gas Stations, Kohl’s
- Lowe’s home improvement stores: Lowe’s home improvement stores sell gift cards to many merchants. Additional Reading: Maximize Chase Freedom for 7500 Ultimate Rewards This Quarter: Gift Cards at Lowe’s.
- Amazon.com and department stores: Amazon, of course, sells gift cards to just about every single merchant at which I shop regularly and I plan to buy them there once the category comes around at the end of next year. Additional Reading: Chase Freedom Bonus Categories Q4 2013: Amazon, Dept. Stores
Redeeming Points Earned with the Chase Freedom Card
The points earned with the Chase Freedom card are cash back points that are worth 1 cent each. That’s all in cash.
However, if you also have a premium card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Ink Bold® Business Charge Card or Chase Ink Plus® Business Card, you get an additional option to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners. You can combine Chase Freedom, Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold and Ink Plus Ultimate Rewards Points into a single premium account. Once there, you can transfer you Chase Ultimate Rewards Points to airlines and hotels. The points transfer at 1:1 to the following partners:
- Airlines: United Mileage Plus, British Airways Avios, Southwest Rapid Rewards, Korean Air Skypass, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club.
- Hotels: Hyat Gold Passport, Marriott Rewards, Ritz Carlton, IHG Rewards
- Amtrak Guest Rewards points