The Chase Freedom® card is a popular rewards card with no annual fee, as it offers a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, an additional $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period and a 5% cash back on rotating categories like gas stations, restaurants, and Amazon.com. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter! The categories usually include at least one big-spending area, and seem to go with the seasons (home improvement for spring, gas and travel for the summer). For 2014, you can get 5% back on gas for half the year (see below).
Current and 2014 5% Cash Back Categories
From January through March 2014 (activate starting 12/15/13):
- Gas Stations
- Movie Theaters
- Starbucks stores
From April through June 2014 (activate starting 3/15/14):
- Lowe’s home improvement stores
From July through September 2014 (activate starting 6/15/14):
- Gas Stations
From October through December 2014 (activate starting 9/15/14):
- Select Department Stores
Activate at ChaseBonus.com or call the number on the back of the card. All other purchases earn 1% back, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. Keep in mind that you actually earn Ultimate Rewards points with the Chase Freedom card and they can be converted to miles like United and British Airways as well as converted to cash. Depending on what you redeem for (i.e. plane ticket), Ultimate Rewards can be worth well more than 1 cent per point which means you can actually get more than 5% value back.
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