April 1 is the first day of a new quarter and a new set of 5% bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card.
This quarter (April 1, 2015- June 30, 2015), the Chase Freedom 5% categories are restaurants, Bed Bath and Beyond, H&M and overstock.com. The 5% only applies to the first $1,500 spent on combined purchases each quarter. This means if you spend $1,500 on a combination of restaurants, Bed Bath and Beyond, H&M and overstock.com this quarter you will receive a total of 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points (1,500 plus a bonus of 6,000 points).
Please note, that in order to earn the 5% you must activate the offer each quarter (by text, email or other methods). If you have a Chase Freedom and have signed up for email reminders you should have already received an email asking you to activate this quarter’s categories. If you have not yet activated the 5% for this quarter, you can register now or any time during the registration period and earn the full 5% for the entire quarter retroactively. Registration for this current quarter ends on June 14.
How to Maximize the 5% Bonus
If you were not planning to spend a total of $1,500 on your Chase Freedom at restaurants, Bed Bath and Beyond, H&M and overstock.com this quarter, one option to maximize the bonus is to buy gift cards.
You can stock up on gift cards to a restaurant that you regularly dine at and use them after June 30. (Restaurants are defined broadly and include sit down dining establishments but also fast food.) If you participate in a dining rewards program, and usually have another credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred registered for that program, you might consider switching your credit card to the Chase Freedom card, at least for this quarter.
Another option to maximize the 5% bonus is to buy gift cards at Bed Bath and Beyond. Bed Bath and Beyond stores sell tons of gift cards to many restaurants and retailers. Below is a photo I took of the gift card rack at my local store.My local Bed Bath and Beyond carries Visa and MasterCard gift cards similar to those found in Staples Unfortunately the gift cards are mostly in small denominations ($25 and $50). The only higher denomination gift cards they had were $200 MasterCard gift cards.
If you have a Chase Freedom card, make sure to use it for any purchases you make at restaurants, Bed Bath and Beyond, H&M and overstock.com this quarter.
For anyone that has a Chase Freedom card are you planning on maximizing the 5% bonus on your Chase Freedom card this quarter?