Chase has released the 2016 5 percent categories for the Chase Freedom card are there are a few good ones useful for manufactured spending as well as everyday spending.

2016 Chase Freedom Calendar 5% Bonus Categories:

The Chase Freedom 5% bonus categories for 2016 are as follows:

1st quarter (January 1, 2016- March 31, 2016) – Gas Stations, Local Commuter Transportation (not including parking, tolls and Amtrak purchases).  This is a hard one for me as I don’t drive so don’t spend any money at gas stations.  Some gas stations will allow you to purchase gift cards using a credit card.

2nd quarter (April 1, 2016- June 30, 2016) – Grocery stores (not including Walmart and Target) and wholesale clubs.  For most people, this is the easiest quarter to meet the $1,500 spending on as pretty much everyone shops for groceries. Another option to maximize the bonus is to buy gift cards from grocery stores and use them for future purchases or buy Visa gift cards and liquidate them with Bluebird or Serve.

3rd quarter (July 1, 2016- September 30, 2016) – Restaurants and wholesale clubs.

4th quarter (October 1, 2016- December 31, 2016)Department stores, Wholesale Clubs and Drug Stores.

Here is the link to the Chase Freedom 5% calendar for 2016 on

Don’t Forget to Activate

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 next quarter’s categories. Registration for fourth quarter of 2016 ends on December 14.

Why You Should Consider Applying for the Chase Freedom Card (If You Do Not Have One Already):

The Chase Freedom card is a great no annual fee card that earns you points that can be indirectly transferred to frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs. Chase Freedom is technically a cash back card only and points earned using the Chase Freedom cannot be directly transferred to airlines and hotel programs. However, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Business Preferred, Ink Plus Business Card or Ink Bold Business Card you can transfer your points from your Chase Freedom account to one of those cards and then from there to the various Ultimate Rewards travel partners.

While the Chase Freedom normally offers 1% cash back on all purchases, every quarter there are certain bonus categories for which you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories each quarter. This means if you spend the full $1,500 each quarter in those categories you can earn an extra 24,000 points a year. The bonus categories vary each year and are announced at the end of the previous year. You have to register each quarter for the bonus and then you can earn the 5% on up to $1,500 on purchases for that quarter.

The Chase Freedom card currently offers a signup bonus of 15,000 bonus points (which can be redeemed for $150 cash back) after you spend $500 in your first 3 months from account opening and 2,500 bonus points (which can be redeemed for $25 cash back) when you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within this same 3-month period.  This is higher than the normal sign up bonus of 10,000 points but I have seen the sign up bonus at 20,000 bonus points a couple of times in the last 2 years so you might want to wait for a higher sign up bonus if you do not plan to spend a lot in these categories in the next quarter.

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