Let Freedom Ring

This morning various media outlets are reporting that Chase has announced the 2019 Q1 bonus categories for the Chase Freedom card will be:

  • Gas Stations
  • Drug Stores
  • Tolls

I am pleased by this news as I don’t have a solid gas station earning card in my current arsenal. Luckily gas stations are also a popular Freedom bonus category having recently been featured in 2018 Q1 and Q3. While Walgreens was also a recent bonus category in Q3, have the more general “drug stores” expands the opportunities to earn even more. Tolls is a bit of an odd choice but might also help people who utilize services like EZPass frequently.

The Chase Freedom has long been a favorite card of mine even before seriously getting into the points game. For those who don’t know, the Chase Freedom earns 5X Ultimate Rewards (UR) points in any of the rotating quarterly bonus categories up to $1,500 each quarter. These UR points can then be transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve (CSR) or Preferred (CSP) for maximum value through the Chase Travel portal or further with 12 hotel and airline partners

It’s very easy to shift organic spend between cards to maximize these bonus categories. GetGo, one of my favorite local gas stations offers an extensive prepared food menu in addition to gas. Also any of the $1,500 that isn’t spent on lunch or gas during the quarter can be used on a wide variety of gift cards also sold at GetGo.

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I am glad that restaurants have not been included as a bonus category for quite some time. That makes it more difficult because restaurants typically don’t sell third party gift cards so meeting the $1,500 means eating out a lot. It also cannibalizes earning on either my CSR or American Express Gold card which earn 3X or 4X respectively at restaurants.

All-in-all another solid quarter for the Chase Freedom that should easily net 7,500 UR points without too much effort.

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