Quarter 2 Activation
Given that it is a brand new Quarter, I thought I’d take the time to remind everyone to activate their Chase Freedom 5% (or 5x UR) for Quarter 2!
The Chase 5% bonuses on the Freedom Card rotate every Quater.
Last Quarter it was 5% back at Gas Stations, Drugstores, and Starbucks.
As I talked about in January, by spending $1,500 at CVS on Vanilla Reload Cards + $12 or so in fees, you could easily earn 7,500 Ultimate Rewards Points!
Quarter 2 isn’t quite as lucrative but is certainly far more practical with 5% back at Restaurants, Movie Theaters, and Lowe’s.
I probably won’t be using my Freedom Card at Lowe’s (unless they sell giftcards, which they might…), but I will definitely be putting all my Restaurant and Movie Theater purchases on my Freedom.
Although I probably won’t spend $1,500 in the next 3 month at Restaurants, it will be nice to earn 5% back for purchases I plan to make anyways.
Ironically with this 5% back promotion this Quarter, if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, it is actually BETTER to use your Chase Freedom over your Chase Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Preferred only earns 2x Points at Restaurants while the Freedom earns 5x Points this Quarter!
5% Cashback vs 5x UR
I have gotten a few questions about Ultimate Rewards, Chase Freedom, and what the difference is between 5% Cashback & 5x UR, so I will attempt to clarify.
Basically the term, 5% Cashback and 5x Ultimate Rewards Points are interchangeable with the Chase Freedom.
Ultimate Rewards Points are the currency that you earn any time you use any of the Chase Sapphire, Chase INK, or Chase Freedom Cards. They all earn Ultimate Rewards Points!
Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase INK Plus, and Chase INK Bold all have an Annual Fee, as a “perk”, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points to Airlines & Hotels at a 1:1 ratio with those Cards.
The Chase Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards but DO NOT have an Annual Fee, like the Freedom and Sapphire (Regular), DO NOT have this ability to transfer to Airlines or Hotels.
Instead you can redeem your Ultimate Rewards Points for Giftcards OR Cashback (Insider Tip: DON’T DO THAT!)
If you convert your Ultimate Rewards Points into Cashback, then 1 UR Points = 1 Cent Cashback.
Therefore with the 5x Quarterly Bonus on the Freedom this Quarter, if you wanted, you could transfer those 5x Ultimate Rewards Points that you earn into Cashback, resulting in 5% Cashback.
While a 1 Cent per 1 UR Point Cashback rate isn’t terrible, there are FAR BETTER ways to redeem your Ultimate Rewards Points, so I would AVOID getting Cashback.
If you have a Chase Freedom and DO NOT have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase INK Cards, instead of getting Cashback or silly Giftcards, simply get a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase INK Card.
Once you have either of those Cards, you can transfer your Ultimate Rewards Points from your Freedom to those Cards. Then you can transfer those Ultimate Rewards Points to Airlines and Hotels, making them FAR MORE valuable!
Basically, Ultimate Rewards Points can be transferred and combined between all your various Chase Credit Cards that earn Ultimate Rewards Points!
But What If I Don’t Have A Chase Freedom
If you don’t currently have a Chase Freedom, I highly suggest getting one!
However instead of signing up for the Chase Freedom like you typically do for other Chase Cards, the best idea is to instead DOWNGRADE to the Chase Freedom when your Chase Sapphire Preferred Annual Fee comes do.
This way, you:
1) Avoid the Annual Fee on the Chase Sapphire Preferred
2) Avoid closing your Chase Sapphire Preferred account history
3) Avoid a new Credit Inquiry for opening a Chase Freedom
4) You get the Chase Freedom which is a great No Annual Fee Card that lets you earn Ultimate Rewards
Doing the downgrade trick, you will not be eligible for the $100 Sign On Bonus for the Freedom, but that is only equivalent to 10,000 Ultimate Rewards Points, so it isn’t that great of a Bonus to begin with!
The Chase Freedom in my opinion is the BEST No Annual Fee Card out there due to the 5x rotating categories.
As I pointed out last Quarter, using my Chase Freedom, for about $12, I earned 7,500 UR Points at CVS thanks to the 5x Bonus! No other Credit Card offers that!
The best part about the Chase Freedom is that even though you can’t transfer your UR Points to Airlines & Hotels, if you ever get a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase INK Card, you can simply transfer all your Freedom Points to either of those Cards and then transfer your Points to an Airline & Hotel! All without paying an Annual Fee!
If you don’t have a Freedom, I highly suggest you get one! Just remember to downgrade to it, instead of opening it online!
Don’t ever miss another FFU Update or Travel Deal!