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freedomlogo I didn’t get my new Chase Freedom card (as part of my a credit card churn) until the middle of June.

The Freedom is a great card to have, and one of the reasons is that it’s a no-fee card that still earns valuable Ultimate Rewards. Also, if you have a premium Chase card (such as the Sapphire or the Chase Ink card) that you want to cancel, you can transfer it down into a Freedom (and keep your Ultimate Rewards points)

If you just have say, a Sapphire card, and you cancel it, then your Ultimate Rewards points are just gone! Obviously that’s not what we want to happen, so downgrading to a Freedom is an option. Now one disadvantage of not having a premium Chase card is that you can’t transfer your points to Chase’s partners (like United, Southwest and others).

Another downside is if you already HAVE a Freedom card (because you downgraded from an Ink or Sapphire) is that you’re not eligible for a signup bonus. And with the bonus at a relatively high point (20,000 Ultimate Rewards points instead of 10,000), I decided to add it to my latest churn. (The bonus has since returned to 10,000 points)

All of that is just a long-winded way of saying that now I have a Freedom card 😀

Quarterly 5% categories

The other nice part of the Freedom card is that they have quarterly bonuses, where each quarter, you earn 5% back in a select number of categories. This quarter is 5% on,, and select department stores.


The list of department stores includes JCPenney, Sears, Kohl’s (if you didn’t get enough of it LAST quarter), Macy’s, Nordstrom, and specifically EXCLUDES Target, Walmart, Membership Warehouses (I assume Costco, Sams Club and the like), Electronics stores, General Variety and Merchandise cards, and gift cards at stores that aren’t on the list.  The full list is here, if you have a specific store in mind.

This will be a great thing to take advantage of if there are great shopping portal bonuses like how I got 19x on purchases at Sears a few days ago.

You can activate the bonus starting today, but of course don’t actually start spending until October!  Remember that the bonus is good on the first $1500 of spending.

The link to activate your Chase Freedom 5% is right here!

5% at Amazon every day

There is a tip to get 5% at Amazon every day.  If you have the Chase Ink card (and you should!) you’ll note that it gets 5x on all office supply stores.  And office supply stores (like Staples, Office Max, etc.) sell gift cards to Amazon.

This is one thing that I have done in the past – I had a purchase I wanted to make at Amazon and figured that my total was going to be $143.33.  I could have just bought it and used a card of choice, but instead the next time I was near Staples, I went in and bought an Amazon gift card for $143.33.  A little bit more time, but also got me an extra ~570 Ultimate Rewards points.

Any tips for maximizing the 5% bonus?


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