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If you have a cash back credit card with 5% rotating categories, one of things you look forward to every three months is seeing what those sweet, sweet 5% cash back categories will be. Today, let’s take a look at the Chase Freedom Q1 2017 categories and what the Chase Freedom bonus categories are for January-March 2017.

The flavor of the Chase Freedom Q1 2017 categories is gas stations and local commuter transportation. This may sound familiar—it is the same as quarter one in 2016. This increased cash back is good if you can get a gas station to sell you gift cards with a credit card (good luck!) or if you actually need to spend money on gas and commuter fees. Being in NYC, I really don’t have a need for these categories, as my Metrocard comes out of my paycheck pre-tax, and I wouldn’t own a car here if my life depended on it. Looks like my Freedom will continue to hang out in the sock drawer until April!

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If you are able to maximize the Chase Freedom Q1 2017 bonus categories ($1,500 in spending in the above 5% bonus categories), you’ll get 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points. Generally, these are worth one cent a piece, but if you also have a premium Chase card, like the Sapphire Preferred or the Sapphire Reserve, you can use those points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall for 1.25 cents each with the Sapphire Preferred or 1.5 cents with the Sapphire Reserve. In my opinion, the best use of Ultimate Rewards points is transferring them to Chase’s partners, like Southwest, United, or British Airways. Earlier this year, I transferred 45,000 Ultimate Rewards points to United for two tickets from Kona to LaGuardia–tickets were $1,400 each, which meant our redemption value was roughly 6 cents per point!

(SEE ALSO: Chase Ultimate Rewards: 5 reasons I think they’re the best miles out there)

On the whole, the Chase Freedom Q1 2017 categories are not great, but if you can find a place that lets you buy gift card to use or resell, you might be in luck!


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