Q1 for 2013 just started yesterday, which means that Chase Freedom just updated their 5x point categories. For the months of January, February, and March you will receive 5x points at Gas Stations, Drug Stores, and Starbucks. You must activate this bonus until March 14, 2013, but all purchases prior to activation will still count – not to worry!

Remember though, it is only up to $1,500 on these categories total and after that you will go back to earning the typical 1 point per dollar. This means for those $1,500 in purchases you will receive a total of 7,500 Chase Ultimate Reward points (or at a bare minimum $75 cash back).

As I mentioned a month or so ago, the 2013 rotating categories are slightly different than we saw in 2012 – some quarters better and some worse. If you are new to the Chase Freedom credit card and the quarterly 5x point bonus points, make sure to take a look at this prior post.

2013 Quarterly Categories:

  • Q1, January-March: Gas Stations, Drug Stores, Starbucks
  • Q2, April-June: Restaurants, Movie Theaters
  • Q3, July-September: Gas Stations, Theme Parks, Kohl’s
  • Q4, October-December: Select Department Stores, Amazon.com

I highly suggest writing the bonus categories with a sharpie on your card so you will never forget which merchant types qualify for the bonus!

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. I will only list the best credit card offers as my goal is for you to travel on a deal!

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or suggestions expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

  • GlobeTrotScott said,

    Anybody know if Drugstore.com counts?

  • dealswelike said,

    @GlobeTrotScott – Yes they do! Take a look at this semi-participating list: https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/merchants.aspx

  • Chris D. said,

    For rotating categories a piece of painters tape before the sharpie works well. :)

  • George said,

    Great news about drugstore.com! Combined with the UR mall that makes it a 12x purchase.

  • Mike said,

    Do purchases through UR mall at starbucksstore.com + freedom card quarterly bonus translate to 10x pts?

  • Goflerwc said,

    really disappointed Grocery stores are not on the list!

  • Benny said,

    So giftcards as gas stations count?

  • Ozaer N. said,

    Sir..how do you figure 5x per dollar? Isnt it 5%?

  • dealswelike said,

    @benny – they should

  • dealswelike said,

    @Ozaer N – It is 5x Ultimate Reward points which can be redeemed for cash back, thus 5% cash back. However, you can also transfer those points to your Chase Ink Bold, Plus, or Sapphire Preferred card (if you have) so you can think of them as points that can transfer to loyalty programs as well.

  • Ryan said,

    Is this 5X per category? So I can spend $1500 at drugstores, another $1500 for gas? and get 15,000 points?

  • dealswelike said,

    @Ryan – Unfortunately it is $1,500 total. So $1,500 at drugstores, gas stations, and starbucks combined. Will give a total of 7,5000 UR points.

  • Johnny said,

    Are you sure this is really going to earn us points instead of direct cash back. Looking at the FAQ, I couldn’t find any details saying otherwise
    https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/FAQ.aspx#Efive1

  • kevin1168 said,

    Chase freedom sounds like a good idea if your hurting for chase ur or affiliated points/ miles programs, but i find the 6% cashback on the Amex clear cc a better option to buy $6,000 in $500 visa gift cards at Kroger. Comments?

  • dealswelike said,

    @kevin1168 – My assumption is those $500 visa gift cards though cost $6.95 each? I don’t have a Krogers around me so I am not sure, but that seems to be the norm for $500 visa or mastercard gift cards. If that is the case, then you are paying $83.40 on fees. The 6% back will give you $360. And then the card has a $75 annual fee. So total you are ahead $201.60. However, at Krogers they might have other non-fee merchant gift cards, such as restaurants, drug stores, movies, chain shopping stores, etc. So you might be able to purchase those gift cards based on your needs and not incur the Visa fees. If you are able to do this and then spend those gift cards for your yearly needs, you’ll come out ahead $285.

    For Chase Freedom if you are able to maximize the $1,500 maximum spend each quarter with 5% cash back, for a total of $6,000 a year, that will give you $300 cash.
    back. No annual fee.

    With the Chase Freedom card you’ll get 1% back on all other purchases, and with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card you’ll get 3% back at gas stations and department stores, which can be great. All other purchases are 1% cash back, similar to Chase Freedom. It really depends on your yearly spend/needs, etc.

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