The Chase Freedom bonus categories have been announced for 2014. Cardholders can earn 5% cash back at gas stations, movie theaters, restaurants, home improvement stores, department stores, Amazon.com, Starbucks and Zappos. Chase has also doubled the sign-up bonus for new Freedom cardholders.
Here is the quarterly calendar of 5% cash back categories for next year:
January 1 to March 31: Gas stations, movie theaters, Starbucks
April 1 to June 30: Restaurants, Lowe’s home improvement stores
July 1 to September 30: Gas stations, Kohl’s department stores
October 1 to December 31: Amazon.com, Zappos, select department stores
Rotating reward categories capitalize on seasonal spending trends including home improvement rewards in the spring, gas savings in the summer and first quarter, and shopping bonuses during the holidays.
Cardholders can earn 5% back in the selected categories up to $75 per quarter. That means the first $1,500 in purchases will get the extra cash back bonus. After that, all purchases will earn 1% cash back, with no limit.
Cardholders do have to sign up for the bonus categories, but they have until nearly the end of each quarter to do so. The bonus 5% will be applied retroactively to all qualifying purchases.
The first category, beginning January 1, 2014, will be gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks stores. People can sign up starting December 15, 2013, and earn 5% bonus until March 31, 2014 and customers can sign up until March 14 to get the 5% cash back applied to all purchases from January 1.
Chase Freedom customers can activate their bonus category savings on the Chase website, the Chase Freedom Facebook page, by phone, by email, by text message or at any Chase branch.
Chase Freedom also offers a Cash Back Boost. Certain retailers offer extra cash back during select times. Right now Groupon, Macy’s and Target are offering the bonuses.
Twice the sign-up bonus
For a limited time, new Chase Freedom customers can also get double the usual bonus when they are approved for an account and spend $500 in the first three months they have the card. New cardholders will get $200 in cash, which is twice the usual bonus.