Chase Freedom 5% Cash Back Bonus Categories for 2013

by on November 30, 2012

If you buy gas, like coffee or shop at Amazon, get excited: The Chase Freedom card just announced its 5% bonus categories for 2013, and they’re pretty darn good ones: Gas in two quarters, Amazon, Starbucks and more. This is reason enough to consider the Freedom if you don’t have one already. And that’s before we’ve mentioned the Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. signup bonus.

Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom - $100 Cash Back Credit Card
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  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99%.
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between April 1 and June 30, 2014 at restaurants and Lowe's® home improvement stores
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire
thumbsupPros
  • Bonus cash back categories
  • No annual fee
  • 0% for 15 mos on transfers
Annual Fee Signup Bonus APR , Variable* APR Promotions
$0 Earn a $100 Bonus after you make $500 in purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. 13.99% - 22.99% (Variable) 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

2013 Chase Freedom bonus categories:

  • Q1 (January – March): Gas, drugstores and Starbucks
  • Q2 (April – June): Restaurants and movie theaters
  • Q3 (July – September): Gas, theme parks and Kohl’s
  • Q4 (October – December): Amazon.com and “select department stores”

The card earns 5% back on bonus categories up to $1,500 spent per quarter, and 1% thereafter. You can also get up to 20% cash back in the Chase Ultimate Rewards Mall, which allows you to click through to online retailers as diverse as Macys.com and the Holiday Inn.

Look to the Freedom for gas rewards

Earning 5% cash back on gas for 2 quarters, the Freedom effectively has a 3% average rewards rate on gas for the entire year. This places it among the best of the no-fee gas cards, while also earning rewards on other categories (ie caffeine fixes).

The Freedom is ideal for an Amex or Discover cardholder looking for a backup in case the primary card isn’t accepted, a frequent driver looking to earn 5% rewards with no annual fee, and for someone looking to establish a credit history – anecdotally, we nerds with thin files have found it relatively easy to qualify for.

However, if you’ve got excellent credit or travel frequently, you can also consider:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred: Requiring excellent credit, the Preferred’s main appeal is its killer Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. signup bonus. It earns 2% rewards on travel and dining and 1% elsewhere, but gives a 7% points dividend at the end of the year and bumps up your points’ value 25% if you redeem for travel through Chase. Effectively, then, your rewards rate is somewhere between 1.07% base/2.14% bonus and 1.34% base/2.68% bonus. While the rewards rate isn’t as good as the Freedom’s and it has a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), the signup bonus is an order of magnitude larger – particularly considering that its value can be up to 25% higher. Key for travelers, it has no foreign transaction fee.

The Tag not recognized: The Tag not recognized earns 2% rewards on all purchases, making it one of the most lucrative cards out there. Its $59 annual fee is also waived in the first year, and you can redeem your rewards as a statement credit against any travel expense whatsoever. It, too, has no foreign transaction fee.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit CardChase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
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Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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Signing Promo
Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel.Earn 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Intro APR Promo
Purchase:None
Bal Trans:None
Purchase:None
Bal Trans:None
Annual fee
$0 intro for first year; $59 after thatIntroductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95.
Details
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Travel when you want—no blackout dates
  • Miles don't expire
  • No limit to the miles you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee for the first year; $59 after that
  • Earn 40,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate RewardsSM.
  • Earn 5,000 additional bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus Chip and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to participating frequent travel programs at full value — that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

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