Chase Freedom Card 5% Rewards Categories 2012

Chase Freedom card was one of the credit cards I used very often, mostly at gas stations and grocery stores to get 3% cash back.

I said “was” because now I don’t carry it in my wallet any more for the simple reason that the fixed 3% cash back rewards for gas purchases is no longer available. After I noticed in the statement that I only earned a fixed 1% cash back for all the purchases last December, I stopped using the card immediately. It was one of the card that I got rid of which helped reduce the total number of accounts with balance from 6 to 3. When Chase introduced Ultimate Rewards program last summer which featured 3% cash back (in the form of 3 rewards points of every dollar spent) for categories that rotate every quarter, I felt I was lucky since at that time, I still got 3% rebate. Of course, it didn’t last long before the rewards program of my card, which I got in 2007, was replaced.

Chase Freedom CardActually, the new Chase Freedom card rewards program isn’t that bad because it now gives 5% cash back for certain categories every quarter, the same as Discover card. The cash back itself is very attractive, but the problem I have is that it seems to be an extra work to remember when to use the card to shop for what. Therefore, I chose to take an easier approach instead: Use only one credit card, the Fidelity 529 College Rewards Card, that gives fixed 2% cash back on every purchase all year long. The following categories are eligible for 5% cash back in each quarter in 2012:

  • January-March: Gas stations and Amazon.com
  • April-June: Grocery stores and movie theaters.
  • July-Sept: Gas stations and Restaurants.
  • Oct-Dec: Hotels, Airlines, Best Buy and Kohls.

What interests me the most is the Amazon.com category because Chase also jointly issues a Amazon.com card with Amazon, which always allows cardholder to earn 3% rewards from shopping at Amazon.com. While it is nice, I wish they put Amazon.com in the October to December period when everybody is looking for holiday gifts on Amazon.com.

Looking at the above rewards categories, it seems that one category in only eligible for one quarter of the whole year to earn 5% cash back. Since I mainly use the card for gas and groceries, I could use it from January to September of the year to get the maximum benefit. ┬áThat’s pretty decent because I really don’t have to switch back and forth between different cards very often.

Are you using Chase Freedom Card? What do you think of their rewards program? If you are interested in the Freedom Card, you can also get a $100 one-time bonus as a new card member when you spend only $500 in the first three months of membership, making the card even more attractive as the bonus is big and the spending limit is rather low.

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2 Responses to “Chase Freedom Card 5% Rewards Categories 2012”

  1. Stephen |  Apr 08, 2010 at 8:01 pm

    Schwab also has a great credit card offer — I believe it is 2% or 3% cash back, no minimums, deposited monthly into your money market fund in your brokerage account.

  2. Diana |  Apr 12, 2010 at 2:37 pm

    Agree. This used to be my primary card, but after they made it into just another so-so rewards card and to get more rewards it became so troublesome, I stopped using it. If they do want to keep this card competitive they need to figure out something else to change this card.