Why I Am Excited To Be a Chase Freedom Cardholder Right Now! (And You Should Be Too!)

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Chase Freedom Cardholder Bonus

Chase Freedom Is Great in Q1

The Chase Freedom is one of my all time favorite cards (My review). The main reason I love it so much is the rotating 5% categories. Since I am also a Chase Ink card holder, I can transfer the points I earn to travel partners like United, Hyatt & more.

Some quarters the bonus categories are better than others. For example, when they offer 5% at gas stations I am generally less excited since it is difficult for me to max out that category.

Many people have gas stations that sell Visa/MC gift cards, unfortunately I haven’t found any here locally. When home improvement stores are featured as a category, it is slightly easier to max out the bonus, however there are a few hoops involved.

Grocery Stores Are King

Chase Freedom Cardholder Bonus

Thankfully this quarter the Chase Freedom is paying 5% back at grocery stores. To me, this is the easiest category to max out since multiple grocery store chains in my area sell variable load Visa/MC cards for a $5.95 fee.

Buying 3 x $500 of these cards will result in $17.85 in fees and generate 7,500 Ultimate Rewards points. It is a quick and easy process and the cards purchased can easily be liquidated in a variety of ways.

The Sapphire Conversion & Multiple Freedoms

Earlier this week I talked about the new Chase policy of giving bonuses on the same product every 24 months. Many people are able to downgrade their Sapphire Preferred cards to a Chase Freedom in order to get multiples.

Currently I have two Freedom cards (one that I got new & a converted Sapphire Preferred) and a brand spanking new Sapphire Preferred. I honestly don’t think the Sapphire is worth the $95 annual fee, so unless something changes, I probably will convert it to a Freedom in a year.


In the end, you should be happy to be a Freedom cardholder. The card not only has generous category bonuses and no annual fee, but this quarter it is as easy as ever to maximize the bonus and I like that!

Shawn Coomerhttps://milestomemories.com/
Shawn Coomer earns and burns millions of miles/points per year circling the globe with his family. An expert at accumulating travel rewards, he founded Miles to Memories to help others achieve their travel goals for pennies on the dollar. Shawn also runs a million dollar reselling business, knows Vegas better than most and loves to spend his time at the 12 Disney parks across the world.

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  1. Shawn – All the big grocery stores at my place switched from CC to cash only for all VGCs. So disappointing. I have Amex old blue cash and also blue cash preferred that gives 6% on groceries. I feel it’s a waste now as I don’t know how else to buy VGCs. For Amex BCP, what card should I downgrade to? Already have BCE as well….Thanks!

  2. Hello

    I currently don’t have a Freedom card, but do I an Chase Ink card. I am thinking about getting the freedom card mainly for the current quarter groceries store category. My plan is to get the variable load visa card, then deposit the money into my Amex Serve account. I have taken a look at my local safeway in Sacramento, CA area, and all the variable load visa carry some sort of monthly fee, and the fees seem to cut down the benefit quite a bit. How does everyone deal with this? Or specifically which card do you use? A picture of the card would be great! Thank you.

      • I am new to this and I have made a few assumptions on my part. When I looked at variable load cards at my local Safeway, all of them stated “Not A Gift Card” and “Reloadable” somewhere on the packaging, so I assumed the way they work is I open an account, keep the account, and load them as needed, thus incurring monthly fee. Maybe I was looking at the wrong cards. Can you point me to the right card(s)? Thank you.

  3. Personally, I think the best thing to do with a grocery store cat bonus is BUY FOOD. Even with just 2 people, it’s not hard to spend $500/month on groceries. As for gas stations, if you don’t spend $500/month on gas just buy gasoline gift cards to use during the other 3 quarters when you don’t have the bonus.

    • You are right Sharon, however I have the Old Blue cash which pays 5% back at grocery stores and we have three Freedoms in my family. I find it easiest to get the bonus out of the way and use the Blue Cash for everyday purchases.

      If you only had one Freedom then I agree it is best to use it for actual spending before buying gift cards. Thanks!

  4. Shawn,
    I have two Freedom Visas also. In 2012, I applied for a Freedom Visa and Sapphire Preferred. In 2013, I downgraded my Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom MasterCard. In 2014, Chase converted my Freedom MasterCard into a Freedom Visa.
    From what I have read, I am under the impression that Chase will not allow someone to downgrade from a Sapphire Preferred to a Freedom Visa if the person already has a Freedom Visa. I hope to be incorrect.
    Did Chase convert your Sapphire Preferred to Freedom MC or Freedom Visa?
    If converted to Freedom Visa while already having a Freedom Visa, how long ago did you downgrade?

  5. I don’t understand the concern of Alana. You DO earn UR points on the Freedom. You just don’t have the option to transfer to airlines.
    Probably the best option would be to apply for a CSP/Ink when you are ready to transfer.

    • I think the transfers were her concern. You are correct. While Chase doesn’t advertise the Freedom points as UR, they are, however you can’t transfer them without a premium card like the Sapphire Preferred or the Ink.

  6. Is there any grocery store in Seattle area that sells variable load Visa/MC cards which I can buy with my credit card?

  7. I have a freedom and a CSP. My CSP fee is coming up soon, but I still want to keep earning UR on my Freedom. What do you recommend for those who’d like to downgrade their CSP to Freedom, but still earn UR?

    • That is the issue. If you don’t have a Sapphire Preferred then you need a Chase Ink card to be able to transfer Freedom points. If getting an Ink isn’t a possibility, I would consider keeping the Sapphire, however that $95 fee may not be worth it based on your usage.

      It really is a personal choice. For me, since I have the Chase Ink the downgrade really is a no-brainer. In your situation it requires a bit more consideration.


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