Update: The offers mentioned in this post for the Chase Freedom credit cards have expired. You can view the current offers here: Chase Freedom.

The Chase Freedom card recently increased their signup bonus to 20,000 points after spending $500 in the first three months. The bonus is worth $200 in cash back bonuses or you can transfer the points to Ultimate rewards points if you also have a premium UR credit card like the Chase Ink, Ink Bold, or Chase Sapphire Preferred. The bonus is an increase from the 10,000 point offer which also had a $500 minimum spend requirement.

One of the biggest benefits of the Chase Freedom is that cardholders earn 5x bonus points for the first $1,500 spent within each eligible rotating category, every other purchase earns you 1% cash back.

Chase just released the 5X categories for the 2014 year and it looks like this:

Q1 (January 1 – March 31, 2014): Gas stations, movie theaters and Starbucks stores

Q2 (April 1 – June 30, 2014): Restaurants and Lowe’s Home Improvement stores

Q3 (July 1 – September 30, 2014): Gas stations and Kohl’s

Q4 (October 1 – December 31, 2014): Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores

The current 5X bonus earning categories are for purchases at gas stations, restaurants and Amazon.com.

How much can you earn?

If you spend the maximum amount eligible for the cash back earnings which is 1,500 a month, you will have earned yourself 30,000 points by the end of 2014. Rather than this being just a 20,000 point sign-up offer, you can easily earn 30,000 by spending $6,000 per year on the card. These are 30,000 points that you can redeem for cash back or transfer to your Ultimate Rewards account if you have a premium UR credit card.

How do the points work as cash back?

When you spend on the Chase Freedom you’re basically earning points that you can redeem directly through your account, each point gets you 1 cent. However, if you have both a Freedom card and a Ink Plus/Bold/Sapphire Preferred you can go to ultimaterewards.com and transfer those points at a 1:1 ratio. This will let you transfer UR points to the valuable transfer partners such as United, Korean Air, etc

By doing all your online shopping, buying gas, buying gift cards, and purchasing coffee (a lot of coffee) using your Chase Freedom card you can maximize the bonus earning categories. The Chase Freedom is the best card out there that earns 5X rotating categories and has no annual fee. The current offer was published as limited time offer, but who really knows what that means! Either way this is a great card to have in your wallet.

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About the author

Rand Shoaf

Introduced to traveling at a young age, Rand has since traveled to over 45 countries. Learning how to maximize credit card sign-up bonuses in college has allowed him to earn millions of travel miles and points. Using the same tips and tricks he writes about here has ultimately allowed him to explore the word for pennies on the dollar.