Freedom 4th quarter 5X update

Every 3 months, Chase offers new categories with which Freedom cardholders can earn 5 points per dollar (up to $1500 in spend).  This quarter, the bonus categories are Amazon.com and “Select department stores.”  This is an update to the post “How to maximize Chase Freedom’s 4th quarter 5X?”  It turns out that in that earlier post I got at least one thing right and one thing wrong.  Read on…

Sears gift cards

In my earlier post, I said that I did not think that buying Sears physical gift cards at Sears.com would result in Freedom’s department store bonus.  I’ve since verified that this is true.  When you buy e-gift cards from Sears.com they are processed by Sears (and therefore qualify for Freedom’s bonus points), but physical gift cards are processed by Kmart and do not qualify.  Unfortunately, while shopping portals pay out for purchases of physical gift cards, they do not payout for purchases of e-gift cards (except briefly in October, they did, but that’s another story).

Kmart in-person

In the earlier post, I noted that Chase was most likely giving bonus points to purchases made at stores that were coded as department stores.  And, I noted that my local Kmart seemed to be coded that way.  Unfortunately, I tested a purchase there and found that I was not awarded bonus points.  So, to be safe, stick with the stores listed on Chase’s list (see Chase’s list here).

About Greg The Frequent Miler

Greg is the owner, founder, and primary author of the Frequent Miler. He earns millions of points and miles each year, mostly without flying, and dedicates this blog to teaching others how to do the same.

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Comments

  1. Regarding the brief portal points from the UA Mileage Plus 16x/ 12x promo back in mid Oct – has everyone received their promised portal points yet. I’ve so far only received points from 9 $50 eGC orders, there’s another 11 that were ordered at the same time that are still outstanding. Any feedback?

    PS: I used my freedom card and all 20 $50 transactions processed OK.

  2. @Ken, nope I didnt get any points from that promo either. I dont know if the date at which the transaction gets posted had to be before the promo ended to get the points.

  3. Would it earn 5x to buy Amazon gift cards (either physical or e-gift cards) on amazon? My credit line is too low and would thus need to stack up multiple GCs to make any big purchase.

  4. I’d love to be a fly on the wall in the Chase Freedom marketing offices as they decide their schedule in 2014………with United and Hyatt’s recent announcements they may be having to wear depends to work to protect themselves……………They appear to be up the proverbial creek with just a shadow of a paddle……….seems like a ripe time for AMEX to swoop in on the jugular……………or is more like the currency collusion that each one provides the other cover to steal more from the poor frequent flyer…………..

    • I think you mean the Sapphire Preferred team since Freedom is marketed as a cash back card. Regardless, point taken. Southwest, United and Hyatt have systematically reduced the value of Ultimate Rewards. Luckily the points are always worth a penny each at a minimum.

      • I don’t look at it as cash back as I will end up putting all the credits into miles unless United and Hyatt continue to proceed like drunken sailors………If the value gets down to a penny then I will go into a manic depression fit………

  5. I purchased two physical gift cards through the United portal on October 9th, two separate $500 purchases. I have not received any points from the portal and it does not show as a transaction. When and how should I contact them to request points [for physical gift cards]. There is something about having to wait 60 days on the United portal, but if others have gotten points posted, I would be inclined to contact them. Any suggestions would be appreciated…

    • Which store did you buy gift cards from? If you bought from Sears which (at the time) said that gift cards were OK, then go ahead and contact them for help. With other merchants, you may have trouble if the T&C says gift cards excluded.

  6. Speaking of the bonuses last month – did anyone get the 9X thru southwest for buying sears physical gift cards?? I bought 30 $50 cards and have yet to get the bonus for any of them. This was my first time buying thru the Southwest Portal. Usually I stick to Ultimate Rewards or AA.

  7. You can buy Sears gift cards at Sears stores which gets 5x and use them at Kmart. If you’re a shop your way rewards member and you spend $50 at Kmart, you get a coupon for 30¢ Off per gallon at BP (max 20 gallons). Kmart sells BP gift cards and kmart will accept Sears gift cards for purchases of gift cards.

  8. @scott
    My points posted within 7 days from Southwest buying GC from sears but the cards have never arrived. Was told they had shipped and/or were processing on five different chat/email go rounds with sears/kmart. Ended up calling Chase to freeze the funds.

  9. @John – Interesting – my points and a friend’s points (who only did a couple) never posted. The cards came though so I guess I should consider myself lucky.

  10. FM- following up, I purchased Sears physical gift cards (to play it safe) on Oct 9 during the X16 promotion through the United miles portal. I did $502 and a separate $500 (should be 16,000 United miles) the $2 was a pair if socks using up my Sears points…I recall your discussion abot the change in terms and the possibility to get points/miles on egift cards at the time. Am I correct that on October 9, 2013 the terms and conditions for the United portal permitted gift cards? Anyone have a screen shot of that? Thanks in advance!

  11. FM – I have the screenshot that Marriott Marty is requesting. Please send me your direct email and then I can send it to you and you can post for all your followers.

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