With just a few days left in the year, the days of 5x points on Department Stores, Drug Stores, and Wholesale Clubs are coming to an end. But that also means another set of bonus categories are coming soon. So it’s time again to activate your Chase Freedom Q1 2017 bonus category.
Beginning January 1, 2017, the new Chase Freedom 5x bonus points categories will be gas stations and local commuter transportation. Gas Stations are limited to merchants coded as gas stations only, but not other, similar merchants. Local commuter transportation includes taxis, subways, local commuter buses, and trains. Unfortunately, the category does not include parking, tolls, and Amtrak purchases. But at least the Sapphire Reserve earns 3x points on parking and Amtrak all the time!
This quarterly bonus is a bit disappointing if you ask me. There’s two really similar categories, none of which will make it easy to spend $1,500. True, you could purchase gift cards if your local gas station sales them, but if it doesn’t, good luck. And $1,500 worth of gas and rip-off gas station merchandise is a bunch. And that with my Premium-only, picky pants car!
I hope the taxi merchant code at least includes ride sharing services, such as Uber and Lyft!
The current bonus category, of course, runs through March 31, 2017. The last day to register for the Quarter 1 bonus is March 14, 2017, but you’ve already registered, right? 😉
Chase has already unveiled the Q2 Freedom bonus categories, too. Beginning April 1, 2017, the Freedom bonus categories will be grocery stores and drug stores, excluding Walmart and Target. That’s a bit more useful to me, especially since many grocery stores sale gift cards for other retailers and restaurants. At any rate, I can’t wait to see what the last two quarters of this year will be. Hopefully the categories will be better than Q4 2016!