How does $75 cash back sound to you? And you can get this deal without spending any extra money from your budget.
Chase Freedom card runs quarterly 5% cash back promotion. For the period of January to March 2018, you can get 5% cash back on gas station, Apple/Android/Chase pay, cable, internet, and cell phone bill up to $75.
This is basically free money if done strategically. Chances are, you still need to fill your car’s gas tank, get some groceries, and pay cable, internet, and/or wireless bill this quarter. Might as well get some points or cash back while doing this.
How to maximize the card’s potential
Optimization is the key here. Here are some of the things that I usually do first to maximize this promotion:
- Run your life as usual: pay gas using Chase Freedom card this quarter (next quarter is a different story)
- Whenever possible, pay for groceries using Apple pay (simple double press on home button + finger prints)
- Some mobile shopping allows you to use Apple pay as well
We are a 2-car family. We have an electric car (Nissan Leaf) for daily commute and a 4WD (Honda CRV) for going to the mountains. Thus, there is no way that our gas bills will reach $1,500 for the quarter.
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As the quarter comes to end, I analyze how much cash back I got already. Then prepay our internet and wireless bills to max out the cash back.
For example, let’s say you’ve run $500 on your Chase Freedom card on gas and Apple/Chase/Android pay to get $25 cash back. You can prepay $1,000 towards your cable, internet, and cell phone bills to get the other $50 cash back.
Most provider will be happily taking your extra payments and show credits on your account (so you don’t need to pay your bills for the next couple of months).
Even more optimization
If you like to travel and own Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can transfer the 7,500 points from your Chase Freedom card. The points worth 1.5x more if you use it for travel (11,250 points). This is equivalent of $112.50 travel credit that you can use for your next destination.
Add 5,000 more points, you can get a free airplane ticket from Seattle to Hawaii. Wait, what? I will write an article about this travel hack soon.
Cash back calendar is not an excuse for you to overspend. This is still a credit card at the end that you have to pay back.
But if you use it to pay some of the bills that you have to pay anyway and get some free money along the way, I don’t see why not.
Some of you will say, I’d rather invest that extra $1,000 in stocks that will pay me 8%. But remember, that’s the annual return. In this case, we’re talking about 5% over a quarter (20% annually). And it’s a lot more fun to get money back after paying those utility bills? I don’t know about you, but I hate paying those.
Don’t have Chase Freedom card? Apply here. We think that this is one of the strategic cards that you can optimize, depending on the quarterly cash back calendar.