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The Chase Freedom card is one my favorite cash back rewards credit cards. The Chase 5% quarterly cash back makes this credit card highly desirable for any churner. In the following post, we will break down what the Chase Freedom card is and how to earn additional income with manufactured spending.
Chase Freedom Manufactured Spending Review
Using manufactured spending can be a great way to earn additional income or lucrative Chase Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Freedom card has been one of the most stable cards within the Chase portfolio of credit cards. I’m a big fan of using cash back rewards credit cards for manufactured spending.
Cash back credit cards typically include certain categories where you get bonus cash back (i.e., 5% cash back compared to standard 1% cash back) for spending at certain locations. These locations include grocery stores, eBay, shopping malls, etc.
This makes the Chase Freedom card one of my favorite cards for manufactured spend, which is why it made our top cash back credit cards list.
What is the Chase Freedom credit card?
The Chase Freedom card is a cash back rewards credit card. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Please note that you must activate your Chase 5% cash back each quarter to be eligible to receive it. The Chase 5% activation is very easy. Chase sends you an email with one-click activation, so no need to worry about not activating it.
The Chase Freedom card is one that is subject to the 5/24 rule.
If you are over, the 5/24 you won’t be able to apply for the Chase Freedom card. However, there are several Chase card not part of the 5/24 rule.
Chase Freedom Benefits
Here are our favorite Chase Freedom benefits and bonuses
- $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- 0% intro APR for the first 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
- $0 annual fee
The credit card is very much a no frills cash back card with no perks like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve where you receive additional travel benefits, transferable Ultimate Rewards points, etc.
The Freedom card is a great way to build credit if you are young and have limited credit history. I used this credit card to build my credit through college, which now made it very easy for me to get any credit card out there.
Chase 5% Calendar
In order to receive 5% cash back, you only have select time periods in which you can receive certain cash back. The Chase 5% cash categories vary by quarter, so the methods of manufactured spending could potentially change depending on what quarter it is. Here is an example of what the Chase 5% calendar looks like for 2018 thus far:
Remember, there are limits to the amount of Chase 5% cash back that you can receive. Each quarter you can receive only $75 worth of cash back, which is equal to $1,500 worth of spending. Thereafter, you will still receive 1% cash back all every other purchase.
Manufactured Spending Definition
Manufactured spending is the process of artificially spending money to generate rewards points. The goal is to spend money on your credit card that can be turned into cash and thus be used to repay your credit card money that you just spent.
During the manufactured spending process you accumulate significant credit card rewards points at little to no cost. Cost is key. With manufactured spending, you want to keep your costs as low as possible. This allows for you to maximize your benefits.
Millionaire Mob helpful guides to manufactured spending include our introduction to manufactured spending or how to do credit card manufactured spending in 2018. Take a look and review how manufactured spending can help you build a reward points balance and travel the world. With manufactured spending you can achieve the following:
- Earn additional cash back income to be invested or saved for other purchases
- Build a transferable base of rewards points for travel. For example, with Chase, I have the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit card. I usually transfer my Chase Freedom Ultimate Rewards points into my Chase Sapphire Reserve points balance. This enables me to redeem my points for travel at 1.5x the dollar value.
For point #2, when I earn Chase 5% cash back for the quarter of $75, I am able to redeem that at 150% which equals $112.50.
Chase Freedom Manufactured Spending Review
The Freedom credit card is a must have for ‘manufactured spenders.’ There are a limited number of cards out there that will allow for you to receive 5% cash back on a regular basis.
However, the options beyond the $1,500 quarterly 5% cash back is pretty limited. I suggest any current or aspiring churner to pair the card up with the Chase Freedom Unlimited card.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is the same thing as the Freedom card. However, you receive 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no bonus 5% cash back.
What ways can you manufacture credit card spending with the Chase Freedom card? We have a couple of quick hacks for you to make sure that you hit the Chase 5% cash back each quarter.
Bonus! Chase 5% Cash Back Manufactured Spending Hacks
1. Credit Card Rewards Hack with Chase 5% Categories
With the Chase 5% categories each quarter you can get at least a free 4% cash back without doing much work at all. You also don’t need to spend any money! For example, if the Chase 5% category is department stores, follow these steps:
- Go into the department store such as Target
- Purchase an item in the amount of $500. Think of something small and expensive like a PS4. Make sure they allow returns.
- Wait for your charge to post on your account for $500. This results in 5% cash back on $500 or $25 (2,500 points)
- Go back to Target and return the item. The refund will show up as 1% on your rewards statement or $5 (500 points).
- Bingo! Now you have just profited 2,000 points for not spending a dime.
When the category is PayPal. Go out and give it a shot!
2. Manufactured spending with virtual gift cards
With the Chase 5% bonus categories, this should be done every single quarter. Usually there is a location within the category to buy virtual gift cards with your Freedom card. If you are manufactured spending expert, you most likely already hit the Chase 5% cash back with virtual gift cards.
Case Study: Manufactured spending with virtual gift cards
For example, when the Chase 5% category includes Wal-Mart or Walgreen’s, go into the store and purchase a virtual gift card in the amount of $500. There is usually a fee of about $5.95 per gift card.
Go to your local grocery store and order a money order in the amount of $500 less the cost of a money order (usually $1.60 or so) and pay for your money order with your credit card. I’ve used Reddit churning to find datapoints and also tested my own experiences.
These tested datapoints have helped me save money for travel and have an overall better experience.
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