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How To Maximize Your Chase Freedom Second Quarter Category Bonuses

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How to Maximize Chase Freedom Second Quarter Bonus

Chase Freedom’s Second Quarter Category Bonuses (April 1 – June 30, 2013) are restaurants, movie theaters, and Lowe’s.

Restaurants and movie theaters are easy to maximize and capitalize on, but realistically how much spending can one do at a home improvement store like Lowe’s if you’re not a contractor, don’t need any new appliances, and are not remodeling your house?

Quite a bit if you know how to work the system.  Keep reading and learn 3 ways you can get the most of your second quarter category bonus from your Chase Freedom card.

How To Maximize Your Chase Freedom Second Quarter Category Bonuses

1. Green it up

Spring is the perfect time to start your garden or plant your perennials. You can shop for flower and vegetable seeds and all your gardening needs at your local Lowe’s.

2. Put it away

Got the fever? Spring cleaning fever? Just can’t bear to throw anything out?  Lowe’s has cleaning and organization supplies to store all the stuff.

3. Put it on plastic

Stock up on gift cards.  Lowe’s carries a variety of gift cards, everything from restaurants to travel.

By purchasing gift cards in advance for special occasions such as birthdays, Christmas, Valentine’s Day, teacher’s gifts, and other events, you’ll benefit twice as much:

  • You’ll always have a gift for those last minute invites or when you forgot someone’s special day.
  • You can max out your second quarter bonus quickly and efficiently.

A list, by category, of all the gift cards carried by Lowe’s:

Note: These were the gift cards available from my local Lowe’s, your local store may or may not offer the same selection.


Applebee’s: $25, $45 (3 pack of $15 gift cards), $50
Buffalo Wild Wings: $25, $50
California Pizza Kitchen: $25, $50
Cold Stone: $15, $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards)
I HOP: $25, $50
Little Caesar ‘s: $15
Macaroni Grill, On the Border, Maggiano’s: $ 25, $50
Mimi’s: $25
Olive Garden: $25, $50, $60 (3 pack of $20 gift cards)
Outback Steakhouse: $25, $50
Panera: $25, $50
PF Changs: $25, $50, $60 (3 pack of $20 gift cards)
Pizza Hut: $20
Red Lobster: $25, $50, $60 (3 pack of $20 gift cards)
Red Robin: $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards), $50
Starbucks: $15, $25, $50,  $50 (10 pack of $5 gift cards)
Subway: $15, $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards)
TGIF: $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards), $50


Shell:  $25, $50


Marriott: $50, $100
Southwest Airlines: $50, $100, $200, $15-500 variable load gift cards

Movie Theater

AMC: $25, $50
Fandango: $35
Regal: $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards), $50

Department Store

Babies R Us: $50
Bed Bath& Beyond: $25, $40, $50, $100
JC Penny: $25, $50, $100
Kohl’s: $25, $50
Macy’s: $25, $50, $100
Marshall’s: $25, $50
Nordstrom: $25, $50, $75, $100, $200
Tj Maxx: $25, $50


Aeropostale: $25, $50
American Eagle: $25, $50
Ann Taylor: $50
Banana Republic: $25, $50
Catherine’s: $25
Forever 21: $25, $50
Gap: $25, $50
Justice: $25, $50
Loft: $50
Old Navy:  $25, $50
Pacific Sun: $25, $50
Combo gift card (Gap,Old Navy, Banana Republic, Piperlime, Athleta): $25

Speciality Store

Claire’s: $20
Disney: $25, $50
DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse: $25, $50 store: $25
Sephora: $25, $50
Spa Finder: $25, $50, $100


Sporting Goods
Bass Pro Shop: $25, $50, $15-500 variable load gift card
Finish Line: $25
Foot Locker$ $25, $50 $25, $50
Nike: $25
REI: $25, $50
Sports Authority: $25, $50


Amazon: $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards), $50, $100
Amazon Kindle: $25, $50
App Store: $25, $50
Barnes and Noble: $25, $50
GameStop: $25, $50
Groupon: $25, $50, $15-200 variable load gift card
iTunes: $15, $25, $30 (3 pack of $10 gift cards), $50
Jiffy Lube: $25
Xbox: $19.95, $24.95

Guitar Center : $25
Joann’s: $25, $40
Michaels: $25, $50


Pet Supplies
Petco: $25
PetSmart: $25, $50


Office Supply Store

Office Max: $25
Staples: $25, $50

Cellular Service

AT&T Go phone: $15, $25, $60
Boost: $20, $30, $50
Paylo: $10, $20, $30
Penny Talk: $10, $25
T-mobile: $10, $30, $50
Verizon: $15, $30, $50

I’ll be stocking up on gift cards from Lowe’s to maximize my Chase Freedom Second Quarter category bonus, how about you?

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is the best card to get started in the world of miles and points. It is the first card you should get to start traveling for free because the welcome offer is 75,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5X points on travel when booked through the Chase portal (2X if direct purchase), 3X points on dining, $50 yearly credit on hotels booked through the Chase portal, no foreign transaction fees, and transferring points to 13 airline and hotel partners like Hyatt, United, and Southwest.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is one of my favorite cards for earning cash back card and travel rewards. It offers a welcome offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on all your purchases up to $20,000 your first year.
My favorite perks about this card are earning 5% cash back on travel booked through the Chase Travel Portal, 3% cash back at drugstores and restaurants (including delivery and takeout), 1.5% cash back on all other purchases and no annual fee. When paired with cards like the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card or Ink Business Cash® Credit Card, you can use your points to travel for free.

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Sunday 20th of April 2014

Why bother with stocking up gc when I can use my ink card to buy at OD, Staples, etc at any time?

Traveling Well For Less

Sunday 20th of April 2014

Hi An,

Good point. 5X all the time using the Ink cards at office supply stores are great.

But not everyone has an Ink card. They might only have the Freedom card.

Using your Freedom also lets you get an additional 7,500 points and don't impact your $50k office supply store yearly limit.


Friday 29th of March 2013

Probably bad idea to purchase restaurant gift cards since Freedom is giving 5X on restaurants anyway.

Traveling Well For Less

Sunday 31st of March 2013

I wouldn't say it's a bad idea. It may not be the most advantageous. But it depends on someone's spending habits. If someone isn't going to spend $500 a month eating out, then it makes more sense for them to buy the restaurant gift cards from Lowe's to use for future dining and/or gifts and still get the 5% cashback bonus.

You also want to keep in mind that sometimes some restaurants aren't coded correctly and the Chase won't recognize the charge as a restaurant.


Monday 25th of March 2013

Great tips! So there is no exclusion on purchasing gift cards, like there sometimes is online? If not the gas cards and Amazon cards would be a great way to max it out. We've already been doing as little restaurant dining as possible, knowing that we dine out for 5x after April 1 :)

Traveling Well For Less

Monday 25th of March 2013

Nope, you can buy as many as you like up to $1,500 to receive the 5% cash back bonus.

I've updated the list (it got truncated along the way) so the entire list of gift cards to include clothing and department store is included.

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