The Chase Freedom 5X Calendar for Q2 2019 has been released, and the categories are grocery stores and home improvement stores. I'm very happy that grocery stores are again a 5X category, since that means we'll be able to maximize all 4 of our Chase Freedom cards, to earn a total of 30,000 Ultimate Rewards points ($1500 at 5X per card, so 7500 x 4).
Naturally, we're not consuming $6000 worth of groceries over 3 months, but it's easy to front load spend by buying grocery gift cards (in our case, Trader Joe's gift cards) that we then continue to use throughout the year. For readers in NYC, Trader Joe's grocery store gift cards can also be used at the separate Union Square wine store, which in our view provides much better value for the quality than other wine stores we've tried in NYC.
Or, if you have home renovations and major purchases coming up at Home Depot, this is the perfect way to earn 5X b0nuses without having to deal with a bunch of gift card purchases.
Last year, the grocery store category including traditional brick-and-mortar food retailers as well as online grocery delivery services. We'll need to see the FAQ, which should be updated soon, to see if this is again the case.
Don't forget that today, March 14, is the last day to activate Chase Freedom cards for the Q1 2019 5X categories of drugstores, gas stations and tolls with March 31 the last day to spend on those categories for the 5X bonus (up to $1500 per card).
The best use of Chase Freedom points is to transfer out to Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners such as United MileagePlus, Singapore KrisFlyer, British Airways Avios, and Air France/KLM Flying Blue to reserve international first class or business class awards. Sadly, Korean Air SkyPass is no longer a transfer partner; one of our better Ultimate Rewards uses was Korean Air 747-8 First Class in the Kosmo Suite 2.0. In the past we've gotten good value out of Singapore Suites on the A380, and Singapore Business Class awards reserved with Singapore KrisFlyer miles, Cathay Pacific First Class between JFK and Vancouver YVR reserved with British Airways Avios, and Austrian Business Class with United miles.
Keep in mind that in order to transfer Chase Freedom points out to the above Chase Ultimate Rewards transfer partners, you'll need a Chase credit card linked to Chase Ultimate Rewards, such as a Chase Sapphire Reserve, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Plus or Ink Business Preferred card.
Become a TravelSort Client and Book 5-Star Hotels with Virtuoso or Four Seasons Preferred Partner Benefits