Although I keep a small notebook of ideas and topics to write about, I am always appreciative when Readers email me with questions or ask me to write about a particular topic.
This past week 2 people inquired about the Chase Exclusives Program and how that works with your Chase Freedom Card.
For those of you not familiar with Chase Exclusives, similar to Auto Insurance, essentially the more Chase products you “bundle”, the more special benefits you get.
This extends to Mortgages, Auto Loans, Investments, CDs, Credit Cards etc.
The only requirement for Chase Exclusives is that you have a Chase Checking Account and another qualifying Chase product.
Enrolling In Chase Exclusives
9/10 times if you have a Chase Checking Account and another qualifying Chase product, you are automatically enrolled in Chase Exclusives.
To check to see if your Chase Freedom is enrolled in Chase Exclusives, log into your Chase.com account and open any of your previous Chase Freedom monthly statements. As seen below, a similar box should provide you with a break down of how many bonus points you have earned through Chase Exclusives.
In the event you have both a Chase Freedom and Chase Checking Account and you do not see the box below, simply call Chase and ask them to add your Chase Freedom to the Chase Exclusives program.
Chase Freedom + Chase Exclusives
Each Chase products differs in the benefits it receives as part of Chase Exclusives.
If you have both a Chase Checking Account and a Chase Freedom Card, instead of the normal 1 UR point (or 1% cashback) per $1 spent you would normally earn with the with Chase Freedom, when you add on the Chase Exclusives program, your Chase Freedom will now earn 1 UR per $1 spent + 10% bonus UR per $1 spent + 10 UR per a transaction.
When all is said and done, instead of 1 UR per $1 spent, with Chase Exclusives you earn almost 1.11 UR per $1 spent.
Chase Freedom or Chase Sapphire Preferred
The 2 Readers who emailed me about Chase Exclusives basically both had the same question. When should they use their Chase Freedom and when should they use their Chase Sapphire Preferred.
There are 3 specific occasions where I would strongly recommend using your Chase Freedom Card + Chase Exclusives over your Chase Sapphire Preferred (or any other Card that only earns 1% (or 1 mile per $1 spent):
- Purchases Under $10
For purchase under $10, you want to use your Chase Freedom + Exclusives because you are getting a 10% bonus per $1 spent + 10 UR per a transaction.
Those 10 extra UR Points per a transaction are really the key here.
Regardless of the dollar amount of your purchase, with the Freedom + Exclusives, Chase is giving you the 10 UR per a transaction on top of the normal UR Points you earn.
So even if you bought a piece of candy for 25 cents, Chase would still give you all your regular points, a 10% bonus, and 10 UR points for the transaction, so you could get 12 UR points for a 25 cent transaction! This is not a bad deal since to normally earn those 12 UR Points on your Chase Freedom without Chase Exclusives, you would typically have to spend $12.
Now before anyone gets any ideas and thinks wow if I make 100 x .01 cent transactions, I can get 1,200 UR Points for $1, hold your horses!
In Chicago, the parking meters take credit cards and you could easily do something along these lines, however I DO NOT RECOMMEND IT because your Chase account will get flagged for suspicious activity.
Once that happens Chase will quickly figure out what you are doing and shut you down. In my opinion to earn a couple thousand extra UR Points is not worth the risk of getting banned from the #1 issuer of travel credit cards!
- Purchases That DO NOT Fall Under Travel Or Dining
Since the Chase Sapphire Preferred earns 2x UR Points on Travel and Dining, if your purchase is over $10 and is related to Travel or Dining, then it makes more sense to use the Sapphire Preferred over the Chase Freedom + Exclusives because you will earn more points.
However if you are not making Travel or Dining purchases, then regardless of the amount, I’d recommend using the Chase Freedom + Exclusives. This is primarily because the Chase Sapphire Preferred only earns 1 - 1.07 UR Points (if you factor in the 7% annual dividend), whereas the Chase Freedom + Exclusives earns 1.10 UR Points + 10 UR Points per a transaction.
Below are 3 examples of normal restaurants purchases you might make in a day and how they stack up.
Example 1: $1.25 Bagel At Starbucks
Chase Freedom: $1.25 x 1 UR Point per $1 spent = 1 UR Point
Chase Freedom WITH Exclusives: $1.25 X 1 UR Point per $1 spent + 10% Bonus + 10 UR Points per a transaction = 1 UR Point + 1 UR Point + 10 UR Points = 12 UR Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred: $1.25 x 2 UR Points per $1 spent at Restaurants = 2 UR Points
Winner: Chase Freedom + Exclusives by 10 UR points.
Example 2: $10.25 For Lunch At Chipotle
Chase Freedom Card: $10.25 x 1 UR Point per $1 spent = 10 UR Points
Chase Freedom WITH Exclusives: $10.25 x 1 UR Point per $1 spent + 10% Bonus + 10 UR Points per transaction = 11 UR + 11 UR + 10 UR = 22 UR Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred:$10.25 x 2 UR Points At Restaurants = 20 UR Points
Winner: Chase Freedom With Chase Exclusives by 2 UR Points
Example 3: $25.35 for Dinner at PF Chang’s
Chase Freedom Card: $25.35 x 1 UR Point per $1 spent = 25 UR Points
Chase Freedom WITH Exclusives: $23.35 x 1 UR Point per $1 spent + 10% Bonus + 10 UR Points per transaction = 23 UR + 2 UR + 10 UR = 35 UR Points
Chase Sapphire Preferred:$23.35 x 2 UR Points At Restaurants = 46 UR Points
Winner: Chase Sapphire Preferred by 9 UR Points
- Purchases That Fall Into Chase Freedom’s 5% Rotating Categories
Rotating 5% categories are the one thing that really makes the Chase Freedom the most attractive non-travel credit card out there.
Depending on the rotating category, you can rack up some serious UR Points with your Chase Freedom Card.
This past quarter (Q2 2012) was 5% back at Movie Theaters and Grocery Stores.
Starting in July 2012, you can get 5% back (or 5 UR Points per $1 spent) at Gas Stations and Restaurants.
Also remember if you have an Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, you can transfer any UR Points from your Freedom to your Sapphire Preferred account for free!
The 5% Cashback for the Chase Freedom + Exclusives works similar to the above examples, however you also get the additional 5% back!
So if in this last Quarter, I made a typical $100 Trader Joes Grocery Store purchase with my Chase Freedom Card + Exclusives, it would net me:
$100 x 5 UR points per $1 Spent + 10% Bonus per $1 spent + 10 UR Points per transaction = 500 UR + 10 UR = 10 UR = 520 UR Points
This is compared to only 100 UR points if I had used my Chase Freedom WITHOUT Exclusives or my Sapphire Preferred.
Due to how lucrative this 5% bonus is for the upcoming 3rd Quarter (July 2012 - September 2012), I know I certainly will be using my Chase Freedom Card + Exclusives as much as possible to rack up as many Gas and Restaurant purchases as I can!
Hopefully if you were not familiar with Chase Exclusives program, you now have a better understanding of what exactly it is and how you can maximize it with your Chase Freedom Card.
If you don’t have a Chase Freedom Card, I always recommend first trying to downgrade your Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to the Chase Freedom.
If that doesn’t work or if you can’t wait, then I’d highly recommend just going ahead and signing up for the Chase Freedom because:
- There is NO ANNUAL FEE
- You can earn Ultimate Rewards Points
- The 5% Rotating Quarterly Categories can help you quickly rack up some serious Ultimate Rewards
- Did I mention it DOES NOT have an annual fee? I’ve had my Chase Freedom for almost 5 years now, earned thousands of UR Points, and all for FREE!
- Also there is a $100 (or 10,000 Ultimate Rewards) sign on bonus
If you have any topics you want covered, feel free to email me at FrequentFlyerUniversity@gmail.com