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With restaurants and wholesale clubs as the bonus categories for Q3 2016, July was already supposed to be a great month to maximize points earned from the Chase Freedom® card. Now, out of nowhere, Chase has come out with a promotion that could make July the most rewarding month in the history of the Freedom Card (or perhaps of any card).
Per an email received earlier today, you can earn a total of 10% cash back (or 10X Ultimate Rewards if you also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card) on up to $2,500 in combined hotel and car rental purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards in July. The offer is valid on purchases made July 1 – July 31, 2016. Travel can take place anytime after that.
If you spend the maximum of $2,500 in combined hotel and car rental purchases this month, you would be able to earn 25,000 Ultimate Rewards. Even if you are only able to spend $1,000, you can still earn an easy 10,000 points, which is likely much more than you would be able to earn on any other card for similar purchases.
The only downside to booking hotels through Chase Ultimate Rewards is that you would likely not be able to earn points and elite stay/night credit for your visit and that you need to pay your reservation upfront; although you are usually able to cancel without penalty until one or more days before scheduled check-in. Exact deadline to cancel without penalty will vary by property, and some rates may be fully non-refundable.
You may find cheaper rates when booking directly with the hotel when it comes to chain-properties. However, for independent properties Chase Ultimate Rewards is a great option, especially considering you could earn 10X per dollar.
When it comes to car rentals reservations through Chase Ultimate Rewards, they are mostly also paid upfront, but again, you are usually able to cancel without penalty up until the day before your rental begins. On more than a few occasions I have seen lower car rental rates on Chase Ultimate Rewards than anywhere else. Typically, the requirement to have to pay for these reservations upfront has deterred me from booking through Chase, but the chance to earn 10X points per dollar makes this worth it.
Based on the language of the promo email and the corresponding terms and conditions, it does not appear that this is a targeted promotion, so everyone should be able to take advantage of it. Nonetheless, if you did not receive an email notifying you of this promotion I would send Chase a secure message asking them to confirm if you are eligible.
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