Maximizing the Chase Freedom 3Q 5% Bonus at Kohls & Which Gift Cards to Buy


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Chase Freedom 3Q 5X at Kohls

Maximizing Chase Freedom 3Q 5X at Kohls

It is now the 3rd quarter which means new bonus categories on all of our favorite 5% rotating cards. This quarter the Chase Freedom (my review) pays 5x at both gas stations and at Kohl’s. For many, spending $1,500 on gas in a quarter is no big deal, but for others that can be tough and some people have multiple Freedoms. (Me)

Additionally, a lot of areas have gas stations that are gift card and MS friendly. If that is the case then you are in luck. While the selection of gift cards will vary by gas station, you probably will be able to find a decent variety and in some areas you may even be able to find pin-enabled Visa/MC gift cards.

Unfortunately not everyone has MS or gift card friendly gas stations. For those people there is Kohl’s. Kohl’s does carry a small variety of third party merchant gift cards including: gas, restaurant, home improvement and electronics cards. Unfortunately they do not carry Visa or Mastercard gift card in my area and I do not believe they carry them at all.

Gift Card Rack Location & Photos

I recently stopped by two different Kohl’s stores and found the gift card selection to be identical. (The photos are thus from only one of the stores.) In one store the gift card rack was located near the men’s section in the front, while at the other it was located near the restrooms on the extreme side. Both racks had a number of Kohl’s gift cards in addition to the merchant cards.

Here are photos of the full selection of cards at my two local stores. If you are looking to maximize the 5x, it may be a good idea to purchase one of these cards for a merchant you frequent in order to use later. This isn’t the ideal strategy for everyone, but I know it is a popular way to go for many.

Do your stores carry cards for different merchants? Lets me know in the comments!

Chase Freedom 3Q 5X at Kohls Chase Freedom 3Q 5X at Kohls Chase Freedom 3Q 5X at Kohls

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  1. For those of us with the Ink card, are there any gift cards that are at Kohls that are not at Staples? Otherwise, isn’t it the same as buying the gift cards at Staples?

    • Yes. Every solution isn’t for every person. I know a few people had asked me about gift cards at Kohls, so I wanted to present the option to people. Purchasing gift cards at Staples will have the same result for people with the Chase Ink card.

  2. Umm site created a post without me clicking anything…alrighty then! All I was going to write is that those gc can be bought elsewhere at a better discount of 5%. You will have to factor in the value of your points and whether or not you’re comfortable buying used gift cards.

    • Agreed. There are always more efficient strategies, but not everyone’s perfect solution is the same. This is a question I know a few people had, so I figured I would present the information.

  3. 3*500 dollar vanilla visa gift cards from a 7 eleven (not necessarily attached to a gas station) should be the easiest and most economic way to max out freedom 3Q

    • If that is available to you. A lot of 7-11s are now hard coded as cash only. Gas stations selling $500 Visas (or 7-11s that code as gas stations) are definitely a great way to max out Freedom.

      • Exactly. I cant buy any VGC via CC @ 711. Only CASH. So if anyone is able to buy VGC with CC, lucky you. Im really jealous and not sure how that happened. But I believe you can buy MyVanilla Debit Card with CC for the initial reload. I am not sure though.

  4. In case anyone is confused about 5X UR and 5% CASHBACK, I want to make it very CLEAR that these two are very very very different terminology, but the value equals the same.

    Let me explain.

    When you buy something with Freedom for $10 w/ 5% CASHBACK rotating category, you will clearly see within your UR portal 50 POINTS ($10 x 5 points) – NOT CASHBACK. This is because Chase records this with 5x points – NOT CASHBACK.

    This is confusing because Freedom clearly advertises as a 5% cash back card, but all the cashback is recorded via points.

    That is why Chase Freedom is really a 5x UR points CC.

    So you maybe youre asking “Chase lied to me. Its not 5% cash back, its 5x points..”
    No, they did not lie to you. Their explanation is just terrible.

    When you spend $10 and get 50 points ($10 x 5 points), the 50 points can be redeemed for $0.01 per point cashback which then equals 50 x $0.01 = $0.50 = 5% cash back.

    BUT you dont want to do this because 5% cash back is pathetic if youre a traveler wanting to fly VIP style. That is why everyone is having an orgasm over Chase Freedom being part of the UR program because its not just a fixed rewards 5% cash back CC. You get UR points from it so it can be combined with your Sapphire Preferred UR points and you can have sex in first class.

    Hope that helps.

  5. For anyone with a Discover CC, dont forget to read another post from Shawn:

    While this post talks about Chase Freedom 5% at Kohls, dont forget that this is also a quarter where IT PAYS TO DISCOVER!

    For Kohl’s, many stores that qualify for Discover’s 3rd quarter 5% categories are also available for 5% cash back through the Discover Deals portal, including Kohl’s. So, for those enrolled in the Double Cash Back offer at the end of the year, that can easily get 20% cash back!! Forget only getting 5%!

    Get 5% back from the ShopDiscover portal + 5% back from the Discover Quarterly bonus credit card, and both will be doubled at the end of the year!!


  6. Last week, I did a trial run at the nearby Circle K. Since I need to use a debit card 10# a month, I use that for a ‘various amount’ Circle K gift card. The lowest amount was $10 and the receipt states a SHELL GIFT CARD.

    There are a few around the area who easily spend $5 – $10 inside a QT going to and from work.

    • does the receipt even matter?? it simply has to code as a gas station on your cc statement to qualify for 5%, not?

  7. My Kroger has a has a fuel center so I can buy a Kroger gift card at the fuel center to use inside Kroger to buy groceries. It still counts as a gas station purchase. Limited, yes, but it still works out good for me since I frequent Kroger quite a bit. Kohl’s doesn’t really have much that I need/want.


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