Chase Freedom 2015 Bonus Categories Announced

While we’re all busy trying to hit the $1,500 in spend for this quarter’s bonus categories, Chase has announced all the bonus categories for 2015.

Chase Freedom 2015 Bonus Categories

January – March

  • Grocery stores
  • Movie theaters
  • Starbucks

April – June

  • Restaurants
  • “And more!”

July – September

  • Gas stations
  • “And more!”

October – December

  • “And more!”

No surprises in any month. You’ll likely see Kohl’s in Q3 and Zappos & other department stores in Q4.

Activation for Q1 2015 will open December 15, 2014.

So there are not any groundbreaking opportunities for any serious manufactured spend or reselling, but I take this as good news. Chase hasn’t taken any bonus categories away next year.

These categories are always a nice way to rack up an extra 6,000 Ultimate Rewards points each quarter and with a $0 annual fee card like the Chase Freedom, I can’t complain. If you don’t have one (why not?!), the sign up bonus is 20,000 points after spending $500 in the first 3 months from account opening, which is double the normal offer. Sign up here at

Register Now! American Express Small Business Saturday

Registration for American Express Small Business Saturday is live!

Register all your eligible American Express cards at this link as soon as you can.

As I detailed in a previous post, this year’s Small Business Saturday, which occurs on November 29th, will be different from previous years.

Each eligible American Express card will be allowed a $10 credit up to 3 times.

To earn the $10 credit, one must make a minimum $10 purchase at a shop/store/restaurant participating in Small Business Saturday. See the map here for establishments in your area.

I’ll probably be doing all our transactions at a local liquor store that was kind enough to work with us to swipe all our cards last year.

So don’t delay in registering because you never know when registration will be filled and then Amex will pull the offer!

Follow Up: Evolve Money + Discover Card

This is a follow up to my post over the weekend about Evolve Money’s newest developments.

It looks like all is well just like Evolve said!

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

Evolve payment posting as a purchase on Discover

The payment has posted to my Discover account as a regular payment & I already see the Evolve payments posting to my utility company as well as my student loan company.

This isn’t huge news but look at it as another tool in the toolbox. It’s an easy way to earn some miles from the comfort of your own home or on the go with their handy mobile apps.

Evolve Money Now Takes Discover Cards

I just received an email from Evolve Money about a new feature – they now accept Discover credit cards as payment sources!

Previously, they only accepted debit cards or gift cards as payment sources to pay bills. This opens up a nice avenue to earn some decent cashback through Discover.

Evolve Money has been a steady source of paying for things that normally aren’t able to be paid with a credit card – utility bills, student loans, mortgage, etc.

When I execute my strategy of buying gift cards from Staples with my Chase Ink Plus card to earn 5x UR points, I am obviously stuck with hundreds of dollars in gift cards. Evolve Money is one of the primary ways I liquidate these cards to ensure I don’t have too much money floating around.

If this is the first time you’re hearing of it or you need a refresher on how it works, please refer to my original Evolve post.

I just wanted  to give this quick update on a great source of miles & points. Hopefully, you can blow the dust off that Discover and earn some cashback. In fact, this quarter’s bonus is 5% on “online purchases.”

And as an added teaser from Evolve, they also mentioned this in the email:

Coming in 2015, payment by VISA and MasterCard credit cards!

New Next Generation NEXUS Kiosks Coming

As a NEXUS member, I just received an email with some significant updates about the kiosk process when traveling by air between the United States & Canada.

“Next Generation” kiosks are being installed to provide “faster, more reliable and more efficient service in the air mode.”

These new kiosks are first being implemented at Macdonald-Cartier International Airport in Ottawa and by November, the rest of the Canadian international airports will be completed.

Here are the directions from the email.

  1. Please have your NEXUS card ready
  2. Select language of choice before inserting your NEXUS card into the document reader;
  3. When prompted, insert your NEXUS card into the document reader;
  4. Ensure the card is face up (picture side) and fully inserted into the reader;
  5. Leave the card in the reader until instructed to remove it;
  6. You will receive audio instructions advising you to look into the mirror;
  7. You will use the arrows located on the mirrors to adjust to ensure that you see both eyes;
  8. Look into the mirror, moving slightly forward or backward until you see the circle centered between your eyes change from orange to green; and
  9. Follow the instructions on the screen and answer the questions on the monitor.

This is very different from the current process because now you will have to carry your actual NEXUS card with you. Previously, you could scan your passport before being prompted for the iris scan.

Why NEXUS & Not Global Entry?

Why do I have NEXUS and not Global Entry like so many others? Well for a few reasons:

  • It costs $50, which is $50 cheaper than Global Entry
  • It has the same benefits of Global Entry – faster entry back into the United States & eligibility for TSA PreCheck
  • It can streamline entry into Canada (which Global Entry cannot)

It is, however, a bit harder to get depending on your location. The interview and iris scan must be completed at a border crossing location. For example, I built my interview into a trip to Vancouver and went to the NEXUS enrollment center in downtown Vancouver.

For a complete list of NEXUS enrollment centers, please see this link.

If you find yourself near or traveling to/through one of these locations and would like to have the benefits of Global Entry for a lower price, definitely start the NEXUS application process at the official Global Online Enrollment System web site.