Optimizing Spend on Black Friday & Cyber Monday

Happy Thanksgiving everybody! While today is about stuffing yourself like a Roman, tomorrow and Monday are about shopping. Dun dun dun....

...are you ready for Black Friday and Cyber Monday?

Before you dive into Thanksgiving prep madness today, slow down with a cup of coffee (or maybe a glass of wine is more appropriate? I heard the in-laws were coming) and take a few minutes to think about how you're going to optimize your Black Friday spending. Whether you're planning on shopping online or braving the crowds, chances are you plan on taking advantage of the sales.

Earn 5x Miles at Restaurants & Movie Theaters This Summer

If you haven't already, register your Chase Freedom to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards at restaurants and movie theaters this summer that you can transfer (circuitously) to United, Korean, British Airways, Southwest, Virgin Atlantic, Flying Blue, and Singapore miles.

The Chase Freedom is different than the Chase Freedom Unlimited card

If you register by September 14, 2017, your Freedom purchases will earn 5x on the first $1,500 spent at restaurants and movie theaters from July 1 (retroactively) through September 30, 2017.

Here are the other bonus categories for all of 2017:

Although the chart says 5% cash back, you actually

5x Per Dollar at Restaurants from April to June with Chase Freedom, Refer Friends to Get 50,000 More Points

From April 1 to June 30, you can earn 5 Ultimate Rewards per dollar using your Chase Freedom at restaurants. You must activate your bonus categories here to earn the 5x.

On top of that, Chase is offering 5,000 Ultimate Rewards for each person that existing cardholders refer to the Chase Freedom card.

Activate Your Freedom 3rd Quarter 5x at Gas Stations Today

Chase Freedom is offering 5x Ultimate Rewards at gas stations and Kohl's stores from July 1 - September 30, 2014. You must activate those category bonuses, and you can do so now.

(It's too late to activate the 5x at restaurants that runs through June 30. If you haven't hit $1,500 in restaurant spending yet, buy some gift certificates to your favorite places.)

The Freedom markets itself as a cash back card, but it actually earns Ultimate Rewards that do NOT transfer to airline or hotel partners like United and Hyatt.

3x Miles on Lufthansa Card Purchases at Grocery Stores (& More Barclaycard Category Bonuses!)

The offers for the cards listed in this post have expired, so their links have been removed. Click here for the top current credit card sign up bonuses.

The 50k mile bonus offer is back on the Lufthansa card mentioned in this post until 6/30/14.

Freedom 5% Categories for 2014 Announced

Chase Freedom has named its 5% cash back categories for 2014.

Each quarter, you can earn 5x Ultimate Rewards per dollar on your first $1,500 in the bonus categories as long you register your Freedom card. Max out the $1,500 each quarter, and you'll earn 30,000 Ultimate Rewards.

That's on top of the current sign up bonus of 20,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $500 in three months on the card.

I am hoping to get the full 30,000 Ultimate Rewards on my Freedom in 2014.