Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Chuck31
Roundup of Q3 2016 Quarterly Categories on Freedom, Discover, Dividend, U.S. Bank
[Originally posted 6/15/16, reposting 7/1/16 since categories are now live]
Q3 2016 Quarterly Categories
All of the major credit cards which have rotating 5x categories are now live for signup, including Chase Freedom, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, and U.S. Bank Cash+.
All categories run from July 1 until September 30, 2016.
You should get an email from the card issuer to signup with one click; Chase hasn’t sent it out yet for the Freedom card, should come soon. I usually just wait for the email.
Freedom – Restaurants & Wholesale Clubs
The Chase Freedom card offers 5x Ultimate Rewards points on restaurants and Wholesale Clubs, on a max of $1,500 in spend.
You can see a long list of restaurants eligible for the 5x category here. It includes all the big names like Starbucks, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonalds’s, Burger King, Applebee’s, Red Robin, Ruby Tuesday, TGI, Domino’s, etc.
The terms indicate that other restaurants might work as well, it will depend on how they have their payments coded.
Chase lists four clubs as being eligible for the 5% category: Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, Texas Jasmine. It includes both online purchases and in-store purchases, even purchases made at the member services desk (e.g. buying membership).
The terms indicate that there may be other wholesale clubs that work as well.
Exclusions – It does NOT include gas and fuel or other specialty services such as travel, insurance, cell phone and home improvement. Tip: Buy s store gift card at the regular checkout and use those to buy gas, travel, etc. (if allowed), and you’ll get 5x on those things as well.
See also Maximize the 5x Freedom Category on Gift Cards at Wholesale Clubs for ways to maximize this category.
Discover – Amazon, Home Improvement
Discover IT will earn 5% back on Amazon and Home Improvement stores, on a max of $1,500 in spend.
New Discover cardholders will also get that 5% cashback doubled at year’s end for a total of 10% back.
Dividend – Car Rentals & Hilton
The Citi Dividend will earn 5% cash back on car rentals and Hilton.
Car rentals include:
HILTON’S PORTFOLIO OF BRANDS include:
- Hilton Hotels & Resorts
- Hilton Garden Inn
- Waldorf Astoria Hotels & Resorts
- Hampton by Hilton
- Conrad Hotels & Resorts
- Tru by Hilton
- Canopy by Hilton
- Homewood Suites by Hilton
- Curio – A Collection by Hilto
- Home2 Suites by Hilto
- DoubleTree by Hilto
- Hilton Grand Vacation
- Embassy Suites by Hilton
Citi runs their 5% Dividend categories differently in that you can spend however much you want at the 5% stores, just there’s an annual rewards cap from all rewards earning of $300. If you would like, you can spend $6,000 in one 5% quarterly category and max out the entire $300. Then you won’t earn any more rewards the whole year.
Cash+ – Select your Categories
U.S. Bank Cash+ offers 5% cash back in two categories, up to $2,000 combined total per quarter. Here are the current options:
- Select clothing stores
- Cell phones
- Electronic Stores
- Car rental
- Sports goods
- Department Stores
- Furniture Stores
- Movie theaters
Fast foods might be interesting for some, as will movies and charity. Many useful categories there.
Lots of people will be able to max out Freedom either at restaurants or at Wholesale Clubs.
Discover has Amazon which some will max out on purchases or will buy Amazon gift cards to use for the future. Buying gift cards from home improvement stores is also an option. Remember that Q4 on Discover, and likely on Chase Freedom, will include Amazon as well so you don’t necessarily have to stock up there.
As for Citi Dividend most people will max out the entire $6,000 allowance on drugstores this quarter, or else some people will find Best Buy or department stores useful in Q4, so I doubt many people will use Q3. Still could be useful for someone who rents cars a lot.
U.S. Bank also has a Fast Food category, along with a bunch of other useful categories. And they allow up to $2,000 per quarter.