Posted by Chuck on July 1, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on July 1st, 2016 | by Chuck

31

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

Signup Here

The Chase Freedom card offers 5x Ultimate Rewards points on restaurants and Wholesale Clubs, on a max of $1,500 in spend.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.24.40 PM

Restaurants

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.

Wholesale Clubs

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.

Wholesale Clubs was added to the 5% category due to the fact that Costco will start accepting Visa cards on June 20.

See also Maximize the 5x Freedom Category on Gift Cards at Wholesale Clubs for ways to maximize this category.

Discover – Amazon, Home Improvement

Signup Here

Discover IT will earn 5% back on Amazon and Home Improvement stores, on a max of $1,500 in spend.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.40.41 PM

 

New Discover cardholders will also get that 5% cashback doubled at year’s end for a total of 10% back.

Dividend – Car Rentals & Hilton

Signup Here

The Citi Dividend will earn 5% cash back on car rentals and Hilton.

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.08.19 PM

Car rentals include:

  • National
  • Hertz
  • Alamo
  • Budget
  • Avis

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

Signup Here

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
  • Gyms/Fitness
  • Bookstores
  • Fastfood
  • Charity
  • Sports goods
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie theaters

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 1.00.10 PM

Fast foods might be interesting for some, as will movies and charity. Many useful categories there.

Wrap Up

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.



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Jeff
Jeff

Just chatted with a Discover CSR and my current doubled cashback promo for Discover ends July 4th (my next statement date). Wonder if I stock up on GC’s at HI stores on July 1-2 that they’ll post in time to get double cashback?

Raul
Raul

Go make a small purchase now at a restaurant and see how long it takes to post to account. I would also make the purchases in the morning instead of evening.

AB
AB

Will Ikea count for Discover? How have they treated it in the past?

penny
penny

the Citi Dividend one is making it hard on me now.

I am staying at 2 different Hiltons in August.. debating should I put it on my HHonors AMEX, Chase CSP or Citi Dividend now…

Same with Car rental… Chase CSP vs Citi Dividend… Prob CSP for car rental due to the primary insurance.

Grant
Grant

You could just put rental on CSP, then when you return it and not need primary insurance just switch to dividend.

Penny
Penny

I didn’t know that was an option. I figured they would charge my card when I get the keys.

Jeff H
Jeff H

Car rental companies do run an authorization when rental is picked up. IF you say something to the return agent BEFORE they process your return, most will let you change the card charged. YMMV
I have done it more than once over the years.
IF you keep the car past original rental period, they do run the charge. (Always call and get car company agreement if you need to keep the car past original rental period. Take good notes if you do. )

Ed
Ed

If you want to switch credit cards, then upon returning the car tell the attendant in the facility as you drive in of your plans. DO NOT let them scan the bar code on the car and charge it. Go inside to the main car rental counter. They will switch the card for you. I did this changing UA VISA (for primary insurance coverage) to SW VISA (double RR points for rental partner).

Glenn
Glenn

Actually I think the Q3 Freedom categories are one of the hardest to max out. Supermarkets sell gift cards to all kinds of places (like Amazon, Gas, restaurants, etc) and offer 2X or more gas points for buying gift cards too. Easy. Restaurants? Buy gift cards ahead of time for some chain? I have 3 Freedom cards to max out. I don’t see it.

Now Costco on the other hand might get me there. Have to see.

William Charles

Sam’s Club sell VGC as well

JP
JP

Variable?

James B.
James B.

Some Sam’s Club allow customers to purchase VGC with credit cards, while others do not (YMMV).

Try to spread your VGCs purchases over various weeks. Today a Sam’s Club manager blocked my purchase of 3 x $500 VGCs because I purchased 2 x $500 VGCs previously this week. She claimed that they do not want issues with money laundering, etc…….

JP
JP

Did manager remembered your face or they use DL to track the purchases? Never bought vgc at sams before.

James B.
James B.

One of the clerks remembered my face and she called over the manager. The manager told me that their registers automatically trigger red flags when many VGCs are purchased in a short time span. She also told me that their Sam’s Club has had issues in the past with customers purchasing large quantities of VGCs and that Sam’s Club management will block large quantities of VGCs purchases.

She said that Sam’s does not want any potential legal issues with money laundering, etc…

By DL do you mean Digital Library?

joe
joe

Anyone know if Seamless is considered a restaurant in Discover’s Q2 restaurant bonus?

Eric
Eric

In the past, Seamless has not qualified for restaurants for me (on either Discover or Chase Freedom)

Trevor
Trevor

Little late but Seamless posts as restaurant for cards. Yelp posts as business service and UberEats as taxi.

Dan
Dan

Anyone know if BJs and Costco sell VGC, MC or Amex GC and allow them to be purchased with a CC?

Ian
Ian

How about Meijer? Are they coded as wholesale warehouse club?

Mike
Mike

Mijer on chase codes as grocery store

LiteSalt
LiteSalt

I’ve always done pretty well with the restaurants category because I eat out a lot and most bars are considered “restaurants” by credit card companies. I guess that says a lot about me. 🙂

seth
seth

Does sears count as home improvement for discover Q3?

Rebecca
Rebecca

My guess would be no. All I can say for sure is this is their description of home improvement stores. “Home Improvement Stores are defined as home improvement retail stores, lumber/building material stores, paint/wallpaper stores, hardware stores and lawn and garden supply centers.” This is their list of included home improvement stores, with the first paragraph being categories of home improvement stores, and specific store names listed after that:

Home improvement retail stores
Lumber and building material stores
Paint and wallpaper stores
Hardware stores
Lawn and garden supply centers

Ace Hardware
Benjamin Moore
Colt
Empire Today
Floor & Décor

Harbor Freight Tools
The Home Depot
Lowe’s
Lumber Liquidators
Menards

Rural King
Sherwin Williams
Stanley Steemer
TrueValue

…AND MANY MORE!

Kris
Kris

Does Enterprise count as Rental Car for Citi Dividend Card? It was not listed on the website.

PG
PG

Just stocked up on Lowe’s and HD gift cards at @ 20-25% off. Be nice to find a good way to maximize the 10% back that Discover is now offering…

Michael
Michael

Buying stuff online? Portal rewards?

Jeff H
Jeff H

US BANK Cash Plus card
The article fails to distinguish Fast Food from sit down restaurants which are only 2% IF you make that additional separate choice. Some exceptions may be coded as Fast Food by the system.

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