Posted by Chuck on January 2, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on January 2nd, 2017 | by Chuck

32

What Counts as Gas & Transportation for 5x with Freedom and Discover?

Introduction

The Chase Freedom card and the Discover IT card are both offering 5x rewards on gas and transportation purchases from January 1, 2017 through March 31, 2017. After activating the benefit, we can earn 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in combined spend for a maximum of $75 cashback or 7,500 points.

Read: Q1 2017 5% Quarterly Categories (Freedom, it, Cash+ & Dividend): Activate, Offers & Suggestions

The Freedom’s 5x is more valuable for those who have a premium Chase card as it can be then transferred to travel partners. The Discover has an edge for those who are enrolled in the Double Cashback offer which will turn the 5% into 10%.

Both cards receive 5x rewards on the following two categories:

  • Gas
  • Transportation

Discover has a third category which also earns 5%:

  • Wholesale Clubs

Earning 5x on Gas

The gas part of the deal should be the same on Freedom and Discover. Both include most regular gas station pumps, and both mention that gas purchased at grocery stores or superstores may not be eligible. These gas retailers sometimes have the gas purchases coded like other store purchases, not as gas.

Gas stations affiliated with Wholesale Clubs should work with Discover (since both Gas and Wholesale Clubs are part of the 5% categories), but might not work with Freedom if it isn’t coded as gas. Readers report in the comments that both Costco gas and Sam’s gas work to trigger 5x with Freedom since it’s coded as gas.

For specific examples of what works and what doesn’t, see Freedom’s list of gas stations inclusions and exclusions here and Discover’ details here.

There may be some creative ways of maximizing the gas category on both the Freedom and Discover cards: some convenience stores and gas stations sell gift cards and these are occasionally considered the same as a gas purchase to trigger the 5% rewards. It used to work with 7-Eleven and Wawa, for example, though both of these have gotten increasingly difficult.

Earning 5x on Transportation

With regards to the Transportation category, there is quite a difference between the Freedom offer and the Discover offer.

Chase advertises the benefit as ‘Local Commuter Transportation’ while Discover calls it ‘Ground Transportation.’ The wording, in this case, isn’t just verbiage.

Freedom only earns 5x on local transportation like taxis and subways, not on any long-distance transport like Amtrak or car rentals. Discover, on the other hand, earns 5% on all ground transportation, even things like car rentals.

Freedom Details

Examples of things that are included on the Freedom:

Examples of things that are excluded:

  • Transportation outside the US
  • Amtrak
  • Toll and bridges
  • Bike sharing services
  • Car rentals
  • Tourist/tour buses, trains and trolleys

Freedom List Found Here

Discover Details

Discover includes just about everything:

  • Rental Cars

In previous years, they explicitly included the following:

  • Bike Share Programs
  • Charter & Tour Bus Lines
  • Local & Suburban Public Transportation – Buses, Trains
  • Taxis, Limos
  • Uber and Lyft

Even things like car rentals, bike share, and tour buses which are excluded by Freedom counted for Discover. I’m fairly certain these will work this year too.

The only Discover exclusion is “ground transportation purchases made through travel agencies or travel aggregator sites,” since these purchases won’t necessarily come up as ground transportation at all. Booking a rental car on Priceline won’t be eligible, for example.

Amtrak works with Discover, and transportation outside the US works as well according to one data point.

Certain things are still unknown with Discover:

  • Tolls and bridges (one data point indicates that EZ-Pass in NY did work last year)
  • Parking lots or garages
  • Cruise lines

Discover List Found Here

Wholesale Clubs

Discover’s Wholesale Clubs category will work both in-store and should work online as well.

The following wholesale clubs accept Discover cards:

  • Costco.com (not Costco clubs)
  • BJ’s and bjs.com
  • Sam’s Club and samsclub.com

It’s also possible to maximize the Wholesale category purchasing gift cards. We wrote about the various options in a previous post.



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Dave3584
Dave3584

Very helpful post! Thanks a lot.

Harrison
Harrison

Is there any update about Nusenda’s 5 percent categories? I was thinking about getting that card if the rotating categories are different than Chase and discover

William Charles

Doesn’t look like they have posted 2017 categories yet, I suspect they will be the same as 2016 though.

Mason
Mason

i confirmed with a Discover chat rep that international purchases in the bonus categories count.

Izzy
Izzy

Do small stores @ gas stations count as gas purchases?

harv
harv

I buy most of my gas at Kroger’s and Meijer’s. Will I get 5%? thanks.

Eric
Eric

I did not see the Meijer listed on the gas station inclusion list in this article so I bought gas from a Meijer gas station as a test this week with my Freedom card and it posted as a 5x transaction. I have also purchased gas at both the Kroger grocery stores and Turkey Hill stations in the past and those are 5x eligible as well.

Eric
Eric

Update to my comment above: While I did earn 5% at the pump from Meijer on my Freedom, I did another test by buying Meijer gift cards in the Meijer gas station convenience store and that coded as 1%. So it looks like it is Meijer gas pumps only that earn the bonus

Ian
Ian

Discover cards are not accepted at wholesale club Costco; not even at the gas pumps.

SCJ
SCJ

Buy a Cash Card online.

anthonyjh21
anthonyjh21

Should also work if you are using Google Express for a Costco purchase. It did for 5x Freedom last year.

Mkus
Mkus

Just received my Discover bill. No 5% CB for GE Costco purchases.

Mr. Awesome
Mr. Awesome

Any have luck with buying SpeedWay GCs and getting 5X Freedom points?

Mike L
Mike L

If you buy them at the store, yes. I’ve also had the 5x count at 7-Eleven locations with a gas station even when making in-store purchases.

Super
Super

Just went to 7 Eleven, CSR said I can only use cash, anyone else experienced this problem?

Frugal Nellie (Lela)
Frugal Nellie (Lela)

MOST 7-11’s I’ve tried are now like this. WA state. I’ve also tried in FL. But I hear some still let you buy gc with cc. I don’t know where though.

Dizzy
Dizzy

I wish boats counted. Would be a sweet way to get 5% back- load my staff account on board the cruise ship I work on with card, get refunded at the end of my contract in cash. At least that’s what I’m told happens >evil grin<

Mike H
Mike H

Does anyone else think Discover and Chase are having similar rewards at the same time on purpose?

Frugal Nellie (Lela)
Frugal Nellie (Lela)

Of course!

jml7
jml7

By what logic would cruise lines count as ‘ground transportation’? You’re on water, not on ground lol

Peter
Peter

I’ve always had BJ’s Fuel (gas) code for the 5% rewards in gas category with Chase Freedom and Discover. It is separate from inside register system. I also always receive 3x AARP points with Chase AARP Visa when used at BJ’s Fuel for Gas category as well.

AMEX sucks and doesn’t pay bonus rewards on BJ’s Fuel.

Leo
Leo

Is Costco.com 5x with discover ?

Felicia
Felicia

I can confirm Amtrak qualifies for Discover.

Richard
Richard

Purchased gas at Costco using Freedom on 1/2/17, processed as 5x for Freedom

Will
Will

From the wording on the Chase UR site, one would think that gas purchased via Sam’s Club stations would not work. However, I can attest that I did receive the 4% bonus on 2 separate purchases from them for this quarter…Go swipe with confidence Sam’s Club Members!

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