Published on June 27th, 2016 | by Chuck41
Maximize the 5x Freedom Category on Gift Cards at Wholesale Clubs
Here are some tips for maxing out your $4,500 of Freedom 5x category in 2016 on gift cards.
Maxing Freedom 5x Category
The Chase Freedom card offers 5x rewards at Wholesale Clubs on up to $1,500 each quarter this year, including Q2 which ends in a few days, Q3 which runs July through September, and Q4 which runs October through December. All told, we have $4,500 bandwidth which can earn 5x rewards in 2016. Let’s look at maxing this out with gift card purchases.
Note that you do need membership to shop at Costco, BJ’s, and Sam’s. Samsclub.com allows you to buy without membership by adding a 10% fee. Sam’s also offers one-day passes in-store to try them out. And through July 4, Costco members can use their Costco membership card to shop at Sam’s at no cost at all.
Bear in mind that there are other categories alongside the Wholesale Category, and maxing out at Wholesale might not be necessary for you.
Buy Costco or Sam’s Gift Cards
First we’ll start with the most basic idea: If you plan on doing lots of regular shopping at Wholesale Clubs, you can max out your quarterly category by buying $1,500 of gift cards, thus locking in the discount on your future purchases.
All three stores sell their gift cards in-store. Only Costco and Sam’s sell their gift cards online, not BJ’s. You can contact them, however, and process a purchase of BJ’s gift cards without going into the store; hopefully, that will work to trigger the 5x too.
Buy Gift Cards for Gas
Another thing to keep in mind is that all these Wholesale Clubs sell gas too, usually at excellent prices.
While the Freedom category clearly excludes gas, it’s been noted that you can simply buy Club gift cards and use those to buy gas. This works for Costco and for Sam’s (Sam’s or Walmart gas), and it might work for BJ’s too.
Buy Mastercard Gift Cards
Any denomination less than $200 is probably not worth getting, and even the $200s are mostly useful for those who have an easy way to liquidate (PIN should work, from memory) or for those who place a high value on the points.
If you go in-store, you should be able to find $200 cards at Sam’s and possibly the others too. (Maybe there’s even $500 cards? Not sure.)
Buy Discounted Gift Cards Online
All three big Wholesale Clubs sell third-party gift cards online. Consider using that to max out the category-spend.
- Sam’s Club Link They sell Disney, Southwest, iTunes, restaurants, and more.
- BJ’s Link They sell Disney, restaurants, XBOX, and more.
- Costco Link They don’t have typical gift cards for sale, more specific-use cards.
Milesforfamily made the observation that you can buy discounted gift cards at Wholesale Clubs, even online. For example, Disney gift cards are discounted by 5% at BJs.com and Samsclub.com also has them for the around the same. Pick up iTunes for 5% off or score a few percent off various restaurant gift cards at Sam’s. There are lots of other discounted options too.
And these discounts are all on top of the 5x points that you’ll get on the purchase.
There may be other ways to get better discounts on these gift cards, so consider your options. Check out the options at the above links to see if there’s anything that makes sense for you.
Use Sam’s Gift Cards for Walmart
Lastly, it’s worth remembering that Sam’s gift cards are interchangeable with Walmart gift cards. Even if you don’t shop at Wholesale Clubs, you can make use of the 5x category to buy up Sam’s gift cards for Walmart use. If you don’t have Sam’s membership, you might be able to go into the store with a relative or using a one-day pass and buy up $1,500 of gift cards to use at Walmart.
- Free Sam’s Club Membership Trial for Costco Members
- Chase Freedom to Offer 5% at Wholesale Clubs for Remainder of 2016 [Quarterly Categories]
- BofA Cash Rewards Increases Category Limit to $2500 & Adds Wholesale Clubs [Up to 3.5% at Costco, BJ’s, Sam’s]
- Roundup of Q3 2016 Quarterly Categories on Freedom, Discover, Dividend, U.S. Bank