Published on January 1st, 2015 | by William Charles3
Q1 2015 Cashback Categories, Activation Links & Spending Tips (Freedom, it, Dividend & Cash+)
Q1 2015 will run between January 1st and March 31st. Below are a list of credit cards that earn 5% cash back in rotating categories and what those categories are for quarter one. Remember that you need to activate each quarter, otherwise you will not earn 5% cash back in those categories. We’ve also included some tips on how to increase your spend in these categories in unique ways that don’t result in you spending any extra.
Discover it – Gas Stations & Ground Transportation
- Whilst not listed as an example of a Gas Station, last year Chuck found that 7-11 coded as a gas station for the Discover card. Most 7-11’s are hard coded to only allow cash purchases for gift cards, but it’s worth checking at your local 7-11’s. Make sure you share your findings in the comments.
- If you’re a heavy gas user, you could also use this as a chance to prepay for your gas whilst getting 5% cash back. Just remember that the longer the gift cards are sitting in your drawer, the longer you’re not earning interest on them. If you really spend that much on gas it might also be worth looking at a card that earns 5% year round.
Chase Freedom Grocery Stores, Movie Theaters & Starbucks Stores
- Grocery stores. This is where my spend is going, I already have the Sallie Mae mastercard for my regular grocery expenses, so I’ll use the Freedom to purchase three $500 giftcards. We recently provided a list of grocery stores that sell these gift cards, which can be found here. I’ll try and wait for a grocery store to run a giftcard promotion to further increase the rewards I earn, make sure you subscribe to this blog or follow us on twitter to be notified of when these deals go live. I can then unload these cards using manufactured spending methods or just use them for my regular spend.
- Starbucks. It’s possible to purchase gift cards for a greater discount than 5%, so I wouldn’t go for this option.
- Movie Theaters. This could be an OK option, but just make sure you check to see if gift cards are available for less.
Citi Dividend Macy’s & Home Furnishing Stores
Frankly these categories suck, fortunately one of the benefits of the Citi Dividend card is that you get 5% cash back in rotating categories, but you can spend up to $6,000 per year. Other cards restrict you to spending $1,500 per quarter. This means you might be better off waiting until Q2, Q3 or Q4 to hit your spend.
I’ll probably just wait until Q4 and then purchase some giftcards at
eBay Best Buy. [Read: Everything you ever wanted to know about Buying Gift Cards at Best Buy]
U.S Bank Choose Your Own Category
This is more of a reminder to activate your 5% categories for Q1 2015. You’ll notice that they’ve removed restaurants as one of categories you can pick, which makes this card slightly less useful. You could always pick charity and then make loans with Kiva, but keep in mind there is considerable risk in doing so.