Posted by Chuck on January 1, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on January 1st, 2018 | by Chuck

59

Q1 2018 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll your 5% credit cards for the first quarter of 2018 on Chase Freedom, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, and US Bank Cash+. In this post we’ll provide the activation link for each card and link to track your spend, along with strategies to help increase spend on these categories.

Dates: January 1, 2018 – March 31, 2017. Store purchases can usually be done until the last minute. Online purchases should be given a buffer zone of a day or two.

Chase Freedom – Mobile Payments, Gas Stations, Communications

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back on mobile payments, gas stations, and communication purchases during January, February, and March, up to $1,500 maximum. All of these are useful categories:

  • Mobile Payments which includes Chase Pay, Android Pay, Apple Pay, Samsung Pay. Note: you will not get 10% by using a form of mobile payments in the Gas or Communications category – max is 5% back.
  • Gas Stations. This includes the standard gas stations like ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, and many smaller providers – you can find a long list of gas stations that qualify here.
  • Internet, Cable, and Phone Service providers. You can find a long list of providers that qualify here. Interestedly, they include things like Netflix, Spotify, and Gogo, along with more basic communications providers like Comcast, Optimum, Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, etc.

The mobile payments category is incredibly easy to maximize since most major retailers accept these payments, essentially making it 5x anywhere. If you can’t spend $1,500 organically, consider stocking up on gift cards for the future. Or manufacture spend with the purchase of Visa/MC gift cards at your local drugstore or grocery who accepts mobile payments.

The other categories are less lucrative for a lot of us since gas is a category which is often bonused (they also overlap with Discover and Dividend), and communications has the INK cards which earn bonus points there.

Tip: Click this link to check how far you are along the $1,500.

Discover – Gas Stations and Wholesale Clubs

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back on gas stations and wholesale clubs during January, February, and March, up to $1,500 maximum.

  • Gas Stations includes stand-along gas stations and might not include gas stations affiliated with superstores and supermarkets.
  • Wholesale Clubs should include Costco, Sam’s Club, BJ’s, and maybe a few others.

“Check with your Wholesale Club to make sure your Discover card is accepted. Certain Wholesale Club services, such as travel and cell phone purchases may not be eligible in this category. Purchases made using tap-and-pay, mobile or wireless card readers, virtual wallets or similar technology may not be eligible.”

Wholesale clubs is useful, gas is less useful since there are other cards with bonuses on that category, as mentioned above. New Discover cardholders will get the 5% cashback doubled at year’s end for a total of 10% back.

Tip: Click this link to see you how far along the $1,500 you are.

 

Citi Dividend – Gas Stations and Car Rentals

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back on gas station and car rental purchases during January, February, and March.

Citi is slightly different to the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a quarterly cap. So you can get 5% back on up to $6,000 in this quarter, you can save the entire amount for a different quarter, or you can use part up each quarter.

A lot of people will save their 5% bandwidth for the Best Buy and Department Store category during Q4 2018. 

Cash+ – Select your Categories

Activation link

U.S. Bank Cash+ offers 5% cash back in two categories, up to $2,000 combined total per quarter. Here are the current options (keep in mind that Charity was replaced with Ground Transportation):

  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phones
  • Electronic Stores
  • Car rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness
  • Bookstores
  • Fast food
  • Ground Transportation
  • Sporting goods
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie theaters

Tip: Login here, then scroll down and click on the Red “View Your Cash+ History” button.



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Gail
Gail

Not sure how to utilize the mobile pay. Do you have to get the Chase app?

David
David

No any mobile Pay is accepted, Costco accept Apple pay, Android pay, and Samsung pay

BW
BW

Are you sure about Costco? They’re not listed as a payee on Apple Pay’s website which lists all the places that accepts.

FYI
FYI

The Citi category is for Q4; probably want to update that.

Tim
Tim

Does Sam’s Club accept Discover for Visa gift card purchases??

Liz
Liz

yes

frank
frank

Has anyone seen sam’s got 500 mgc or vgc in store?

NinjaX
NinjaX

location based. almost all locations have abusers which will impact if you get arrested or not.

Frank
Frank

Arrested?! Just because of buying VGC?

That does make sense.

Frank
Frank

Sorry, I mean “doesn’t”….

James B.
James B.

Hi NinjaX,

Now that the USPS does accept MCOVs to purchase MOs, what other liquidation options would you recommend?

NinjaX
NinjaX

james. u just gotta keep reading. there is a reason why public shit dies. the landscape has changed considerably after the CSR n00b crisis in 2016. reddit is now over 110k. the game wont get any easier.

Mimi
Mimi

they have removed all the variable $500 MCOVs from the racks at my go-to SC. I thought I found a work around when the cashier said they still have some of the $500s if I wanted to buy those. Of course! the joy was shortlived though…when cashier tried to scan it, she got an error message they cannot be sold 🙁

Frank
Frank

Haha, the cashier even does not know this kind of “Fraud Prevention”. Even though I don’t understand why they remove it…

James B.
James B.

Hi Mimi,

Now that the USPS does accept MCOVs to purchase MOs, what other liquidation options would you recommend?

NinjaX
NinjaX

yes. exactly my experiences all over SCAL in LA. its clear i was too late. the massive abusers who did over 20k per visit since Simon was no good, ended up taking a huge shit on everyone else. while i agree that the early bird catches the worm, im pretty tired of the HH going around breaking shit. every store is implementing their own policy and deciding which GCs they sale. its like WG or WM or OD/DM all over again. reselling seems to be the only option.

artgriego
artgriego

sometimes

Blue
Blue

Am I missing something about Dividend and BB/Department Stores? With BB VGCs only being $200 (at least that I’ve been able to find) I’m guessing this is purely a resale play for Christmas?

Ewejay
Ewejay

Header is a typo. Dividend’s Q4 is Best Buy/Department Stores. Q1 is Gas and Car Rentals. I plan to buy a lot of gas and sock-drawer my card rather than worry about Q4.

Chris
Chris

Interesting that the list of gas stations for Chase Q1 excludes Costco and Safeway (warehouses and grocery stores). It is much more restrictive than in the past and not sure it’s worth it for me as Costco gas is typically 5-10% cheaper in my area, and Safeway has the fuel rewards. Too bad

David
David

The rule that cannot be broken can surely be bent, you bend the rules without breaking them.

That being said you can use your discover it or cashback match credit card to purchase Costco gift cash card.

The Costco gift cash card is accepted at the physical Costco warehouse and at the Costco gas station!!!

Jeff H
Jeff H

His comment has me wondering about Freedom Q1 vs Hy-Vee and Dillon grocery store branded gas stations. Yet KwikShop convience store gas owned by Dillons is specifically listed as approved and accepts Dillon gas points.

Alternatively, I am looking at Android Pay as a work around the Chase Freedom exclusions and non-category spend.

Trigger08
Trigger08

Do you see a statement that Costco gas specifically is excluded? So far in January all of my Chase Freedom purchases from the Costco gas station have earned the bonus 5%

Matt
Matt

Does discover Q1 include Costco gas and Sams gas? I notice chase gas category doesn’t include those, and I’m wondering if discover’s wholesale clubs category excludes gas?

David
David

The rule that cannot be broken can surely be bent, you bend the rules without breaking them.

That being said you can use your discover it or cashback match credit card to purchase Costco gift cash card.

The Costco gift cash card is accepted at the physical Costco warehouse and at the Costco gas station!!!

Jeff H
Jeff H

Discover Gas did NOT work at Hy-Vee Gas last year.

a
a

Dividend section header is wrong

rxgeek
rxgeek

Google Fi is not listed as included or excluded on your Freedom lists. I assume excluded since there is no bonus with the Chase Ink cards. Please consider adding to exclusions.

Jeremy
Jeremy

What categories do people usually pick for the US Bank Cash+ card? I usually do department stores and electronic stores.

Jeff H
Jeff H

Historically, I have been selecting Fast Food and Cell phones. This new Q1 I changed to Fast Food and Book Stores based on /r/churning reports Amazon counts. I expect to do a small test today – Jan 01.

Jim
Jim

Can Chase Pay approach be to buy $1500 Walmart gift cards through checking out Walmart.com and paying with Chase Pay or is the mobile payments for in-person only?

Jeremy
Jeremy

It should be for either, but you may want to do a small test purchase first.

Lisa
Lisa

Regarding chase Freedom mobile pay. Samsung pay counts. But would visa checkout / samsung pay qualify? Thanks.

Dan
Dan

Does apple pay count P2P? So can I send my friend $1500 via apple pay (pay the 3% cc fee) and net 2%?

NinjaX
NinjaX

for everyone asking all these questions, you need to wait and look for DP or do tests urself. this is a new area. we dont know how chase codes things vs USB AR mobile pay. we dont know what really is classified under mobile pay. everything is YMMV. wait or if ur impatient, do your own tests.

NinjaX
NinjaX

has anyone tried if strip clubs accept apple pay? would be nice to get 5x on that kind of spend. thats a huge win for me.

Teddy
Teddy

I see “equipment purchases” excluded from phone services… Does that mean if I buy a new phone it won’t count?

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