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
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
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
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
- Select clothing stores
- Cell phones
- Electronic Stores
- Car rentals
- 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.