Q1 2022 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom/Flex, Discover, Dividend, Cash+ & more)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll all 5% category credit cards for the first quarter of 2022, including the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, US Bank Cash+ and a few others. In this post we’ll provide the activation link for each card and links to track your spend, along with strategies to help increase spend in these categories.

Dates: January 1st – March 31, 2021. Store purchases can usually be done until the last minute while online purchases should be given a buffer zone of a day or two.

Chase Freedom – Grocery, eBay

Activation Link / FAQ / Sample Stores & Exclusions / Our original post

With your Freedom and Freedom Flex cards, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at Grocery Stores and on eBay.

  • Grocery Stores – always a useful category; you can also buy gift cards at the grocery store for future use or for use at other places, e.g. Amazon or Visa gift cards.
    • Grocery Stores category include supermarkets, merchants that offer a full service grocery line of merchandise including a deli and bakery as well as smaller grocery stores.
    • Does not include Walmart and Target, per the terms
    • (The 5x Grocery stacks with the Grocery signup bonus for those who have that. Note, since both your new cardmember bonus and quarterly bonus are earned as 4% bonus cash back on top of the 1% cash back earned on every purchase, the most you will earn per $1 in grocery store purchases in Q1 is 9% cash back: 1% earn on every purchase, plus 4% for the quarterly bonus, plus 4% for the new cardmember bonus.)
  • eBay – should work for all regular purchases on eBay, and possibly for eBay seller fees as well.

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

Discover – Grocery, Fitness, Gym

Activation Link / Our original post

With your Discover card, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at Grocery Stores, Fitness Clubs, and on Gym Memberships.

  • Grocery Stores – always a useful category; you can also buy gift cards at the grocery store for future use or for use at other places, e.g. Amazon or Visa gift cards.
    • There’s overlap here with Discover and Chase Freedom which isn’t fun for someone who has limited Grocery spend.
  • Fitness Club and Gym Memberships – try paying out your yearly dues if that’s something that interests you

Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Grocery Stores (stand-alone) and Fitness Club & Gym Memberships from 1/1/22 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 3/31/22, on up to $1,500 in purchases. Grocery Store purchases include those made at supermarkets, meat lockers, bakeries, smaller grocery stores, and grocery delivery services. All purchases made at Walmart, Target, convenience stores, wholesale clubs, discount stores, and supercenters are not eligible. Fitness Club & Gym Memberships include membership fees and purchases at health clubs. Athletic or recreation facilities may be eligible. Virtual and in-person fitness classes may be eligible. Individual merchants and stand-alone stores within fitness clubs, gyms, athletic or recreation facilities may not be eligible in this category.

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

 

Citi Dividend – Amazon, Streaming

Landing Page | Our Original Post

With your Dividend card, earn 5% back this quarter at Amazon.com and on select Streaming Services. Citi is different than the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a $1,500 quarterly cap. Thus, 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. Some people might prefer to save their Dividend bandwidth for another quarter later this year in hopes there’ll be a useful category.

  • Amazon.com – useful, though less-so for someone who already has a 5% Amazon credit card
  • Select Streaming Services – includes Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Apple Music, CBS All Access, Disney+, AT&T TV NOW, ESPN+, fuboTV, HBO Max, NBA League Pass, Netflix, Pandora, Showtime, Sling TV, Spotify, Starz, SiriusXM, Vudu, YouTube Red, YouTube TV, and Tidal

US Bank Cash+/Elan – Select your Categories

Activation link | Merchant List | Our Original Post

U.S. Bank Cash+ and Elan Max offer 5% cash back in two categories, up to $2,000 combined total per quarter. Keep in mind that Car Rentals was recently replaced with TV, Internet, and Streaming Services.

Here are the current options:

  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services
  • Home utilities
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phone providers
  • Electronic Stores
  • Gyms/Fitness
  • 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.

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Our Original Post

The Cash Rewards card from Bank of America offers 3% back on one selected category, up to $2,500 per quarter. If you don’t select anything it defaults to gas. Once you selected a category for one quarter, that remains your category in the future unless you change it. Each calendar month you can change it if you’d like, but you’re always limited to $2,500 for the entire quarter.

  • Gas (default)
  • Online Shopping
  • Dining
  • Travel
  • Drug Stores
  • Home Improvement/Furnishings

This category is especially lucrative for those who have Preferred Rewards status with Bank of America which can get you 5.25% back on one of these categories at the higher relationship level.

Lots of useful categories here. Important note: the Cash Rewards card also offers 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs up to $2,500 per quarter, and that $2,500 limit combines with the Category Selection limit. After spending $2,500, you’ll earn 1% back on everything.

Other Cards with 5% Category

ABOC – Discontinued

Since August 27, 2021, the ABOC Platinum rewards card has moved to a new rewards provider and no longer offers the quarterly 5x categories.

Nusenda FCU – Gas, Grocery

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases on Gas and Groceries.

This is on top of the regular 1% for a total earn of 6% back.

Affinity FCU – Gas, Wireless, Cable

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on purchases on up to $3,500 in purchases for Gas, Cellular, Wireless, Cable, and Satellite.

The 5x is on top of regular earn for a total of 6x or 7x, depending on the card.

Abound CU – Health, Fitness

Landing page | Our Original Post

  • Abound Credit Union Visa Platinum card offers 5% on up to $2,000 in purchases for Health and Fitness purchases.

5% off merchants classified as Clubs/Membership, Miscellaneous Food Stores, Sporting Good Stores, Shoe Stores and Sports Apparel/Riding Apparel.

Vantage West [AZ] – Select your Category

Landing Page | Our Original Post

Get 5x points on the category of your choice, up to $1,500 per quarter. Eligible categories:

  • Travel
  • Restaurants
  • Utilities [water, cell, electric, etc.]
  • In-Store Wholesale Purchases [Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.]
  • Department Stores
  • Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
  • Charitable Organizations
  • Pharmacies & Drug Stores
  • Amazon.com

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Mia
Mia

Chuck I’m wondering if you or anyone else knows.. for Chase Freedom “Purchase Protection” when it says it excludes “Used or pre-owned items”.. what about you buy a brand new, unopened computer on eBay.. but it’s a normal person selling it and not a retailer? Is it covered?

TKO
TKO

As I stated in another post, watch out for the post date for the Chase Freedom’s Ultimate Rewards points. I made a purchase that posted on my credit card statement on March 31st so I thought that the 5% bonus Ultimate Rewards points would also be credited on March 31st but they actually posted to my UR account on April 1st, which was in the next quarter so I did not get the 5%; I only got the 1%. I spoke to 2+ Chase customer service representatives and their supervisors but they all said “Tough”. Make sure to make your purchases the day before the end of the quarter (i.e. March 30th instead of March 31st) so that they post to your UR account by the end of the month and that you get the 5%.

As for the US Bank Cash+ card, they recently changed the deadline to choose/change your 5%/2% bonus categories for the upcoming quarter to at least 5 days before the end of the quarter (i.e. by December 26th for the 1st quarter of 2022). They used to allow choosing/changing your 5%/2% bonus categories up to the last day of the quarter (i.e. by December 31st for the 1st quarter of 2022). I wanted to change my categories on my Cash+ card because I got a promotion for my Citi Premier card for 5x (department stores, clothing stores, electronic stores, and toy/game stores) but it was too late; it was already past December 26th. I spoke with several different US Bank CSRs and their supervisors but they were unable to manually change the categories themselves. It worked out in the end anyways because, later, I got a promotion on my Sears card for 10x ThankYou points at restaurants, gas stations, and grocery stores for January-March 2022 so I don’t really need my Cash+ card this quarter.

LakeMich87
LakeMich87

Why does Discover not allow me to do more than one transaction over $100 without getting declined? Such a shit card, they even text me, “confirm transaction” then deny the next one I try.

Max
Max

Has anyone paid on eBay through PayPal this quarter yet and gotten the eBay 5% points? I’m winning a decent sized bid on something that accepts buyer-paid returns so I’d like to pay through PayPal and keep the Return Shipping On Us option in play.

Ken
Ken

Received 5% on Chase through PayPal. PayPal checkout also shows 5% back on eBay purchases.

Abby Normal
Abby Normal

I guess Best Buy is sort of doing categories now. Mine for the quarter is 10% back on “telephone, cable/satellite/streaming, internet, electric, heating, water and sanitary services”. For 10% Best Buy points I’ll bite for the quarter.

Andre
Andre

Does anyone know if the “Fitness Clubs 5%” will work for wellness centers?

Fran
Fran

Does anyone know of the fitness bonus will work on Peloton?

Olly
Olly

It does – at least on the subscription. I switched my Peloton membership over to Discover to try and it earned 5%.

Raymond
Raymond

Does vantage west CC has sign up bonus ever? Waiting long term to sign up lol. I have VW membership but just not the card.

Brian
Brian

Glad I read this, going to Costco today, I’ll use Discover card now for 5%

Edit: wholesale clubs are excluded. I’ll use the 2% Costco card, the only place I use it.

Millennial Outrage

Wut?

Brian
Brian

Wut what?

Millennial Outrage

I see you added an edit. Beyond the category restriction, Costco is Visa only in-store.

Jay
Jay

Example grocery stores from the Chase page include:

99 CENTS ONLY STORES
99 RANCH MARKET
ACME MARKETS
ALBERTSONS
ALDI / HOFER
BASHAS
BIG Y FOODS
BLUE APRON
CENTRAL MARKET
C-TOWN SUPERMARKET
DEFENSE COMMISSARY AGENCY
DIERBERGS
FESTIVAL FOODS
FOOD LION
FOODTOWN
FRESH THYME
GELSON’S MARKETS
GIANT / GIANT FOOD
GIANT EAGLE
GRISTEDES
HANNAFORD BROS
HARRIS TEETER
H-E-B GROCERY / HEB
HEINEN’S SUPERMARKET
HELLOFRESH
HERBALIFE
INGLES MARKET
INSTACART (only with Grocery Store deliveries)
JEWEL-OSCO
KEY FOOD
KING KULLEN
KING’S SUPERMARKETS
KROGER
LIDL
LUNDS
MARIANO’S
MARKET BASKET
MEIJER
NEW SEASONS MARKETS
NOB HILL FOODS
PATEL BROTHERS
PAVILIONS
PEAPOD
PICK N SAVE
PIGGLY WIGGLY
PRICE CHOPPER
PUBLIX SUPER MARKETS
RALPHS
RANDALLS
SAFEWAY
SAVE A LOT
SAVE MART
SCHNUCK’S
SCHWANS
SHAW’S SUPERMARKETS
SHIPT (only with Grocery Store deliveries)
SHOP-RITE SUPERMARKETS
SMART & FINAL
SPROUTS FARMERS MARKET
STAR MARKET
STATER BROS
STOP & SHOP
THE FRESH MARKET
TRADER JOE’S
VONS
WEGMANS
WEIS MARKETS
WHOLE FOODS MARKET
WINN-DIXIE SUPERMARKETS

Raymond
Raymond

But I buy groceries at Costco and Amazon

Mark
Mark

Uh…Costco card is 2% and amazon card is 5%. All four quarters, and no $1500 limit!

Millennial Outrage

More food for thought: USB AR with Apple Pay is 3% cash (or 4.5% when redeemed for travel reimbursement)

A Churner of Churns

I see what you did there…