Posted by William Charles on April 2, 2017
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Published on April 2nd, 2017 | by William Charles


Q2 2017 5% Quarterly Categories (Freedom, it, Cash+ & Dividend): Activate, Offers & Suggestions

It’s now possible to activate/enroll your 5% credit cards for second quarter of 2017. In this post we will provide the activation link for each card and also list what categories that card has along with any strategies we suggest for helping to increase spend on that category (without just making frivolous purchases).

Chase Freedom – Grocery Stores & Drugstores

Activation Link (thanks to @telewatcr for reminding me)

The holy grail of 5% categories and both in the same quarter! Finding Visa/Mastercard gift cards at a grocery store or drugstore isn’t too difficult for most people so maxing this category out will likely be done quickly.

Tip: Click ‘See Details’ in your Chase Freedom login to see how far along the $1,500 you are.


Discover it – Home Improvement & Wholesale Clubs

Activation Link

Some people might be getting sick of wholesale clubs, but you should be able to max out this category without too much issue either. More details here. New Discover cardholders will also get that 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.

discover it bonus

Citi Dividend – Drugstores & Fitness Clubs

Activation Link

Citi is slightly different to the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a quarterly cap. Drugstores is probably the easiest category for the year to purchase gift cards for, so most people will be trying to max out their annual cap this quarter.

citi dividend

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 from this quarter onwards):

  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phones
  • Electronic Stores
  • Car rental
  • Gyms/Fitness
  • Bookstores
  • Fastfood
  • Ground Transportation
  • Sports goods
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie theaters

Tip: Login here, then scroll down to view history.

Best categories really depend on your personal preference, I used to go with charity so I’m going to have to rethink my strategy.

46 Responses to Q2 2017 5% Quarterly Categories (Freedom, it, Cash+ & Dividend): Activate, Offers & Suggestions

  1. Dario says:

    How do you know if Citi is activated? Clicking your link, but also just trying to find it myself on their website, prompts me to sent which card I want to see an offer for and selecting the Citi card ends up not showing any activation area or anything….

  2. Brad says:

    Quick question on drugstores – A lot of insurance companies are making us use Mail Order pharmacies such as Express Scripts, etc…

    I have no idea if these would apply to drugstores or not, but I’m willing to guess no? Otherwise, I don’t know of a good way to max this one out with natural spending.

  3. TomTX says:

    Does the Discover 5% back work at

  4. AB says:

    Discover works on

  5. Sam says:

    Why not nusenda ?

  6. Jeff H says:

    Citi Q2 (16.16kB)

    Second QUARTER 2017 – Citi 5% Dividend Rewards
    Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases when you use your Citi Dividend Card from April 1, 2016 through June 30, 2016 at:
    •Fitness Clubs
    – FULL YEAR 2017 REWARDS shown

    Log into your account to register for this new quarter.

  7. T says:

    I ran into an issue at my local Vons where the cashier said she’ll only take ATM card or cash (not credit card) for a Mastercard gift card purchase. Is this common?

  8. alex says:

    anybody has an issue to activate citi? I haven’t received the activation email as before. If I went to, after I signed in, it sitll shows this quarter’s offer. I called this monring, a custormer service guy had to manually activate it although I still haven’t seen any change in my account yet.


  9. Schmekel says:

    I’ve got 2 Chase Freedoms.

    I’m only going to be in the US for about another month.

    Am I taking a chance on Chase cancelling my accounts if I buy 3 $500 GC’s on each Freedom cards in a one month span? (plus a small bit of grocery bills for the month)

  10. Ben says:

    Is Citi retroactive in awarding 5%?

    I bought a $500 GC today, but realized that I haven’t activated the 5% cashback yet. Will it be awarded if I activate now?

    • Not sure, sorry 🙁

    • Jeff H says:

      AFIK card activation required before purchase. Activate ASAP hoping to beat transaction date on your account.

    • Schmekel says:

      Yes, iirc and I do, it’s usually possible to activate for the entire quarter up until midway thru the 3rd month, perhaps a bit later.

      • Ben says:

        That’s definitely true for Freedom, but not as sure for Dividend. I bought the GC at 10am, then enrolled in 5% at ~1pm. It says during enrollment that the 5% is good either at the start of the quarter, or 2 days after enrolling whichever is later. I’ll update later with what happens, but not hopeful.

        • Schmekel says:

          You’re correct – I was thinking Freedom card – didn’t notice you’d said Citi.
          Sorry for the mistake.

        • Ben says:

          Statement posted today. It was credited for 5%. The purchase was made on the 2nd, and posted on the 4th. I enrolled on the 2nd. So 2 days later would be the 4th. So it’s “sorta” retroactive.

  11. Ferris says:

    So sad to see Charity go on Cash+, I always used the full amounts from my donations. Now, the only use for it is 5% on Amazon.

    Hopefully Discover does 5% on Groceries later this year. I don’t want to buy $500 in gift cards now that Sallie Mae is dead.

    • Jeff H says:

      Discover – Wholesale Club option- purchase examples
      Sam’s Club GC purchase can cover Sam’s Club fuel which does NOT get 5% rewards for fuel
      Sam’s Club GC good for any WalMart purchase since Sam’s Club GC can be used as a Walmart GC in Walmart operations as well as Sam’s Club.

      Vanilla GCs ($4.95 fee) are purchase option, but Sam’s Club requires each GC be a separate purchase.

      FWFs report CostCo GCs purchased on line are getting 5% back from eligible Discover Cards. Doubled if eligible for double credit.

      • life_is_to_live says:

        Hi Jeff, Yesterday I went to my Samsclub and I could no longer buy Prepaid card with credit card. In the past I have purchased in that location. Any thing changed in April or is it store specific? Any thoughts?

    • Jeff H says:

      Charity can be 3% points rewards are allowed on US Bank Olympic Travel Perks if you kept that card.

      • EastsideBK says:

        Actually, Jeff H, this might not be right. As I brought up to Will in his 1/7/17 post about USBank Cash+ dropping the charity category, I have been having issues with USBank NOT crediting charges that counted as 5% with Cash+ with the 3% on FlexPerks.

        The charges in particular were my daughter’s nursery school tuition at our local church. Other charges, including legit donations like to the American Heart Association did count for 3% Flexperks.

        I followed Will’s advice and made sure these charges were still being coded as “charitable donations” which they were. Customer service was baffled and said they would investigate.

        I got a letter yesterday that said only payments to “service” organizations count as qualifying charitable donations. The letter continues stating examples include Red Cross, American Cancer Society, etc.

        So please use my trials and tribulations as a DP: Flexperks is NOT a perfect substitute for charitable donations with the Cash+ YMMV.

  12. themanwhocan says:

    To see how much of your Discover quarterly spend you have used, first sign into and then browse to this link:

    To see how much of your US Bank Cash+ quarterly spend you have used, sign in at this URL:

    Then scroll down and click on the Red “View Your Cash+ History” button.

    • Rene says:

      If you have multiple Accounts w/ Discover, you need to make sure to click into the Discover it card before navigating to that link.

  13. arch says:

    Gonna apply for CASH+ after getting some offers. I am planning to MS most if not all but have a few questions maybe someone can help with. How sensitive is USBank to MS? And does code as bookstore?–Thanks

    • Brandon says:

      None of the Cash+ categories really lend themselves to MS.

      • arch says:

        I disagree, I see several categories with potential

        • Brandon says:

          Mind sharing?

          The only one I see for MS is electronics, buying $200 VGC at BB for a $6 fee, which only leaves $4 profit for each card. Easier to buy $500 cards at a CVS with a 2% card for $5 fee, which nets profit of $5 per card. If you know of a better place to MS, I’d love to hear it.

  14. Richard says:

    Thanks DoC. Found the offer on 2 of my cards, and one of my DWs.

  15. Charles says: work with discover it to get the 5% and double it? Want to use the free 90 day membership to load up on a good gift card they have.

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