Posted by Chuck on April 1, 2018
Credit Cards

Published on April 1st, 2018 | by Chuck

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Q2 2018 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll your 5% credit cards for the second 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: April 1, 2018 – June 30, 2018. 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 – Paypal, Grocery Stores, Chase Pay 

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back on Paypal, grocery stores, and Chase Pay during the months of April, May, and June, up to $1,500 maximum. All of these are useful categories:

  • Paypal. This includes regular online Paypal payments as well as in-store app payments with Paypal (update in store has been discontinued). It even includes if you use the Send Money feature in Paypal, e.g. to pay back a friend (there is a fee to send money to friends via Paypal with a credit card).
  • Grocery Stores. Includes all regular grocery stores, large and small; examples here. However, it does not include purchases made at Walmart, Target, discount stores, or warehouse clubs.
  • Chase Pay. You can use Chase Pay at select merchants online and in-store, here’s a partial list of partners. This is less useful than the Q1 2018 category which included all mobile wallets like Samsung Pay and Apple Pay, but still many options available.

For me, Paypal will be the easiest to meet since most online retailers accept Paypal, including eBay.com, Walmart.com, Bestbuy.com, and thousands of smaller websites too. Chase Pay can be a useful option too, as can grocery stores. Remember that Discover is also offering the grocery stores category so you may want to try the Paypal or Chase Pay option with Freedom if you can.

Just beware that there may be some Paypal purchases, particularly airline purchases, which won’t code properly for the 5x since it shows the ‘PAYPAL’ name second; only when PAYPAL shows first on the credit card statement will it code for 5x.

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

Discover – Grocery Stores

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back at the grocery store during April, May, and June, up to $1,500 maximum. Note, this does not include grocery purchases made at convenience stores, gas stations, warehouse clubs, supercenters, or discount stores. Additionally, the terms state that purchases made using tap-and-pay, mobile or wireless card readers, virtual wallets or similar technology may not be eligible (though in reality my guess is that most of those will work to trigger the 5%). fbo

Most people do a nice amount of spend at the grocery store. Consider buying a gift card to your local grocery to max out the category if you won’t meet the $1,500 with regular shopping.

There are other cards which bonus the grocery store, such as 6% with Blue Cash Preferred, which makes the Q2 Discover category less useful.

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

Citi Dividend – Home Depot and Furnishing Stores

Activation Link | Our Original Post

Earn 5% back at Home Depot and home furnishing stores April, May, and June.

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 | Our Original Post

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 the Bookstores category is being replaced with Home Utilities beginning April 1. Prepaying your gas and electric can help max this out.

  • Home utilites
  • Select clothing stores
  • Cell phones
  • Electronic Stores
  • Car rentals
  • 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.



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Vy
Vy

How does one use PayPal for in-store POS purchases?

Hodor
Hodor

Some retailers have Paypal as a payment option on the POS keypad. Home Depot seems to be the one with the biggest footprint.

Jeremy
Jeremy

Dollar general as well

Tomtoo
Tomtoo

Have you used it at Home Depot lately? I live within 10 miles of every major chain store imaginable, and the only available Paypal merchants showing on my Paypal app are Autozone, Dollar General, and Macy’s. I also wonder about a 02/27/2018 Bloomberg article that states:

“PayPal Holdings Inc.is ending two mobile in-store payment services it launched several years ago to much fanfare.
The company emailed customers on Tuesday telling them the checkout services — one using a phone number and PIN and the other using special payment codes in stores — will no longer be available as of March 31 in participating stores.”

From what I’m reading, it doesn’t look like Paypal will be available for in store purchases starting April 1st, unless you use it with Google Pay. Paypal only works on Google Pay if you have a Paypal balance or a debit card linked to refresh the balance – no credit cards. I tried. Let me know if I’m misinterpreting the Bloomberg article.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2018-02-27/paypal-says-it-s-ending-two-mobile-in-store-payment-services

Jeff H
Jeff H

Home Depot has had PayPal on the customer POS card terminal for years.

Electroman
Electroman

That’s right, and just like the previous poster said, it is no longer an option. Not only not at THD, not anywhere.

David
David

I think this is from your last post : should be deleted.
“Earn 5% back on mobile payments, gas stations, and communication purchases during April, May, and June, up to $1,500 maximum. All of these are useful categories”

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

Vantage west credit union connect visa signature credit card should be in this thread, 5x at Costco!!

david
david

5% pharmacies too

henry
henry

??

David Lawleit
David Lawleit

Vantage West Connect Rewards Visa Signature

• Earn 5x points* (5% cash back) per $1 on one category of your choice per yearly quarter:

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

 • 3x on gas

• 2x on groceries

• Must have a minimum 2,500 points ($25) for cash redemption.

• *Capped at $1,500 spend in qualifying purchases quarterly

1% foreign transaction fee

Anyone can join this credit union

Kj
Kj

For cash+ can you repeat the categories next quarter? For example can you pick cell phone for two consecutive quarters?

Jeff H
Jeff H

Yes, you can, BUT you must remake that selection each calendar quarter. I did that all of 2016 and most of 2017. Cell phone service and Fast Food have been my constants in that time period.
I will be switching to home utilities and Fast Food in the coming calendar quarter.
I switched Cell Phone service to a different card with cell phone insurance.

RAM

consider prepaying more than 3 months of utility at the end of the quarter, to free up the slot for a new category

Satellite
Satellite

For Freedom: “Earn 5% back on mobile payments, gas stations, and communication purchases during April, May, and June, up to $1,500 maximum.”

This is actually for Jan-Mar, not Apr-Jun.

Alex
Alex

Why don’t they automatically activate these offers?

MrSeabass
MrSeabass

They have no reason to. If you don’t activate the offer, you don’t get the offer. No one is going to give them any push back since activating it isn’t that hard

Lisa J
Lisa J

Anyone know if freedom 5% works at Aldi? I think that’s considered a discount store…

Jeff H
Jeff H

Aldi is eligible for Freedom 5% verified by the Freedom participating merchants list.
https://creditcards.chase.com/freedom/merchants

Ryan Goldstein

The new Cash+ Home Utilities 5% category would go very well with https://www.doctorofcredit.com/arcadia-power-pay-your-electric-bill-with-credit-card-for-no-fee-available-nationwide/, which lets you pay your electric bill with a credit card without a fee.

I’m currently trying to confirm whether Arcadia Power will count for that category, but I’m guessing it will based on the description (https://cashplus.usbank.com/merchants/detail/4121). Will update when I find anything concrete.

William Charles

Thanks, Ryan

Ryan Goldstein

I asked if Arcadia Power could give me the MCC code for Visa, and if not, requested that they do a $0.01 test charge on my account to see how the Cash+ will classify it. They replied saying: “Thanks for your email! We unfortunately cannot provide you with the MCC. Also because you currently have saving credits on your account I cannot bill you for $.01 until all your sign up credits are applied.”

sloebrake
sloebrake

Arcadia customer service definitely doesn’t behave like they want customers.

For your question – They use Stripe as a payment processor, a post on a different site claims it won’t count because of that.

Personally I don’t know if that makes a difference, but at least it’s one less unknown unknown I have in the MS space.

JB
JB

There are no fee-free credit card payments for my utilities, but at $1.99 or less I will come out ahead with any utility bills over $40. At worst I can prepay the smaller utility bills (water bill is typically $20 or so).

Krista
Krista

This won’t apply to most people , but I have Walmart grocery stores near me (actual grocery stores that sell only groceries and no general merchandise. ) They have always coded as Grocery and earn 5% on Deals like this for me.

Sometimes for a deal like this , I’ll buy a gift card at the grocery store to use at the super center and or gas station.

86
86

I recently tried to use an Amex card to purchase a WM gift card at a WM Neighborhood Market. The checker said they weren’t allowed to let me use a CC to buy the WM gift card, and even pointed to the nearby manager on duty and said to ask the manager if I didn’t believe that was the rule. I told the checker I could use the self-checkout POS terminal when it was open to do it and he said he knew that but he wasn’t allowed to to do it. Go figure.

James
James

Have you tried the money center?

Danny
Danny

What’s the fee on PayPal to pay a friend via cc? 2-3%? I might just send $1500 to a friend and pocket the difference

Dravin Ray
Dravin Ray

Hmmm. Discover codes my local Target store as Grocery Store. I wonder if this will give me 5% cashback this 2nd quarter?

Jeff H
Jeff H

There is a specific exemption of Target, so unlikely.

Grant

I believe on Visa codes Target as a grocery store. I don’t think MC, AMEX, or Discover do, but I could be wrong. Make a small purchase to test it out and see how it codes.

mauipeter
mauipeter

No more, my ancient United Chase VISA used to code Target and Walmart as grocery, but no more, first they dropped Target, a few month later WMT.

Information Booth
Information Booth

You are correct on AMEX… Target does not code as grocery store… Jesus loves you!!

Jeff H
Jeff H

Keep in mind US Bank Cash Plus Home Utilities does NOT include Internet, cable nor cell phone service (you may select cell phone service as a separate option without cell phone insurance.)

Preacher
Preacher

Remember, Neighborhood Wal Mart does NOT code as grocery for Discover or Chase. It does, however, for Amex.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Not my local Neighborhood Walmart.. (for AmEx)

Flip

Can you tell me why you leave Nusenda off the list?

Jamie
Jamie

1) Is there a way to find out which grocery stores still allow customers to buy visa gift cards with a credit card? What I ran into last year was that most of them in my area (Chicago) had discontinued this

2) Is Meijer considered a grocery store? I always see Target/Walmart/Sams/Costco excluded but no mention of Meijers

AllwayLearning22
AllwayLearning22

Jewel-Osco. Purchase at the service desk. They ask for ID and match the name on the CC w/ the name on the ID. Quite reasonable IMO.

Jamie
Jamie

Thank you SO MUCH, AllwayLearning22. I was able to purchase 1 card at the register and had to show my ID. I plan to repeat until I exhaust the maximum.

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