Posted by Chuck on July 1, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on July 1st, 2019 | by Chuck

53

Q3 2019 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll all 5% category credit cards for the third quarter of 2019, including the Chase Freedom, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, and US Bank Cash+. 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: July 1st – September 30th, 2019. 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 – Gas Stations & Streaming Services

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

Earn 5% back at gas stations and select streaming services during the months of July, August, and September, up to $1,500 maximum.

  • Gas Stations – “Merchants in the Gas Stations category sell automotive gasoline that can be paid for either at the pump or inside the station, and may or may not sell other goods or services at their location. Please note that some merchants that do not specialize in selling automotive gasoline are not included in this category, for example, truck stops, boat marinas, oil and propane distributors, and home heating companies.”
    • Long list of sample gas stations can be found here. Includes all the big ones like Exxon, Shell, BP, etc.
    • Some people are able to buy gift cards at their local gas station or convenience store and have it code as gas. Do a small test purchase to ensure the locations counts in the gas category.
  • Select Streaming Services – “Merchants in the Select Streaming Services category specialize in delivering music and video content over the internet. Only subscriptions paid for or purchases made with the following select merchants will qualify for this offer: Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify.”

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

 

Discover – Paypal & Restaurants

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back at restaurants and on Paypal purchases during the months of July, August, and September, up to $1,500 maximum.
  • “Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Restaurants and PayPal from 7/1/19 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 9/30/19 on up to $1,500 in purchases. Restaurant purchases are those made at merchants classified as full-service restaurants, cafes, cafeterias and fast food locations. PayPal qualifying purchases are those made through the PayPal wallet online, when you send money to Friends and Family via PayPal using your Discover Card, and point-of-sale transactions using PayPal Here. Payments made through the Xoom transfer service are not eligible for 5%. Any restaurant purchase made using PayPal will only be awarded a total of 5% Cashback Bonus. Certain other digital wallet transactions qualify for 5%, for more information see Discover.com/digitalwallets. Purchases made using tap-and-pay, mobile or wireless card readers, virtual wallets or similar technology will not be eligible if the technology does not provide sufficient transaction details for rewards qualification. Rewards are added to your Cashback Bonus account within two billing periods.
    • In practice, restaurant purchases made with mobile wallets like Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay will qualify, I believe, despite Discover’s caution on this front. (See this post.)
    • Maxing this out with Paypal purchases sounds like the easiest way; tons of merchants accept Paypal, and you can even buy a gift card to the merchant to use at a future date. Sending money to friends also gets you the 5% back (though there is a 2.9% fee for doing so). Or pay your taxes with Paypal.
    • Restaurants is a popular category as well.
Tip: Login, then click this link to see you how far along the $1,500 you are.

Citi Dividend – Airlines & Car Rentals

Landing Page | Our Original Post

Earn 5% back on airlines and car rentals during the months of July, August, and September. Citi is different than the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a $1,500 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.

“Airlines are defined as transactions from airlines or air carriers. Car rental agencies are classified as merchants that provide the short-term or long-term rentals of cars, trucks, or vans. Car rentals made through travel agencies or travel aggregators may not qualify.”

This quarterly category is all within the travel category which is frequently bonuses on various credit cards. A lot of people already maxed out their Dividend cards last quarter at the drugstore on gift card purchases.

 

US Bank 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. 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.

  • 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 – Travel

Registration Link | Our Original Post

Q3 2019 the 5% category is for Travel.

  • Earn 5x points on qualifying airline, cruise, car rental, hotel, and travel agency purchases, up to $1,500. Offer activation required.

Nusenda FCU – Gas & Education Expenses

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% back on gas and education expenses during July, August, and September, up to $1,500 in purchases.

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

Let us know if we’re missing any others.



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TJ
TJ

Bbva compass ClearPoints has the rotating 3x and 2x categories

iahphx
iahphx

Any way to buy gift cards online with paypal to easily maximize the Discover quarterly promo?

Denis
Denis

as for BofA Cash Rewards, I believe you can change the category monthly, not quarterly.

Jeff H
Jeff H

Correct. I have done so.

Naota
Naota

Looks like zero use for my freedom this coming quarter. Electric car and Netflix comes with my T-Mobile. I’m probably the minority here. I can’t bring myself to test the gift card option.

Enjoy the discounts all! They should be pretty decent for most of you.

Jethro Tuller
Jethro Tuller

Zero use here too. With the Ducks Unlimited, you don’t have to make sure you haven’t exceeded the $1500 quarterly cap.

PoorChurner
PoorChurner

No use here. I take a bus and ride a bicycle. No tv or streaming.

Anonymous166
Anonymous166

I really dislike how every rotating card just HAS to have gas. Totally useless for those of us without death-machines. Might even be environmentally-friendly to stop offering gas as an option to encourage people to not buy gas.

ben
ben

“It’s now possible to activate/enroll all 5% category credit cards for the second quarter of 2019”. third quarter.

Not using ANY 5% offers
Not using ANY 5% offers

I have been doing the spend bonus on my Barclays credit card and ignoring/ not using 5%

Taco
Taco

I mean, you could paypal a friend and eat the fee for a small profit. technically better than nothing, and doesn’t eat into you organic spend.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Out of the 2019Q3 Freedom streaming merchants, Vudu is not listed for BCP 6%; the rest are.

Mikey
Mikey

Be careful in linking your DISC card to PayPal, as they have set up in the process redemption of your DISC Cashback Bonus as the method of funding PayPal. If you do not want your Cashback redeemed and instead want your DISC card charged (notably to earn the 5% effective 7/1) be sure to do the following: After linking your DISC card your PayPal banks and cards screen should show it with the wording “Link Your Cashback Bonus”. If you do not see that language it indicates your acceptance that PayPal has added your DISC Cashback as the method of funding and will debit your DISC Cashback first for purchases/transfers before charging your DISC card.

Mimi
Mimi

If you have redeemed all your Disc CB, they have nothing to pull/debit and will have to use Disc CC funds won’t they?

Richard G
Richard G

Is there any card that would give 5% (or more) back on house insurance / car insurance premiums?

Jeff
Jeff

Not 5%, but Farmers and State Farm each have a card that pays 3% back on insurance.

Ann
Ann

Cool, I’d missed seeing the Farmers one. https://www.doctorofcredit.com/farmers-rewards-visa-review-3x-gas-home-improvement-farmers-products/ It does only pay 3% on Farmers insurance, while State Farm’s card will pay 3% on any brand of insurance.

Trevor
Trevor

Progressive accepts PayPal so I’m using Discover through PP this quarter instead of Citi DC.

calwatch
calwatch

Traditionally I’ve always bought VGC or MCGC at the appropriate category store and unloaded it then (you may have to call to use multiple cards). Much easier when it’s the drugstore or grocery store category, obviously.

Mimi
Mimi

Richard G
One I can think of is the targeted Chase AARP offer which runs 4/1 thru 6/30 2019 5% CB on up to $2K purchase for B/P on utilities, insurance, phone service and cable. The offer required activation.

If you have that CC, check your emails with subject Earn 5x bonus pts on monthly bills.

Mimi
Mimi

If you have CFU, check to see if you’re targeted for the 5% CB on up to $2K (max $100) where insurance premiums qualify. There is a dedicated thread for that, check it out.

Burton
Burton

My insurance lets me pay with multiple cards so I usually zero out my VGC there especially if I end up with an AmEx.

Angie
Angie

Same.

TanT
TanT

“Certain other digital wallet transactions qualify for 5%, for more information see Discover.com/digitalwallets.” Do you think Samsung Pay, Google Pay and Apple Pay will work for 5% CB?

AKJohnny
AKJohnny

so I went by my local stripes gas station for day 1 of 5% back on gas stations… pulled a variable one vanilla gift card and a candy bar for the kids… man behind the counter said he didn’t know if they still sold the gift cards. He asked how much I wanted on the card. I said $500. He said we can try and see if it will work. I put in my Freedom and sure enough, it worked… I love finding new gas station locations that will sell me a vgc with a credit card.

Tee
Tee

can I ask which gas station? where u from? state? Thx.

Ann
Ann

Stripes is a large gas station chain.

Yeshu
Yeshu
Jeff H
Jeff H

Found a good way to deal with the streaming services that don’t rate Freedom. Many of them take PayPal and you can control how PayPal pays. I set CBS to use my DiscoverCard for the Paypal 5%. PayPal verified the payment set to DiscovreCard.

I also set DiscoverCard as my primary payment method on PayPal. As insurance, I also cleared out any other credit card from my PayPal account.

Ron
Ron

Two things about Discover 5% bonus on paypal transactions
1) Does POS transactions paid through Paypal in google wallet qualify ?
2) For online purchases if I add Discover card manually entering the card details to my paypal profile and use it for purchases will that suffice to qualify or do I need to do anything more ?

joetheboy
joetheboy

could i send a friend some money through paypal, and have them send it back for 5% each? would that work?

GGBG
GGBG

Is it possible to pay in store with Google Pay and the payment menthod is PayPal where Discover is connected to my PayPal account? I tried four times and the transaction was always denied.

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