Posted by Chuck on October 1, 2017
Credit Cards

Published on October 1st, 2017 | by Chuck


Q4 2017 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll your 5% credit cards for the fourth quarter of 2017 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: October 1, 2017 – December 31, 2017. Store purchases can be done until the last minute. Online purchases should be given a buffer zone of a day or two.

Chase Freedom – Walmart & Department Stores

Activation Link / Our original post

Walmart and department stores are both places a lot of us will be shopping during the busy holiday shopping season. They’re also places which don’t typically have bonus earnings on credit cards.

  • Walmart includes physical stores,, and Walmart gas, but does not include Sam’s Club. You can easily buy a Walmart gift card at Walmart or and use that at Sam’s Club.
  • Department Stores includes places like Sears, Macy’s, Kohl’s, Nordstrom, Nordstrom Rack, and Neiman Marcus. Full list can be found here.  It does not include discount stores or super-centers such as Target, Costco, BJ’s, or Sam’s Club.

If you can’t spend $1,500 organically, consider buying Walmart gift cards for future use at Walmart or Sam’s Club, or buy third-party gift cards at Walmart or to lock in the deal almost anywhere. You can also buy $200 Visa gift cards at, and it might even be possible to buy $500 Visa/MC gift cards at Walmart stores with a credit card. Also check out Sears stores for a variety of of third-party gift cards.

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

Discover – Amazon and Target

Activation Link / Our original post

Amazon and Target are both popular retailers many of us would shop at regardless. If you don’t make $1,500 in Amazon and Target purchases organically, consider buying Amazon/Target gift cards – or third-party gift cards sold by Amazon and by Target – to lock in the 5% rate.

  • purchases include those made through the checkout, including digital downloads, gift cards, Amazon Fresh orders, Amazon Local Deals, Amazon Prime subscriptions and items sold by third party merchants through’s marketplace.
  • Target purchases include any purchase made online or in-store at Target and SuperTarget. Individual merchants and stand-alone stores within physical Target locations may not be eligible in this category. Purchases made using third-party payment accounts, tap-and-pay, mobile or wireless card readers, virtual wallets or similar technology may not be eligible.
  • Amazon Pay is also working to trigger the 5%. You can see a list of merchants who accept Amazon Pay here.

Bear in mind, it’s possible to earn 5% back on these merchants year-round: Target with their REDcard and Amazon with one of their credit cards. For that reason, some won’t find these valuable. However, Target could still be useful for buying Target gift cards since these don’t earn 5% back with REDcard.

Of particular note, Target has been running a 10% off sale on their gift cards each holiday season for the past two years. The Discover 5% will be an extra bonus there if Target runs that deal again this year. You can also buy $400 Visa gift cards at Target stores which come with a $6 fee if you find that worthwhile; these cards don’t earn 5% with REDcard but will earn 5% with Discover.

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 – Best Buy & Department Stores

Activation Link

Citi is slightly different to the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a quarterly cap. A lot of us maxed out the $6,000 in annual spend at the drugstore during Q2 and won’t be eligible for more 5% earnings.

If you still have room left, Best Buy and department stores are both useful categories during the busy shopping season.

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):

  • 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 and click on the Red “View Your Cash+ History” button.

107 Responses to Q4 2017 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom, Discover, Dividend, Cash+)

  1. Electroman says:

    Are those $400 VGCs still available in-store at Target? I haven’t seen one in years.

  2. ppsh says:

    Did anyone get bonus points from buying VGC through Shop Through Chase (2%), Shop Discover (5%) or other portals during the 10% ChasePay/Walmart promo? This would help gauge if it’s worth going through a portal for the Q4 spend.

  3. Danielle says:

    Last year, I spent about $500 on Black Friday at Saks. At the time, I got both the 5x for Q4 as well as another 12x from Shop Through Chase for 17x the points. It all posted.

  4. Mike says:

    I miss the 5% at Costco days. We shop there all the time. Was so easy to max out both of the Freedom cards.

  5. Cole Gleason says:

    Is there another card with Charity as an option now?

  6. Harry Nguyen says:

    Hello, I was wondering if I get the Citi Double Cash, would I be able to product change to the Citi Dividend? I want the Citi Dividend lol! Only 5% rotating credit card I don’t have lol. Thanks.

    • Chuck says:

      Should be possible, try calling in and asking.

    • Kevin says:

      You would have to wait 12 months to change the product so probably not worth wasting a pull

    • Eduard says:

      It’s possible, but you will have to wait 12 months. I just did exactly that with my double cash as soon as my 12 months was up. They did it no sweat. Tried to change my mind, but I was set on the dividend. Still waiting for the charge to take place though. Hoping that best buy will start selling gift of college gift cards! Would be awesome! Anyone know what card I could product change the Costco Citi to? Any luck??

    • Mimi says:

      I PC’s AAplat to dividend and it took a loooooooong time before I received the card but yes you can also PC a CitiDC to dividend according to the rep. However, if you’re expecting to use it for this last quarter’s offer, forget about it since you’ll likely receive the card in January IF you start the PC today.

      • Mimi says:

        Correction, it was the Citi hilton HHhonors that I PCd to dividend, not the AAplat with no HP. I PCd the AAplat to another CitiDC which I find very useful since I had a high CL on the AAplat which was transferred to the DC without incurring HP.

        The only negative to PC is the long wait before you can get your new card.

    • M says:

      Don’t forget that product changes at Citi are effective ~2 months after approval. And that’s if they do everything correctly.

  7. Jeff H says:

    If you do NOT yet have a Double Cash, I would not do that because product change is very much YMMV and most card issuers expect at least 12 months to pass before a product change is done.

    I will get some push back, but IMO Double Cash is not worth a hard pull given several CC issuers are getting tougher about number of HPs or new cards in various time frames.

    • Harry Nguyen says:

      Thank you to all that have replied to the product change of the Dividend, I don’t think I will do it due to the long wait and I heard Citibank isn’t that great anyway. Really appreciate it a lot!

  8. Ferris says:

    Keep in mind buying Target GCs vs. using a Redcard is ill advised. With the red card, your tax burden is lowered, whereas with the Discover it is not.

    Example 1: Purchasing $100 with REDcard
    Discount: $5
    Subtotal: $95
    Tax: $6.65 (7%)
    Total: $101.65

    Example 2: Purchasing $100 with Discover
    Cashback: $5
    Subtotal: $100
    Tax: $7.00 (7%)
    Total: $102.00

    The only reason to use Discover is if you are liquidating for Gift Cards with your points.

    • Chuck says:

      Good point. Discover is still a good deal for buying Target gift cards or for those who don’t have REDcard.

    • DCFan1911 says:

      Actually that’s not totally accurate – you get 5% cashback on the entire total charged to your card with Discover, so you’ll get 5% of the sales tax back in addition to 5% of the pre-tax amount. Thus, a $100 purchase would come out like this:

      Purchase – $100
      Tax (7%) – $7.00
      Total – $107.00
      Cashback (5%) – $5.35
      Final total – $101.65

      Thus, the amount you’ll pay with Discover It after receiving the cash back will be the same as you will pay with the REDCard.

    • John Smith says:

      Wrong. The Discover will get you 5% off the total including tax. So $107 will get you $5.35 cash back for a net cost of $101.65

    • Brocko says:

      If you’re purchasing something online this MAY be the case (altough I don’t think it is), but in store it works out the exact same.

      With Discover, you get cash back on the $107 after tax total ($5.35 cash back) so the adjusted total is 101.65

    • Dave says:

      Does your locality require sales tax on gift cards? I have never paid tax on a gift card purchase.

  9. Jeff says:

    Buying $500 VGC/MC doesn’t work at Walmart. Hard-code declined when attempted to pay after inserting card into chip reader.

    • Tom says:

      I was able to buy a $500 VGC with Freedom. When I arrived home, I realized it was a green dot. Not sure if that is problematic?

      I also bought a $400 VGC at Target with Discover. It is issued by MetaBank so I assume I am all good on that one to buy MO’s at WMT??

      • puja says:

        How will u liquidate the greendot $500 GC?

        I tried to buy $500 OV GC at WM with CC…..declined.

        Best way to maximize 5% on Freedom at WM/dept stores?

        • Tom says:

          I loaded the green dot to my wife’s bluebird online. It worked.

          I was surprised because when I registered the card online, there was no option to add her name. Bluebird still accepted it.

          My backup plan was to use the green dot card to pay some bills.

          • Heather says:

            My Local WMT only has reloadable green dot variable cards. You got same one? If yes, who issues them and max amount one can reload on it?

        • Mimi says:

          IME, you can’t buy ANY of the WM vanilla GCs with a CC but if you want to buy vanillas, they are available at walmartdotcom with $200 as the highest load with $6.88 fee.

          • Jeff says:

            Not worth it to me since OM is closer to home and I can buy DE/GE VGC’s anytime for 4.95 fee with Ink+. Screw WM. Not setting foot in that cesspool anymore.

      • Mimi says:

        Nothing to worry with the GreenDot VGC issued by Meta. The $400 VGC from Target is also easy to drain at grocery stores in my experience. They will NOT work at most USPS that rejects MetaVGCs.

        • Jeff says:

          Can you buy MO with Green Dots from WM at local grocery stores, etc?

          • Mimi says:

            Yes but keep in mind it’s always YMMV depending on your store policies especially if they require your name in them so these rack GCs won’t be accepted.

      • Information Booth says:

        My Target carries $200 vgc’s from Metabank and $400 vgc’s issued by Target bank. Does anybody know the best way to liquidate the Target vgc’s?

  10. Brady says:

    So WalMart e-gift cards as well as physical cards will work then? It’s all coming from WalMart so I’m assuming it doesn’t make any diff. But I’ve assumed stuff before and gotten burned so I’m always too careful by half now.

    • Information Booth says:

      Wait a minute, so I can buy Wal-Mart GC’s through the the Discover portal for 5% back and load them to my BB card?

      • Mimi says:

        I don’t think you’ll get 5% via Discportal if you buy any type of GCs but it’ll be great if GCs were not part of the exclusions like Chase portal where we can’t get CB for GC purchases. Better check the terms and fine print to find out.

  11. Mike L says:

    n a related note… I’m not showing the $10 Kohl’s Discover offer anymore in my Discover Deals area. It looks like Kohl’s is completely of of there. Anyone else not seeing the offer?

    • Often they don’t show until the 4/5th again.

      • Mimi says:

        I wouldn’t worry IF Kohl’s is still on the list but since the expiration of the last batch of KC x9/27, Kohl’s doesn’t show up anymore. I am hoping for the best that it’ll show up in a few days.

    • Rene says:

      Same. I didn’t pay too much attention, but if I remember correctly there are always a few days between the expiration of an old and new kohl’s cash offer. I’d check again in a week or so.

    • Mimi says:

      I’m not even seeing Kohl’s as one of the merchants on Discover Deals, I hope it’ll show up anytime soon. I’ve gotten tons of free stuff with the KCs.

    • yb says:

      Could be they haven’t added the October one yet, sometimes there’s a few days gap.

      • Flea says:

        I just got an email from Discover about it (though I bet I’m not alone and this post is probably moot; maybe someone didn’t see it and is looking.) Expires 11/05/17.

  12. barrytuneup says:

    Jeff… you probably bought the wrong 500.00 GC. My 2 local Wm sell the WM 500.00 GC by green dot. Works with Freedom. The 500.00 MC by Vanilla gave me the same “cancelled ” screen. I then tried the 500. VGC (says WM on the back) and they worked. There are ways to liquidate these. Jeff, if you got the “declined” message, your CCard probably declined the large purchase and call them. I also got that on my 3rd purchase at a different WM this AM, after 2 went through. Had to call, automated line and cleared, so went back in. took 5 minutes. The “cancelled” and “declined” screens are different/

    • papercauldron says:

      So you purchased the greendot version and not the OV? I scoped out my local WM yesterday and saw they had both in variable format. Did you go to a regular cashier? Or self checkout?

  13. ppd says:

    Walmart POS is apparently declining VISA CC payment for Vanilla VGC (and possible Vanilla MCGC as well). So it’s a no-go trying to take advantage of the Chase Freedom VISA Q4 bonus at WMT. It’s been mentioned elsewhere that Amex apparently could be used (max of 2 Amex CC per GC) to pay for Vanilla GC at WMT. After the Vanilla failure, I bought 3 Green Dot VGC and liquidated them at the post office soon after. The fee is the same $4.94. The WMT store employees are mostly too scared to figure this out–just kept muttering “It won’t work on VISA (but is it the VGC product, or the VISA payment card?)” or outright refused to process the transaction.

    I see only $200 VGC for $6 fee at Target brick-n-mortar. The $400 VGC at is no longer available.

    • Jeff says:

      So you bought Green Dot with Amex CC but couldn’t with a Visa card (in this case the Freedom)?

      • ppd says:

        Nah, I paid for the Green Dot with my Freedom VISA, since there’s no 5% bonus cashback with any Amex card (the reference is just to point out that WMT POS blocking VISA payment cards for Vanilla VGC/MCGC, but not Amex).

    • Heather says:

      You got 3 Green Dots of $500 each? Are they fixed or Variable loads? Reloadable ones? Specifics Plz?

  14. PeaceandPost says:

    The Green dots at WM work to liquidate at WM and grocery stores and I believe also USPS though I don’t have experience with that.

    Interestingly, the $400 target VGC’s are issued by Target Bank and the $200’s are issued by Metabank. The $400’s had no mention of Metabank on the packaging. So they should work at USPS and I can confirm they did work at Kroger. I suspect they’d work at WM too, since they’re not Bancorp Bank/Vanilla’s but I don’t know for sure.

  15. PeaceandPost says:

    Also of note for the Target $400 VGC’s is I looked in every aisle and only saw maximum $200. Just when I was about to give up I decided to delve farther into the store because I remembered a time when I saw a $400 randomly in the back of a store on a small GC rack. Sure enough there was another GC rack in the electronics section stocked full of $400’s. So don’t give up if you don’t see them at the cashier registers.

  16. rick b says:

    Vanilla $500s wouldn’t ring up at my WMs, kept spitting out “debit or cash required” error on a small receipt. Oddly the Greendot $500 visas worked just fine, so I bought 3x of those instead.

  17. Outlook says:

    Reward rate for buying $200 Visa gift cards at (206.88*0.05-6.88)/200=0.01732≈1.7%. Not really worth it.

  18. ppd says:

    Anyone see the 5% bonus points posting on WMT VGC purchases already? I made the purchases on Oct. 1. They posted yesterday. So far (Oct. 3) they only show 1% UR points earned.

  19. Rekha says:

    People buying Greendot…. is it the variable reloadable version? There is a fee to buy them?

    Max amount one can load per card?

  20. Eduard says:

    WARNING: Be careful when buying the Greendots from walmart. I tried to buy 2 of them and split the payment across two freedoms. The first payment went through fine, but the second one failed and “canceled” the transaction. The managers came over and were stunned as the receipts said that the cashier had to refund me $9.88 (Visa fees). They assured me that it would not be charged and go as pending, but then fall off. I took the $9.88 and bought another set but paid in fully with one Freedom with another cashier (they claimed that the jewelry counter where I tried to pay did not work for VGC). Paying in fully worked fine….. This happened on Saturday. This morning I checked my Chase account and ALL the charges went through. I have over $2000 sitting on my Freedoms. CLEARED, and no longer pending. Anyone have any idea what I can do? Any advice?

    • TomJ says:

      Yeah, either call Chase immediately or go to Walmart immediately. BTW, my daughter was charged $800 for a sub sandwich. She went back to the store and they made it good and gave her a free sub.

      • Eduard says:

        Thanks for the reply TomJ. I called and the manager I dealt with wont come in until Wednesday. I spoke to another assistant manager and she asked for me to wait a day just in case they would automatically push a refund. Supposed to go and talk to her today as I did not receive anything as of yet.

    • Raol says:

      What Kind of Greendots did you Buy? Fixed or Reloadable ones? Did you get the money back? I am nervous to buy after reading your experience.

      • Eduard says:

        I bought the variable load ones. This happened on 10/7 and today I still did not get the refund back. I went to the store and they said that their accounting looked into it and they never got the money. Told me that refunds like this can take 7-10 business days.

      • Mimi says:

        There are reports on flyertalk where the WM VGCs did NOT activate properly and their CC was charged. It took several days before refund was initiated so you might want to try a small amount first to make sure it works.

  21. Jacinto says:

    Target $400 GC would not drain to buy MO at my WM.

    • Eduard says:

      Same experience with $200 Metas from Target

      • ppsh says:

        How do you make the $200 Metas from Target worth your while? By my calculation, it’d be less than 2% profit, since Target charge $6 per ($200) GC. That’s 3% right there, leaving you with less than 2% margin, after deducting the cost to liquidate the Metas (USPS or grocery story MO). It seems much work for very little gain.

        • Eduard says:

          Yeah, they’re not that great, looked all over for the $400 ones, but couldn’t find any. I am still within my double cashback match period…. So i still came out ahead some.

  22. Bmanamex says:

    Green dot drains with serve

  23. Sarah says:

    Any one here has courtesy to reply to posts i see asking what kind of Greendot to Buy at WMT? Reloadable ones or Fixed ones?

    And how much can be loaded on 1 Card?

    I went to 3 WMT’s today and only see Reloadable ones with $1.95 purchase fee.

    Should i get them?

    If yes, what to do with Reloadable cards once drained? Thanks.

    • JASON says:

      I saw the $1.95 fee one too. Tried to pay but screen shows cancelled, and was told I needed to go to customer service instead of checking out at the cashier. I saw the line too long so just left. I didn’t know which one to buy either.

      • TomJ says:

        The one I bought was the one that had the 4.94 fee. I paid with my Freedom card and had no problems. I am pretty sure it has “Walmart” on the package.

        • Sarah says:

          Can you post a pic of what you got? The numbnuts over here are not helpful in answering the questions posted
          Bout Greendot so far, it seems.

          Maybe they wanna hog the benefits all by themselves

          • TomJ says:

            Sarah, I was in another city today and stopped by Walmart to pick up a card because I needed one more and to take a pic. Unfortunately, that Walmart simply didn’t have any!

            I think the problem some of you are having is that your Walmarts don’t carry the right card. But, if I get a chance to stop in at my usual Walmart, I will pick one up and at least try to post a pic. .

          • TomJ says:

            Sarah, I found a link with a pic of the VGC that I was able to buy at Walmart. The only difference between this one and mine is the fee.


            I hope the link works!

        • Sarah says:

          Dearest Tomj, You rock. I was actually able to buy 3 of these cards earlier today based on the info you provided on 10/14/17. Wish you had your own blog and all reasonable and helpful people could move over to your website, as this one here is full of arrogant rascals who think they have done PhD in Churning and consider themselves experts and look down on other people who could be knew and may ask some questions which may appear stupid to these arrogant dastards….But guess what….we have other constructive things to do like do a job, feed a family etc etc, and do not get nuff time to research things here and spend heaps of hours like THESE EXPERTS DO…………and we thank them for what they do, but when Success and arrogance reaches the brain, they fart foul smelling verbiage………..Shocking is complete absence of whosoever the SITE OWNER is…in chipping in with some info……………..But kudos to you, spend on one CF completed, 3 more left to complete till 12/31………Thanks again, much appreciated………..hopefully the arrogant (B)Rats over here will learn to b more humble N hopeful.

          • JASON says:

            Yeah right go get a life for yourself.

          • Hi Sarah,

            I’m sorry you don’t find the free information on this site helpful. I don’t have time to individually reply to every comment, as I have a job and must also feed my family. I’m sure you can understand.

            I’m sure you don’t want my advice, but generally when you want help it’s a good idea not to insult the people who you’re asking for help from.

            In future I’d ask you to please be more respectful to other readers on this site.

    • kirk says:

      get a visa giftcard that is a variable load of $20-$500. the fee is $4.94. it will say greendot & walmart at the back of the packaging. btw some wallys like mine are hardcoded for cash/debit only (i will try again just to reconfirm though lol). so ymmv. goodluck!

      • Sarah says:

        Thanks a lot Kirk and Tomj for replying. I will look for those, but looks like most likely they aren’t available in my areas. The regular reloadable Greendots are useless as they charge $1.95 purchase fee + $7.95 service fee for 1st month.


        • bmanamex says:

          You’re an entitled idiot who can’t use the search button on this site or other very popular sites who have this information. You have only yourself to blame. This and your attitude towards the members of this community are why you’re not getting answers.

        • JASON says:

          Sarah, do you have any ideas of what you are saying on the 2nd part? None of us here are your personal servant, we or anyone here is NOT RESPONSIBLE to answer anyone else’s including your questions/inquiries. And there are hundreds of reasons why some other people did not get back to you. Not subscribed, not checking posts regularly, not checking emails regularly, not have the info you wanted, on vacation, etc.. You are calling people assholes simply because they do not voluntarily provide you info for you to grab a deal and the deal is only for your own benefits? And you even dare to call that “against this website general trend of helping out”? Are the rest of us responsible to help you? You are the only few one that’s against this website’s general trend and I really hope no one would ever help you with anything from now on.

  24. ppsh says:

    What a whiny entitled brat. There’re over a half dozen varieties of those $4.94 variable load Walmart VGCs at the stores in my location. Would you expect fellow readers to post each and every one of those for you because of your impressive complaining “skillz”?

  25. Prem says:

    I got the VGC from WM with CF (500 x 3) and got the 5% bonus which credited correctly.

    Now question is how to liquidate these VGC’s? Do i need to register and activate them like it says on back of card? Or can i just open it and get MO without any registration/activation?

    Anyone with experience for this?

  26. Harry Nguyen says:

    Hey guys, I’m thinking about getting the simplicity next year. Very interested in their 21 months of purchase and no balance offers on top of that they always send offers for 0% apr for a year or so. But, wanted to know if I could PC to the Dividend? I know from the above that you could but I guess it depends on the card, reason being is so that I could get another 21 month after the 2nd year lol. Thanks!

  27. NBG says:

    I posted this in reddit – reposting here for DoC.

    For those trying to hit Discover Q4 spend @ Target – here is some good news. The $400 Target VGC are indeed in the store but hidden in the backroom. All you have to do is check in Brickseek for DPCI 290-00-0028 and if it shows up ‘In Stock’ in a store – you can either call and have them check in backroom or just head to the store and have them check and get it from there. Apparently its locked in there.

    I just told them that the CS told so and they checked their handheld scanner and got from the backroom. They had plenty of them. Now on to figuring out the liquidation of it :). FYI – i scanned my store for last 1 month on every single rack and cannot find it. Also as a test, i went to 3 stores nearby and this method worked.

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