Q4 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 fourth quarter of 2019, including the Chase Freedom, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, and US Bank Cash+ and a few more. 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: October 1st – December 31st, 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 – Paypal, Chase Pay, Dept. Stores

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

Earn 5% back on Paypal, Chase Pay, and department stores this quarter, up to $1,500 maximum.

  • Paypal
    • “Includes transactions made using your Chase Freedom card with PayPal for purchases or sending money. Purchases made using PayPal at merchants in the current 5% quarterly categories will be awarded a total of 5% Cash Back rewards on up to $1,500 in combined purchases. When you send money to Friends & Family via PayPal using your Chase Freedom card, standard transaction fees apply. See PayPal’s fees. Payments made through the Xoom transfer service are not eligible for 5%. Must have/open a PayPal account to send and receive money.”
    • The Paypal category is my personal favorite as I find myself using Paypal to pay online quite often; if I make my Freedom the default payment option in Paypal on October 1st, it should get maxed out in no time. Keep an eye out for Paypal at checkout at retailers like walmart.com, target.com, and thousands of others. Many charities and insurances accept Paypal as well.
    • You can even send money to friends, incurring the 2.9% fee, and it’ll be worthwhile for the 5x points earned.
  • Chase Pay
    • “Includes purchases made using your Freedom card with your Chase Pay digital wallet during check out. Eligible purchases only qualify for a total of 5% Cash Back rewards; purchases using Chase Pay at other current 5% quarterly categories will be awarded a total of 5% Cash Back rewards on up to $1500 in combined purchases.”
    • This is really a terrific category given that it’s possible to use Chase Pay via Samsung Pay which can be used at almost any physical store who accepts credit cards (ht r/churning). There are also, of course, various retailers who accept Chase Pay directly, like Starbucks, Best Buy, and Shell.
  • Department Stores
    • “Purchases made on a merchants website are included. The Department Store category does not include supercenters, discount stores, or specialty stores (i.e. stores that sell primarily one line of products such as shoe stores, pet stores, electronics stores, clothing stores) except for purchases made with these merchants using Chase Pay (a 5% category). If a merchant is not on the list, you will not earn bonus rewards. Department Store gift card purchases outside of the specific Department Store are excluded and will not earn bonus rewards.”
    • Full list of department stores can be found here; includes places like Kohl’s, Sears, Saks and dozens more. Specific exclusions mentioned: Walmart, Target, and Kmart.

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

Discover – Amazon, Target, Walmart.com

Activation Link / Our original post

Earn 5% back at Amazon.com, Target stores, Target.com, and Walmart.com this quarter, up to $1,500 maximum. Walmart store purchases are not included.
  • “Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com from 10/1/19 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 12/31/19 on up to $1,500 in purchases. Amazon.com purchases include those made through the Amazon.com checkout, including digital downloads, Amazon.com gift cards, Amazon Fresh orders, Amazon Local Deals and Amazon Prime subscriptions and items sold by third party merchants through Amazon.com’s marketplace. Target purchases include any purchase made online at Target.com, through the Target app, or in-store at Target. Individual merchants and stand-alone stores within physical Target locations or on Target.com may not be eligible in this category. Walmart.com purchases include those made at Walmart.com and when shopping through the Walmart app (including Grocery Pick Up and Instore Pick Up). Purchases made in store at Walmart Stores, Walmart Supercenters, Neighborhood Markets and Walmart Pay are excluded from this promotion. Individual merchants and stand-alone stores within physical Walmart locations may not be eligible in this category. Certain 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.”
    • Personally, I have the Target REDcard and I have the Amazon store card, so I always get 5% at both of those retailers. Walmart.com would be the only place I’d gain from the Discover category.
    • Also, buying Target gift cards at Target and Target.com does not earn rewards with the REDcard, but will earn 5% with this Discover promo. I expect Target to run their annual holiday 10% off Target gift cards sale, and the Discover card will be useful for me to bring the total savings up to 15%.
    • Purchases made with mobile wallets like Apple, Samsung, and Google Pay will indeed qualify, I believe, despite Discover’s caution on this front. (See this post.)
Tip: Login, then click this link to see you how far along the $1,500 you are.

Citi Dividend – Best Buy, Department Stores

Landing Page | Our Original Post

Earn 5% back at Best Buy and department stores this quarter. 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. A lot of people have already maxed out their Dividend cards earlier this year on the drugstore category.

  • Best Buy includes in store purchases and bestbuy.com purchases.
  • “Department stores are larger merchants that sell a general line of apparel, home furnishings, furniture, electronics, cosmetics, housewares and major appliances. They have several departments that usually have separate checkout counters.”

 

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, 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 – Automotive

Registration Link | Our Original Post

Earn 5% this quarter in the Automotive category on up to $1,500.

  • Earn 5x points on qualifying automotive parts, service and repair purchases. Offer activation required.

Nusenda FCU – Gas & Education Expenses

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • This quarter, earn 5% back on restaurants, hotels, and airfare, 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

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Xinqing Wang
Xinqing Wang

I saw this You can even send money to friends, incurring the 2.9% fee, and it’ll be worthwhile for the 5x points earned.
I then transferred 65 dollars to one of my friends to give it a try (through PayPal-Chase Freedom). PayPal charged me 2.9% for the amount that I transferred, which was expected. However, Chase then charged me 10 dollars. I called Chase. This is what they said: Every time you transfer funds to your friends, we will charge you 10 dollars or 5% of the amount transferred, whichever is greater. I asked them whether I can get a refund this time, and they refused.
Did I transfer the funds via a wrong way? Thanks for any ideas and suggestions.

Ben
Ben

Just last week I used PayPal to send money to a missionary in Africa (from my church, I am personally acquainted with her family). I used a paypal.me link so the system should have no way of distinguishing this as charitable vs any other person-to-person gift. I was not surcharged as a cash advance, and the UR site is showing Bonus Earn for this transaction.

Chunk
Chunk

Does this work for Chase Freedom with 5% cashback with PayPal? Can I go to a paypal.me link and then pay myself with Chase Freedom (I have two PayPal accounts). Thank you

bungalo
bungalo

Walmart eGiftCards not coding as 5% for Discover. Bummer. I didn’t see it listed as excluded though, so maybe it’s worth messaging.

Samosa
Samosa

DP: Amazon GC reload and physical WM GC purchase from WM website both triggered 5% CB on Discover.

Neil Degrasse
Neil Degrasse

Question Chuck for Discover and Amazon.. I just want to double-check.. do you get 5% cashback with Discover on Amazon when you’re just reloading your Amazon gift card balance? I just did the 20% off deal you posted today and ended up using my gift card balance.. so I’m thinking to use my Discover card to load $250 on to my Amazon gift card balance, but will I get the 5% cashback?

Eduard Ivashchuk
Eduard Ivashchuk

I read the terms in discover and it mentioned “in-app” purchases. Has anyone tried to add their discover to Walmart pay and use it in store store this way? Thanks

Xinqing Wang
Xinqing Wang

Two questions here:
1. Can we use Chasepay at Korger? I found online that Korger and Chase do have a partnership where you can use ChasePay for in-lane purchases at Korger. I have purchased many 500 VGCs from Korger before, but I have not tried Chase pay there.
2. For the Discover 5% discount at Wlamart.com, can I directly purchase Walmart gift card from Walmart.com and still get the 5%?
Thanks.

Liam
Liam

Kyle, in an early comment below, suggested the following method would work for 5% on the Freedom: “Use Walmart Pay inside of the Walmart app. Set Walmart Pay to use Chase Pay. Set Freedom card as the default inside Chase Pay.”

I tried this method last night at Walmart. The cashier had no issue selling the $500 VGC via Walmart Pay. After scanning the QR code, the register spit out a receipt which stated the VGC couldn’t be purchased using that payment method. The cashier even asked a manager, who matter-a-fact said, “if you’re trying to use a credit card linked in Walmart Pay, the system will not allow that for VGC purchase.”

I believe she is correct because I then proceeded to purchase the same $500 VGC (at a different register) using my physical credit card after the failure using Walmart Pay. I would love to know if anyone else can confirm my experience.

YoLaViajera
YoLaViajera

I can confirm this. Same exact thing happened to me. The reason is, I was told, that the Walmart Pay app can distinguish whether or not the linked card through Chase Pay is a credit card or a debit card. According to the cashier who helped me, if it’s a credit card, it WON’T WORK. I tried at 2 different Walmarts in Southern California. Unfortunately, this means I can’t use the Freedom card through Chase Pay this quarter through the Walmart app. It just won’t work. Sure, I can still buy VGCs at Walmart.com online and THEN use ChasePay, but it comes at a higher cost since they only sell $200 VGCs, and not $500 VGCs.

Xinqing Wang
Xinqing Wang

Can I purchase Walmart gift card (not the VGC) from Walmart.com using ChasePay or just simply the Discover It card and still get the 5%?

AKJohnny
AKJohnny

try it… be the datapoint

bungalo
bungalo

I’ve purchased physical gift cards from Walmart before w/Freedom 5% successfully. I was in a pinch the other day and bought a $200 EGiftCard w/Discover. Coded as 1% 🙁

Xinqing Wang
Xinqing Wang

What about purchase 500 VGC in store from Korger using ChasePay? I usually purchased many 500 VGCs from Korger without any issues (I used the self-checkout). I would like to try and report here. But the real thing is, I just moved to a big city. Before, I can very easily convert 500 VGCs to MOs. But in big cities, this might be a big issue.

Colin
Colin

My question is when “use Chase Pay via Samsung Pay…” . If I use this method do I only get the quarterly cashback if I have it set for Freedom as my default or if I use my freedom unlimited that does not get quarterly cashback even though I would be using Chase Pay to pay via Samsung Pay. I wonder if it matters which Freedom Card you have set as the payment card even though you’re using Chase pay vs Samsung pay. I hope my question makes sense. It would be great if I could get that 5% for the cash back using my freedom unlimited card set in my Chase pay via Samsung pay because that gets 1.5% versus 1% for regular freedom.

Andrew D
Andrew D

You have to pay with the Freedom.

Lucian
Lucian

You will get the 5% on the “old” Freedom not on the Unlimited.

Cullen
Cullen

Having trouble activating Freedom bonus… the chasebonus.com gives me an instant error when I input my correct info and seems like a website bug. Is there an alternate route to activate?

iahphx
iahphx

I’m trying to think of an easy way to buy Visa/MC gift cards (preferably $500s) with this quarter’s Chase Freedom and Discover offers. I use Google Pay (reluctantly!) but don’t have a Samsung phone to use Samsung Pay. For the Discover bonus, I assume I could buy Visa/MC gift cards at a physical Target store? Do they sell $500s? At Amazon, I could only buy $200s, right? If so, that wouldn’t be terribly lucrative.
I’m even more stumped how to buy $500s this quarter with the Freedom card. Any suggestions?

AKJohnny
AKJohnny

I’ve never seen $500 vgc at Target… largest amount I’ve seen is $200