Posted by Chuck on October 1, 2019
Credit Cards

Published on October 1st, 2019 | by Chuck

63

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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Toddo
Toddo

United accepts Chase Pay now so you will get 5x from your Freedom soon

Vy
Vy

…but is it wise purchase airfare with CF just for the 5% bonus?

Kyle
Kyle

Use Walmart Pay inside of the Walmart app. Set Walmart Pay to use Chase Pay. Set Freedom card as the default inside Chase Pay. Seems convoluted, but pretty easy. Just scan the QR code at the register using Walmart Pay app.

Zac
Zac

Set Walmart Pay to use Chase Pay? Is it Android only?

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

I already did that on my LG phone..so works with Android. But see above. its listed as Chase Pay on my payment methods within the WM app.

Celia
Celia

Chase Pay via Walmart Pay is still not available on ios, which is very annoying.

atexit8
atexit8

Yep. Got this all set up to go for Oct. 1

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

so if I am buying an item (gift card) at WM and have chase pay set up in WM app..1)where do you scan the QR code?? at register? 2)Scan that first ..3)then clerk scans gift card ? and 4) scan your chase card via chase pay on your phone? Need some help. never even noticed that there is a QR code at register. Thanks!!

barrytuneup
barrytuneup

for those with the ABOC 5% card..thanks to Chuck, I just realized that the 3rd Q. cat. states travel at 5%. However checking the 5% cat under travel comes gas.. Disc and Chase code a certain convenience store as 5% gas when buying gift cards. SO ABOC should also. Now to buy 3 500.00 Vanilla card by end of month. Hope this helps someone. Thanks Chuck. Since we dont travel anymore..never bothered to check fine print as to what they consider travel.

Lily
Lily

Barrytuneup- What convenience store is this? I have never found any gas station/mart would accept credit card for gift card purchases.

jp
jp

For online purchases it’s best to have a buffer of 4 to 5 days if the month end falls on the weekend. Last quarter I paid my utility bill on 6/28 using my US Bank Cash+ card, But in my account the transaction date was populated as 7/2 and they refused to give 5% cash back, since Utilities was not one of the categories for Q3. I have an email alert from the bank for the transaction on 6/28, but it didn’t matter.

Staradmiral
Staradmiral

It’s always the date it posts to your account, not the date it first appeared and was pending. This is always the case for cash back, minimum spend requirements, amex credits. Live and learn.

jp
jp

yeah, that’s what I thought too. However when I contacted them they said the cash back is based on transaction date and not posted date. Hence the confusion.

Dick Bupkiss
Dick Bupkiss

“use Chase Pay via Samsung Pay…”

Anyone have a link to an idiot’s guide to how this works? Circles ‘n Arrows level spoonfeeding needed.

I’ve got an old Samsung phone that I never use laying around somewhere, and this looks to be my only viable option for maximizing my Q4 Chase Freedom bonus category. So I’m going to need to figure out A) how Chase Pay works, and 2) how Samsung Pay works, never having seen or used either. I’m sure I’m not the only idiot who needs this help on this. Anyone got a pointer? Thanks.

Frugal Nellie, aka Lela
Frugal Nellie, aka Lela

I’ll have to re-recall myself.
I advise doing a test of a candy bar purchase or similar, at your intended store of purchase, and make sure you get 5%.

Sa
Sa

Always happy to help a fellow idiot.
First make sure that your old samsung supports samsung pay, s6 and up. Install both Samsung pay and chase pay apps. Open chase pay and log in with your chase username and password. Tap on your freedom card. Select “add to samsung pay”. Done with chase pay.
Open Samsung pay. Your freedom should show in the app as card to pay with. It should have a tiny chase logo above, which means it is using chase pay, aka 5% for q4. Good luck.

Jan W
Jan W

As another idiot, I followed your advice (thanks!). When I open Samsung Pay, however, I’m unsure about the “tiny Chase logo above, which means it is using chase pay…” It is the only listed card and there is a picture of the card itself (to the left of the text) but I don’t see a tiny chase logo?

Gerald
Gerald

Nit: If Target does the 10% off deal and you use Discover, you’ll get a $100 gift card for $90 and get $4.50 back from Discover. That’s a 14.5% discount, not 15%.

Sa
Sa

Man, f that. If it is only 14.5% discount I am not doing it.

CanalStreet
CanalStreet

Cash out from Discover as gift cards that are worth $50 for $45 and that makes it sweeter.

Rick
Rick

So, also, since Paypal can apparently be used as a payment method for Google Pay, it seems like Google Pay with Paypal as payment method (with Chase Freedom on the PayPal account, therefore running CF through Paypal) should work? Haven’t tried it, but seems like this should work (and open up a few more in-store merchants) for any Android phones that are NFC-capable.

Frugal Nellie, aka Lela
Frugal Nellie, aka Lela

Beautiful idea 🙂
Let us know when you’ve seen that it works! And which useful retailers take Google pay 😉

René
René

Hmmm. I wonder if this approach might help with a different problem I have: one of my wife’s CC keeps getting rejected when using in gpay and one of my cards keeps failing when I try to add it to gpay. Amex support is useless and tells me to call like a jerk, which I refuse to do.

I wonder if the category stays intact when using gpay -> paypal -> amex.

Ryan
Ryan

Yeah let us know. I tried doing that for discover this quarter, but it tries to pull from my cash balance and not my discover.

Doug
Doug

I don’t think it works. I tried in Costco but it only pulls from PayPal balance. The T&C says it can only use balance for Google Pay:
https://www.paypal.com/us/webapps/mpp/ua/ppgooglepay-tnc#3

Kyle
Kyle

This doesn’t work. Paypal via Google Pay only lets you use Paypal balance or the Paypal credit/debit card.

Sam
Sam

It did not work at Walgreens. I linked my Google Pay to PayPal with CF set as preferred card, but it kept saying ‘not authorized’.

Jack Spicer
Jack Spicer

Has anyone been able to product change to the Dividend lately? It seems it’s officially closed for product changes sadly.

thois
thois

I product changed from Citi AA Platinum select to Dividend around month ago, the actual change took place 09/06.

DP
DP

Yes. Same story. I tried for myself, and my wife tried as well. Dividend is not an option. They’re pushing the DoubleCash card really hard. Seem to be phasing the Dividend card completely out.

Lily
Lily

Why would anyone want to convert to the dividend card? The cash back earnings is limited to $300 only annually.

Lrdx
Lrdx

Better than the now-useless Double Cash.

David
David

The get the Penfed powercash visa signature credit card for your 2% cash back on everything

Ryan
Ryan

Just as an fyi BP has their BPme app that takes PayPal. Link your discover or chase through PayPal and get 5% on gas.

AKJohnny
AKJohnny

do any department stores sell visa gift cards?

Steve

Sears might (but probably only $100 or $200 cards).

Lucian
Lucian

Don’t forget Costco through Samsung Pay.

wolfman
wolfman

is there any a list of the name of department stores for Citi dividend? Thank you

Greg
Greg

+1

Lrdx
Lrdx

Aliexpress is on the Department store list for Chase..

What is weird, as all Aliexpress purchases we did is a foreign transaction (Aliexpress London is the merchant on the statement), so that means an extra 3% FTF?

Matt
Matt

I’m thinking about applying for the Discover card mid-October to bank on the first year doubling of cash back at Amazon twice. Once this year and then again in early October 2020 — assuming it remains a category which historically for the last few years it has been. Am I missing anything with this strategy?

Jacob
Jacob

Nope — that strategy checks out. I’ve applied it myself twice already.

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

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?

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