Q4 2021 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom/Flex, Discover, Dividend, Cash+ & more)

It’s now possible to activate/enroll all 5% category credit cards for the fourth quarter of 2021, including the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, US Bank Cash+ and a few others. 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 31, 2021. 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, Walmart

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

With your Freedom and Freedom Flex cards, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at purchases paid via PayPal and on purchases made at Walmart.

  • PayPal Purchases – I love the PayPal category since it’s pretty easy to use at thousands of online merchants, tax payments, charities, etc. (Should work in conjunction with PayPal Key as well.) “Please note, Friends and Family or Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions made with your Chase Freedom card on PayPal may be prohibited or not eligible for 5%.”
  • Walmart – Works at Walmart stores and Walmart.com and Walmart gas stations. Walmart stores also sell Visa gift cards and other gift cards as well.

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

 

Discover – Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com

Activation Link / Our original post

With your Discover card, earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com.

  • Amazon.com – not very useful for someone who has one of the Amazon 5% credit cards, but could be useful to those that don’t.
  • Walmart.com – if you maxed out your Chase Freedom, this is another option.
  • Target.com – not too useful for someone who has the Target REDcard which always earns 5% back, but could be useful to those that don’t. (Also useful for when Target runs their gift card sale since Target gift cards don’t get the 5% back REDcard.)

Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com from 10/1/21 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 12/31/21, 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, Amazon Prime subscriptions and items sold by third party merchants through Amazon.com’s marketplace. Purchases also include those made in-store at Amazon Go, Amazon Bookstore, and Amazon 4-Star. Walmart.com purchases include only those made at Walmart.com and when shopping through the Walmart app (including Grocery Pick Up and Delivery). Purchases made through affiliates of Walmart.com are not part of this promotion. Target.com purchases include only purchases made online at Target.com or through the Target app. Purchases made through affiliates of Target.com are not part of this promotion, including, but not limited to, targetoptical.com and targetphoto.com. 

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

Citi Dividend – Restaurants, Best Buy

Landing Page | Our Original Post

With your Dividend card, earn 5% back this quarter at Restaurants and Best Buy. Citi is different than the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a $1,500 quarterly cap. Thus, 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. Some people might have already maxed this out in Q2 2021 on grocery stores and drugstores.

  • Restaurants – always a useful category
  • Best Buy – based on my prior experience, this should work for Bestbuy.com purchases too.

 

US Bank Cash+/Elan – Select your Categories

Activation link | Merchant List | Our Original Post

U.S. Bank Cash+ and Elan Max offer 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 – Discontinued

Since August 27, 2021, the ABOC Platinum rewards card has moved to a new rewards provider and no longer offers the quarterly 5x categories.

Nusenda FCU – Restaurants, Hotels, Airfare

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at restaurants, hotels, and airfare.

Affinity FCU – Supermarkets, Amazon, Discount Stores

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on purchases at Supermarkets, Amazon, and Discount Stores on up to $3,500 in purchases.

The 5x is on top of regular earn for a total of 6x or 7x, depending on the card. Amazon is typically 5% and will be 10% on the category bonus.

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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Somebody
Somebody

Are there any streaming discounts in Q4 outside of Cash+?

Dave
Dave

Citi Custom Cash

86
86

“Walmart stores also sell Visa gift cards and other gift cards as well.”

Don’t Walmart stores (not Walmart.com) only accept debit cards for buying VGC?

jamie
jamie

Know what you’re getting into if buying a Walmart gift card at Walmart. I had three that were compromised prior to purchase and then subsequently drained after activation. Walmart replaced two of the gift cards but refused to do so with the third. They said they’re sorry that happened to my gift card, but since they can’t recoup the cost, I’m stuck with the loss.

How the scam works is that people tamper with inactivated gift cards off the rack by scratching off the strip revealing the PIN. They record the card’s info, put a replacement strip on top and then wait until the card is activated so they can swoop in and drain the card.

When Walmart was a bonus category, I used to buy Walmart gift cards to use up any remaining money to get the 5x and then use the cards for normal Walmart purchases later, at my convenience. Never again.

Brett
Brett

So maybe if going to get Walmart gc’s get them online only.

Somebody
Somebody

Do they sell any that are tamper proof?

G
G

Does Murphy Gas count for Walmart?

Philip
Philip

No, but Walmart GC works at Murphy USA (Not Murphy Express)

Philip
Philip

Does the Walmart Pay in store count as 5% for Discover?
And CFF?

G
G

Discover is supposed to be online only. CFF should be fine in-store.

Philip
Philip

Shouldn’t the Walmart Pay count as online always?

G
G

For Affinity, I received email that “Automatically earn 5 bonus points or 5% back when you use your Cash Rewards Visa Signature credit card for Amazon purchases, at discount stores and supermarkets during October, November and December.*”

Yeah 10% for Amazon

Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊
Jay - ⒿⒶⓨ 🙈 🙉 🙊

For Affinity, received the same email, but somehow hadn’t realised that’s how it would work with Amazon. So thanks for your post… 🙂

G
G

For the Amazon/Target categories, I’d argue the Discover card is often superior to other options – Discover gives up to 1.33 cpp through gift card redemptions.

Chase trifecta of course wins the Walmart category at 1.5+ cpp with CSR.

Somebody
Somebody

True. I always count Discover 5% as 5.6%.

atexit8
atexit8

Walmart sells the $500 VISA and MC gift cards with a $4.95 fee instead of $5.95 fee.
It works out to 4% after the fees if you max out the quarter by buying three of the gift cards.
$75 – $4.95 – $4.95 – $4.95 = $60.15 actual cashback rewards
$60.15 ÷ $1500 = 4.01 %

Hon
Hon

Walmart Giftcards can also be bought and used at Sam’s Club, effectively giving you 5% back in points for the wholesale purchases.

atexit8
atexit8

I did the reverse in Q1 of this year when I took advantage of the “free” Sam’s Club membership deal.

Jason
Jason

Also works for their gas as well.

Satya
Satya

You don’t need to buy gift cards. At walmart, use the chase freedom card to buy. At Sams Club, buy using Paypal Key with Freedom Card (Mobile App Scan and Go). That way you can earn 5% at both Walmart and Sams.

boo
boo

Add me