Q4 2023 5% Quarterly Categories: Activate, Offers & Suggestions (Freedom/Flex, Discover, Dividend, Cash+ & More)

Update 9/17/23: Citi has been released and it’s grocery. Added below.

It’s now possible to activate all 5% category credit cards for the fourth quarter of 2023, including the Chase Freedom, Chase Freedom Flex, Discover IT, Citi Dividend, US Bank Cash+ and some smaller cards. 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, 2023. Store purchases can usually be done until the last minute while online purchases should be given a buffer zone of a day or two.

Chase Freedom – PayPal, Wholesale Clubs, Select Charities

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

With the Freedom and Freedom Flex cards, activate to earn 5% back this quarter on up to $1,500 in spend at PayPal, Wholesale Clubs, and at Select Charities.

  • Paypal – Should work for any purchase with Paypal payment. This is always a easy and useful category given that many/most online retailers accept Paypal, e.g. Walmart, Target, Best Buy, etc.
    • I sometimes pay my taxes with a credit card via Paypal to trigger this category, read more about paying taxes with a credit card in this post.
    • Some people might find it worthwhile to swallow the 2.9% Paypal fee and max out this category by paying family or friends with their Freedom card. Just note the fine print technically excludes this: “Person-to-Person (P2P) transactions made with your Chase Freedom card on PayPal may be prohibited or not eligible for 5%.”
    • You can also do your year-end charitable giving with Paypal payments on many charities, or to almost any charity with Paypal Giving Fund.
    • Readers note that if you use the Freedom Flex via Paypal at Dining or Drugstores you’ll end up getting 7x due to the extra 2x bonus the card has on those categories.
  • Wholesale Clubs – Should work for Costco, Sam’s Club, BJs, and similar.
    • Bear in mind, Costco in-club only accepts Visa cards; online you can use Mastercard as well, and you can even order Costco Cash cards for use in-club. Also note, gas at Costco will not work to earn the 5x; the workaround is to buy Costco Cash cards in-club and use those to purchase gas.
    • You can buy Sam’s Club gift cards at the club or online which can then be used at Walmart or Walmart.com or Walmart gas. (Or you can buy Walmart e-gift cards from Paypal Digital Gifts which also earns 5x as part of the Paypal category.)
    • Some wholesale clubs sell third-party gift cards or even Visa gift cards.
    • Exclusions: “Gas, fuel, wholesale specialty service purchases such as travel, insurance, cell phone and home improvement will not qualify in this category. Mastercard not accepted at Costco warehouses or at gas stations.”
  • Select Charities – includes: American Red Cross, Equal Justice Initiatives, Feeding America, Habitat for Humanity, International Medical Corps, International Rescue Committee, Leadership Conference Education Fund, NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, National Urban League, Thurgood Marshall College Fund, United Negro College Fund, UNICEF USA, United Way, World Central Kitchen
    GLSEN, Out and Equal, Sage.

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


Discover – Amazon, Target

Activation Link / Our original post

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

  • Amazon.com 
  • Target – Not very useful for someone who already has the 5% Target REDcard. It can still be useful for buying Target gift cards at Target which do not earn 5% on the Target REDcard.

Activate to earn 5% Cashback Bonus at Amazon.com and Target from 10/1/23 (or the date on which you activate 5%, whichever is later) through 12/31/23, on up to $1,500 in purchases. Amazon.com purchases include those made through the Amazon.com checkout, like digital downloads, Amazon Fresh orders, Amazon Local Deals, Amazon Prime subscriptions, and items sold by third party merchants through Amazon.com’s marketplace. This also includes purchases in-store at Amazon Go. Amazon, the Amazon.com logo, the smile logo and all related marks are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. Target purchases include those made in store at Target, Target.com, or through the Target app. Purchases from individual merchants and stand-alone stores within physical Target locations may not be eligible for this promotion. Purchases made online or through the Target app from Target affiliates, individual merchants or stand-alone stores may not be eligible for 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 – Grocery

Landing Page | Our Original Post

With your Dividend card, activate to earn 5% back this quarter at Grocery. Citi is different than the other cards in that you have a $6,000 annual cap rather than a $1,500 quarterly cap. You can get 5% back on up to $6,000 in this quarter or you can save the entire amount for a different quarter, or you can use part up each quarter.

  • Grocery. Should be able to use for general purchases and grocery stores also sell gift cards.

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 Customized 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 and EV charging stations (default category)
  • Online Shopping; this category also includes cable, streaming, internet, and phone plan
  • 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

Nusenda FCU – Retail, Online, Restaurants

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Earn 5% this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases on Retail Stores, Online Retail Purchases, Restaurants.

This is on top of the regular 1% for a total earn of 6% back.

Abound CU – Amazon

Landing page | Our Original Post

  • Abound Credit Union Visa Platinum card offers 5% on up to $2,000 on Amazon purchases.

Langley FCU – Grocery, Streaming, Cable, Department Stores

Landing Page | Our Original Post

  • Langley Federal Credit Union offers 5% back each month in one selected category, on up to $100 cash back total ($2,000 spend).
  • The category options at time of this writing: Streaming, Cable & Internet services, Grocery, Department Stores.

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:

  1. Travel
  2. Restaurants
  3. Utilities [water, cell, electric, etc.]
  4. In-Store Wholesale Purchases [Costco, Sam’s Club, etc.]
  5. Department Stores
  6. Hardware & Home Improvement Stores
  7. Charitable Organizations
  8. Pharmacies & Drug Stores
  9. Amazon.com

Safe Credit Union [CA] – Amazon, Travel, Utility, Discounters

Landing Page | Our Original Post

Safe Credit Union Cash Rewards Visa card offers 5% this quarter on your choice of one category each quarter (with no apparent limit). This quarter the categories are:

  • Amazon, Discount Stores (ex: Walmart, Target), Travel (ex: Orbitz, Expedia), Utilities
Notify of

oldest most voted

Mike (@guest_1765010)
December 25, 2023 15:04

Does anyone know if I will get 5% back if I buy Costco GC on costco.com?


Costco (@guest_1765023)
December 25, 2023 15:23

Your answer is in the post itself and multiple comments too.

Shri (@guest_1758591)
December 14, 2023 23:27

You can now see the Chase’s Q1 2024 categories using your login.
– Grocery Stores (excluding Walmart & Target)
– Fitness Clubs & Gym Memberships
– Self-Care & Spa Services

Philip (@guest_1752202)
December 6, 2023 00:42

Does the Home Improvement category include stores like Big Lots? They are coded as Discount Store on MasterCard network.

Matthew (@guest_1738101)
November 16, 2023 13:25

Not exactly relevant to the general 5% but Discover added a way to auto apply cashback balance to your account. There isn’t an active post for the Discover card/card family, so figured I’d share that here.

mangorunner (@guest_1739179)
November 17, 2023 23:10

I signed up for Discover’s automatic statement credit redemption and really like it.

Amy (@guest_1734418)
November 10, 2023 11:49

FYI: My Meijer store purchases are qualifying for grocery with the Dividend card. In the past I recall they excluded it (and others) by name, but this time they only generically disqualify “general merchandise/discount superstores.” I gave Meijer a shot and found no only does it code as grocery–which I knew–but it also received the 5% cash back rate this quarter.

mark (@guest_1724441)
October 27, 2023 11:07

Target has vgc on their webiste. Does it count for Discover 5%?

Calwatch (@guest_1706963)
October 1, 2023 20:31

With Costco still selling gold bars that is an easy $75 off them, plus 1% on everything above $1500.

Candy (@guest_1708120)
October 3, 2023 14:50

Does buying gold bar from Costco have any benefits? Is it a form of investment?

Cynthia (@guest_1703034)
September 26, 2023 19:30

The wholesale category comes at a good time as I need new tires and normally buy them at Costco. I don’t see tires excluded (like travel, gas, etc). Can anyone verify that a Costco tire purchase qualifies for the Wholesale bonus?

Calwatch (@guest_1706960)
October 1, 2023 20:30

I’ve done it before and it always qualifies. Same with food court.

Candy (@guest_1708125)
October 3, 2023 14:54

Calwatch Does 5% counts if you buy from Costco tires in-store and from tires.costco.com?
Do you also know if you can purchase giftcard online for the 5% bonus and can redeem it at the Costco tire center?

Ron (@guest_1697699)
September 19, 2023 16:05

Citi Dividend after signing in isn’t showing the activation link for Q4’23
Are others seeing the link? Thanks

Sam (@guest_1703820)
September 27, 2023 16:59

I’m do not see the link either.

Wick (@guest_1696235)
September 17, 2023 21:37

Easy spending on Costco shop card 😉 with Flex