Posted by Chuck on January 3, 2016
Credit Cards

Published on January 3rd, 2016 | by Chuck

20

What Counts as Gas & Transportation for 5x with Freedom and Discover?

Introduction

The Chase Freedom card and the Discover IT card are offering 5x rewards on gas and transportation purchases from January 1, 2016, until March 31, 2016. After activating the benefit, we can earn 5x rewards on up to $1,500 in spend, for a maximum of $75 cashback or 7,500 points.

The Freedom’s 5x is more valuable for those who have a premium Chase card as it can be then transferred to travel partners. The Discover has an edge for those who are enrolled in the Double Cashback offer which will turn the 5% into 10%.

Both cards receive 5x rewards on the following two categories:

  • Gas
  • Transportation

Earning 5x on Gas

The gas part of the deal should be the same on Freedom and Discover; both include most regular gas station pumps, and both mention that gas purchased at a warehouse or grocery store may not be eligible. These gas retailers sometimes have the gas purchases coded like other store purchases and not as gas.

For specific examples, see the Freedom list of gas stations inclusions and exclusions here and the Discover list here. One important exclusion mentioned by Discover is that gas stations affiliated with superstores, supermarkets, and warehouse clubs may not be eligible.

Both Freedom and Discover cards may have some creative ways of using the 5x rewards as well. Some convenience stores and gas stations sell gift cards and these are occasionally considered the same as a gas purchase to trigger the 5% rewards.

Earning 5x on Transportation

The similarities between Freedom and Discover end, however, when looking at the details of the Transportation benefit. Chase advertises the benefit as ‘Local Commuter Transportation’ while Discover calls it ‘Ground Transportation.’ The wording, in this case, isn’t just an esoteric difference. Freedom only earns 5x on local transportation like taxis and subways, not on any long-distance transport like Amtrak or car rentals whereas Discover will earn 5x on all ground transport.

Freedom Details

Examples of things that are included on the Freedom:

Examples of things that are excluded:

  • Transportation outside the US
  • Amtrak
  • Toll and bridges
  • Bike sharing services
  • Car rentals

Freedom List Found Here

Discover Details

Discover includes just about everything:

  • Charter & Tour Bus Lines
  • Local & Suburban Public Transportation – Buses, Trains
  • Taxis, Limos
  • Uber and Lyft
  • Bike Share Programs
  • Rental Cars

They only exclude “ground transportation purchases made through travel agencies or travel aggregator sites,” since these purchases won’t necessarily come up as ground transportation at all. Booking a rental car on Priceline won’t be eligible, for example.

Amtrak should work and transportation outside the US may work as well.

Certain things are still unknown with Discover:

  • Tolls and bridges
  • Parking lots or garages
  • Cruise lines

Discover List Found Here

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Gerald
Gerald

I’m not sure why you wrote that gift cards are “occasionally considered gas purchases to trigger the 5% rewards.” The requirement isn’t that you buy gas, but that you make a purchase at a gas station. So if it’s a place where a gas purchase would get the reward, a gift card purchase would also get it.

Jivepicnic
Jivepicnic

I think you’re right about these specific deals, but other cards specifically say that you only get bonus points when you use the card to pay for gas at the pump; purchases inside the store do not qualify. I think I’ve read that this is how the Navy FCU card works. The distinction is warranted in general but is probably not necessary for these specific offers.

Gerald
Gerald

That’s how the recent Amex offer at Exxon/Mobil worked, but it’s not the wording for either the Freedom or the Discover deal.

Badao
Badao

Absolutely agree with Gerald.

Gene
Gene

can anyone suggest a way to liquidate vanilla GCs or bancorp GCs please?
thanks

John
John

All the gas stations near my house in a 15m radius only stock $100 visa gift card with a $6 fee. Totally negates any advantage of 5% bonus 🙁

Chris
Chris

Would Sams club gas station trigger the 5% for Freedom?

Ken
Ken

So a Murphy station next to a Walmart or a Kroger gas station would or wouldn’t count? Same for Costco or Sams, does anyone know how all of these are coded?

Gaurav
Gaurav

Just FYI, I contacted discover via secure messaging to ask about tolls for this quarter and the replied that tolls were not allowed.

Jessica
Jessica

Any news if parking lots count? Ivemade plenty of parking purchases, but on Discover, I can’t tell what gets the bonus and what does not…

PedroNY
PedroNY

WAWA works.

Cheers,

PedroNY

Jeff
Jeff

I got the short end of the rebate at Hy-Vee Gas on Discovercard at the gas pump. This has not be a problem in previous years. Freedom paid the 5% at the same gas pump on the next visit.
Hy-Vee is a grocery chain in the Midwest. Hy-Vee Gas is a separate building convenience store often on the same parking lot.
I have not tried inside. I loaded up on the 10% Chase / Amazon deal last Christmas and have gift cards that I need to use to get the benefit. Gift cards in the sock drawer do no good.

Mwdmr
Mwdmr

I can confirm a data point on the Discover IT being eligible for tolls and bridges in NY. I got my 5% for all E-zPass transactions on the card. Worth noting that when I had e-zpass refund me for my very large balance to my Disc card, the other 4% was not clawed back.

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[…] considered the same as a gas purchase to trigger the 5% rewards. It used to work with 7-Eleven and Wawa, for example, though both of these have gotten increasingly […]

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