Time to Activate 5% Bonus Categories for Q4 2019

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It’s the start of Q4, and that means there are multiple options to earn a great return by activating the bonus categories on your credit card. This quarter you can earn 5% cashback at select retailers with Chase, Discover, U.S. Bank, and Citi. Activation is open for each of the four cards below, so take a few minutes to activate now to make sure you don’t miss out on a penny of extra rewards. Each card limits the total spending that’s eligible for 5% earning, and there are different categories depending on which card you have. We’ve assembled all the details to help you plan your holiday spending strategy.

Chase Freedom®

Activating the bonus category for the Chase Freedom® card will earn you 5% cashback on the first $1,500 of spending (1% after that). This quarter the bonus applies to the following categories:

  • Department stores
  • PayPal
  • Chase Pay

The inclusion of Chase Pay and PayPal Make this quarter one of the easiest ever to hit your $1,500 limit and maximize your earnings. Chase awards retroactive credit for all purchases made from September 1st to December 31st as long as you activate your bonus by December 14, 2019.

Chase Freedom®
Chase Freedom®
Annual Fee$0
Welcome Bonus Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
This no-annual-fee card earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined bonus category purchases each quarter, with the bonus categories rotating 4X per year. Plus, you can get up to $150 cash back after meeting the minimum spend.
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter.
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Discover it® Cash Back

Activating the bonus category for the Discover it® Cash Back card will earn you 5% cashback on the first $1,500 of spending (1% after that). This quarter the bonus applies to the following categories:

  • Amazon.com
  • Walmart.com
  • Target

Q4 with Discover offers great potential to maximize your earnings. With the upcoming holiday period, many will find Amazon.com purchases make the $1,500 maximum easy to achieve.

Citi® Dividend Card

Activating the bonus category for the Citi® Dividend Card card will earn you 5% cashback up to a maximum of $300 cashback earned, which works out to $6,000 of spending. This quarter, the bonus applies to the following categories:

  • Department Stores
  • Best Buy

With the inclusion of Best Buy and department stores, and the ability to earn up to $300 in cashback, Q4 may be the time to consider making a big purchase to maximize your earning. So, if you have had your eye on a big-ticket item, it may be worth taking the plunge this quarter with the Citi Dividend.

The Citi Dividend card is no longer available to new applicants. These bonus categories can only be accessed by existing cardholders.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Activating the bonus category for the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card card will earn you 5% cashback on the first $2,000 of net spending (1% after that). As usual with U.S. Bank, there is a host of categories to choose from, and you need to select 2 categories that will earn 5% cashback. Categories you can choose from this quarter include:

  • Cell Phones
  • Department Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Fast Food
  • Furniture Stores
  • Ground Transportation
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Home Utilities
  • Movie Theaters
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • TV, Internet & Streaming

A big benefit of the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa card is the ability to choose your own bonus categories. So with a little planning, you can select categories that will maximize your earning.

Our Take

If you have one or more of these cards, it's always a good idea to register for the 5% category bonus—even if you aren't likely to reach the full spend to maximize your value. It takes a few seconds to activate your bonus and earning 5% back is much better than earning 1% back.

What do you think of the fourth quarter bonus categories? Let us know in the comments.

Time to Activate 5% Bonus Categories for Q4 2019
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