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
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.)
- Walmart – useful option for Walmart purchases.
Tip: Click this link (login required) to check how far you are along the $1,500.
Discover – Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com
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.
Citi Dividend – Restaurants, Best Buy
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
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
- 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
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
- 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
Nusenda FCU – Restaurants, Hotels, Airfare
- Earn 5% this quarter on up to $1,500 in purchases at restaurants, hotels, and airfare.
Affinity FCU – Add me
- Earn 5% this quarter on purchases at ADD ME 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.
Vantage West [AZ] – Select your Category
Get 5x points on the category of your choice, up to $1,500 per quarter. Eligible categories:
- 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