Maximize the 2019 3rd Quarter 5% Categories | Chase Freedom, Discover, US Bank Cash+ & Citi Dividend


Rotating bonus category cards are a great
way to earn points or cash back. They do require some work since you have to
remember the new categories every quarter. However, the payoff can be lucrative. Hey, how’s it going everyone? It’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, we’re covering the 2019 third
quarter bonus categories for the Chase Freedom, Discover It, US Bank Cash Plus, and Citi Dividend
card. I know I say it every quarter, but the year
is flying by! This has been an important year for me as
well. I started a new job in May, turned 40 years
old last week, am getting married in September. So, with the new quarter comes time to review
our new rotating bonus categories for some of our favorite cards. Also, as always, I’ve got some free tools
on our website that you can use to help you remember the new bonus categories. But first, if you’re new here, welcome to
our channel. Trip Astute is a travel channel that is focused
on sharing ways to make travel easier, affordable, and more enjoyable. Traveling can be stressful and expensive,
so we’re looking for ways to help you maximize your experience through travel tips, points
and miles, and innovative gear. If that sounds interesting to you, please
consider subscribing. For the Chase Freedom card, we’re ending
the second quarter bonus categories of grocery stores and home improvement stores. Starting in July, you’ll earn 5% on gas
stations and streaming services. The 5% bonus applies for up to $1500 of qualified
spending. For gas stations, Chase defines it as places
that sell automotive gasoline that can be paid for either at the pump or inside the
station. In the past, they have excluded places like
Costco and Sam’s Club. However, as long as it codes as gas, you should
be ok. I’ve noticed that Costco Gas does earn a
bonus on my Ink Business Cash card, so I’m assuming that it will work for the Freedom
card too. For streaming services, you are limited to
Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, and Spotify. That’s still a great list. Though, I was hoping that HBO Now would be
included as well. Maybe next time! While I’m going to miss the grocery bonus
category from quarter two, the Chase Freedom remains one of my favorite cards. I’ve had this card since 2012, and I consider
it a workhorse in my wallet. It might look like any other 5% rotating bonus
card, but if you value Chase Ultimate Reward points at more than one cent, as I do, you’ll
be earning a lot of value with this card. In fact, I would argue that I earn an adjusted
rate of 7.5% with this card since I value Chase UR points at 1.5 cents. For more information on how I measure point
values and adjusted earning rates, check out our video on the topic. For the Discover It card, we’re ending the
second quarter with the bonus category of gas stations and ride-sharing services. Starting in July, you’ll earn 5% on purchases
at restaurants and on PayPal. Like the Chase Freedom card, the bonus is
valid for up to $1500 of qualified spending. Restaurants is a great category and one that
will be useful for a lot of people. The PayPal category is an interesting one
too. I wasn’t sure if there were strict conditions
on it, but when I look at the fine print, it says that sending money to friends and
family members count toward the bonus. Since PayPal seems to charge 2.9% on peer-to-peer
transfers, it might be worthwhile to use. Though, when I tested it, I was getting inconsistent
rates higher than 3%, so just be careful of the fees. You’ll probably still be ahead since you’re
earning 5% on the card, but make sure you’re reviewing the fees before you make the payment
to be safe. The Discover It is a solid cash back card. I’ve had mine since 2009. While I still use it regularly, I still prefer
my Chase Freedom. This is mostly due to the fact that I prefer
to earn points over cash back. With points, I’m generally able to redeem
them for even more value. Though depending on your credit card set-up
and strategy, you might find more value in earning cash back. For the US Bank Cash Plus card, there no new
categories or changes this quarter. If you’re not familiar with the card, US
Bank allows you to pick your rotating 5% categories every quarter and also has 2% categories where
you can earn unlimited cashback. They even let you earn the 5% bonus on up
to $2000 of spend per quarter on the combined selected bonus categories, which is even better
than the Chase Freedom. I got this card late last year, and I’ve
used it as a backup for spending categories that aren’t covered by my Chase Freedom
or Discover It card. I also like that I can put my gym membership
on it and earn 5%. For this quarter, I’ve selected the same
categories as before which is gyms and department stores. Since I try to capture a bonus category on
as much of my spending as possible, this card helps me to get closer to that goal. Lastly, Citi Dividend users are ending the
second quarter bonus category on purchases at drug stores and fitness clubs, and for
the third quarter of 2019, will be receiving 5% on airlines and car rentals. While these are lucrative bonus categories,
it might still be worth charging your airline or rental purchases to a premium travel card
if you have one. That’s because you’re sacrificing some
of the travel protections and coverages found in premium travel cards in order to earn the
bonus. For example, I still would prefer to use my
Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred to book a rental car since I get primary car
rental coverage. In fact, the money that I would save from
opting out of the car rental insurance would likely offset the cash back I would earn from
the Citi Dividend card. And if I were to get into an accident, that
value proposition of the travel benefit becomes even more apparent. Keep in mind that the Citi Dividend card has
a yearly award bonus cap of $300 per calendar year, which means that you’re not as restricted
by a specific quarter’s bonus. You just need to track how much bonus you
earn over the entire calendar year. While the Citi Dividend card is not available
for new applicants, it is available through a product change from another Citi card. This is important to note since Citi seems
to have a more liberal policy when it comes to downgrading cards. For example, I’ve seen people report online
that they’ve been able to product change from co-branded Citi cards like the ones associated
with American Airlines and also their Thank You Rewards program cards. This means that if you have a Citi card that
you want to cancel, it might be worthwhile seeing if you can product change to the Citi
Dividend. It doesn’t have an annual fee, and you’ll
likely find a few categories every year that can earn you a bonus. Plus, you’ll eliminate the credit score
impact that would occur if you canceled the card. For example, I converted my Citi Double Cash
to it last year since I prefer to put my non-bonus spending on my Freedom Unlimited or Ink Business
Unlimited. Again, you might be wondering why I would
prefer to do that when those cards only earn 1.5% instead of 2% on the Double Cash. However, my adjusted earning rate is actually
higher using my Chase cards since I’m able to redeem at a higher value. I’ll include a link to the video in case
it’s quite clear why I earn more with my Chase cards. As always, we’ve put together some free
tools that you can download to help you remember these categories. We have our popular wallet-sized cheat sheet
and our smartphone lock screens. I’ve got a few variations of the lock screen
too in case you only want information for only one of the cards and not the others. And if you have any ideas for things that
might be helpful for you to remember, let me know. I’m always trying to find new ways to help
and provide some extra value. I know that it takes me a while before the
new categories get set in my brain. So if you’re like me and need a little reminder,
I’m hoping these tools come in handy. Just head over to our website and click on
Credit Cards, and then Free Credit Card Tools. I’ll also include a link in the video description
too. As a reminder, make sure you log-in and activate
the bonus for these cards. While you can wait until September 14th to
activate your Chase Freedom bonus category since Chase will award the points retroactively,
you’re better off doing it now before you forget. Unfortunately, Discover, US Bank, and Citi
won’t award you a bonus until you activate it, so do it now to avoid missing out. And in case you’re interested in applying
for any of these cards, I’ve included a link to our Credit Card offers page. Any sign-ups that go through our site or link
helps to support the channel, especially when it comes to buying new equipment and storage
for these videos. As of June 2019, the Chase Freedom and US
Bank Cash Plus are offering a $150 welcome bonus and Discover is offering a cashback
match for an entire year, so it’s pretty lucrative. Lastly, I wanted to do a quick plug for our
free card consultation service. As of this video, we’ve done more than 100
consultations. I really appreciate everyone signing up and
taking the time to fill out the questionnaire. I’ve enjoyed the sessions, and it’s helped
me to not only refine my recommendations but also inspired new topics for videos. If you’re interested in signing up, just
head over to our website or click on the link in the video description. You’ll get a 15-minute call with me and
a personalized report with my recommendation. What do you all think of the new quarterly
bonus categories? Are you excited or disappointed by them? Let me know in the comment section below. We hope you enjoyed this video and found it
useful. If so, please give us a thumbs up and consider
sharing our video with others. It really helps us to grow the channel and
our community. Until next time. Travel safe and travel smart.

29 thoughts on “Maximize the 2019 3rd Quarter 5% Categories | Chase Freedom, Discover, US Bank Cash+ & Citi Dividend

  1. Happy belated and congrats to you and Fiona!  Discover is going to get the most play from me in Q3 with restaurants.  Was hoping for restaurants on Freedom since I'd rather earn UR points than straight cash back, but oh well!  My strategy in Q3 is to either 1). Use the Discover It for restaurant spend until I hit $1,500 and switch to the CSR.  Or, 2) just send myself a payment for like $1456.00 (which would have a fee of $43.68 at 3%, totaling $1499.68).  The fee is offset by the $75.00 cash back and I can put all my restaurant spend on my CSR and earn UR points.  Decisions!

  2. Congratulations!! Since you are in the middle of the wedding planning process, it would really differentiate your channel if you can put together a video of how to maximize the spending for wedding?

  3. I used to want to get cash back credit cards but now that I look at UR and MR points, it yields over cash back as long as it doesn't devalued. But, the dividend and DC, it has threshold, I rather get a 1.5 where it has no min. That's just me tho.

  4. Man, a lot of people ask me when will I get married at age 26, my birthday is next month too lol. I know some people that are still in there 40's and not married, I guess everybody will have their time. Just don't rush it. Never too old for this credit game!

  5. Does the paypal to a friend count twords cash advance ? I pay my rent with paypal every month already anyways. (As freinds and family to my parents) it would be nice to get some cashback on that. Still in my first year so I will get the match again at the end of the year.

  6. with Discover bank I deposited my Payroll check and these guys have put three holds on that check because they said they want to make sure there is no fraud, then told me the would clear my chect in three weeks then hold 200 of that to make sure I'm still not committing fraud for a additional 5 days. I said call my company….it's a paroll check, they said we don't know me….WHAT !!

  7. What’s the best card for gas, groceries and dinning our? Also hot long should I wait to apply for a new cc? I just got the csp last month. Thx

  8. Question: when you converted your Citi DC to the Citi Dividend, did your cash back carry over or did you lose them?

  9. Is CBS all access subscription covered under Internet and Streaming Services? Only Netflix, Hulu, Sling, Vudu, FuboTV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify? Is CBS 5X or 1X UR point earning? Best Chase credit card for CBS? CF, CIC, CFU?

  10. If the new Freedom category includes Paypal, can you combine that with Chase Offers? i.e. Pay Sunbasket through paypal, receive the 5% back Qtrly Bonus and the 20% back through Offers?

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