Maximize the 2019 4th Quarter 5% Categories | Chase Freedom, Discover, US Bank Cash+ & Citi Dividend


Rotating bonus category cards are an easy
way to earn points or cash back. Though they do require some effort 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 fourth
quarter bonus categories for the Chase Freedom, Discover It, US Bank Cash Plus, and Citi Dividend
card. I usually do these videos a few weeks before
the new quarter begins, but as many of you know, Fiona and I just got married and went
on a two-week honeymoon to visit six national parks. We had an incredible time, and I can’t wait
to share our experience at each national park. Now that we’re back, it’s time to get
back on schedule. I wanted to make sure to review our new rotating
bonus categories for some of our favorite cash back 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 third quarter bonus categories of gas stations and streaming services. Starting this quarter, you’ll earn 5% on
Department stores, PayPal, and Chase Pay. The 5% bonus applies for up to $1500 of qualified
spending. While I was initially disappointed by Chase’s
offerings this quarter, I do really like the PayPal bonus category. Since my Discover Card had PayPal as a bonus
category last quarter, I was surprised at how easy it was to maximize the bonus when
paying different online retailers. Also, if you look at the fine print, it doesn’t
exclude PayPal transfers to family and friends. While you’ll pay around 3% to do a peer-to-peer
transfer via PayPal, you’ll still come ahead since you’re getting 5% back. Also, for those of you that pay monthly or
quarterly taxes like I do, you might consider using your Chase Freedom to make the payments
as well. Like peer-to-peer transfers, you’ll pay
a processing fee, but you should come out ahead with the 5% bonus. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that
Chase is still trying to promote Chase Pay, especially since they announced that it is
going to be discontinued in early 2020. As many of you know, I’ve never been a big
fan of Chase Pay. It’s always felt a bit clunky and confusing
to use. I’m not surprised that Chase is moving away
from it. I just wished they would include mobile payments
as a bonus category instead. That being said, I’ve heard that using Chase
Pay for gas purchases at Shell stations is a seamless process. Despite these minor gripes, 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
third quarter with the bonus category of restaurants and PayPal. Starting this quarter, you’ll earn 5% on
purchases from Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com. Like the Chase Freedom card, the bonus is
valid for up to $1500 of qualified spending. I feel like Discover is ending the year with
a very strong set of bonus categories. With the holiday season around the corner,
I’m fairly certain that I’ll be able to maximize these categories. Keep in mind that the bonus covers both in-store
and online purchases from Target. For Walmart purchases, it includes those made
at Walmart.com and when shopping through the Walmart app. The fine print says that Grocery Pick Up and
Instore Pick Up are also included. For those of you that also buy groceries from
Walmart, this could be a great way to maximize the category if you don’t anticipate spending
$1500 at Amazon or Target. The Discover It is a solid cash back card. I’ve had mine since 2009. While I 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 are
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. The card also includes some unique and rare
bonus categories like home utilities and gym memberships. 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 gyms
and ground transportation. 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
third quarter bonus category on airlines and car rental purchases, and for the fourth quarter
of 2019, will be receiving 5% at Best Buy and Department Stores. 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 open 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 December 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 October 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 150
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.

8 thoughts on “Maximize the 2019 4th Quarter 5% Categories | Chase Freedom, Discover, US Bank Cash+ & Citi Dividend

  • What are your thoughts on the rotating bonus categories this quarter? Are you excited or disappointed by them? Anyone else hoping that Chase will sneak in an Amazon.com bonus category in December? 🤓

  • I missed you guys!!! The PayPal is such a good thing for chase freedom!!! My wife can use PayPal all the time

  • I was scared you weren’t going to do your quarterly bonus cheat sheets. You made my day. I depend on these every quarter. Thank you and congratulations!

  • Congratulations to both of you I reviewed your video today I do in fact have both chase freedom and chase Fredonia unlimited they are really good cards for all rewards thank you for sharing

  • If you have a Samsung phone you can link Chase Pay with Samsung Pay and earn the bonus anywhere that accepts mobile wallet payments

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