Maximize Your 2019 Q2 Rotating Categories (+ Free Reminder Tools) | Earn 5% on Select Bonus Spend!


Hey, how’s it going everyone? It’s Ernest from Trip Astute. In this video, we’re covering the 2019 second
quarter bonus categories for the Chase Freedom, Discover It, US Bank Cash Plus, and Citi Dividend
card. (light chiming music) It’s crazy that we’re already in the second
quarter of 2019. This year seems to be moving really quickly! With the new quarter comes time to review
our new rotating bonus categories for some of our favorite cards. Also, we’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 first quarter bonus categories of gas stations, drug stores, and tolls. Starting in April, you’ll earn 5% on grocery
stores and home improvement stores. The 5% bonus applies for up to $1500 of qualified
spending. Keep in mind that the grocery store bonus
category does not include Walmart and Target purchases. This is because those stores typically do
not code as grocery stores. This also applies to places like Costco and
Sam’s Club, which generally code as wholesale clubs. It can definitely be tricky, so be careful. The basic rule of thumb is that if the store
primarily sells groceries, then it’s likely going to code correctly for the category. In my experience, this includes most large
supermarkets and even some smaller independent markets. For the home improvement category, the same
rules apply. Charges at a home improvement store, like
Home Depot, Lowes, or Ace Hardware, should charge correctly. However, if you’re buying landscaping supplies
at Costco or Walmart, it unlikely that the charge will code correctly. Chase actually says that merchants that specialize
in home furnishings, garden, and landscaping supplies are not included. I’m actually excited about the grocery
category since it’s one that I’ll likely be able to maximize. The first quarter Freedom bonus category of
gas was nice, but I definitely didn’t maximize it, mostly since I don’t drive as much as
before, and I have a hybrid car. But since I’ve been working from home, my
grocery bills have gone up, so I’m happy to put the charge on my Freedom card in order
to earn the extra Ultimate Rewards points. The Chase Freedom is 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 Rewards 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 about 7.5% with this card since I value Chase UR points at 1.5 cents each. For the Discover It card, we’re ending the
first quarter with the bonus category of grocery stores. Starting in April, you’ll earn 5% on purchases
at gas stations and on ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft. Like the Chase Freedom card, the bonus is
valid for up to $1500 of qualified spending. For gas stations, keep in mind that the bonus
only applies to standalone gas stations. Fuel purchases from other stores like Costco,
Sam’s Club, or Walmart do not count toward the 5% bonus. For the Uber and Lyft bonus category, be aware
that food delivery services such as Uber Eats do not qualify for the bonus. It’s a bit disappointing to me since I’m
probably more likely to use Uber Eats over Uber. I’ve had my Discover It card since 2009. It’s a solid card, but to be honest, it’s
secondary to 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 card set-up and strategy,
you might find more value in earning cash back. For the US Bank Cash Plus card, there is a
slight change in the bonus categories. The car rentals category has been replaced
with a new category, which is TV, Internet, and Streaming Services. 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 cash back. 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 actually
used the 5% category this past quarter at my gym and at Ikea since we needed to buy
some new furniture. It’s a cool card that helps me to earn a
bonus on my daily spend where I normally wouldn’t earn a bonus. As you all know, I try to earn a bonus on as much of my daily spend as possible, so this card helps me with that goal. Lastly, Citi Dividend users are ending the
first quarter bonus categories on purchases from gas stations and The Home Depot, and
for second quarter of 2019, will be receiving 5% at drug stores and fitness club. 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. Those of you that have been watching my channel
for a while might be wondering how I got ahold of a Citi Dividend card, especially since
it’s not available on the Citi website. Well, when I was doing my “What Credit Cards
are in my Wallet” video in December, I mentioned that I wasn’t using my Citi Double Cash. So I decided to convert it to the Citi Dividend
Card. I figured I could get more use from it as
a 5% rotating bonus card rather than the 2% flat rate that I would get from the Citi Double Cash. That’s mostly because I use my Freedom Unlimited
or Ink Business Unlimited for my non-bonus spend. Both earn 1.5%, which is less than the Double
Cash, but since I value Chase Ultimate Rewards points at 1.5 cents per point, I’m getting
an adjusted earning rate of 2.25%. For more information on point valuations and
how to calculate an adjusted earning rate, check out our video on the topic. 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 reminder sheets,
and our smartphone lock screens that I started creating last quarter. 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. I’d love to invest in some sort of web app
in the future that allows you to customize your background. But for now, I’ll be rotating the backgrounds
based on the seasons. 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 direct link in the video
description. As a reminder, make sure you log-in and activate
the bonus for these cards. While you can wait until June 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 March 2019, the Chase Freedom and US
Bank Cash Plus have a welcome offer of $150 and Discover is offering a cashback
match for an entire year, so it’s pretty lucrative. And if you’re wondering about the Citi Dividend
card, as I mentioned earlier, it’s no longer available for new applicants. Though you can get it through a product change
from another Citi card, as I did from my Citi Double Cash. Also, I wanted to do a quick plug for our
free card consultation service. As of this video, we’ve done more than 50
consultations. I really appreciate everyone signing up and
taking the time to fill out the questionnaire. I’ve enjoyed the sessions, and it’s really 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 us 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.

12 thoughts on “Maximize Your 2019 Q2 Rotating Categories (+ Free Reminder Tools) | Earn 5% on Select Bonus Spend!

  • What do you all think of the new rotating bonus categories this quarter? I know I'm excited about the groceries category! đŸ€“

  • Hi, I'm interested in getting the u.s. bank Cash Plus credit card but I heard that it's difficult to get,can u let me know the process you went through how many inquiries/credit score thanks

  • Credit card rewards are good but it better than nothing. The rewards that benefits everyone are groceries and gas. Great tips. Keep up the great work.

  • Hi Earnest, I love your channel and videos. I couldn't max out on Freedom gas category this quarter as both me and my wife have hybrid cars. Only category I can max out is Warehouse 😁

  • I was really hoping that Chase pay would be included with the Chase Freedom bonus categories to make maximizing the quarter much easier. My parents picked a good time to have a broken door which will need to be fixed and paid for by the Q2 Chase Freedom card for Home Improvement stores. I have maxed out 5 quarters in a row for Chase Freedom and hope to continue the streak.

  • Excited for both Freedom categories. Home Depot will work well for our landscaping projects and everyone buys groceries.

  • Hi, Earnest.  I think the 1.5 cents to point valuation you gave at 2:35 for Ultimate Rewards points is the absolute floor (unless you redeem for cash, but I won't even entertain that idea any further!).  I try my best to be aggressive with UR redemptions via transfer partners (and I know you do too).  I've gotten as high as 3.4 ccp!!!  But fair choice to value them at 1.5ccp.  That should be everyone's base redemption if they have a CSR.

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