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Three popular cards feature quarterly bonus categories – The Discover IT card, the Chase Freedom card, and the Citi Dividend card. Each of these cards offer 5% cash back (10% with Discover in year 1) on up to $1,500 spent on a category of purchases. These categories rotate quarterly, and today is the final day of the third quarter of 2016.
Discover IT – 3Q Category: Amazon
I’ll start here, because this is the easiest category to “top off.” If you’re a first-year Discover IT card holder, you will be earning 10% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Amazon during the third quarter AND the fourth quarter. If you haven’t quite gotten to your $1,500 this quarter, you can buy Amazon gift cards. I consider these gift cards to be “cash equivalents,” since we shop on Amazon so much. Go ahead and reload your gift card balance and lock in the third quarter savings! Then you can do it again during the fourth quarter… taking up to $300 off the sting of Christmas shopping!
Chase Freedom – 3Q Category: Restaurants & Warehouse Clubs
This category should be pretty easy to maximize as well. You can buy gift cards at Sam’s or Costco if you’re a member. You can also head over to your favorite restaurant and stock up on gift cards… $1,500 in Chick-fil-a gift cards?! Sign me up! The great thing about the Chase Freedom card is that it earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. If you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve (see top banner), you can redeem these points for travel at a rate of 1.25-1.5 cents-per-point, respectively. You can also transfer the points to Airlines for sweet redemptions like Hawaii or Ireland!
Citi Dividend – 3Q Category: Hilton Hotels and Rental Cars
This one will be tough to squeeze out at the last-minute. If you’re currently staying at a Hilton, and you have this card, you may be able to request to pay early. Otherwise, go rent a Lamborghini for the day 🙂