5% Cash Back Cards: PayPal, Amazon, Target, and Automotive – October thru December 2019

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. Thank you for your support.

5percentbackActivation time for 4th Quarter! The credit cards below offer up to 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but it can add up to hundreds of dollars in additional rewards per year without changing your spending habits. You can also buy gift cards with the 5% back now but spend the gift cards later. New cardmembers may also get an upfront sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom VisaChase Freedom – $150 Bonus

From October 1st through December 31st, 2019 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Department Stores
  • Purchases made with PayPal. Many online stores take PayPal as a checkout option, including eBay. You can also pay your taxes online with PayPal and still make money after the 1.96% fee with PayUSATax.
  • Purchases made with Chase Pay

Enroll each quarter at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by the end of the quarter the rewards are retroactive. All other purchases earn 1% back, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. Technically, you earn Ultimate Rewards points which can also be converted to airline miles or hotel points instead of cash if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Currently, the Chase Freedom card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in purchases in your first three months. No annual fee.

Discover it 14 ImageDiscover it Card

From October 1st through December 31st, 2019 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Amazon.com
  • Target (both in-store and online)
  • Walmart.com (Walmart.com and via Walmart app if you pick Grocery Pick Up or Instart Pickup.)

Enroll after logging into your online account (look on the right-hand side). 5% rewards won’t apply until after you activate your rewards, so it is best to activate now before you forget. No annual fee.

New cardmember bonus details. If you are a new applicant and sign up via my Discover Card referral link, you will get a $50 Cashback Bonus after your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. You will also get Cashback Match for an entire year – a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. During those 12 months, your $50 Cashback Bonus becomes $100, your 5% cash back rewards becomes 10% cash back, and your 1% cash back rewards become 2% cash back. You can verify this on the application by clicking on “See rates, rewards and other info” and searching for this text:

Cashback MatchTM: : No purchase minimums. After the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open, we will match all of the cash back rewards you’ve earned and apply them to your account in the following one or two billing periods. If your account is closed or no longer in the cash back reward program at the time we calculate your potential award, your cash back will not be matched. You’ve earned cash back rewards when they have posted to your account by the end of the 12th consecutive billing period. This promotional offer may not be offered in the future. This exclusive offer is available only to new cardmembers.

TERMS OF CASHBACK BONUS OFFER: Get a $50 Cashback Bonus after you make your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. Promotional award will be applied within 8 weeks. The promotional award is in addition to the Cashback Bonus earned on all purchases.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card – $150 Statement Credit Offer

From October 1st through December 31st, 2019 you can earn 5X rewards on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Automotive, including qualifying qualifying automotive parts, service and repair purchases. They list the eligible MCC codes, including those of Auto dealers, Service shops, Auto parts, and Tire stores.

You must register each quarter at ABOCRewards.com or in your online account. Currently, the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard is offering a $150 statement credit if you sign up and make $1,200 in purchases in your first 90 days. No foreign transaction fees. No annual fee.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. You get to choose the two 5% cash back categories every quarter, out of a preset selection of specific categories:

  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Home Utilities
  • Ground Transportation
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters
  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services

Unfortunately, you can’t pick a broad category like gas stations, restaurants, or grocery stores. Make sure to choose your categories each quarter, even if you want them to stay the same. If you do not choose your categories, all purchases revert to only earning 1% cash back for that quarter.

Currently, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in eligible net purchases in your first 90 days. No annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. This card earns 6% cash back at US supermarkets all year long (on up to $6,000 per year) and. 3% cash back at US gas stations. New: 3% cash back on transit and 6% cash back on Netflix/Spotify/Hulu. I use this card all year long for groceries, and then in December use up the $6k annual limit on gift cards bought in the supermarket aisle. New cardholders are also eligible for a $250 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $95 annual fee. See details in link.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods all year long. Prime membership required. 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores (yawn… see below). New cardholder bonus varies by person. No annual fee.

Citi Dividend Card. This card is no longer available to new applicants, but if you still have the grandfathered card you can view and activate your quarterly 5% category here. Limit of $300 cash back for the calendar year.

Don’t settle for the “1% on everything else” that these cards offer. Get 2% cash back or higher. Check out the card-specific reviews for details.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.



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Comments

  1. The Chase/Apple pay option on the freedom card seems very useful. A lot of merchants across different categories like grocery, restaurants etc get covered in it.

    For discover, wholesale clubs like costco do not take anything but VISA, but costco.com allows discover as a payment option – though i am not sure if that would count toward the 5% cashback. It will be nice to know if someone has tried and knows. If it does, it could be worthwhile to buy costco cash cards online with discover and use them to pay in store for purchases and gas.

  2. Joshua Katt says:

    I just placed an online Costco order for a $100 card and will see if it triggers the 5% then possibly buy the rest of the 1500$. Although this defeats the 2% back from the Costco Visa card. A smarter strategy might be to use this exclusively for gas then buy gift cards at the end of the quarter for the balance.

    • Immigrant in CA says:

      Actually it doesn’t have to defeat the purpose. You can get real cash from Costco in exchange for those gift cards. They might not do all $1500 at one time but $100 at a time I have done that.

      • Joshua Katt says:

        Thanks! I think I’ll do 15 x $100 and liquidate 1 per week, I’m always there.

        • Immigrant in CA says:

          Congratulations on becoming a money launderer 🙂

          • Joshua Katt says:

            In case anyone still listening, my Costco is doing away with this by year end (but getting conflicting stories about in effect now.) I agree the above is money laundering but we often get gift card as rebates from promoted merchants (floor install) and refunds and prefer the cash.

  3. Joshua Katt says:

    FWIW, I emailed Discover and they confirmed the 5% works at costco & bj’s online – so no fee, no shipping gift cards from either should work. Got my $100 costco card. Easily will blow 1500 per Q between the 2 so a no hassle way to max out without keeping track of purchases.

  4. Why no mention of the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
    – 3% cash back in year one & 2.5% cash back after
    https://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/visa-signature-card#features

  5. Jared L Ross says:

    Does the chase Costco 5% work at Costco for Gas?

  6. The Frugal Millionaire says:

    I got an offer in Feb. for 5% cash back on any utility or insurance payment made with my Amazon Prime Visa card. I prepaid a few months of electric bills to make sure it worked, and it did. I plan on prepaying all of my utilities and insurance policies before this crazy offer expires. Talk about things you’re going to be buying anyway…
    P.S.~~~My gas company charges $2.95 for a credit card payment, with a $1500 limit, so at 5% you’re spending $2.95 to make $75. Some utilities do charge, but you can still easily make money by making a big enough payment. Folks who read this blog are bright enough to do the math.

  7. Talking about expenses/spending, Jonathan what are your expenses like ? Also, if anyone would like to share.

    I’m looking for ways to reduce.

    Expenses

    Home Expenses Jan

    Home Insurance $67.00
    Maintenance
    Property Taxes $233.00
    Other
    Total $718.00

    Transportation Jan
    Car Payments
    License & Registration
    Car Insurance $146.00
    Fuel $202.00
    Maintenance
    Bus/Transit Pass
    Taxi & Ride Shares
    Other

    Total $348.00

    Utilities Jan
    Electricity $250.00
    Gas/Heating Oil
    Cell Phones $60.00
    Garbage $35.00
    Internet $35.00
    Television
    Water $90.00
    Other
    Total $470.00

    About $1,200 for everyday expenses. Taxes are spread out over a year.

  8. I know I can shop online using Paypal and point it to the Discover Card to get the Q3 2019 cashback. I was googling around trying to figure out if there’s some way to pay with Discover on Paypal at physical stores, and what I found was confusing. I *think* they used to offer this feature on both iPhone and Android but now only Android, is that right? And I know you can add Paypal to Apple Pay, but will that charge to the Discover card getting you your cashback, or will it charge your bank account? Anybody familiar with this?

  9. I don’t see the option to use PayPal for pay1040.com (Chase Freedom, 4th quarter, 2019)

  10. I think the dates for the Amalgamated 5x offer is wrong … just sayin’

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