Maximizing Your Citi / Chase 5% Cash Back Cards

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For those of you that have the Citi Dividend Platinum Card that gives you 5% cash back for supermarkets, drugstores, and gas stations – be sure to use them to their fullest.

1) Gift Cards – Don’t buy at the retail store, try to buy them at the supermarket and earn yourself 5% cash back! (They can’t tell the difference, a purchase is a purchase) Safeway is my favorite, they have a great selection which includes AMC Theatres, REI, Barnes & Noble, Bed Bath and Beyond, Blockbuster, Chili?s, SpaWish, Circuit City, Starbucks, CompUSA, Home Depot, Toy’s R Us, Old Navy, and more! [Full list]

2) Super Targets – Reportedly, people have had Super Targets treat all purchases as a grocery purchase! That means even if you buy a $500 LCD TV or other toys, they’ll give you 5% cash back! If you have a Super Target nearby, that is an awesome deal. I would try it out for a month first and see if it shows up as 5% back on your next statement.

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  1. Well, if you remember me commenting and asking about a FICO needed for the Chase Rewards VISA card, I’m reporting back. I had a 630, and I GOT IT!! I’m really excited about this. =) Thanks for all of the tips!

    I don’t have a Safeway around where I live, any idea if you get 5% for purchasing online through the Safeway site?


  2. JD – Cool! Your info may help other people in the same score situation, as this card also has no annual fee and is not secured.

    I think Safeway only delivers in their local areas with their own trucks, so if you are not in a delivery area, probably not.

    Try all your local drugstores – CVS, Walgreens, etc. Most of them now sell gift cards to other stores.

  3. i tried buying a gift card from vons in so cal, and they told me that i couldn’t purchase the gift card with a cc. i had to pay cash….what’s up with that?!

  4. Really? Did you mix it in with some groceries? That’s really strange. No Von’s around here for me to try. SoCal has Safeway too, right? My Safeway even accepts American Express now.

  5. They may not accept CC’s for a GC because of the CC processing fee. Most likely they are paid a consignment or commission on each GC sold. If they then have to pay the CC company to process the transaction it would defeat the purpose of selling something on commish/consign.
    Just a thought…not sure If I am right or wrong.

  6. Purchases made with my Citi plat dividend select at my super walmart and super target show as grocery purchases in the merchant category when i view my statement online. Of course I haven’t contact Citi regarding this. 🙂

  7. Hello,

    I was planning to apply for Citi Divident card. Before I do that, I want to know if their cashback has any levels like Discover card? I mean do they offer 1% for first $1000 purchases, 2% for next $1000 and so on or they offer 5% for any purchases?


  8. Nope, there are no tiers for the Citi Dividend Card. It is a flat 5% back on gas, groceries, and drugstores and a flat 1% back on everything else. There is an annual maximum of $300 in cash back. If you need to get around that, I’d look into the Chase card. Hope that helps!

  9. That helps! Thanks a lot for prompt reply.

    BTW, I love your BLOG and try to read as much as I can. Is there any easy way to know what topics received new comments? Right now, I have to manually check those topics again and see if there is new comment.

  10. Sorry, not right now. I could probably publish a comments RSS feed, but I haven’t looked into it how to do that yet. Something to think about though.

  11. I love this blog! I’ve become a daily reader.

    Once I am sure that we aren’t going to need to apply for an auto loan to get a ‘new’ car for my wife, I plan on taking advantage of some of the 0% BT cards from another thread (the Citi Platinum and the Discover), as well as apply for some of these reward cards (the Citi Professional card for the 3% restaurant cash back and Chase Cash Plus). I have three questions about this –
    1) Is there a way to see if certain stores qualify as “grocery” stores (e.g. Meijer)
    2) Will the likelihood of getting approved and getting a relatively high limit be increased if I apply for them all at the same time, or is this probably too much to apply for all at once?
    3) I currently have one Chase and one Citi credit card that would become obsolete for me with these new ones, so would it be possible to call and ask them to just switch the type of card to get these improved cash back benefits or maybe transfer the limit on the old ones to the new ones?

  12. no, i didn’t purchase the gift card with groceries. and i’m not sure if safeway is in so cal anymore…wish there were now. great site!

  13. 1) I’m not familiar with Meijer, I usually just buy something and check out my statement the month after. Check out jmw’s comment above, he got SuperWalmart to work on his Citi card (lucky!), and I did not. You could call Citi/Chase, but I wouldn’t put too much weight on what those reps say.

    2) Apply for them all at once on the same business day.

    3) Card-type transfers, maybe – call and ask! Worst thing they can say is no. Limit transfers, very likely. Ask too.

  14. To Daniel:

    VON’s has been owned by Safeway for some time. So you can get them at VON’S in S. California.

  15. thanks mc for the info…….hmm, then maybe i’d have to mix it in with groceries. other than that, or the fact that the checker may have lied, it didn’t work for me. thanks for the update.

  16. Things I’ve learned about the Citibank card…..
    Not all grocery store and gas stations will give you 5% back. I checked a recent statement and noticed my $350 purchase at Safeway and my gas purchases at Citgo and Wawa were not receiving the 5% back. I called customer service and asked. They said that it depends on how the sore has there card readers programed. If it’s programmed as a stand alone store than you get 5% back if not than you only get 1%. He said you should be able to ask the store manager about how the readers are coded. Then he went on to tell me he had never heard of Safeway…..

  17. Well, guys, the fun ride is over. I just got a letter from Citibank stating that effective 10/13/2006, you will no longer get 5% cashback on these purchase but a measly 2%….I guess they lost too much money!

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