Welcome to 2014. Let’s get some extra cash. For doing something we already do. If you have a Discover it, Chase Freedom or Citi Dividend credit card, there are new spending categories for the 1st quarter of 2014. To review, these cards offer 5% cash back on certain types of spending. All other spending gets you 1% back. The categories change every quarter and you have to sign up to get the deal. Last quarter they were all offering money back on places to buy gifts. This quarter the offers vary, so take a look and use accordingly.
Discover it – Restaurants and movies
Chase Freedom – Gas stations, movie theaters, Starbucks
Citi Dividend – Drug stores, Macy’s and fitness clubs
I learned something new about the Chase Freedom card sign-up at my December Talk Money Taste Wine event at D’vine Wines in Palatine (Check out my Join Me page to learn more about where I host money sessions). An attendee shared that they used their Chase Freedom card at a gas station and the video screen asked if they wanted to sign up for their 1st Quarter 5% bonus category. I thought that was a neat way to promote the card especially since one of the bonus categories is gas.
Make sure you read the fine print on the offers. There are restrictions on the amount of money you can earn and the types of places that offer these services. For example, using your card to buy prepared food at a grocery store food court is not considered a restaurant.
Finally, remember my advice on these cards. If you will not be paying off the balance in full each month, the extra cash back is not worth it. With interest rates around 20%, please only use these cards as a convenience to pay off when the bill is due.
I need to use up my Starbucks gift cards I got for Christmas before I can take advantage of the Chase Freedom offer for discounted Starbucks. After all free coffee is always better than 5% off. (Thanks to my Mom and Father-in-law for feeding our Starbucks addictions….)
Keep making your money feel better in the New Year.