How to Optimize Chase Freedom, Discover it for Q4 2019

As the holiday shopping season ramps up, avoid the crowds and hone in on ways to pay online.
Sara RathnerOct 2, 2019
How to Optimize Chase Freedom, Discover it for Q4 2019

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As your end-of-year spending ramps up, carefully choosing the right combination of credit cards and retailers can bring you extra holiday cheer.

With the and select Discover cards like the , you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined spending upon activation of the following categories during the fourth quarter of 2019 (and 1% after that):

So stock up on Halloween candy, Black Friday deals and gifts for everyone on your list — and apply the extra cash back toward a little something for yourself. Here’s how to maximize this quarter’s bonus categories.

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With three big retailers to choose from, Discover’s 5% bonus categories give shoppers ultimate flexibility. Between Halloween candy and holiday decorating and hosting, you’re bound to earn a high cash-back rate on much of your seasonal spending.

There’s no need to brave crowded parking lots and long checkout lines. Cross items off your shopping list with a click of the mouse or a tap of the finger by using your Discover card on Amazon.com, Target.com or the Target app, and Walmart.com or the Walmart app. Keep in mind that Walmart.com and Target.com only offer free two-day shipping on purchases of $35 or more.

Of course, if you prefer to shop the old-fashioned way, take your Discover card to Target. That’s the only physical retailer that will earn you 5% back on in-store purchases this quarter.

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Groceries can eat up a sizable portion of the monthly budget, and the time it takes to procure those groceries isn’t insignificant. But this quarter, if you think beyond the traditional food-shopping experience, your Discover card can double as a grocery card.

Walmart.com purchases include Grocery Pick-Up. Simply create a Walmart.com account if you haven’t yet, select a Walmart store location and choose a pick-up time. From there, you can fill a virtual cart and swing by at your convenience to grab your groceries. to find out if the service is available in your area.

You can also earn 5% cash back on AmazonFresh orders, which offers grocery delivery if you live in one of the select cities where AmazonFresh is available.

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Department stores, Chase Pay and PayPal are tough to maximize compared with Discover’s extremely accommodating combination of bonus categories, but you can still get creative.

Millennials may be killing department stores, but perhaps it's the season to rediscover the holiday shopping habits of our ancestors. Seasonal sales are a great time to load up on stocking stuffers like hats and scarves. And don’t forget gift cards, the present that always fits.

Those gift cards must be purchased in-store to qualify for 5% back, but otherwise, online department store purchases earn 5% cash back, too. So don't feel as if you have to stroll around a mall as you did in your teens.

Anyone in search of a good deal should note that discount stores like T.J. Maxx are not included on , but Nordstrom Rack and Saks Off Fifth are included.

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Knowing where Chase Pay and PayPal are accepted helps give you the chance to earn 5% cash back at a wide variety of retailers. When linked with Chase Pay and PayPal, your can become your dedicated fourth-quarter card for travel, gas, electronics and more.

Haven’t used Chase Pay before? Download the app and sign in with your online credentials, and your eligible Chase cards will automatically connect to your account. Choose your for all purchases. Note that the Chase Pay app is shutting down in early 2020. Once that happens, you can no longer use it through Samsung Pay and won’t be able to use the app in-store at retailers. But you’ll still be able to use Chase Pay online through merchants that include it as a payment option at checkout.

If you haven't already, make sure to add your to your PayPal account and make it your default payment method.

You must activate these 5% cash back bonus categories for both the and eligible Discover cards.

New cardholders can earn this sign-up bonus: .

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