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Hosting a hot-dog-eating contest and treating all the participants to an Uber ride home would be one way to maximize the Chase Freedom® and some Discover cards in Q2 2019.
But with such a wide range of common summertime spending covered this quarter, you can probably find a less messy way to save.
From March 31 through June 30, 2019, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly spending on eligible bonus categories with the following cards when you activate (all other purchases earn 1% back):
Chase Freedom®: Grocery and home improvement stores.
Discover it® Cash Back: Gas stations, Uber and Lyft.
Here's how to optimize those categories.
Fix up your home, inside and out
Spruce up your garden, refill your grill’s propane tank, tackle a painting project and hang up some shelving. Home improvement stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s even have small kitchen items like dish racks and paper towel holders. Think beyond Bed Bath & Beyond this quarter to get 5% cash back on many of the same household items.
Get ready for a move
With the kids in between grades at school, summer is a popular time to move. Home improvement stores stock boxes of all shapes and sizes for a reasonable price, along with bubble wrap and packing tape. You can even get box inserts that help you protect wine bottles (priorities!).
Institute a cook-at-home challenge
Dining in is usually more cost-effective than going out, and getting 5% cash back at grocery stores makes it that much better for your budget. Spend time this quarter trying new recipes and getting inventive with your leftovers. With any luck, you’ll end up with a household budget surplus and the know-how to cook more often in the future.
Stock up on seasonal essentials
The seasonal aisle at your local grocery store is a gem. Beach chairs, coolers, inflatable pool toys, sunscreen — if you need last-minute items for a weekend away, it’s all there.
Keep an eye out for gift cards
Aside from stuffing your cart with foodstuffs, you can also browse your grocer's gift card rack for retailers you're planning to spend money with anyway. Using your Chase Freedom® for a gift card purchase inside a grocery store will also count toward the bonus.
Discover it® Cash Back
Get your kicks on Route 66
Head out on the open highway and leave the three-ounce bottles of toiletries at home for your next flight. According to the AAA Travel survey, about half of families who are traveling this year plan to take a road trip. Save money at every pit stop when you fill your tank or stock up on snacks at gas stations.
Again, keep an eye out for gift cards
Many gas station convenience stores have gift card racks, too. So aside from topping off your tank, you can also browse those racks for your favorite brands and earn bonus cash back that way.
Getting behind the wheel after a long, hot afternoon at a beer garden is never a good idea. Leave your car where it is and get home safely in an Uber or Lyft. Earning credit card rewards shouldn’t be the only reason to avoid driving under the influence, but anything that incentivizes responsible behavior is a good idea.
Don't forget the sign-up bonuses
New Chase Freedom® cardholders earn this sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Meanwhile, INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.