Many people scoff at cash back rewards. They reason that it’s hardly worth the effort to earn just one or even 2 percent cash back on your purchases. But once you raise that number to 5 percent, you’ll find that it gets nearly everyone’s attention.

This 2019 holiday season, you have the opportunity to earn 5 percent cash back at some of the biggest names in retail including Walmart.com, Amazon.com, and Target. Plus also a list of department stores that includes Macy’s, Kohls, Saks Fifth Avenue, JC Penney, Neiman Marcus, and Bloomingdales.

It’s as good as it sounds. Read on!

How these offers work

Two of the top cash back credit cards have nearly identical formulas for earning bonus rewards. The Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® Cash Back card both offer 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at featured retailers and merchant categories.  Activation each quarter is required.

If you were to spend the entire $1,500 eligible for the bonus cash back, you’d earn $75 in rewards in just three months.

Discover it® Cash Back

Like the Chase Freedom®, the Discover it® Cash Back card lets you earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on eligible purchases, and 1 percent cash back elsewhere, when you enroll each quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2019 (October – December) the featured merchants are Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com.

And after one year, Discover will automatically match the cash back that you’ve earned in your first year as a card member.

This card currently offers new applicants  of  APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers.  The ongoing APR after the intro APR expires is .  This Discover it® card includes benefits such as free security alerts when a new account is opened in your name, or if your Social Security number is found on a risky website.

There’s  annual fee for this card, no penalty interest rate and no foreign transaction fees.

Get up to 5 percent cash back today by signing up for the Discover it® Cash Back!

The Chase Freedom®

The Chase Freedom® offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at featured merchants and merchant categories when you activate, and 1 percent cash back elsewhere.

And with the holiday season upon us, the bonus category for the current quarter – October, November, and December –  is department stores and purchases made using Paypal or Chase Pay.

The department stores that are included are:

  • Aliexpress
  • Beall’s of Florida
  • Belk
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bergners
  • Bloomingdales
  • Boscov’s Department Store
  • Boston Store
  • Dillards
  • Goody’s
  • Gordmans
  • JC Penney
  • Kohls
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
  • Peebles Dept Store
  • Saks Fifth Ave & Off Fifth
  • Sears
  • Stage Stores
  • Stein Mart
  • The Bon Ton
  • Von Maur
  • Younkers

New applicants can receive a $150 bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening. New accounts also receive  and , with a balance transfer fee of 

In addition, this card comes with a purchase protection policy that covers new items for 120 days against accidental damage or theft, and an extended warranty plan that adds an additional year of coverage to eligible purchases. There’s  annual fee for this card, but it does have a 3 percent foreign transaction fee.

Learn more about the Chase Freedom® now!

How to use these offers

These cards are a great way to earn some extra cash back over the holidays, but only if you use them correctly. The most important thing is to never to make unnecessary purchases just to earn additional rewards.

Even when you earn 5 percent cash back, you’re just wasting 95 percent of your money when you buy something just to earn rewards. So if you weren’t going to be making purchases at an eligible store, don’t get one of these cards just to do so.

Another rule of smart reward card use is to always avoid interest charges. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay your statement balance in full to avoid interest, but both of these cards offer 0 percent APR financing on new purchases. These are valuable offers, but you should still not spend more than you can easily pay off before the interest free promotional financing offers expire.

Also, both of these cards require you to “activate” the bonus categories by logging into your account online. This is quick and easy to do, but you still have to remember to do it. Thankfully, you can earn rewards retroactively so long as you activate your bonus categories anytime through the quarter.

Summary

These are both great cards that allow you to earn excellent rates of cash back at some of the largest merchants in the country. By examining both of these offers, you can choose the best one for your needs this holiday season.

Read more

  • The Surprising Reward Power Of A 5% Cash Back ‘Rotating Category’ Credit Card
  • When Optimized, Credit Card Rewards Can Earn You $1,000 Or More A Year