How to Maximize the Citi Dividend 5x Categories in 2018

The Citi Dividend card is a cash back card that's available via product change, but it works differently than other cash back cards like the Discover It and U.S. Bank Cash+ card.

Instead of the qualifying purchase amount being capped off at $1,500 per quarter, the Citi Dividend card has a qualifying purchase amount of $6,000 for the year.

Citi Dividend:

  • $6,000 cap for 5% for the whole year, allocated to any quarter.
  • Example 1: 
    • Q1/Q2/Q4 = $0
    • Q3 = $6,000
  • Example 2:
    • Q1 = $2,000
    • Q2 = $2,000
    • Q3 = $500
    • Q4 = $1,500

The Citi Dividend card is no longer available to the public. You have to call in and request to product change an existing Citi card to the Citi Dividend.

You can view credit card offers by going to the "Credit Card Offers" tab. Find offers for the respective cards in "Cash Back Credit Cards." You don't have to use our links, but we're grateful when you do. Thank you for supporting AskSebby!

Citi Dividend 5% Cash Back Categories for 2018

To start earning 5% cash back on select categories, you must activate the offer each quarter. It's important to note that even though Citi lets you activate the 5% cash back in advance, you won't start earning the 5% cash back until the start of the respective quarter.

For example, the sign-up for Q1 5% cash back categories started on 12/15/17, but you won't start earning 5% at gas stations and car rentals until January 1, 2018. 

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Q1: Gas Stations and Car Rentals

If you're someone that has the Chase Freedom or Discover It card, the 5% cash back categories overlap. Choose the card where you can earn the optimal amount of value.

For example, if you have the Chase Freedom, you can transfer UR points to the Chase Sapphire Preferred or the Chase Sapphire Reserve for more value.

For Discover It cardmembers that are in their first year, 5% is effectively 10% with the first year Cashback Match.

Q2: Home Depot and Home Furnishing Stores

If you're planning on doing renovations or home improvement projects, then the Q2 categories are perfect for you. Furniture and renovations can be expensive, so you might be able to maximize the full $6,000 amount.

Be sure to make a small test transaction if you're unsure if a home furnishing store will code properly. To earn 5% cash back, the merchant must code as a home furnishing store in Citi's database. 

Q3: Airlines and Movies

The Q3 categories are interesting to me because most 5% cash back cards don't earn 5% on airlines. Other companies usually have a dedicated travel credit card that earns 3-5%. 

One important factor to consider is that most travel credit cards have travel protections like trip delay insurance and lost luggage protection. It's up to you to decide if you want to forgo those protections for 5% cash back.

Q4: Best Buy and Department Stores

Q4 is a good opportunity to buy electronics if you shop at Best Buy. Competing 5% cash back cards may also have department stores as a 5% category based on data from previous years.