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Update: One or more card offers in this post are no longer available. Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers.
I’ll tell you about this quarter’s categories and show you how to activate the 5% bonus!
Cards With Rotating 5% Bonus Categories
1. Chase Freedom
With the Chase Freedom card, you can earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) at Amazon! This is a fantastic bonus category because Amazon carries just about everything.
You’ll earn the bonus for up to $1,500 in purchases this quarter, for a maximum of 7,500 Chase Ultimate Rewards points or $75 cash back.
You’ll also earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points at Zappos.com, Audible.com, and Diapers.com.
These bonus categories are good through December 31, 2015, so this is a great way to save on gifts for the holidays!
Just be sure to activate the bonus by December 14, 2015, to get the extra points!
2. Citi Dividend
The Citi Dividend card is no longer open to new applications. But if you already have this card, you can earn 5% cash back at Best Buy and department stores through December 31, 2015.
3. Discover it Cash Back Card
Be sure you activate this bonus, so you don’t miss out on the 5% cash back!
And don’t forget, new cardholders or folks who previously registered get their cash back doubled at the end of their 1st 12 billing cycles. So you can easily turn this into 10% off!
And you can save up to another 20% by shopping at stores that accept Apple Pay like Macy’s and American Eagle Outfitters!
5. US Bank Cash+
Link: US Bank Cash+ Categories
With the US Bank Cash+ card, each quarter you can choose new categories. You get two 5% cash back categories and one 2% cash back category (gas stations, groceries, or restaurants)
Here are the 5% categories you can choose from:
I’ve listed a few examples for each 5% category, but check the “Merchant Examples“ for more details:
- Bookstores – Barnes & Noble, Amazon Kindle Books, and some University Bookstores) Note: Some folks say they’ve received 5% back on many Amazon purchases besides books with this category.
- Car Rental – Avis, Budget, National Car Rental
- Cell Phone – AT&T, T-Mobile, Verizon
- Charity – American Cancer Society, Kiva, The Salvation Army
- Department Stores – Bloomingdales, JCPenney, Nordstrom Rack
- Electronics Stores – Best Buy, Fry’s Electronics, TigerDirect
- Fast Food – Chipotle, Panera Bread, Starbucks, and Cold Stone Creamery!
- Furniture Stores – American Furniture, Ethan Allen, IKEA
- Gyms – 24 Hour Fitness, Gold’s Gym, LA Fitness
- Movie Theaters – AMC Theatres, Fandango.com, Regal Cinemas
- Select Clothing Stores – Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer, Old Navy
- Sporting Good Stores – Big 5 Sporting Goods, REI, Sports Authority
Be sure to choose your categories, even if you plan on using the same ones. If you don’t, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on all spending until next quarter!
Get 5% to 6% Cash Back in Most of These Categories Any Time!
You can earn cash back in many of the above categories any time with cards like:
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – 6% cash back at US supermarkets up to $6,000 per year; then 1%
- AMEX SimplyCash – 5% cash back at US office supply stores
That’s because you can buy gift cards at grocery stores and office supply stores for:
- Movie Theaters
- Home Improvement Stores
- Department Stores
- Clothing Stores
Forget Categories & Gift Cards!
With these cards you’ll earn multiple bonus points on all spending:
- Barclaycard Arrival Plus – 2X Arrival miles on everything, worth 2.1% back when redeemed for $100+ travel expenses
- Citi Double Cash – 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay your bill
- Discover it Miles – 1.5 miles per $1 you spend (worth 1.5% back), doubled at the end of the 1st year, for an effective 3% back on everything
If you haven’t already, remember to activate the new bonus categories.
But with cards like AMEX Blue Cash and AMEX SimplyCash, you can earn 5% to 6% cash back in many of these categories anytime. That’s because you can buy gift cards to places such as department stores at office supply stores and grocery stores.