These 3 credit cards have unique bonus categories that change with your spending habits
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Do you spend a lot at pet stores? On flowers? At funeral homes?? No matter what you tend to purchase most, these cards will give you a bonus. Even if your spending varies drastically month to month!
Most travel credit cards have rigid bonus categories that don’t conform to the diversity of your spending habits. You may have a dental emergency one month, and up spending a lot at the vet the next month. There are cards that can give you bonuses for obscure purchases like this. I’ll show you how they work.
Credit cards that mold to your spending habits
American Express® Business Gold Card
Welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
We estimate Amex points value to be worth 1.8 cents on average. That means you shouldn’t have trouble getting at least $1,260 in travel from this bonus!
Read our full Amex Business Gold review for an in-depth look at this card.
Unique bonus categories: The Amex Business Gold pays close attention to your spending, and it proactively gives you a bonus on the two categories you use most from the following list:
- Airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media (online, TV, radio)
- U.S. purchases made directly from select technology providers of computer hardware, software and cloud solutions
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases at restaurants
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- Terms Apply
You’ll receive an automatic 4x bonus on whichever two categories you’ve used the most with your Amex Business Gold, up to $150,000 in combined purchases each calendar year (then one point per dollar on all purchases).
This means the card bonuses ebb and flow with your spending throughout the entire year! In April, you may be promoting your business via online media, and spending a lot on computers and business software. By May, you might be traveling on the road and eating out a lot. At the end of each month, the Amex Business Gold Card will assess which two categories will give you the most amount of points, and automatically register those as your bonus categories.
If you don’t want to track bonus categories, but want to maximize your points earning potential, the American Express® Business Gold Card is a great choice.
Caveats: The Amex Business Gold is a small business card. This means you can’t open the card unless you have a for-profit venture of your own. However, things like babysitting, Uber driving, dog-walking, freelance writing, etc. certainly count as a small business.
Also, American Express only allows you to earn the welcome bonus for each of their cards once per lifetime. If you’ve already had this card, you will not be eligible for another welcome bonus.
Annual fee: $295 (see rates and fees)
U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature Card
Welcome bonus: The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature Card earns $750 cash back (75,000 points) when you spend $7,500 in eligible purchases on the account owner’s card within the first four months.
This is effectively a cash-back credit card. The rewards you earn are worth one cent each for cash back, travel, gift cards, and merchandise — so you’re guaranteed an easy $750 by opening this card. You can read our full U.S. Bank Business Leverage review for the full scoop.
Unique bonus categories: The U.S. Bank Business Leverage® Visa Signature Card works similarly to the above Amex Business Gold Card. You’ll earn bonus points for the top two categories you use each month — and there are 48 categories that qualify, including:
- Apparel and accessory stores
- Auto rental and transport providers
- Automotive dealers
- Automotive parts stores
- Automotive repair shops
- Cable, satellite, TV, and radio providers
- Charitable, civic, and religious organizations
- Commercial and home furniture stores
- Commercial equipment, parts and supply
- Computer service providers
- Computer stores
- Construction material suppliers
- Dental, lab, and medical equipment providers
- Department, book and novelty stores
- Direct marketers
- Discount stores and wholesale clubs
- Drug stores and pharmacies
- Durable goods providers
- Entertainment places
- Florist, nursery, and garden stores
- Freight and transport services
- Funeral homes and crematories
- Gas stations and fuel dealers
- Grocery stores and supermarkets
- Healthcare providers
- Home improvement service and supply
- Industrial suppliers
- Insurance providers
- Membership organizations
- Non-durable goods providers
- Non-medical testing labs
- Personal service providers
- Pet supply stores
- Plumbing and HVAC suppliers
- Postal and courier service providers
- Professional service providers
- Publishers and printers
- Schools and government
- Stationary and office supply stores
- Telecom equipment suppliers
- Telecom service providers
- Utility companies
- Wholesale goods providers
Whichever two categories you use most, you’ll get 2x points. That’s not as generous as the 4x offered by the Amex Business Gold, but the potential bonused categories are vastly improved with this card — so it’s a tradeoff. One may even complement the other if you strategize your spending correctly!
All other purchases will earn one point per dollar.
Caveats: This is a small business card, meaning you’ll need a for-profit side-gig at the very least to qualify. But again, you don’t need a multi-million dollar enterprise to be considered a business. Do you sell things on eBay every now and then? Do you coach or tutor? Do you walk dogs? These things are totally legitimate if you charge for them.
Annual fee: $0
The information for the U.S. Bank Business Leverage has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card
Welcome bonus: The Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card comes with 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening. These points are worth a flat 1 cent each when you redeem them for:
- Cash back (statement credit or deposit it into an eligible BOA, Merrill, or 529 account)
- Travel purchases (through the Bank of America travel portal)
- Gift cards (popular merchants like Starbucks and Amazon)
In other words, this bonus guarantees you $500. The card’s got a handful of other great benefits as well — potentially hundreds in savings each year! Read our Bank of America Premium Rewards review for all the details.
Unique bonus categories: The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card doesn’t exactly have unique bonus categories that change to your spending — rather, you can turn them into powerhouse categories with your savings. Here’s the earning rate of the card:
- 2 points per dollar on travel
- 2 points per dollar on dining
- 1.5 points per dollar on everything else
Not fantastic (remember, the max value of each point is 1 cent), but it’s not horrible either — especially if you are invested in Bank of America. See, those who bank with Bank of America or Merrill Edge (Bank of America’s affiliate investment company) can earn tiered bonus points depending on your investments:
- $20,000 to < $50,000 – 25% bonus
- $50,000 to < $100,000 – 50% bonus
- $100,000+ – 75% bonus
Bank of America says that to qualify for bonus points, you’ll need “an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a 3-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more in a Bank of America account and/or Merrill investment accounts.”
If you throw your savings into Bank of America and qualify for the highest tier, you’re looking at:
- 3.5 points per dollar for travel and dining
- 2.62 points per dollar for all other purchases
Think of that! Over 2.62% back on all purchases. That’s really great — no other card offers that kind of return.
Caveats: This card’s bonus potential is quite average — even sub-par, compared to other travel credit cards — if you don’t take advantage of the Bank of America tiered bonus. For example, the no-annual-fee Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns a flat 1.5% back on everyday purchases (1.5x Chase points). But you can transfer those to a card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, where they’re worth (by our estimate) 1.7 cents each.
Annual fee: $95
The information for the Bank of America Premium Rewards has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
It’s neat to see some cards that seem to genuinely want you to get the biggest return on your spending. They go out of their way to monitor the purchases you make most often. Or, they reward you by giving you a sizable return on all purchases.
Let us know if another card should be on this list! And subscribe to our newsletter for more credit card points posts like this delivered to your inbox once per day. We’ll keep you informed as to how you can rack up miles and points in a hurry!
For rates and fees of the Amex Business Gold, click here
Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)