Don’t Forget! New 5% Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards

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Don’t Forget! New 5% Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards

Million Mile SecretsDon’t Forget! New 5% Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These CardsMillion Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Update:   One or more card offers in this post are no longer available.  Check our Hot Deals for the latest offers. 

It’s a new quarter which means new 5% cash back bonus categories with cards like the Chase Freedom, Discover it, and more!

If you haven’t already, be sure to activate these bonuses to earn extra cash back and points on your everyday spending.

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
Remember to Activate Your 1st Quarter Category Bonuses to Earn Extra Cash Back While You Travel!

I’ll remind you of this quarter’s categories and how to register for these bonuses!

Earn More This Quarter From These Cards!

1.   Chase Freedom

Link:   Chase Freedom

Link:   My Review of the Chase Freedom

Link:   Activate the Chase Freedom Bonus

Through March 31, 2016, you’ll earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points (5% cash back) on up to $1,500 in spending at gas stations and on commuter transportation (including taxis, subways, local commuter buses, and trains) with the Chase Freedom card.

You must activate the bonus by March 14, 2016.

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
Earn 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards Points (5% Cash Back) When You Fill up With the Chase Freedom!

This is my favorite no-annual-fee card because you can easily earn lots of Chase Ultimate Rewards points or cash back in categories most folks spend a lot in anyway!

You can currently 15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points ($150 in cash back) when you sign-up for the Chase Freedom card and spend $500 on purchases in the 1st 3 months of opening your account.

And if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold (no longer available), or the Chase Ink Plus, you can transfer your Chase Ultimate Rewards points to airline and hotel partners like United Airlines and Hyatt for Big Travel!

Here’s my full review of the Chase Freedom card.

2.   Discover it

Link:   Discover it

Link:   Activate the Discover it Bonus

You’ll also save this quarter at gas stations and on ground transportation (which includes commuter trains and buses, taxis, Uber, rental cars, and more) with the Discover it card.

And because the Discover card has no foreign transaction fees, it’s ideal for your Uber rides while outside the US.

You’ll earn 5% cash back in these categories on up to $1,500 in spending from when you activate the bonus until March 31, 2016.

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
With the Discover it Card, You’ll Earn 5% Back This Quarter on Gas and Ground Transportation – Even Rental Cars!

Keep in mind, you will NOT earn the extra 5% back if you book ground transportation (like rental cars or train tickets) through travel agencies or 3rd party sites like Orbitz.

Don’t forget, new Discover it cardholders (or folks who previously registered) can have their cash back doubled at the end of their 1st 12 billing cycles.  So you can effectively earn 10% cash back on rotating bonus categories!  That’s a great deal!

3.   Citi Dividend

Link:   Citi Dividend 2016 Calendar

Link:   Activate the Citi Dividend Bonus

The Citi Dividend card is no longer open to new applicants.  But if you’re an existing cardholders, you can earn 5% cash back at Home Depot and home furnishing stores through March 31, 2016.

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
Need to Get Organized or Freshen up Your Space for the New Year? Earn 5% Cash Back at Stores Like Ikea and Home Depot With the Citi Dividend

You can earn a total of $300 cash back each year with the Citi Dividend card.  Whether you make the most of 1 category or spread your earnings throughout the year is up to you!

4.   US Bank Cash+

Link:   US Bank Cash+

Link:   US Bank Cash+ Categories

Each quarter with the US Bank Cash+ card, you can choose new bonus spending categories.

You can pick two 5% cash back categories and one 2% cash back category (gas stations, groceries, or restaurants).

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
Earn Bonus Cash Back From a Wide Selection of Categories – You Choose!

There are a lot of 5% cash back categories!  Here are a few ideas, 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

If you don’t pick your categories, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on all spending until next quarter!  So don’t forget!

Don’t Want to Fuss With Categories?

Some cards have terrific cash back bonuses all the time at stores where you can pick up a variety of items!

For example:

Don't Forget New 5 Cash Back Categories This Quarter With These Cards
Places Like Supermarkets Carry a Wide Variety of Items – Not Just Groceries!

Or consider cards which offer bonus miles, points, or cash back on all spending, like:

  • 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

Bottom Line

It’s a brand new year, so it’s time to start earning 5% cash back in new bonus categories for Chase FreedomDiscover itUS Bank Cash+, and Citi Dividend cards.

Remember, you have to activate the new bonus categories to earn the extra cash back!

My favorite category this quarter is gas stations (with the Chase Freedom and Discover it).  It’s easy to make the most of the bonus when you’d be buying gas and other items anyway!

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® named a 'Best Travel Credit Card' by MONEY® Magazine, 2016-2017
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
  • No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards

More Info

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! :)

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Chase Sapphire Preferred gave me 2x points on airport parking

What abt parking? Any cover parking as part of ground transportation?