Rewards cards are my preferred type of credit cards- especially cash back cards, because when you use them, you are essentially saving money, since you receive a certain percent of cash back in return for your purchases. The good thing about these cards is that by making your daily purchases with the card, you’re able to accumulate quite a lot in cash rewards over time.
Out of all the cash back credit cards I’ve seen, my favorite cards are those that offer 5% bonus cash back in categories that rotate every quarter, as these are the cards with which you can save the most money when making your purchases and which offer a wider variety of purchases that will earn you these additional rewards.
Many times the categories in which you will earn 5% cash back are season-specific, such as travel during summer when most people go on holiday, or online shopping during the last quarter when many people are trying to buy gifts for their loved ones. This selection of quarterly categories can also make your shopping experience more exciting by giving you new shopping ideas since you’ll essentially be saving 5% of everything you purchase in the category of the current quarter.
Most cards require you to enroll for free each quarter so that you can take advantage of this 5% cash back promotion. Other cards, however, may not require enrollment, so you should always make sure you know the terms of the rewards program your credit card has so that you can earn as much cash back as possible and don’t end up with any unpleasant surprises.
Another important thing to take into account is that some of these credit cards have a cap on the amount you can earn through the 5% cash back in the rotating categories they offer each quarter.
Here is a list of some of the best credit cards offering 5% cash back reward programs, so that you can compare the different programs as well as discover the additional features offered by each of these cards.
Chase Freedom®. This cash back credit card, issued by JPMorgan Chase (NYSE:JPM) lets you earn 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter and 1% cash back thereafter. To earn 5% cash back, you must activate each quarterly program, either online, by phone, email or through a text message. What I like about this card is that you can sign up to receive text reminders so that you don’t forget to activate the 5% categories each quarter. You will earn unlimited 1% cash back on all your other purchases. New cardmembers will also earn a $100 Bonus when spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months and a $25 Bonus when adding their first authorized user and making a purchase within this same 3-month period. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. After the intro period a variable APR of 13.99%-22.99% on both purchases and balance transfers applies. No annual fee.
Click here to read our review of Chase Freedom.
Discover it® Card. This card by Discover Financial (NYSE:DFS) has several versions, all of which offer 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories. You will earn 5% cash back in categories that rotate each quarter, for which you must sign up online or with your phone. You will only earn the 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent on purchases in each quarterly category and 1% cash back thereafter. You’ll earn 1% cash back on your other purchases. No annual fee.
Click here to read our review of Discover it card.
Here are the main Discover it Cards and the features that set them apart:
Discover it® Card. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months, and a 10.99%-22.99% variable APR after this period.
Discover it® Card – 18 Month Promotional Balance Transfer. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 6 and 18 months respectively (10.99%-22.99% variable APR thereafter).
Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card. Issued by Citibank (NYSE:C), this credit card gives you 5% cash back in rotating categories that change every 3 months as well as on the purchases you make at eligible partner merchants. You’ll earn 1% cash back on the rest of your purchases. Enrollment is required to earn 5% cash back in the rotating categories and the maximum cash back you can earn each year is $300, excluding the $100 cash back with this offer. New cardmembers can earn $100 cash back when they spend $500 during the first 3 months. Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months. After that, there is a regular APR of 12.99%—22.99% (variable) based on your creditworthiness. No annual fee.
Click here to read our review of Citi Dividend .