It’s time to activate your bonus categories for the cards that offer quarterly bonuses. All of these cards will give you bonus cash back (or points) for up to $1500 in spend during July, August and September.
For the Discover Card, restaurants will earn you 5% cash back. Remember that you must activate your Discover Card bonus BEFORE making any purchases or you won’t get the bonus cash back. To register your card, look for the email that should have been sent to you or visit this link.
US Bank Cash+
With the US Bank Cash+ Visa you can select one of three 2% categories and two of twelve 5% categories. To me the home utilities category is a no-brainer as I know I’ll spend several hundred dollars there each quarter and I know of no other card that offers that category.
Though Chase markets this as a cash back card, in fact you’re earning Ultimate Rewards points. And you can redeem each point for a penny off your credit card bill. But if you’ve got one of Chase’s Ultimate Rewards-earning (UR) cards with an annual fee (like Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or one of the Ink cards) you can combine the URs you earn via the Freedom card with the URs earned with the other cards and get more than one cent per point in value from those URs.
For the third quarter of 2018 the bonus categories are Lyft, Walgreens and gas stations. This doesn’t help me much as I very rarely use ride-sharing and have never used Lyft, the Vanilla pre-paid debit cards found at Walgreens cannot easily be turned into cash and the gas stations around here will not allow the purchase of pre-paid debit cards with a credit card and they often don’t have the $500 denomination anyway. You can activate your Chase Freedom card bonuses here.
So for me it looks like I’ll be using my Discover card at restaurants and my Freedom card at the gas pump in Q3.