Registration is now open for cards offering rotating cash back bonus categories in the third quarter of 2016. Here's the rundown:
- Chase Freedom. Earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at restaurants and wholesale clubs, on up to $1,500 in combined purchases across all bonused merchants. This will be my go-to card for restaurant purchases starting July 1.
- Citi Dividend. Earn 5% cash back at Hilton's portfolio of brands and on car rentals, up to a maximum of $300 in total cash back per calendar year on all bonused and unbonused purchases. I already earned all $300 in Citi Dividend cash back in the second quarter at drug stores, so I won't be using this card for the rest of the year.
- Discover it (log into Discover first). Earn 5% cash back at home improvement stores and Amazon.com, on up to $1,500 in combined purchases across all bonused merchants. Home Depot sells $200 PIN-enabled Visa prepaid debit cards, so while it's not a huge money maker I will probably buy $1,400 worth of prepaid debit cards and purchase Amazon gift credit with the remaining $58.35 in bonused spend.
- US Bank Cash+. Earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in purchases in two categories of your choice, and unlimited 2% cash back in one category of your choice. Here are the choices for the third quarter of 2016:
Unless you're planning a big cell phone or electronics purchase, as usual the strongest play here is to select "Charity" as your 5% cash back category and make $2,000 in Kiva loans during the third quarter, earning $100 in cash back, minus any defaults on the loans you select. There's no reason to pay attention to the 2% cash back categories, unless for some reason you don't have a card that earns 2% or more in cash back everywhere.