The second quarter of 2017 is right around the corner, and that means it's time for your friendly reminder to register for bonus earning on credit cards with quarterly rotating bonus categories, and some suggestions to maximize their value.
Next quarter each of your Chase Freedom cards earns 5 Ultimate Rewards points on the first $1,500 spent at grocery stores and drugstores. These categories are layups, with easy opportunities to manufacture spend in virtually every part of the country. If you were particularly inclined to be strategic you might wait to see if we get another grocery store promotion like the one that ended yesterday and try to stack the opportunities, but personally I'm not overthinking it. I have two Chase Freedoms and expect to have maxed out my bonus earnings by Sunday afternoon (CVS limits prepaid card purchases to $2,000 per rolling 24-hour period).
The Discover it offers 5% cash back at home improvement stores and wholesale clubs next quarter. If you took advantage of one of the dozens of offers for cheap or discounted wholesale membership in the last year, then your best bet is to visit Sam's Club and see if you can find some PIN-enabled prepaid debit cards. I've never set foot in a Sam's Club, let alone manufactured spend at one, so I'm not sure what options they have available, but you may be able to find prepaid debit cards issued by Greendot Bank, US Bancorp, or Sunrise Bank.
Citi Dividend cards throttle bonus spending slightly differently from the other quarterly bonus credit cards: your total cash back is limited to $300 per calendar year, but you can earn the $300 through any combination of bonused and unbonused spend throughout the year. That means it's best to hold back on putting any spend on a Citi Dividend card until they have a particularly lucrative bonus category.
This year, that category falls in the second quarter, when you'll earn 5% cash back on purchases at drugstores and fitness clubs. After taking care of my Chase Freedom cards at CVS this weekend, I'll be maxing out my Citi Dividend card by spending $6,000 there over the next three days, thereby earning the maximum $300 annual cash back.
US Bank Cash+
Unlike the other cards here, US Bank allows you to pick 2 categories in which to earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in total spend. In the second quarter of 2017, your options are:
Slim pickings! If you commute by train then ground transportation might be worth picking, especially if you can add a large amount of value to a commuter pass and don't have another card that bonuses travel purposes generally (many people would consider the 3 Ultimate Rewards points earned by a Chase Sapphire Reserve more valuable than 5% cash back). Other than that, I don't see many opportunities to manufacture spend. Furniture, electronics, and cell phones are all expensive, however, so you might decide to just save some money on a purchase you were already planning to make.
World of Hyatt Double Points for Being You promotion
Also next quarter, World of Hyatt is running a promotion. Between April 1 and June 30, 2017, earn double base points on eligible stays starting with your second eligible stay. Register for the promotion here.
While you're at it, check out all the current hotel promotions I'm aware of on my Hotel Promotions page.