With July 1 right around the corner, it's time to make sure you're registered for quarterly bonus earnings on some popular no-annual-fee credit cards.
After a great first quarter (mobile payments) and second quarter (grocery stores), Chase is back with 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent at gas stations, on Lyft, and at Walgreens, on up to $1,500 in bonus spend per Freedom account, per quarter.
While you may still be able to find 7-Eleven store locations that code as gas stations and allow you to purchase PIN-enabled prepaid Visa debit cards, I imagine most folks will want to buy prepaid Visa debit cards from Walgreens this quarter. Those Vanilla-branded debit cards are difficult to liquidate at Walmart, but if you still have one or more working Serve accounts, you should be able to load those accounts with Vanilla cards at Family Dollar store locations, or by purchasing money orders at certain grocery stores.
Another option is liquidating prepaid MasterCard debit cards (also sold at Walgreens) by taking advantage of Plastiq's current fee-free promotion for payments under $250 made through MasterPass. That option does require having actual bills to pay. However, for folks with mortgages, student loans, car notes, tax obligations, or other large expenses, it can be a free way to liquidate prepaid MasterCard debit cards. If you don't have a Plastiq account yet, fee free to use my referral link on the Support the Site! page.
In the third quarter of 2018 Discover it cards will earn 5% cash back at restaurants, on up to $1,500 in bonused spend. I don't generally love mixing actual spend with travel hacking, but if you're somebody who spends a lot at restaurants for other reasons, like reimbursed business meals, then you might want to consider directing those expenses to a Discover it card until you've reached $1,500 in charges.
In another lackluster quarter for Citi Dividend cards, you can earn 5% cash back at airlines and movie theatres, up to $300 in annual cash back. The only conceivable reason I can think of to take advantage of this bonus category is if you're putting down a $6,000 deposit to reserve a theatre for the premiere of your independently-produced horror movie.
US Bank Cash+
US Bank Cash+ cards continue to underwhelm, with no changes in available bonus categories this quarter. As usual, I suspect for most folks the best bet is to earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 spend on large electronics, cell phone, or furniture purchases you were planning to make anyway. Here are the available bonus categories for next quarter: