The leaves are falling fast and stores are beginning to put out holiday decorations, which means it’s time for our annual fall roundup of rotating categories that give 5% cash back on credit card purchases. The new bonuses went into effect at the beginning of this month.
This fall card issuers are giving shoppers an incentive to do their holiday shopping online or in big department stores with 5% cash back. Here is a sampling of bonus categories offered by a variety of issuers:
People who use their cards online will earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases ($75 cash back) now through end of year. Combining the 5% cash back offer with holiday sales will make those savings even bigger.
Cardholders have to activate the cash back bonus savings. This can be done online or over the phone; customers must simply opt-in to get the additional cash back. All purchases made with Discover it earn an automatic 1% cash back, but rotating category bonuses must be signed up for each quarter.
Discover also offers extra cash back through the ShopDiscover online mall. Now through January 8, Sears, Nordstrom, Toshiba and Macy’s are giving 10% cash back on purchases made through ShopDiscover.
Like Discover, Chase Freedom gives 1% back on all purchases and 5% back in rotating categories. Through December 31, the 5% cash back bonus is on all Amazon.com purchases and at select department stores including JC Penney, Kohl’s, Lord & Taylor, Macy’s, Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom, Sears and Saks 5th Ave.
Cardholders must also sign up online or over the phone to get the 5% cash back offer activated, and cash back is capped at $75 per account, per quarter.
US Bank Cash + Visa works a little differently than Discover and Chase. This card lets users choose their own cash back categories and change them every quarter. Cardholders get 1% cash back on all purchases, but can choose one category where they earn unlimited 2% cash back and two categories where they will get 5% cash back, up to $2,000 in purchases ($100 cash back). Customers with this card should be sure to log into their accounts and switch their categories this quarter to get their extra savings.
has their own system for bonus cash back. Although they have rotating categories, they do not publicize a calendar with the merchants offering 5% cash back. Cardholders can contact customer service or sign in to their accounts to find out what the chosen 5% cash back categories are for the fourth quarter. The cap on rewards is different as well; instead of a quarterly limit, the annual cash back cap is set at $6,000 in spending—or $300 cash back.
Credit card users can log into their accounts online to make sure they are signed up for the latest discounts and cash back offers—and make sure they are taking full advantage of the latest cash back categories.