5percentbackActivation reminder for 2023 1st Quarter. The credit cards below offer 5% cash back and up on specific categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but it can add up to hundreds of dollars in additional rewards per year without changing your spending habits. You can also buy gift cards at places with 5% back now but spend the gift cards later. (* Reminder that you can buy gift cards from lots of places at grocery and drug stores…) New cardmembers may also get an upfront sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex Card

From January 1st through March 31st, 2023, you can earn 5% cash back (or 5X Ultimate Rewards points) on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores (excludes Walmart)
  • Target (both in-store and online)
  • Fitness Clubs & Gym Memberships

(The categories are also the same for the old Chase Freedom card, which is no longer available to new applicants.)

Enroll each quarter online in your Chase account or at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by the 14th of the first month in each quarter, the rewards are retroactive. Technically, you earn Ultimate Rewards points which may be worth even more when converted to airline miles or hotel points instead of cash if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. You could also use the Pay Yourself Back tool to get 25% to 50% more than 1 cent/point value. Currently, the Chase Freedom Flex card is offering new applicants a $200 bonus if you sign up and make $500 in purchases in your first three months. No annual fee.

Discover it 14 ImageDiscover it Card

From January 1st through March 31st, 2023, you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores (excludes Walmart and Target)
  • Drug Stores
  • Select TV & Music Streaming Services (including Amazon Music, Amazon Prime Video, AMC+, Apple Music, Apple TV, Audible, DirecTV Stream, FUBO, Google Play, HBO Max, iHeartRadio, MLB.TV, Pandora, Paramount Plus, Peacock, Showtime, SiriusXM, Sling TV, Spotify, Starz, Vudu, YouTube Music, YouTube Premium, YouTube TV)

Enroll after logging into your online account. 5% rewards won’t apply until after you activate your rewards, so it is best to activate now before you forget. No annual fee.

Discover it $100 bonus details. If you are a new applicant and sign up via Discover Card referral link, you will get a $50 improved $100 Cashback Bonus after your first purchase within 3 months of being account opening. You will also get Cashback Match for an entire year – a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. During those 12 months, your 5% cash back rewards becomes 10% cash back, and your 1% cash back rewards become 2% cash back. You can verify this on the application by looking under “Terms and Conditions” or searching for “cashback match” and “statement credit offer”:

Cashback Match:
We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods.

* You will receive a $100 Statement Credit after making a purchase within three months of account opening. You must apply through your friend’s referral link and be approved by December 31, 2023 in order to be eligible for the $100 Statement Credit offer. Offer may not be combined with any other introductory offer. Promotional award will be applied within 8 weeks.

Citi Custom Cash Card. This new card offers 5% cash back on your *single* top eligible spending category up to $500 spent each monthly billing cycle (which effectively adds up to $1,500 a quarter). Eligible categories include broad ones like restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, or select travel, but you only get 5% for the top category that month and 1% on everything else. To simplify things you could, for example, elect to only use this card for 5% cash back on gas all year long (up to $500 per month).

Similar to the Chase Ultimate Rewards system above, this card and the Citi Double Cash card (earns 2% cash back) both technically earn Thank You points. You can’t convert your points to airline miles with this card alone, but you can transfer them to the Citi Premier Card, which does allow you to convert miles in various programs on a 1:1 basis including JetBlue, Cathay Pacific, EVA Air, Etihad, Flying Blue by Air France and KLM, Singapore Airlines, and Thai Airways.

Currently, the Citi Custom Cash card is offering new applicants a $200 bonus after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. You’ll actually get 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back. No annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

  • 6% cash back at US supermarkets all year long (on up to $6,000 per year)
  • 6% cash back at select US streaming subscriptions (includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, and more).
  • NEW: Disney Bundle credit worth up to $84 annually. The Disney Bundle includes Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+. Get $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $13.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription with your Blue Cash Preferred Card. Enrollment required.
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations and transit (taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

I use this card all year long for 6% cash back on groceries up to the limit and put all my streaming services on it, and then in December use up the $6k annual limit on gift cards bought in the supermarket aisle. New cardholders are also eligible for a $250 welcome offer. See details in link.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. You must choose the two 5% cash back categories every quarter, out of a preset selection of specific categories:

  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Home Utilities
  • Ground Transportation
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters
  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services

Unfortunately, you can’t pick a broad category like gas stations, restaurants, or grocery stores. Make sure to choose your categories each and every quarter, even if you want them to stay the same. If you do not choose your categories, all purchases revert to only earning 1% cash back for that quarter. No annual fee. Currently, new applicants are offered a $200 bonus after you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods all year long. Prime membership required. New cardholder bonus varies by person. No annual fee.

Citi Dividend Card. This card has not been available to new applicants for years now, but if you still have the grandfathered card you can view and activate your quarterly 5% category here. Limit of $300 cash back for the calendar year.

Don’t settle for the “1% on everything else” that these cards offer. Get 2% cash back or higher. There are multiple options out there, here are the ones I’ve had for years. Check out the card-specific reviews for details.

“The editorial content here is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone. This email may contain links through which we are compensated when you click on or are approved for offers.”

5% Cash Back Cards: Groceries, Target, Drugstores, Streaming – January through March 2023 from My Money Blog.


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