[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. You can view the current offers from our partners here — Chase Freedom. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
As the summer heats up, banks and issuers are getting ready to switch the categories on their popular 5% cash back credit cards. Based on these revolving categories, here are the items you should absolutely be charging to your 5% cash back credit card this summer.
Both Discover More and Chase Freedom cardholders are eligible to receive 5% cash back on gas between July 1 and September 30. Freedom cardholders can sign up here to be eligible for the bonus earnings, while More cardholders can visit this section of Discover’s website.
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You’ll also want to have your credit card handy during summer outings. Discover is actually billing “summer fun” as one of the 5% categories on the More Card, meaning cardholders will receive the maximum cash back on dollars spent at movie theaters and theme parks. Meanwhile, Chase Freedom cardholders can get 5% cash back at restaurants during the same time period.
Citi is giving its Dividend cardholders the opportunity to earn big on summer travel by offering 5% cash back on airline and car rental purchases between July 1 and September 30. (You can find some more ways your credit card can save you on summer travel here!)
Citi customers should also bring along their Dividend cards when they head out to shop for back-to-school wardrobes. The issuer is also offering 5% cash back on purchases made at Gap, Banana Republic and Old Navy as well as the Gap and Banana Republic’s outlet stores from July through September. Cardholders can sign up for the bonus offerings on Citi’s website or call 1-800-231-0891.
Note: Both Discover and Chase allow enrolled cardholders to earn the maximum cash back on the first $1,500 dollar spent collectively on bonus categories each quarter, meaning $75 is up for grabs. Citi doesn’t limit quarterly earnings on bonus categories, but does cap rewards on straight purchases made with the Dividend (not counting sign-on bonuses and bonus mall purchases) to $300 a year.
Also, to get the maximum benefit from your rewards card, be sure to charge no more than you can pay in full each month. Otherwise you’ll have to pay interest on the balance, which can eventually cancel out what you earn in rewards.
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At publishing time, the Chase Freedom MasterCard, Chase Freedom Visa, Discover More and the Citi Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card are offered through Credit.com product pages and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Image: Jonf728, via Flickr