Best Card for Grocery, Gas, Drugstores, Travel, Dining, More…

Note: American Express is a Frequent Miler advertiser. Please see our Advertiser Disclosure.

Information about the American Express Hilton Honors card, and the Barclaycard JetBlue card has been collected independently by Frequent Miler. The issuer did not provide the details, nor is it responsible for their accuracy.

One way to increase credit card rewards is to use the best card for each purchase. It’s possible to routinely earn 5X (5 points per dollar) by using cards that offer the best bonuses for each type of spend. For example, some cards offer bonuses at grocery stores, some at office supply stores, some at gas stations, etc. Below is a roundup, by category, of the best card for each type of spend (AKA best category bonuses). Since there are multiple fee-free cards that offer 2% returns for all spend, I’ve only included cards that offer better than 2% returns within categories.

Best Card For…

Details

For cards that earn points instead of cash back, I’ve listed the “X” which is the number of points per dollar earned in that category. For example, “5X” means that the card earns 5 points per dollar in the given category.

Wherever possible, within each category, cards are sorted by the value of the rebate in descending order based on my Reasonable Redemption Values (RRVs) or by their fixed redemption value with cash back cards.

For a list of cards with great earning potential everywhere (not just within bonus categories), please see: Best Rewards for Everyday Spend.

For a list of cards that earn bonuses for high spend, please see: Best Big Spend Bonuses.

Transferable Points

Cards that earn points transferable to airline and hotel programs are called out with a short code next to the indicated bonus amount as follows:

DC = Diner’s Club
MR = Membership Rewards Points
TY = ThankYou Points
UR = Ultimate Rewards Points

To see which airlines and hotels each of these programs transfer to, please see my Transfer Partner Master List.

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Bookstores (including Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble)

Example Visa merchant codes: 5942 – BOOK STORES

Bookstores
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
US Bank Cash+ (1) 5% 5% $2000 per quarter
Barnes & Noble MasterCard 5% (Barnes & Noble bookstores only) 5%
Amazon Prime Rewards 5% (Amazon purchases only) 5% Requires Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Store Card 5% (Amazon only) 5% Requires Amazon Prime membership.
Marvel Mastercard 3% 3%

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Car Rentals

Example Visa merchant codes: Rental car companies each have their own individual merchant code, e.g. 3357 – HERTZ RENT-A-CAR

Car Rental
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Any Amex OPEN small business card via OPEN Savings +5% +5% Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at Hertz
Any Visa small business card enrolled in Visa SavingsEdge +4% +4% Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at National Car Rental and Alamo.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (4) 3X UR 5.46%
Chase Ink Business Preferred 3X UR 5.46% $150K per year
Citi ThankYou Premier 3X TY 5.46%
Citi Prestige 3X TY 5.46% 3X only for car rentals booked through travel agency
US Bank Cash+ (1) 5% 5% $2000 per quarter
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (4) 2X UR 3.64%
Morgan Stanley Amex 2X MR 3.64% Select car rental companies (found here)
Citi CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard 2X 3.46%
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 7X 3.15% Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6X 2.7% Car rentals booked directly from select car rental companies

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Charities

Example Visa merchant codes: 8398 – CHARITABLE/SOC SERVICE ORGS

Charities
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Department Stores

Example Visa merchant code: DEPARTMENT STORES – 5912,5532,5311

Department Stores
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Citi AT&T Access More 3X TY 5.46% Only online retail purchases earn 3X
US Bank Cash+ (1) 5% 5% $2000 per quarter
Morgan Stanley Amex 2X MR 3.64% Select US department stores (found here)
Blue Cash Preferred 3% 3%  US only
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Drugstores

Example Visa merchant code: 5912 – DRUG STORES

Drugstores
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Diner’s Club Card Elite 3X DC 5.46%
Wells Fargo Cash Back Card (8) 5% 5% First 6 months on up to $12,500 in purchases
Amex Blue Cash (old version) (5) 1%, 5% 1%, 5% 1% for first $6500 annual spend, then 5% capped at $50K spend per year. US only
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Gas

Example Visa merchant codes:
5541 – SERVICE STATIONS
5542 – AUTOMATED FUEL DISPENSERS (e.g. pay at the pump)

Gas
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Any Visa small business card enrolled in Visa SavingsEdge +2% +2% Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at participating Chevron, Texaco, and Sheetz stations.
Any Mastercard small business card enrolled in Mastercard Easy Savings +1% +1% Earn a 1% cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at participating Fuelman Network stations.
Citi ThankYou Premier 3X TY 5.46%
Diner’s Club Card Elite 3X DC 5.46%
Amex EveryDay Preferred with Platinum (9) 2X to 3X MR 3.64% to 5.46% US only
Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express 3X MR 5.46% US only, for each transaction of $400 or less (Effective May 1 2017, limited to $15K per calendar year year; purchases made before May 1, 2017 will not be counted toward the 2017 calendar year maximum)
Amex Business Gold Rewards 3X MR 5.46% Cardholders can choose one 3X category from: airfare, US advertising in select media, US gas stations, US shipping, US computer hardware, software and cloud computing.  Options not selected offer 2X.  3X and 2X earnings apply to your first $100,000 in purchases per category per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
BOA Americard Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards (7) 5.25% 5.25% $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Ducks Unlimited 5% 5%
Wells Fargo Cash Back Card(8) 5% 5% First 6 months on up to $12,500 in purchases
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Plus 5% 5% 5% specific to gas purchases paid at pump
Fort Knox Federal Credit Union Visa Platinum 5% 5%
Amex Blue Cash (old version) (5) 1%, 5% 1%, 5% 1% for first $6500 spend, then 5% capped at $50K spend per year. US only
Sam’s Club MasterCard 5% 5% $6K per year
Costco Anywhere Visa 4% 4% $7K per year
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
BOA Americard Cash Rewards with Gold Preferred Rewards (7) 4.5% 3.75% $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Chase Ink Ink Plus 2X UR 3.64% $50K per year
Chase Ink Cash (4) 2X UR 3.64% $25K per year
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 2X MR 3.64% US only
US Bank FlexPerks Gold Amex 2X 3%
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
US Bank FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
US Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards 3% 3% Plus, receive a 25% annual bonus based on your prior year’s Cash Rewards, up to $250
PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards 3% 3%
Chase AARP 3% 3%
Blue Cash Preferred 3% 3%  US only
Golden1 Platinum Rewards Visa 3% 3%
Bellco VISA Platinum Rewards 3X 3%
UMB Simply Rewards VISA 3X 3%
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card 3X 3%
Amex SimplyCash Plus (6) 3% 3% $50K per year
Santander Bravo 3% 3% $5K per quarter
Huntington Voice 3% 3% $2K per quarter
BOA Cash Rewards for Business 3% 3% $250K per year
BOA Americard Cash Rewards (7) 3% 3% $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Chase MileagePlus Explorer for Business 2X 2.8%
Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express 6X 2.7% US only
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6X 2.7% US only
Paypal Extas MasterCard, EBay MasterCard 3X 2.5%
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express 5X 2.25% US only

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Grocery Stores

Example Visa merchant code: 5411 – GROCERY STORES/SUPERMARKETS

Grocery Stores
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Amex EveryDay Preferred (9) 3X to 4.5X MR 5.46% to 8.19% $6K per year, US supermarkets only
Blue Cash Preferred 6% 6% $6K per year, US only
Diner’s Club Card Elite 3X DC 5.46%
Wells Fargo Cash Back Card (8) 5% 5% First 6 months on up to $12,500 in purchases
Amex Blue Cash (old version) (5) 1%, 5% 1%, 5% 1% for first $6500 spend, then 5% capped at $50K spend per year. US only
Amex EveryDay (9) 2X to 2.4X MR 3.64% to 4.37%% $6K per year, US only
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 2X MR 3.64% US only
BOA Americard Cash Rewards with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards (7) 3.5% 3.5% $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
Golden1 Platinum Rewards Visa 3% 3%
Bellco VISA Platinum Rewards 3X 3%
UMB Simply Rewards VISA 3X 3%
Santander Bravo 3X 3% $5K per quarter
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
BOA Americard Cash Rewards with Platinum Preferred Rewards (7) 3% 3% $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Blue Cash Everyday® 3% 3% $6K per year, US only
Consumers Credit Union Visa Signature Cash Rebate 3% 3% $6K per year beginning Jan 1 2016
Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express 6X 2.7% US only
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express 5X 2.25% US only

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Hotels

Example Visa merchant codes: 7011 – HOTELS/MOTELS/RESORTS
Note: Many hotel chains have their own individual merchant code

Hotels
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus, and other notes
Any Visa small business card enrolled in Visa SavingsEdge Varies Varies

Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards as follows:

Wyndham Hotels (all brands): 5%
MGM Properties: 4%
Dream Hotels: 5%
Night Hotels: 5%
La Quinta Inn & Suites: 10%

Any Mastercard small business card enrolled in Mastercard Easy Savings +4% +4% Earn a 4% cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at midscale and economy hotels such as Super 8, Holiday Inn, Ramada, Days Inn, Hampton Inn, EconoLodge, Howard Johnson, Hyatt Place and Hilton Garden Inn
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (4) 3X UR 5.46%
Chase Ink Business Preferred 3X UR 5.46% $150K per year
Citi Prestige 3X TY 5.46%
Citi ThankYou Premier 3X TY 5.46%
Citi AT&T Access More 3X TY 5.46% Online travel purchases only
USB Altitude Reserve 3X 4.5% 3X travel categories include: airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (3) 2X UR 3.64%
Chase Ink Plus 2X UR 3.64% $50K per year
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Rewards 3.5X 3.5%
Barclaycard Uber Visa Card 3% 3% Hotels and Vacation Home Rentals
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Rewards 3X 3%
Amex SimplyCash Plus (6) 3% 3% $50K per year
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Gold Rewards 2.5X 2.5%

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Office Supply Stores

Example Visa merchant codes: OFFICE SUPPLIES / STATIONERY – 5943, 5111

Office Supply Stores
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Chase Ink Plus 5X UR 9.1% $50K per year
Chase Ink Cash (4) 5X UR 9.1% $25K per year
Amex Simply Cash Plus (6) 5% 5% $50K per year. US only
Discover Business Card 5% 5% $2K per year
US Bank FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
BOA Cash Rewards for Business 3% 3% $250K per year
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
Lowe’s Business Rewards 3X 3%
Chase MileagePlus Explorer for Business 2X 2.8%
Citi CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard 2X 2.8%

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Miscellaneous Shopping

Example Visa merchant codes: Not relevant to this category

Online Shopping / Portal Purchases
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Any Amex OPEN small business card via OPEN Savings Varies Varies

Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards as follows:

FedEx: 5%, up to $20K spend per calendar year
HP: 5%, up to $30K spend per calendar year
1-800-Flowers: 5%
BN.com (Barnes & Noble): 5%

Any Visa small business card enrolled in Visa SavingsEdge Varies Varies Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards with various merchants including MailChimp, Godiva, B&H Photo, Lenovo, NewEgg, BoostMobile
Citi AT&T Access More 3X TY 5.46% 3X for all online retail purchases (will stack with portal rewards)
uPromise World MasterCard 5% via uPromise portal 5%
Amazon Prime Rewards 5% (Amazon purchases only) 5% Requires Amazon Prime membership.
Amazon Store Card 5% (Amazon purchases only) 5% Requires Amazon Prime membership.
Ducks Unlimited 5% 5% 5% at Sporting Goods stores & Gas Stations
USB Altitude Reserve 3X 4.5% 3X for mobile wallet payments
Marvel Mastercard 3% 3% Marvel shop, movie theaters, video rental and game stores, theatrical and concert promoters, amusement parks (including zoos, aquariums, carnivals, etc.), digital entertainment, games, software, music, books and newstands, toys, and hobby stores.
Ebates Cash Back Visa 3% via Ebates portal 3%

 

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Phone, cellular, internet

Example Visa merchant codes: 4814 – TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES

Phone, Cellular, Internet
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Chase Ink Plus 5X UR 9.1% $50K per year
Ink Cash (4) 5X UR 9.1% $25K per year
Chase Ink Business Preferred 3X UR 5.46% $150K per year
Amex SimplyCash (6) 5% 5% $50K per year. US wireless telephone services only.
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
US Bank FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3%
US Bank Business Edge Cash Rewards 3% 3% Plus, receive a 25% annual bonus based on your prior year’s Cash Rewards, up to $250
Lowe’s Business Rewards 3X 3%
Chase MileagePlus Explorer for Business 2X 2.8%
Citi CitiBusiness AAdvantage World MasterCard 2X 2.8%
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6X 2.7% US service providers only

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Restaurants

Example Visa merchant codes: RESTAURANTS / BARS – 5812, 5814

Restaurants
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Any Visa small business card enrolled in Visa SavingsEdge Varies Varies

Earn a cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards with various restaurants as follows:

Corner Bakery: 2%
Panda Express: 2%
Papa John’s: 2%
Panera: 2%
Red Robin: 1%

Any Mastercard small business card enrolled in Mastercard Easy Savings +4% +4% Earn a 4% cash rebate in addition to normal card rewards at more than 14,000+ restaurants.
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card (4) 3X UR 5.46%
US Bank Cash+ (1) 5% 5% fast food only $2000 per quarter
US Bank FlexPerks Gold Amex 3X 4.5%
Barclaycard Uber Visa Card 4% 4%
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (3) 2X UR 3.64%
Chase Sapphire (4) 2X UR 3.64%
Morgan Stanley Amex 2X MR 3.64% US only
Mercedes-Benz Credit Card from American Express 2X MR 3.64% US only
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 2X MR 3.64% US only
Citi Prestige 2X TY 3.64%
Citi ThankYou Premier 2X TY 3.64%
Citi ThankYou Preferred 2X TY 3.64%
Chase Ink Cash (4) 2X UR 3.64% $25K per year
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Preferred Rewards 3.5X 3.5%
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 7X 3.15% US only
Capital One Savor 3% 3%
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Preferred Rewards 3X 3%
Costco Anywhere Visa 3% 3%
Chase AARP 3% 3%
Sam’s Club MasterCard 3% 3%
Golden1 Platinum Rewards Visa 3% 3%
UMB Simply Rewards VISA 3X 3%
Lowe’s Business Rewards 3X 3%
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards AMEX (2) 2X 3%
Amex SimplyCash Plus (6) 3% 3% $50K per year. US only
Santander Bravo 3X 3% $5K per quarter
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
Chase MileagePlus Explorer for Business 2X 2.8%
Hilton Honors Ascend Card from American Express 6X 2.7% US Only
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6X 2.7% US Only
Paypal Extas MasterCard 3X 2.5%
EBay MasterCard 3X 2.5%
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Gold Preferred Rewards 2.5X 2.5%
Hilton Honors™ Card from American Express 5X 2.25% US Only

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Online, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Rotating Categories

Example Visa merchant codes: Varies

Rotating Categories
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Chase Freedom (4) 5X UR 9.1% $1500 per quarter
Discover It 5% 5% $1500 per quarter
Citi Dividend Platinum Select 5% 5% $6K per year

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

Best Card for Travel / Airlines

Example Visa merchant codes: 4511 – AIRLINES, AIR CARRIERS, 4722 – TRAVEL AGENCIES
Note that a number of cards below give bonuses only for direct airline transactions, and not for travel agencies

Travel / Airlines
Card Category Bonus Estimated Value Spend limit for category bonus
Amex Platinum (Personal Cards Only) 5X 9.1% 5X only when booked directly with airline
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card 3X UR 5.46%
Chase Ink Business Preferred 3X UR 5.46% $150K per year
Citi Prestige 3X TY 5.46% 3X for airlines, hotels, and travel agencies
Citi ThankYou Premier 3X TY 5.46% 3X for all travel
Citi AT&T Access More 3X TY 5.46% 3X for online travel purchases only
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express 3X MR 5.46% 3X only when booked directly w/ airline
Amex Business Gold Rewards 3X MR 5.46% 3X only when booked directly w/ airline.  Cardholders can choose one 3X category from: airfare, US advertising in select media, US gas stations, US shipping, US computer hardware, software and cloud computing.  Options not selected offer 2X.  3X and 2X earnings apply to your first $100,000 in purchases per category per year, 1X point per dollar thereafter.
USB Altitude Reserve 3X 4.5% 3X travel categories include: airlines, hotels, car rental companies, taxis, limousines, passenger trains and cruise lines.
PenFed Premium Travel Rewards 5X 4.25%
CNB Crystal Visa Infinite 3X 3.75%
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card (3) 2X UR 3.64%
Morgan Stanley Amex 2X MR 3.64% 2X only when booked directly w/ airline
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Honors Rewards 3.5X 3.5%
Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card 7X 3.15% Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
US Bank FlexPerks Gold Amex 2X 3% Airlines
US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards (2) 2X 3% Airlines
Barclaycard Uber Visa Card 3% 3%
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Platinum Rewards 3X 3%
FNBO TraveElite Credit Card 3X 3%
Costco Anywhere Visa 3% 3%
AAA Member Rewards 3X 3%
TD First Class Visa Signature 3X 3%
Union Bank Graphite Amex 3% 3%
Sam’s Club MasterCard 3% 3%
Amex SimplyCash Plus (6) 3% 3% $50K per year
Huntington Voice 3X 3% $2K per quarter
Hilton Honors American Express Business Card 6X 2.7% Flights booked directly with airlines or amextravel.com
Bank of America Premium Rewards with Gold Rewards 2.5X 2.5%

Jump to –> Bookstores, Car, Charities, Department, Drug, Gas, Grocery, Hotels, Office, Misc, Phone, Restaurants, Rotating, Travel

FOOTNOTES

Sign-up links for most of the cards listed above can be found on my Best credit card offers page.

1) US Bank Cash+ Cardholders must pick one 2% cash back category and two 5% categories each quarter.

2) US Bank FlexPerks Travel Rewards card earns 2X at either airlines, grocery stores, or gas stations, whichever is highest in spend each month. Similarly, the US Bank FlexPerks Business Edge Travel Rewards card earns 2X at either airlines, office supply stores, or gas stations, whichever is highest in spend each month. Both cards earn 2X for cell phone charges, and 3X for charities. The American Express version of this card (Flexperks Gold) earns 3X at restaurants, 2X gas stations, and 2X airlines.

3) Chase no longer offers a 7% annual dividend to new cardholders. Those who applied for the card while the 7% dividend was still in place will continue to earn the dividend for points earned through the end of 2015.

4) Ink Cash, Ink Classic, Sapphire, and Freedom cards earn Ultimate Rewards points (even though Chase advertises these cards as cash back cards). When paired with a premium card such as the Sapphire Reserve Card, Sapphire Preferred Card, or Ink Business Preferred, points can be transferred to the premium card and then to airline and hotel programs.

5) The “old” Amex Blue Cash card is still available. Read this post to find out how to get it.

6) Amex SimplyCash cardholders must pick a single 3% cash back category. Additionally, all cardholders get 5% cash back at US office supply stores and wireless phone providers. 3% and 5% categories are capped at $50K in spending per year.

7) BankAmericard has multiple bonuses available for a select list of personal credit cards:

  • Get an extra 10% bonus when redeeming cash rewards to an eligible BOA checking or savings account. e.g. 1% rewards become 1.1%.
  • Via Bank of America Preferred Rewards, get:
    • 25% bonus with Gold status (requires $20K in savings / investments)
    • 50% bonus with Platinum status (requires $50K in savings/ investments)
    • 75% bonus with Platinum Honors status (requires $100K in savings/ investments)

8) 5% cash back offer for first 6 months on up to $12,500 in purchases for the Wells Fargo card can be found here.

9) Amex EveryDay Preferred earns a 50% bonus on points earned when you use the card 30 or more times per billing period.  Amex EveryDay earns a 20% bonus on points earned when you use the card 20 or more times per billing period.

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[…] Redemption Values (RRVs) to estimate the value each card offers.  The new page can be found here: Best Cards for Grocery, Gas, Drugstores, Travel, Dining, More… For brevity, I’ll often refer to the new page as the Best Category Bonus page, but I think […]

Eric
Guest
Eric

AMEX Everyday gives 2x to 2.4x (3.64 to 4.37%) at grocery stores for first $6k

Roy
Guest
Roy

The FlexPerks Business also gives 2x for office supply.

JP
Guest
JP

Amex Blue Cash Preferred gives 3% cash back at Department stores.

Quinn
Guest

Many of these categories require purchases made in the USA (e.g., groceries, gas). Would it be feasible to indicate which cards’ categories are geographically limited? As someone who’s almost never in the states, the current list doesn’t provide enough information to choose a card.

Mo2rose
Guest
Mo2rose

Chase Freedom’s 5% bonus alternating categories should be added. grocery for next quarter starting on april the 1st

Yuri
Guest
Yuri

Chase Amazon card is now 5% on Amazon, if you have Prime.

mel lebed
Guest

Pen fed visas offer 5% gas but redemption value is about $.80 on the $

Yuri
Guest
Yuri

Penfed Cash Rewards Plus is 5% cashback.

J
Guest
J

Bookstore category has Sallie Mae, which is now no more 🙁

DW
Guest
DW

Great timing Greg, I was just going to start compiling a list as my number of cards has grown recently. I appreciate all the good info you put out.

trackback

[…] of spend: Airfare booked directly with airline; US restaurants; select US department stores; and car rentals purchased directly from select car rental […]

trackback

[…] on spend at supermarkets / grocery stores. For more on the best cards for each category, see our Best card for Grocery, Gas, Drugstores, Travel, Dining, and more. Full terms of this offer are […]

Ashok
Guest
Ashok

Sallie Mae card is now converted to Commerce card. No longer offering 5% on gas and groceries. Huge disappointment 🙁

trackback

[…] Starting today and scheduled to end on Saturday, June 10th, 2017, Office Max and Office Depot will be offering a $10 instant rebate on Visa Gift Card purchases of $300 or more. That’s not as good as past promotions and will not completely eliminate the activation fees, but you can still come out ahead of using a card that earns a good category bonus. […]

trackback

[…] the current $10 back on $50 or more Amex Offer. While I typically prefer to use a card that gets a good category bonus at office supply stores, any card with the $10 back on $50 Amex Offer would effectively give you […]

trackback

[…] Many credit cards offer extra points for certain categories of spend.  For example, many cards offer extra points for travel; others offer extra points for gas or groceries; etc.  See: Best Card for Grocery, Gas, Drugstores, Travel, Dining, More… […]

Rabbmd
Guest
Rabbmd

You list on the everyday spend page the BOA travel rewards as 2.63 assuming platinum honors rewards. It is inconsistent to list the BOA cash rewards as only 3% with platinum rewards and not 3.5% with platinum honors rewards. I believe you should list the BOA as offering 3.5% on groceries (given a limit of $2500 per quarter combined on gas/grocery/wholesale club). You also list the BOA cash as 5.25% on gas which is platinum honors not plain platinum.

Str8Shooter
Guest
Str8Shooter

Amazon Prime card offers 2X at Drugstores.

TomT
Guest
TomT

The CNB Crystal Visa Infinite entries should be updated to reflect the 1.25% airfare point redemption, meaning they are now 3.75% vs 3.54% for car rentals, gas, groceries, hotels and travel/airfare.

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[…] valid on variable-load cards. This can be a great deal when combined with a card that earns a good category bonus at grocery […]

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[…] Decent deal for scoring some points/miles at a negative cost. As these cards have an activation fee of $6.95, there is a $3 profit over the cost of activation. You can load up to $200. Five Back Visa gift cards earn 5% cash back when used at certain merchants (see the full list at the Five Back Visa Gift Card website). If you then also used the card at a merchant where you can earn 5% back, you would end up getting $210 in value out of the Visa Gift Card, plus rewards on the $206.95 purchase cost. As with the current deal for 4X fuel points at Kroger, be sure to use a card that earns a good category bonus at grocery stores. […]

Justin
Guest
Justin

Altitude Reserve is missing from the flight purchase category. I also thought it earned 3x on rental cars but maybe I’m wrong about that.

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[…] on how much you can fill up in a single trip to the gas station. When taken in conjunction with the best possible rewards for grocery store spend, it looks like a good weekend to go shopping at […]

bk3day
Guest
bk3day

Please include the impact of the 5% discount on Hertz, FedEx, and other AMEX Open partners for co-branded AMEX business cards in their respective ( car rental, etc) spend categories

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[…] of purchases, I’ve added these programs to our Best Category Bonuses page.  For example, the Car Rentals section now has two extra rows (in yellow) showing rebates available to Amex and Visa business […]

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[…] as many gallons as I can. This deal would further be enhanced by using a card that earns one of the Best Category Bonuses at grocery stores or it may be helpful in meeting a signup bonus.If you’ll be shopping at Kroger, it’s […]

Yuri
Guest
Yuri

There is also Ducks Unlimited card for 5% cashback on gas and sporting goods stores:
https://www.firstbankcard.com/ducksunlimited/landingpage/visaplat/

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[…] I don’t drive a vehicle with a 35-gallon tank (nor do I live near any Kroger locations unfortunately), but we have a couple of 5 gallon gas cans, so between one vehicle and a couple of those I can usually get pretty close to 30 gallons at a fill up. Even if you only have a 10 or 12 gallon tank, the savings can probably either mitigate activation fees or make some gift cards profitable even before considering a credit card that earns one of the Best category bonuses at grocery stores. […]

Hans Mast
Guest
Hans Mast

Greg, could you please add Delta Reserve, Delta Plat, etc (all the individual airline bonus cards) to the Travel/Airlines sections, please?