Maximizing Category Spend Bonuses on Credit Card Spend
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TPG reader Tim recently emailed me that he wants to get at least two points per dollar for every single dollar he spends on his credit card. I think that’s a pretty interesting goal and one that’s more attainable than ever as more and more credit cards have added category spend thresholds. Here is a listing of the main cards and their special spend bonuses. Feel free to add your favorite bonus in the comment section. Note: I left out the spend bonuses for spend via shopping portals like bonuspointsmall.com and individual hotels/airlines.
I’ve also italicized the cards that have points that transfer to airline/hotel programs, making them even more valuable than cash back-type rewards. I’ve also bolded the cards that either I have or plan to get as part of my overall strategy to maximize my credit card spend. Feel free to share your thoughts/strategy in the comments section!
Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express – 3x for airfare, 2x for gas and groceries. 15,000 point bonus with $30,000 in spend each calendar year.
American Express Business Gold Rewards- 3X points per dollar on airfare (on all scheduled U.S. and international passenger airlines), 2X points on advertising with select media (graphic design, tradeshows and advertising services), gas (from stand-alone U.S. gas and commercial fuel stations) and shipping (in the U.S. for courier, postal, and freight services) and 1X points on everything else.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – 6% back; then 1% at standalone US supermarkets up to $6,000 in purchases, 3% at standalone US gas stations, and 1% on other purchases. Terms apply.
American Express Blue Cash Rewards- 3x cash at standalone US supermarkets up to $6,000 in purchases, 2x at standalone US gas stations and select major department stores.
American Express TrueEarnings Costco- Update: The terms of the True Earnings Card from Costco have changed. View the current offer here. 3x on gasoline purchases at standalone US stations and Costco up to $4,000, 2x for dining out at US restaurants and qualifying travel purchases
American Express SimplyCash Business- 5x cash back up to $25,000 in purchases at U.S. office supply stores, U.S. wireless telephone service providers, 3x cash back on standalone US gasoline gas stations.
American Express Co-Branded Fidelity Cards (Require Fidelity accounts)– 2x on everything
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – 2x on every purchase
Capital One Cash Rewards for Newcomers- 2x on travel
Capital One MTV- 5x on entertainment and 2x on restaurants
Capital One LSU- 2x on gas and groceries
Chase Ink Business – 5x office supplies, wireless and land-line phone and cable (incl internet), 2x on gas and dining
Chase Ink Classic – 5x office supplies, wireless and land-line phone and cable (incl internet), 2x on fuel and lodging
Chase Sapphire Preferred– 2x on travel and dining
Chase United MileagePlus Club Card: 1.5 miles on all spend, 2X miles on United airlines spend
Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants): 5x rotating categories: gas, drugstores, groceries, airfare, hotel, home improvement, home furnishings, lawn & garden, dining, department stores, movie theaters, charities (this card teams up well with Sapphire Preferred as I outlined in a previous post).
Citi Forward Card- 5x on restaurants, books, movies and music
Citi AT&T Universal Business Card- 5x on AT&T Products and services purchased directly from AT&T and 3x on gas station and certain office supplies and professional services
Citi ThankYou Preferred Card– 2x points on purchases for dining and entertainment, and 1 ThankYou point for every dollar you spend on other purchases.
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