ABOC is sprucing up its 5x bonus categories for 2021, keeping some familiar ones in place while adding in new ways to earn extra rewards.
Beginning Jan. 1, ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card and ABOC Union Strong Mastercard® Credit Card holders can earn 5 points per $1 spent in quarterly rotating bonus categories on up to $1,500 in spending. All other purchases, including bonus category purchases after the $1,500 threshold, earn 1 point per $1.
New 5X bonus categories for 2021
Here are the bonus categories for 2020 and 2021:
ABOC bonus rewards categories for 2020 and 2021
Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)
Old favorites, with a nod to new spending habits
Overall, the bonus categories paint an aspirational picture for 2021: self-care and feathering your nest for the first half of the year, and a potential return to travel and holiday celebrations in the latter half.
Groceries, dining, travel and transportation are back again, joined by categories that acknowledge the shift in consumer spending during the COVID-19 pandemic, like home improvement, wholesale clubs and medical services. Veterinary services is a new category we haven’t seen on a rotating bonus card before, but anyone who added pandemic pets to their household can attest to how quickly one trip to the vet can max out the $1,500 limit for the quarter.
Things to keep in mind about ABOC cards
The ABOC cards work similarly to other rotating bonus category cards, such as the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back and the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card — with a few key differences:
Unlike those other 5x cards, the ABOC cards don't require you to activate or opt into your bonus categories every quarter. As long as you register once on ABOCRewards.com, you're automatically eligible for the 5x bonus every quarter going forward.
The ABOC cards aren't ideal cash-back credit card options. They earn points (not cash back) that are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for travel. Cash back is a redemption option, but at a point value of less than a penny apiece — a worse rate than the other 5x cards listed above. Point values vary when redeeming for gift cards and are usually higher in value when you opt for a larger gift card.