Amalgamated Bank of Chicago credit card customers, welcome to the rotating-bonus-category community.
The issuer has revamped the rewards program for its consumer Mastercard products including the ABOC Union Strong Mastercard® Credit Card and ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card, transforming a basic earnings rate of 1 point per dollar spent into a potentially much more lucrative system.
As of Q1 2019, cardholders can earn 5 points per dollar on up to $1,500 in combined spending on categories that change each quarter, much like with the Chase Freedom® and select Discover cards.
For 2019, these categories are:
Jan. 1 through March 31: Grocery, pharmacy and restaurant purchases.
April 1 through June 30: Home improvement, home supply, warehouse and wholesale club purchases.
July 1 through Sept. 30: Airline, cruise, car rental, hotel and travel agency purchases.
Oct. 1 through Dec. 31: Auto parts, service and repair purchases.
Once you hit the $1,500 spending cap in these categories, you'll revert to earning 1 point per dollar spent in those categories for the quarter. All non-bonus-category purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent.
Unlike with other rotating bonus category cards, ABOC notes that "activation" of the bonus every quarter is not required. You need only complete a one-time registration at ABOCRewards.com, and you'll be automatically enrolled going forward.
Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise and travel.
Both cards previously offered occasional opportunities to earn bonus points on certain spending categories, but those promotions were more limited.
Rotating-bonus-category cards require more maintenance than flat-rate rewards cards because you have to keep track of categories. But you can also rack up rewards much more quickly in a rewards system like this, especially when your spending habits dovetail with the card's bonus categories that quarter.