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5% Cashback Categories for Q2 2013: Freedom, Dividend and Discover It

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Well, it’s about that time again: we’ve sprung forward, the first day of spring is nearly upon us, and the 5% cash back cards have announced their bonus categories for Q2 2013. The Big Three – Chase Freedom, Citi Dividend Platinum Select and Discover It – will offer 5% back on the following categories from April 1st through June 30th:

  • Chase Freedom: Restaurants, movie theaters and Lowe’s, up to $1,500 spent per quarter
  • Citi Dividend Platinum Select: Home furnishing and home and garden stores, and Home Depot. Rewards are capped at $300 cash back per year, which works out to $1,500 spent per quarter, but you can allocate within the year as you choose.
  • Discover it: Home improvement stores, up to $1,500 spent per quarter

The 5% card not on this list is, of course, the US Bank Cash+, which lets you choose two bonus categories from a slate that changes quarterly, and earns 2% on either gas, groceries or drugstores (your choice). You have to be a cardholder to see the Cash+’s categories.

Spring cleaning and DIY – what’s left over for the lazy people?

There’s clearly a theme to this quarter’s bonus categories for maximizing your rewards. You know the bathroom you’ve been meaning to re-grout or the bedroom that really, really, ought to be repainted? Now’s your time. So how do you decide between these cards whose bonus categories nearly align for this month?

Card Best if… Downsides
Chase Freedom You have a diversified spending plan for Q2, beyond just home improvement No flexibility in bonus categories: the Cash+ lets you pick your 5% spending areas
Citi Dividend Platinum Select You plan to spend more than $1,500 on home improvement this quarter – you’ll take advantage of a yearly, rather than quarterly, limit If you aren’t planning on redoing your home, you’re SOL. Also, $300 annual cap on rewards earnings
Discover it You occasionally make late payments – your first late payment fee is waived, and there’s no penalty APR No signup bonus, most restrictive bonus category
US Bank Cash+ You hold the card for a very long time – there’s no signup bonus, but greater flexibility and better rewards make the Cash+ a winner in the long run No signup bonus

If none of these cards suit your fancy, check out our list of the top credit cards of 2013, or some great no-fee, cash back offers. And good luck with the spring cleaning! April showers bring May retiled bathrooms.