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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?
|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.