1st quarter cash back is here! I can’t believe it’s already time to begin planning the New Year and our 1st quarter cash back. It’s time to organize, activate and put your cards into a regular rotation.
Reevaluate Quarterly Cash Rewards
It’s our quarterly check-in to reevaluate the cards we are carrying to take advantage of the best 1st quarter 2017 cash rewards credit card bonuses. Every quarter we reevaluate the cash back cards to make sure we get the highest cash back on each purchase including the credit cards that offer cash back on a rotating quarterly schedule.
As you switch out your cards, don’t forget to follow up on all your rewards and make sure you are earning the right cash back and maximizing all of your purchases.
We do the same swap every quarter, so you know exactly how it works: take out the old 4th Quarter 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards and maximize your cash rewards for 1st quarter 2017 to make sure you have the right cards, you are signed up for the 5% promotions and you know where to use them.
1st Quarter 2017 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Discover it. The Discover 5% cash back for 1st quarter 2017 includes gas stations.
Don’t forget to look up the end date for your double cash back if you are a new cardholder or signed up last year! During the double your 5% cash back becomes 10% cash back. Here’s more information on the Discover it 10% Double Cashback.
The 1st quarter 2017 Discover it 5% categories are:
- Gas Stations
- Ground Transportation
- Wholesale Clubs
Discover 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 1st quarter Discover rewards. We will update the Discover Rewards Calendar for categories in future quarters soon.
Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card will move on from Costco this quarter. Before the year ends you might want to stock up on some Costco gift cards. It will also be time for us to revisit the Best Credit Cards to Maximize Cash Back at Costco. The 1st quarter 2017 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:
- Gas Stations
- Local Commuter Transportation (Includes taxis, subways, local commuter buses and trains)
Chase Freedom 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 1st quarter Chase Freedom rewards. The Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar will be updated soon. Also see the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
Citi Dividend. Citi 5% cash back this quarter is focused on your home. The 1st quarter 2017 Citi Dividend 5% categories are:
- Home Depot
- Home Furnishing Stores
Citi 5% cash back is on up to $300 cash back per calendar year ($6,000 in purchases). Here’s the place to activate your 1st quarter Citi Dividend rewards. The entire 2017 Citi Dividend Rewards Calendar will have all the categories soon.
US Bank Cash +. Don’t forget you need to pick your 5% categories each quarter for the US Bank Cash + card. Here are some of the 5% cash back choices:
- Gym & Fitness Centers
- Cell Phone
- Various Stores (Bookstores, Clothing, Department, Sporting Goods, Electronics, Furniture and More)
You need to select your categories five days before the end of the current quarter. US Bank 5% cash back is earned on your first $2,000 in combined net purchases (purchases minus returns or credits) in your chosen 5% categories. Here’s the place to activate your 1st quarter Cash Plus rewards.
No Sign Up Needed
And as always, here are the easier cash back categories, since you don’t need to sign up:
*I left the categories on the grid for those currently in rotation. Readers requested that I leave them on as a backup for which card to use once they’ve exhausted their rotating rewards.
How to Get Your 5% Cash Back
Here’s my checklist for rotating cash back programs:
- Sign up for all of the new quarterly cash back programs, even if you don’t know if you’ll use that card. To sign up, just log in to your account online and select the 1st quarter 2017 5% cash back information. In order to earn the 5%, you have to enroll in each program quarterly.
- Write which categories to use each card for using a marker on the front of the card. It works really well to keep the cards straight!
- To keep the list of cards straight, I also began printing out a quick cheat sheet to slip in each of our wallets.
Sign Up Bonuses
All of the links for current sign up bonuses are now listed in our credit card directory.