Happy New Year! It’s time to shuffle our wallets around to take advantage of 1st quarter 2012 cash rewards credit cards bonuses. Since many credit cards now offer cash back on a rotating quarterly schedule, we have to reorganize each quarter to make sure we get the best cash back.
You know how it works: switch out the the 2011 4th Quarter 5% Rewards and maximize your cash rewards for 1st quarter 2012 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 2012 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card is bringing back gas this quarter! Another one I’m really excited to see on the list is Amazon.com! Too bad they didn’t add it for the holiday season last quarter, but it’s still a great Chase Freedom 2012 reward. The 1st quarter 2012 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:
- Gas Stations
See the entire 2012 Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar.
Discover More. The Discover 5% cash back is also bringing back gas for 1st quarter 2012. In addition they are adding entertainment to the list. The 1st quarter 2012 Discover More 5% categories are:
- Gas Stations
See the entire 2012 Discover More Rewards Calendar.
No Sign Up Needed
And as always, here are the easier cash back categories, since you don’t need to sign up:
Grocery Stores. My favorite card is still the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card which gives 6% cash back on groceries.
Gas Purchases. The Pen Fed Platinum VISA gives 5% cash back for pay at the pump gas purchases. If you aren’t into switching around your quarterly cards above, you can keep this one in your wallet all the time.
Restaurants. I’m on the hunt for a new card for restaurant purchases. The Citi Forward caught my eye. They offer 5 ThankYou Points for every $1.
Target Purchases. Target purchases will keep going on the Target 5% discount credit card.
Wireless and Office Supplies. Wireless and office supplies get charged on the American Express SimplyCash Business card to get 5% on both of those categories.
Costco. We’re doing a new twist at Costco. After showing our TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express as our membership card, we put our purchases on the Fidelity Credit Card for 2% cash back.
Everything Else. All other purchases are now going to gift cards purchased on our American Expess. If you aren’t into the gift cards, you can put the rest of the charges on the Sallie Mae Card for 2% cash back.
How to Get Your 5% Cash Back
As a reminder, 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 2012 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!
- Add your cards you’ll be using this quarter to your Envaulted account.
Sign Up Bonus Offers
If you don’t have the 5% cash rewards cards I’m using, here are the ones currently offering sign up bonus offers: