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3rd Quarter 2016 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards

3rd quarter cash back is here! 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 3rd quarter 2016 cash rewards credit cards [1] 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 2nd Quarter 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards [2] and maximize your cash rewards [3] for 3rd quarter 2016 to make sure you have the right cards, you are signed up for the 5% promotions, and you know where to use them.

3rd Quarter 2016 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card is featuring 5% cash back on wholesale clubs this quarter! Since Costco just switched to Visa, it’s one of the Best Credit Cards to Maximize Cash Back at Costco [4]! The 3rd quarter 2016 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:

  • Restaurants
  • Wholesale Clubs

Chase Freedom 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 3rd quarter Chase Freedom [5] rewards. See the entire 2016 Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar [6]. Also see the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points [7].

Discover it. The Discover 5% cash back for 3rd quarter 2016 includes Amazon! The 3rd quarter 2016 Discover it 5% categories are:

  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Amazon.com

Discover 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 3rd quarter Discover [8] rewards. See the entire Discover Rewards Calendar [9] for categories in future quarters.

Citi Dividend. Citi 5% cash back this quarter is focused on travel. The 3rd quarter 2016 Citi Dividend 5% categories are:

  • Hilton
  • Car Rentals

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 3rd quarter Citi Dividend [10] rewards. See the entire 2016 Citi Dividend Rewards Calendar [11].

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 3rd quarter Cash Plus [12] rewards.

No Sign Up Needed

And as always, here are the easier cash back categories, since you don’t need to sign up:

Category Card Cash Back
Grocery Stores Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express [13]
or American Express Old Blue Cash Card [14]
6% cash back (up to $6,000 per year)
Gas American Express Old Blue Cash Card [14]
New Costco Anywhere Card
Amex Business Gold Rewards [15]
Restaurants* Citi Thank You Premier Card [16] 2 ThankYou Points for every $1
Target Target credit card [17] 5% discount
Amazon* Amazon Visa [18] 3% cash back
Wireless Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express [13] or
SimplyCash Business Card from American Express [19]
10% cash back
5% cash back
Office Supplies SimplyCash Business Card from American Express [19] 5% cash back
Internet and Cable Chase Ink Plus [20] 5x rewards points
Costco* Fidelity Credit Card [21]
New Costco Anywhere Visa
BankAmericard Cash Rewards [22]
Capital One Venture [23]
2% cash back
2% cash back
2% cash back
2% cash back
Travel Citi Prestige [24] or Barclaycard Arrival [25] Various
Charitable Donations US Bank FlexPerks Card [26] 3x points
Choose Your Own Categories SimplyCash American Express [19] 3%
Everything Else Fidelity Credit Card [21]
or Citi Double Cash [27]
or Barclaycard Arrival [25]

*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:

  1. 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 3rd quarter 2016 5% cash back information. In order to earn the 5%, you have to enroll in each program quarterly.
  2. 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!
  3. 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 [28].