It’s that time again! Time for 4th quarter 2011 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, especially with the holidays coming up.
You know the drill: switch out the old 3rd Quarter 5% Rewards  and maximize your cash rewards  for 4th quarter 2011 to make sure you have the right cards, you are signed up for the 5% promotions, and you know where to use them.
Note: We’re moving into the 2nd quarter of 2012 so the categories below have been updated to reflect that.
2nd Quarter 2012 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card is done with gas this quarter (boo!). However, I’m excited to see charitable donations make the list for the Chase Freedom 2011 reward. And obviously, they’re targeting holiday shopping with the inclusion of department stores. The 2nd quarter 2012 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:
- Grocery Stores
- Movie Theaters
Discover More . The Discover 5% cash back on gas ended with the 3rd quarter 2011 rewards too and Discover is making the switch to holiday shopping. The 4th quarter 2011 Discover More 5% categories are:
- Department Stores
- Clothing Stores
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 newest (and favorite) addition to the list is 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. Good thing since gas isn’t on any of the rotating lists this quarter.
Target Purchases. Target purchases will keep going on the Target 5% discount credit card .
Wireless and Office Supplies. We switched our wireless and office supplies to the American Express SimplyCash Business  card to get 5% on both of those categories.
Cable and Satellite. Our Directv is now billing the Chase Ink Business card. The 5% applies to cable and satellite, wireless, landline, and office supplies. It also includes bundled TV, high speed internet and phone.
Costco. The TrueEarnings Card from Costco and American Express  downgraded the cash back for restaurants, so we’re only using this card at Costco this quarter.
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 4th quarter 2011 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!
- And new to the list, don’t forget to add your cards you’ll be using this quarter to your Envaulted  account. I keep forgetting, so now it’s on my official checklist!
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: