4th quarter cash back is here! Time to clean out your wallet and reassign the cards you are carrying to take advantage of 4th 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 on each purchase.
4th quarter is my favorite card switching quarter with holiday shopping on the horizon. 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.
You know how it works: swap out the the 2012 3rd Quarter 5% Rewards and maximize your cash rewards for 4th 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.
4th Quarter 2012 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards
Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card is dropping gas to focus on holiday shopping and travel. The 4th quarter 2012 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:
- Best Buy
See the entire 2012 Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar and the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.
Discover More. The Discover 5% cash back is also switching to holiday shopping for 4th quarter 2012! With the addition of “all online shopping” I’m happy I’ll finally have a reason to put my Discover card back into rotation! Way to go Discover! The 4th quarter 2012 Discover More 5% categories are:
- Department Stores
- All Online Shopping
See the entire 2012 Discover More Rewards Calendar.
Citi Dividend. Citi is also jumping on the holiday shopping cash back for their 4th quarter rewards. The 4th quarter 2012 Citi Dividend 5% categories are:
- Electronics stores
- Toy 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 favorite card, which has earned a permanent place in my wallet, 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. Restaurant purchases go on the Citi Forward card, which offers 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 Ink Bold with Ultimate Rewards or the American Express SimplyCash Business card to get 5% on both of those categories.
Costco.The switcharoo at Costco is still working well! 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.
Bill Pay. One of they categories you can pick for 5% cash back with the US Bank Cash Plus is bill pay. I want to test that out this quarter and see how well it works.
Travel. Since airfare and hotels are already covered in the rotating cards, we won’t need much else for holiday travel. But I’ll keep our Chase Sapphire Preferred card on hand for hotels that don’t have a dedicated travel card.
Everything Else. All other purchases are now going to the cards in my $3,000 Credit Card Application Spree to meet spending requirements. In addition, we have some gift cards purchased on our American Express to use. If you aren’t into the gift cards, you can put the rest of the charges on the Fidelity card.
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 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!
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: