2nd quarter cash back is here! It’s time for 2nd quarter cash back.

2nd quarter cash back is focused on grocery stores. In addition, we have a new option for cashback on Paypal and on your home utilities!

Organize, activate and put your credit cards into a regular rotation.

Quarterly Cash Rewards

It’s our quarterly check-in to reevaluate the cards we are carrying to take advantage of the best 2nd quarter 2018 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 1st Quarter 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards and maximize your cash rewards for 2nd quarter 2018 to make sure you have the right cards, you are signed up for the 5% promotions and you know where to use them.

2nd Quarter 2018 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card will feature 5% cash back on grocery stores. A new addition is the cashback on Paypal purchases. In addition, they are continuing the Chase Pay cash back… have you used Chase Pay yet? The 2nd quarter 2018 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:

  • Grocery Stores (Excluding Target and Walmart)
  • Paypal
  • Chase Pay

Chase Freedom 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 2nd quarter Chase Freedom rewards. See the entire Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar. Also see the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.

Discover it. The Discover 5% cash back for 2nd quarter 2018 will also focus on grocery store purchases this quarter.

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 2nd quarter 2018 Discover it 5% categories are:

  • Grocery Stores

Discover 5% cash back is on up to $1,500 in purchases. Here’s the place to activate your 2nd quarter Discover rewards. See the entire Discover Rewards Calendar for 2018.

Citi Dividend. Citi 5% cash back this quarter has you covered for spring household maintenance. The 2nd quarter 2018 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 2nd quarter Citi Dividend rewards. See the entire 2018 Citi Dividend Rewards Calendar.

US Bank Cash +. Don’t forget you need to pick your 5% categories each quarter for the US Bank Cash + card. New this quarter is the addition of 5% cash back on utilities. Here are some of the 5% cash back choices:

  • Household Utilities
  • Cell Phone
  • Various Stores (Bookstores, Clothing, Department, Sporting Goods, Electronics, Furniture and More)

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 2nd 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:

Category Card Cash Back
*Grocery Stores Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
American Express Old Blue Cash Card
6% cash back (up to $6,000 per year)
Gas American Express Old Blue Cash Card
New Costco Anywhere Card
Amex Business Gold Rewards
Restaurants (New cards!) New Capital One Savor
Chase AARP Visa
Target Target credit card 5% discount
Amazon Amazon Visa 5% cash back
*Wireless SimplyCash Business Card from American Express 5% cash back
Office Supplies SimplyCash Business Card from American Express 5% cash back
Internet and Cable Chase Ink Plus 5x rewards points
Costco Fidelity Credit Card
New Costco Anywhere Visa
BankAmericard Cash Rewards
Capital One Venture
2% cash back
2% cash back
2% cash back
2% cash back
Travel Citi Prestige
Barclaycard Arrival
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Charitable Donations US Bank FlexPerks Card 2x points (was 3x)
Choose Your Own Categories SimplyCash American Express 3%
Everything Else New USAA Limitless Cash Back Card
Fidelity Credit Card
Citi Double Cash
Barclaycard Arrival

*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 2nd quarter 2018 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.

Are you using different cards for any of these categories?

If you're looking for a new credit card, be sure to check out our credit card directory!

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Comments to New 2nd Quarter 2018 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards

  1. Thanks for the reminder. Registered my Chase card for groceries and set reminder to switch my gas purchases (speed pass) to switch back to AMEX Costco card from the Chase card at start of Oct.

    As for dining, shame not many takes Discover. Will have to continue to use AMEX Costco card for 3%.


  2. Schwab killed their credit card programs effective Oct. 1st, 2010. 🙁



    • Shawn,

      Right they did end the sponsorship, thanks for the reminder. Talk about a bummer.

      However, FIA is still running the 2% cash back… the important part! So I’ll still keep using it until that part goes away.

      Have you found out what the replacement card will be named?


  3. I have 2 Citi Dividend cards (1 MC and 1 AMEX) and have been with them since 2004. I purchased just under $5000 in new kitchen appliances when we moved into our new home in May 2011. I purchased the appliances online via the GE store and Citi refused to give me the extra 4% cashback on the purchases because the way the transaction was sent to them from the GE site; in a way that it did not fall under any of the home improvement categories. I called and emailed several times, even explaining that I would submit my receipts. Even though they ‘escalated’ the request, they did nothing stating they “are limited in our ability to assist with your request.” I bought appliances and that is clearly in the home improvement categories description of the Q2 2011 promotional incentive. What a joke. I am not using my Citi cards ever again…


  4. Note, for AMEX Costco Card, in the latest June statement, they announced they will be lowering the rebate for dining from 3% to 2%


    • Oh no, Wayne! I haven’t gotten my statement yet, so I didn’t know they were changing it. That’s a bummer they’re lowering it, since it really was the best dining rebate around.


      • This is at bottom of the statement,
        The TrueEarnings Program
        With billing periods starting in August 2011, we are reducing the reward percentage earned for eligible purchases at restaurants from 3% to 2%. Accordingly, effective with your billing period starting in August 2011, in the Supplement to the Cardmember Agreement describing How Your Reward Program Works, “3% for eligible purchases at restaurants” is deleted and replaced with “2% for eligible purchases at restaurants”. However, if your
        account was opened between August 1, 2010 and July 31, 2011, you will continue to earn 3% on eligible purchases at restaurants until the start of your 13th billing period. You will then earn 2% on eligible purchases at
        restaurants as described in the Agreement.


  5. am ex blue cash doesn’t recognize walmart for groceries or prescription purchases


  6. Thnaks for the roundup! I’ve used the strategy of rotating credit cards myself to earn greater cash back.


  7. Thanks for the reminder!


  8. thank you. i love getting cash back on my purchases. the only thing i love more is getting a discount beforehand (don’t have to worry after that). chase is looking good to me now.


  9. Hi again. Maybe you can help?? I tried to purchase Gift cards in my 4 grocery stores in my area (shop rite-A and P-Hannaford and Stop and Shop)with my amex preferred.These are all full line huge stores. I did find Subway and Bed Bath and Beyond, But where do you find cards from Walmart Kmart and CVS in grocery stores?(for the 6%) They all have the same ones. Except that this quarter you can get the 5% on drugstores from Chase. But are drugstore and walmart cards sold only in their own stores? Thanks


  10. Pretty weak categories this month, hopefully one of them decides to make some changes!

    William Charles

  11. I don’t see the Sallie Mae card from Barclay on the list of no sign-up needed cards. It has 5% gas, 5% groceries, and 5% bookstore (Amazon) year-round (with monthly caps).

    We tend to rack up more cash back on that card than any other single card, and there are no categories to juggle or sign-ups to remember. Ever so happy with it.


    • Yes, Krial, The sallie Mae card is great, but it’s extremely easy to hit their monthly max of $250 each for Groceries and Gas. Books….well if youre in Med School or Law School you might spend $500 a month on books, but pity that poor student!

      Brown Elizabeth N.

  12. Lots of opportunity to get cash back … thanks for the extensive roundup!


  13. Some of the Navy Federal Credit Union cards are 3% back on warehouse clubs through 12/31/17.



    • Thanks for the heads up Mary!


  14. Enjoyed your article and the level of detail you went into for different cards. I’m slightly saddened that the Freedom will no longer be grocery stores and will now be restaurants. I never go to movie theaters and rarely to restaurants.

    Oh well, I’ll make the most of it.


  15. I notice it’s been awhile now since the quarterly rotating rebates articles have been published. I always enjoyed reading them. I also really enjoyed your free money Friday posts and especially your credit card application sprees. Hope all is well with you.


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