2nd quarter cash back is here and it’s focused on spring home improvements. It’s time to reevaluate the cards you are carrying to take advantage of the best 2nd quarter 2014 cash rewards credit cards 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 2014 5% Rotating Cash Rewards Credit Cards (be sure you maximized all your 1st quarter categories you need!) and maximize your cash rewards for 2nd quarter 2014 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 2014 5% Cash Rewards Credit Cards

Citi Dividend. Citi has you covered with the 5% cash back for your home improvements and gardening. The 2nd quarter 2014 Citi Dividend 5% categories are:

  • The Home Depot
  • Home furnishing stores
  • Home & garden stores

Discover it. The Discover 5% cash back for 2nd quarter 2014 is also focused on home improvement. The 2nd quarter 2014 Discover More 5% categories are:

  • Home Improvement Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Bed Bath & Beyond

See the entire 2014 Discover Rewards Calendar.

Chase Freedom. The Chase Freedom card will be back in the rotation this quarter for restaurants! The 2nd quarter 2014 Chase Freedom 5% categories are:

  • Restaurants
  • Lowe’s® home improvement stores

See the entire 2014 Chase Freedom Rewards Calendar and the Best Way to Maximize Chase Ultimate Rewards Points.

No Sign Up Needed

And as always, here are the easier cash back categories, since you don’t need to sign up. I’ve added a few more categories requested by readers this quarter:

Category Card Cash Back
Grocery Stores Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6% cash back (up to $6,000 per year)
Gas TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express 3% cash back (up to $4,000 per year)
Restaurants* Upromise World MasterCard 4% at participating restaurants
Target Target credit card 5% discount
Amazon Amazon Visa or
Citi Forward Card (college students only)
3 points per dollar
5% cash back
Wireless and Office Supplies SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express 5% cash back
Costco Fidelity Credit Card 2% cash back
Travel Barclaycard Arrival Various
Charitable Donations U.S. Bank FlexPerks® Travel Rewards Visa Signature® card 3x points
Choose Your Own Categories SimplyCash® Business Card from American Express
or US Bank Cash Plus
Everything Else Gift cards purchased on American Express
or Fidelity Credit Card
or Barclaycard Arrival

*In addition this quarter, 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 2014 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!

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:

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

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