Credit Cards

Increasing Cash Back Through Rotating Bonus Categories

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For many, the choice of a credit card is limited to contacting the nearest bank, submitting the necessary documents, and picking up plastic for payment after a while. You can save a lot on your purchases with the right credit card. The resulting cashback may well become a source of additional income.

Currently, banks offer customers two options for cashback – fixed and with alternating categories of bonuses. The first option is much easier, but the second is much more profitable, although it requires additional work.

Today, we will tell you about all the features and benefits of cards with alternating bonus categories for cashback.

How Cashback Cards Work

Choosing the right cashback card will allow you to save more money for various personal expenses. For example, you can use the dollars accumulated on cashback for casino games. On this page, you will find poker strategies and can use your coins well.

Cards with rotating bonus categories mean that every month the bank will change the type of good for the purchase of which you can receive cashback. It is essential for you to keep up with these bonus offers. You will receive a higher cashback rate than with classic fixed cashback cards.

Most often, cards with replaceable bonuses imply a return of 5% of the number of purchases in a particular category. Categories are determined by the bank and can include everything from streaming subscriptions to groceries.

The card is suitable for customers who are used to planning their budgets. Thanks to cashback, they will be able to achieve maximum savings and return hundreds of dollars throughout the year. Accumulated bonuses can be replaced once a quarter or every four months (it all depends on the conditions set by the bank).

Most often, the bank notifies customers about which category of goods discounts will apply in the future in advance. So, you can plan your expenses for the coming month.

How Bonus Categories Can Be Distributed

Consider the distribution of bonus categories on the example of the Chase Freedom Flex card for 2021:

  1. March-January. Payment for streaming services, wholesale clubs, telephone, cable, and Internet services;
  2. April-June. Buying fuel at gas stations and goods from the “household” category.
  3. July-September. Shopping at grocery stores (except Target and Walmart);
  4. October-December. Purchases at Walmart stores, as well as transfers to PayPal.

Benefits of Cards with Rotating Bonus Categories

If your spending habits fit precisely into the bonus category defined by the bank, you have significant savings opportunities every quarter or month. These cards offer a 5% refund on the selected category’s spending.

The indicator is higher than traditional cards with a fixed cashback. The latter offers an average of 1.5 to 2%. Also, the indicator exceeds the percentage for cards with multi-level categories (from 2 to 4%).

At the same time, no one forbids you to issue two cards simultaneously – with a fixed rate and alternating bonuses categories. With the right approach, you will be able to enjoy cashback to the maximum.

For example, you can earn fixed rewards on your Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card and carry a rotating bonus card to use at the correct time.


A card with rotating bonuses will not suit you if the categories offered do not correspond to your usual expenses in any way. With them, you will lose the bonus return you could get with a fixed cashback.

Another disadvantage is the restrictions on the maximum number of savings. For example, cashback may expire after you save $1,500 during a quarter. Some banks resort to a different practice – after reaching the limits, they reduce the amount of cashback to a minimum (no more than 1%).

Which Cashback Cards are Worth Paying Attention to?

Here are two credit cards offering cashback opportunities on changeable bonus categories.

Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex is a credit card with interchangeable bonus categories that also have some of the benefits of tiered rewards. If you sign up for a card without annual service, you can earn 5% on purchases in the quarterly bonus category up to $1,500. After that, the interest rate will be reduced to 1%.

Chase Freedom Flex owners receive several weeks’ notice from the bank about the launch of a new category. This allows you to plan your upcoming expenses properly before the start of the recent quarter.

Also, customers can count on a $200 welcome bonus. To do this, during the first 3 months of use, you must pay with a card for purchases of $500 or more.

There is also a fixed cashback for travel within the Ultimate Rewards program, 3% for restaurants and pharmacies.

Discover it Cash Back

The card has similar conditions – 5% for specific categories of goods within the current quarter for savings up to $1,500. After that, 1% cashback will be valid until the end of the quarter.

Minus the card – activation of quarterly bonuses in manual mode is required. If you do not have time to activate them, the cashback simply would not be credited.

But bonus categories for the Discover it Cash Back card are announced immediately for the whole year in advance. This will help you plan your expenses accordingly. There is no card maintenance fee. 

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Editorial Disclaimer: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned and has not been endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone

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