5% Cash Back Cards: Gas Stations, Grocery Stores, Restaurants – January to March 2019

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5percentback1st Quarter 2019 registration is now open. The credit cards below offer up to 5% cash back on specific categories that rotate each quarter. It takes a little extra attention, but it can add up to $100+ in additional rewards per year without changing your spending habits. You can also buy gift cards with the 5% back now but spend the gift cards later. New cardmembers may also get an upfront sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom VisaChase Freedom – $150 Bonus

From January 1st through March 31st, 2019 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Gas Stations
  • Drug Stores
  • Tolls

Enroll each quarter at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by the end of the quarter the rewards are retroactive. All other purchases earn 1% back, with no tiers or expiration of rewards. Technically, you earn Ultimate Rewards points which can also be converted to frequent flier miles instead of cash. Currently, the Chase Freedom card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in purchases in your first three months. No annual fee.

Discover it 14 ImageDiscover it Card

From January 1st through March 31st, 2019 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores (Target and Walmart excluded)

Enroll after logging into your online account (look on the right-hand side). 5% rewards won’t apply until after you activate your rewards, so it is best to activate now before you forget. No annual fee.

New cardmember bonus details. If you are a new applicant and sign up via my Discover Card referral link, you will get a $50 Cashback Bonus after your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. You will also get Cashback Match for an entire year – a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. During those 12 months, your $50 Cashback Bonus becomes $100, your 5% cash back rewards becomes 10% cash back, and your 1% cash back rewards become 2% cash back. You can verify this on the application by clicking on “See rates, rewards and other info” and searching for this text:

Cashback MatchTM: : No purchase minimums. After the first 12 consecutive billing periods that your new account is open, we will match all of the cash back rewards you’ve earned and apply them to your account in the following one or two billing periods. If your account is closed or no longer in the cash back reward program at the time we calculate your potential award, your cash back will not be matched. You’ve earned cash back rewards when they have posted to your account by the end of the 12th consecutive billing period. This promotional offer may not be offered in the future. This exclusive offer is available only to new cardmembers.

TERMS OF CASHBACK BONUS OFFER: Get a $50 Cashback Bonus after you make your first purchase within 3 months of being approved. Promotional award will be applied within 8 weeks. The promotional award is in addition to the Cashback Bonus earned on all purchases.

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card – $150 Statement Credit Offer

From January 1st through March 31st, 2019 you can earn 5X rewards on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery
  • Pharmacy
  • Restaurants

You must register each quarter at ABOCRewards.com or in your online account. Currently, the ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard is offering a $150 statement credit if you sign up and make $1,200 in purchases in your first 90 days. No annual fee.

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. You get to choose the two 5% cash back categories every quarter, out of a preset selection of specific categories;

  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Home Utilities
  • Ground Transportation
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Car Rentals
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Department Stores
  • Furniture Stores
  • Movie Theaters

Unfortunately, you can’t pick a broad category like gas stations, restaurants, or grocery stores. Make sure to choose your categories each quarter, even if you want them to stay the same. If you do not choose your categories, all purchases revert to only earning 1% cash back for that quarter.

Currently, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa card is offering $150 bonus cash back if you sign up and make $500 in eligible net purchases in your first 90 days. No annual fee.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card. This card earns 6% cash back at US supermarkets all year long (on up to $6,000 per year) and 3% cash back at US gas stations. I use this card all year long for groceries, and then in December use up the $6k annual limit on gift cards bought in the supermarket aisle. New cardholders are also eligible for a $200 statement credit after $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. $95 annual fee. See details in link.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods all year long. Prime membership required. 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores (yawn… see below). New cardholder bonus varies by person. No annual fee.

Citi Dividend Card. This card is no longer available to new applicants, but if you still have the grandfathered card you can activate to get 5% cash back at Gas Stations and Home Depot during Q1 2019. You are capped at $300 cash back for the calendar year. No annual fee.

Don’t settle for the “1% on everything else” that these cards offer. Get 2% cash back or higher. The following cards currently have the ability to offer cash back rewards as high as 2% or even greater. Please read my card-specific reviews for details.



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Comments

  1. The Chase/Apple pay option on the freedom card seems very useful. A lot of merchants across different categories like grocery, restaurants etc get covered in it.

    For discover, wholesale clubs like costco do not take anything but VISA, but costco.com allows discover as a payment option – though i am not sure if that would count toward the 5% cashback. It will be nice to know if someone has tried and knows. If it does, it could be worthwhile to buy costco cash cards online with discover and use them to pay in store for purchases and gas.

  2. Joshua Katt says:

    I just placed an online Costco order for a $100 card and will see if it triggers the 5% then possibly buy the rest of the 1500$. Although this defeats the 2% back from the Costco Visa card. A smarter strategy might be to use this exclusively for gas then buy gift cards at the end of the quarter for the balance.

  3. Joshua Katt says:

    FWIW, I emailed Discover and they confirmed the 5% works at costco & bj’s online – so no fee, no shipping gift cards from either should work. Got my $100 costco card. Easily will blow 1500 per Q between the 2 so a no hassle way to max out without keeping track of purchases.

  4. Why no mention of the Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card?
    – 3% cash back in year one & 2.5% cash back after
    https://www.alliantcreditunion.org/bank/visa-signature-card#features

  5. Jared L Ross says:

    Does the chase Costco 5% work at Costco for Gas?

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