5% Cash Back Cards: Grocery Stores, Restaurants, PayPal, Streaming Services – July through September 2021

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5percentbackActivation open for 3rd Quarter 2021. 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 hundreds of dollars in additional rewards per year without changing your spending habits. You can also buy gift cards at places with 5% back now but spend the gift cards later. New cardmembers may also get an upfront sign-up bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex Card

From July 1st through September 30th, 2021 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Grocery Stores (excludes Target and Walmart)
  • Select Streaming Services (includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify YouTube TV)

Enroll each quarter online in your Chase account or at ChaseBonus.com. As long as you activate by September 14th, the rewards are retroactive. Technically, you earn Ultimate Rewards points which can also be converted to airline miles or hotel points instead of cash if you have a Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve card. Currently, the Chase Freedom Flex card is offering new applicants $200 if you sign up and make $500 in purchases in your first three months. No annual fee.

Discover it 14 ImageDiscover it Card

From July 1st through September 30th, 2021 you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in the following categories:

  • Restaurants
  • PayPal

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 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 looking under “Terms and Conditions” or searching for “cashback match” and “statement credit offer”:

Cashback Match: We’ll match all the cash back rewards you’ve earned on your credit card from the day your new account is approved through your first 12 consecutive billing periods or 365 days, whichever is longer, and add it to your rewards account within two billing periods.

TERMS OF STATEMENT CREDIT OFFER: You will receive a $50 Statement Credit after making a purchase that posts to your account within three months of account opening. You must apply through your friend’s referral link and be approved by December 31, 2021 in order to be eligible for the $50 Statement Credit offer. Offer may not be combined with any other introductory offer. Promotional award will be applied within 8 weeks.

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card.

  • 6% cash back at US supermarkets all year long (on up to $6,000 per year)
  • 6% cash back at select US streaming subscriptions (includes Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+, Netflix, Sling, Vudu, Fubo TV, Apple Music, SiriusXM, Pandora, Spotify, YouTube TV, and more).
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations and transit (taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).

I use this card all year long for groceries and put all my streaming services on it, 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 welcome offer. See details in link.

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
  • TV, Internet, and Streaming Services

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. No annual fee.

Amazon Prime Rewards Card. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods all year long. Prime membership required. New cardholder bonus varies by person. No annual fee.

There are also additional promotions during Amazon Prime Day and also throughout the year. Check at Chase.com/MyBonus for a targeted offer. Here’s what I just got:

From 5/15/21 to 8/15/21, you’ll earn a total of 5% Back for every $1 you spend on travel purchases and at gas stations on up to $1,500 in total combined purchases with your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature® card.*

ABOC Platinum Rewards Card (no longer available to new applicants)

From July 1st through September 30th, 2021 you can earn 5x rewards on up to $1500 in combined purchases this quarter in the following categories:

  • Travel (includes qualifying airline, cruise, car rental, hotel, travel agency purchases, gas, tolls, and ride share purchases)

You must register each quarter at ABOCRewards.com or in your online account. The ABOC Platinum Rewards Mastercard no longer accepting new applications.

Citi Custom Cash Card. The eventual successor to the card below, this card offers 5% cash back on your top eligible spending category up to $500 spent each month. The maximum amount of $500 per month is less than the $1,500 per month of many cards above, but the category shifts according to your spending. You could, for example, only use this card for gas all year long.

Citi Dividend Card. This card is also no longer available to new applicants, but if you still have the grandfathered card you can view and activate your quarterly 5% category here. Limit of $300 cash back for the calendar year.

Don’t settle for the “1% on everything else” that these cards offer. Get 2% cash back or higher. Check out the card-specific reviews for details.

My Money Blog has partnered with CardRatings and Credit-Land for selected credit cards, and may receive a commission from card issuers. All opinions expressed are the author’s alone, and has not been provided nor approved by any of the companies mentioned. MyMoneyBlog.com is also a member of the Amazon Associate Program, and if you click through to Amazon and make a purchase, I may earn a small commission. Thank you for your support.

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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.

    • Immigrant in CA says

      Actually it doesn’t have to defeat the purpose. You can get real cash from Costco in exchange for those gift cards. They might not do all $1500 at one time but $100 at a time I have done that.

      • Thanks! I think I’ll do 15 x $100 and liquidate 1 per week, I’m always there.

        • Immigrant in CA says

          Congratulations on becoming a money launderer 🙂

          • In case anyone still listening, my Costco is doing away with this by year end (but getting conflicting stories about in effect now.) I agree the above is money laundering but we often get gift card as rebates from promoted merchants (floor install) and refunds and prefer the cash.

    • What kind of giftcard you talking about ? From Costco?

  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?

  6. The Frugal Millionaire says

    I got an offer in Feb. for 5% cash back on any utility or insurance payment made with my Amazon Prime Visa card. I prepaid a few months of electric bills to make sure it worked, and it did. I plan on prepaying all of my utilities and insurance policies before this crazy offer expires. Talk about things you’re going to be buying anyway…
    P.S.~~~My gas company charges $2.95 for a credit card payment, with a $1500 limit, so at 5% you’re spending $2.95 to make $75. Some utilities do charge, but you can still easily make money by making a big enough payment. Folks who read this blog are bright enough to do the math.

  7. Talking about expenses/spending, Jonathan what are your expenses like ? Also, if anyone would like to share.

    I’m looking for ways to reduce.

    Expenses

    Home Expenses Jan

    Home Insurance $67.00
    Maintenance
    Property Taxes $233.00
    Other
    Total $718.00

    Transportation Jan
    Car Payments
    License & Registration
    Car Insurance $146.00
    Fuel $202.00
    Maintenance
    Bus/Transit Pass
    Taxi & Ride Shares
    Other

    Total $348.00

    Utilities Jan
    Electricity $250.00
    Gas/Heating Oil
    Cell Phones $60.00
    Garbage $35.00
    Internet $35.00
    Television
    Water $90.00
    Other
    Total $470.00

    About $1,200 for everyday expenses. Taxes are spread out over a year.

  8. I know I can shop online using Paypal and point it to the Discover Card to get the Q3 2019 cashback. I was googling around trying to figure out if there’s some way to pay with Discover on Paypal at physical stores, and what I found was confusing. I *think* they used to offer this feature on both iPhone and Android but now only Android, is that right? And I know you can add Paypal to Apple Pay, but will that charge to the Discover card getting you your cashback, or will it charge your bank account? Anybody familiar with this?

  9. I don’t see the option to use PayPal for pay1040.com (Chase Freedom, 4th quarter, 2019)

  10. I think the dates for the Amalgamated 5x offer is wrong … just sayin’

  11. Frugal Mom says

    Wondering what card to use to pay medical bills. The provider has given 12 – 24 months at 0% rate to pay the bills. Payment can be made monthly via credit card. Currently have Citi and get 2% back. Wondering if there is another card that could be used for this purpose. Since its medical bill wondering if it will fall under health category. Any suggestion?

    • @Frugal Mom, many drugstores and supermarkets sell prepaid VISA or American Express-branded gift cards. Buy one on a credit card offering 5% off drugstore or supermarket purchases. Then use the prepaid gift card to pay your medical bill (the provider should process the gift card like any credit card). You’ll save 5% off what you paid for the gift card, less a $5.95 fee per gift card, so put the maximum amount on as few gift cards as you need to pay the bills.

  12. Hi Jonathan. Thanks for the quarterly reminder. You might still list “Chase Freedom” with the “Chase Freedom Flex” for the quarterly categories.

    I think existing cardholders are grandfathered and not automatically converted to the Flex product. I’m keeping my Freedom and will apply for the Flex separately since they are different products. That way, I can effectively double the total potential spend eligible for a quarterly bonus.

  13. Does the Chase 5% back at Walmart include Walmart Neighborhood groceries?

    • DB, here’s the specifics on the Chase 5% cashback at Walmart offer:

      Purchases in the Walmart category include purchases at Walmart Discount Stores, Walmart SuperCenters, Walmart Neighborhood Markets, http://www.walmart.com, Walmart branded gas stations operated by Walmart, any other Walmart branded retail stores operated by Walmart, and purchases made with Walmart Pay. Please note that merchants operating within or on Walmart premises such as merchants that sell fast food, beauty services, and gas stations that are not Walmart branded are not included in this category. Walmart affiliate businesses such as Sam’s Club are also not included in this category.

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