Current bonus categories: Chase, Discover & Citi


All Cashback credit cards reward for your purchases by adding some money to your account. However, they all reward you differently. Some of them give you a flat rate cashback on everything you buy, and others offer higher rewards for certain purchases.

There is also the third group of cashback credit cards – cards with rotating bonus categories. These cards offer a higher cashback rate (usually 5 percent) in categories that change quarterly.

Three major issuers currently offer cashback credit cards with bonus categories: chase, Discover and city. Read on to find the full breakdown of the current bonus categories on these cards.

Changing categories from Chase 2021

Chase credit cards with changing categories include those Chase Freedom Flex℠ and Chase Freedom (not available for new applications). Both cards, when activated, give you 5 percent up to $ 1,500 on spending in bonus categories, then 1 percent. The issuer announces a category in each case. Here is what it is Cashback calendar looks so far for 2021:

quarterCategories
Winter (January-March)
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Select streaming services
  • Internet, cable and telephone services
Spring (April-June)
  • Gas stations
  • Hardware stores
Summer (July-Sept.)
  • Grocery stores (except Walmart and Target)
  • Select streaming services
Holidays (Oct-Dec) *
  • Walmart purchases
  • PayPal purchases

For the fourth quarter of 2021, Chase is offering a category bonus with the highest spend. Cardholders who activate their fourth quarter bonus categories will automatically receive 5 percent cashback (4 percent on top of their unlimited cashback of 1 percent) up to $ 1,500 in the qualifying award category they are in through December 31, 2021 Most award categories spent include travel (including local transport), restaurants, hardware stores, select streaming services, select live entertainment, gas stations, drug stores, fitness clubs, grocery stores (excluding purchases from Target and Walmart).

Discover the rotating categories 2021

Discover offers 5 percent cashback in rotating categories on the Discover it® Cash Back and the Discover it® Student Cash Back up to $ 1,500 in purchases per quarter after activation, then 1 percent. Unlike Chase, Discover publishes its categories for the year in advance, so here is the full bonus category calendar for 2021:

quarterCategories
Winter (January-March)
  • Grocery stores (including Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery, but excluding Walmart, superstores, and wholesale clubs)
  • CVS
  • Walgreens
Spring (April-June)
  • Gas stations
  • Wholesale clubs
  • Select streaming services
Summer (July-September)
Holidays (October-December)
  • Amazon.com
  • Walmart.com
  • Target.com

You can activate the categories of the next quarter at any time during the current quarter. Registration for each quarter ends on the last day of that quarter.

Citi 2021 changing categories

The only Citi card that comes with rotating cashback categories is the Citi Dividend Card, which is no longer available to new applicants. Once activated, the card earns 5 percent in bonus categories (up to USD 300 in cashback earned per year), then 1 percent. Similar to Chase, Citi announces the categories one after the other. If you’re a cardholder, the card’s cashback calendar currently looks like this:

quarterCategories
Winter (January-March)
  • Amazon.com
  • Select streaming services
Spring (April-June)
Summer (July-September)
  • Gas stations
  • Hardware stores
Holidays (October-December)

Each new category activation opens on the 15th day of the last month of the quarter and runs until the end of the category period.

Should you get a cash back card with changing categories?

When you are ready to enroll in the bonus categories and make sure you are using the card to make the correct purchases, this type of credit card can bring lucrative rewards. Plus, the bonus cashback cards currently on the market don’t have annual fees, so you won’t be under pressure to spend enough to justify the cost of the card.

The information about the CitiDividend Card was collected independently from Bankrate.com. The card details have not been verified or approved by the card issuer.


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