Best Cash Back Rewards for Credit Cards Q4 2013

Maximizing What’s in Your Wallet Q4 2013


Welcome to the Q4 2013 government shutdown edition of Maximizing What’s in Your Wallet!

As a reminder, this post is for all the credit card deadbeats out there looking to maximize cash back rewards. So, if you never carry a balance on your credit cards, have them set to auto-pay in full every month, and want to make the most of Q4 2013, then read on.

Here’s how you should allocate your spending this quarter:

Gas – Use the PenFed VISA Platinum Gas / Cash Rewards Card, but please note there have been substantial changes to this card over time. You’ll get 5% back all the time on gas purchases, and the rewards are automatically deducted from your current bill statement, but there is an avoidable annual fee.  

Groceries and Gift Cards – I have been very pleased with my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express which pays me 6% back on all grocery purchases.  It also pays 3% on gas and 1% on everything else, but I only use it at the grocery store.  The downside to the card is it carries a $75 annual fee and the grocery spending is capped at $6k per year, but it’s still a great card when not overly abused.  

Restaurants – For me I’m using my US Bank Cash+ for 5% back in regular and fast food restaurants.   

Department Stores Chase Freedom is offering 5% back at a wide variety of department stores.  This list EXCLUDES Target, Walmart, and the membership warehouses.

Online ShoppingDiscover is offering 5% back.

Home Improvement  –  N/A

Hotels and Airlines – Use your favorite hotel card.  Mine are the Starwood Preferred Guest® Credit Card from American Express and the Marriott Rewards® Premier Credit Card.

Theme Parks –  Chase Freedom is offering 5% back.

Cell Phone –  I’m using my US Bank Cash+ for 5% back.  It works out to like $7/mth that I get back.

Drugstores – N/A

Amazon – I  use my Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express  to buy Amazon gift cards at a grocery store for the 6% cash back.  I also have the Amazon VISA for when I’m too lazy for that extra layer of work. When you buy through Amazon with the Amazon VISA you get 3% back and the first time you sign up, they give you $30-40 off your purchase depending on the offer at that time.  And, Chase Freedom is offering 5% back this quarter.

Everything Else – I use the  Fidelity Investment Rewards AMEX.  It offers 2% cash back across the board.

Two final thoughts: Sponsors are noted in red, and remember this advice is ONLY for people who don’t carry a balance…EVER.

Posted in Credit Cards Tagged with: , , , , , , , ,
  • Debt Blag

    But everyone has to pay their bills. Why wouldn’t I use a US Bank Cash card to pay my cell phone bill just because I’m carrying a credit card balance elsewhere?

    • slug

      You can be the exception, but only because I know your balance is at 0% interest!

  • Stefanie @ brokeandbeau

    I’m so psyched Chase Freedom is offering 5% cash back on Amazon this quarter. Just in time for the holiday shopping season!

    • slug

      Yeah, that can be dangerous. Remember you can always buy Amazon gift cards at the grocery store or drug store when that is Chase’s 5% category. Then you can do your Amazon spending in any season!

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