Some of the more popular cash back credit cards have incorporated a cash back rewards program that rotates the categories in which cardholders can receive higher cash back. These are the categories for the first quarter of 2011.

free checkingThe Rotating Categories Movement

Since the new credit card rules went into effect, Chase and Citi revamped their cash back programs to use the rotating categories format that was first adopted by the Discover More card. As a result, credit card companies will be paying out less in rewards and cash back rebates.

To make earning cash back even more difficult, credit companies require cardholders to sign up to earn the quarterly bonus cash back. Also, many of these cardholders have no idea what are the current cash back categories.

All in all, the entire rotating categories cash back program system is meant to be a hassle and out-of-mind to the point that card customers become lazy or forgetful to take advantage of the cash back.

5% Cash Back Rotating Categories for First Quarter of 2011

Cash Back Credit CardPeriod (2011)5% Cash Back CategoriesView Product
Chase Freedom®Jan. 1 - Mar. 31
  • Grocery stores
  • Drugstores
Product page
Discover MoreJan. 1 - Mar. 31
  • Travel
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores (March only)
  • Drugstores (March only)
Product page
Citi Dividend Platinum SelectJan. 1 - Mar. 31
  • Health care
  • Drugstores
  • Fitness
Product page

For all three cards lists above, customers receive 1% cash back on all other purchases.

How to Sign Up for Bonus Cash Back

It can be quite the treasure hunt to find out how you can enroll in the 5% cash back rotating categories program. Or, the link may be right in your face but you don’t notice it because you’ve grown to shun the many offers that credit card companies throw at you.

If you are a cardholder, here is how you can find the sign up links:

  • Chase Freedom®: Visit the Chase Freedom® 5% Cash Back Activation page. Enter your last name, ZIP code, and last four digits of your credit card number and you will be instantly enrolled.
  • Discover More: Visit the Discover 5% Cashback Bonus page. Simply log onto your account to sign up.
  • Citi Dividend Platinum Select: Log into your Citicards account and you’ll find a bonus cash back link in the account summary page. After you click the link, you simply have to confirm your signup.
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