My 10 Favorite Credit Card Bonus Categories

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It’s amazing to see the progression of credit card category bonuses the past few years. When I say “category bonuses” I’m talking about the ability to earn bonus points in specific categories, like on dining, grocery stores, supermarkets, etc.

Back in the day I’d typically earn one point per dollar in most categories, while nowadays I’m typically earning 3-4x points per dollar in the categories I spend most in, 5x points in some categories, and often 2x points in non-bonused categories.

So in this post I wanted to share what I consider to be the five best personal credit card bonus categories, and the five best business credit card bonus categories. This is of course highly subjective, so I’m curious to hear which categories you guys like most.

My favorite personal card bonus categories

Here are what I consider to be the five best bonus categories available on personal cards:

My favorite business card bonus categories

Here are what I consider to be the five best bonus categories available on business cards:

Bottom line

Not only are credit card bonus categories better than ever before, but the best part is that many of the best cards out there are those without annual fees. Nowadays I’m averaging somewhere around 3x points per dollar on my spend across all categories. Since these are transferable points that I value at ~1.7 cents each, that’s like an average of a ~5% return on spend.

What are your favorite credit card bonus categories?

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  1. Lucky: What about the American Express Everyday Preferred card? 3x on groceries and 2x on gasoline; but goes up to 4.5x on groceries and 3x on gasoline if one does 30 transactions per month? I get the 30 transactions per month by purchasing a $5.00 Amazon gift card daily (which I more than cash out each month anyway).

  2. Amex Blue Cash Preferred – 6% on groceries ($6k limit per year)
    Costco VISA – 4% on gas
    USAA Limitless – 2.5% cash back on anything, no limit.

    Agree on all others you have listed for both personal and business.

  3. Also Amazon Prime linked to my Amazon account. 5% back on every Amazon purchase.
    If you have Discover Cash Back Match and are in year one you can use the Amazon category to get $1500 in Amazon gift cards for $1350. 10% discount on Christmas!

  4. I think you meant to state that Chase Sapphire Reserve will also allow you to get 3 percent back on purchases directly with airlines (I have done this). In cases where you book directly with an airline, however, Amex Platinum is the better option with 5 percent back.

  5. I switched from Platinum to using Chase Reserve or Chase Ink Preferred for airfare because of the superior insurance. Also, I recommend the CIP instead of CIBC for mobile phone plans (again, because of the insurance.) Sometimes the difference in points isn’t worth it!!

    @Christian: For me, Costco = Costco Citi Visa (2%), Sam’s Club = Amex Blue Biz Plus (2x pts). I have been reducing my warehouse spend because of Amex Gold’s 4x grocery store bonus.

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