There could be many reasons why you might not be working on earning a credit card welcome bonus right now. Maybe you’re trying to get your recently opened card count below 5/24 or you’re letting your credit report cool off a little bit before opening new cards.

Whatever the reason, you should still try to take advantage of travel credit card bonus categories. That’s why we’ve compiled the best bonus category options currently available in the market on a quarterly basis for cards you may be currently carrying.

While some cards have permanent bonus categories, others change from time to time which has been especially true this year. We hope this guide will make choosing the best card to make a purchase just a little bit easier for you.

Groceries

For the first quarter of 2022, there are quite a few options to earn points at elevated rates on supermarket purchases. You can earn tons of rewards to make the rising cost of groceries sting less.

The best cards offering bonus points on grocery purchases are below:

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: 5% cash back at Whole Foods
  • American Express® Gold Card (see rates & fees): 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets on the first $25,000 spent per year, then 1X thereafter
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (see rates and fees): 6% cash back on groceries on the first $6,000 at U.S. supermarkets per year, then 1% thereafter
  • Chase Freedom or Chase Freedom Flex: 5% cash back/5X Ultimate Rewards points at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases
  • Citi Custom Cash Card: 5% back on the first $500 in your top category spend each month, 1% cash back thereafter
  • Citi Premier® Card: 3X ThankYou Points at supermarkets
  • Discover it® Cash Back Card: 5% cash back at grocery stores on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases (excluding Target and Walmart)

There are quite a few limited-time offers for cards that will earn extra points and miles at grocery stores.

The Citi Custom Cash Card offers the opportunity to earn up to 5% cash back on your first $500 spent at grocery stores, so long as it is your top category of the month. Given groceries are often one of the biggest line items in a family’s budget, it can be easy to get the full value of this card at grocery stores.

The Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex’s returning quarterly bonus is for 5X points at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart). The Freedom is unavailable for new applicants, but you can downgrade your Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card to the Freedom if you want.

And finally, the Discover it® Cash Back Card is also offering 5% cash back on grocery purchases (except Target and Walmart) on the first $1,500 spent.

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Flights

Travel is cautiously starting to rebound, which may have you thinking of booking a flight sometime soon. You should be sure to earn the most points possible on any cash tickets you’re purchasing.

The best cards offering bonus points for flights from January through March 2022 are:

Although both the Amex Platinum and the Citi Prestige Card earn 5X points on flights, the Amex Platinum is a preferred option here because it provides trip delay insurance.

The Amex Gold and the Amex Green could be good choices here as well as they earn 4X and 3X Membership Rewards points on airfare, respectively.

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card is a bit of an underdog, but it still should be on your radar. Unlike its big brother, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card, it earns 4X points on all travel regardless if it’s booked through a travel portal or not. Keep in mind, U.S. Bank doesn’t have any transfer partners, so you’ll be limited to redeeming points directly through their travel portal.

Both of the Chase Sapphire cards, both Chase Freedom cards as well as the Capital One Venture X Rewards Card offer travelers 5X points per dollar spent on airfare booked via their respective travel portals, but keep in mind that booking directly with an airline might save you some hassle down the road.

The Citi Premier Card awards 3X ThankYou Points per dollar spent on airfare but doesn’t provide any travel protections, such as trip cancellation or interruption insurance, trip delay, baggage delay or baggage loss.

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Hotels

Although there are exceptions, we recommend focusing on earning transferable points when booking hotels. Here are your best options with Amex, Capital One, Chase and Citi:

If you’re looking to pay cash for your hotel stay, the Citi Prestige Card should be on your radar. Twice a year you can get your fourth night free on a paid hotel stay booked through Citi ThankYou Rewards.

Another option to earn 5X points on hotel stays is the U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card. You’ll earn 5X points on hotels booked through the Altitude Reserve Center with your card, but there are no transfer partners with U.S. Bank. In general, you should prioritize the Amex Platinum or one of either the Chase Freedom Unlimited or Chase Freedom Flex over the Altitude Reserve.

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card and Chase Sapphire Reserve® might entice you with 10X points per dollar spent on hotels booked through their respective travel portals. However, keep in mind that chain hotels don’t honor elite status benefits, and you likely won’t earn credit for the stay, either.

Same idea applies to portal bookings made with the Freedom Unlimited, the Freedom Flex cards and the Capital One Venture Credit Card. You’ll earn 5X points on these hotel bookings, but your elite status won’t be recognized.

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Cruises

Setting sails? Use a card that earns bonus rewards in the travel category. Co-branded cruise cards aren’t typically the best options. Instead, use one of a boatload of credit cards that earns flexible points.

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Rental Cars

When renting a car, you should consider more than just the total number of points you’d earn. Some cards offer rental car insurance when you book with them, but they may not offer the most points. For example, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provide primary insurance coverage while many of its peers don’t.

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Restaurants

Dining, including delivery and takeout, is one of the most popular travel credit card bonus categories. The extra points add up quickly whether you grab a hot beverage at a neighborhood coffee shop in the morning, go out with coworkers for lunch or wine and dine in the evening.

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Ride-Hailing Services

Ride-booking can be tricky. Some banks consider these services as travel while others don’t. Other cards have bonuses for specific ride-hailing companies.

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Food Delivery

For food delivery, some cards offer unique credits in addition to bonus points. Balancing your earnings and credits to offset the costs is the best way to save and earn.

Unfortunately, the Citi Prestige Card no longer gets $5 back on Postmates orders over $25. Earning 5X points is still a good bonus rate for food delivery, even without the discount.

Meanwhile, the Amex Gold Card has a $10 per month credit that you can use with Grubhub and Seamless. Amex cardmembers with a Platinum, Gold or Green card can get a free Uber Eats Pass membership for 12 months.

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Gas Stations

You might not be commuting as much right now and working remotely from your home office. Still, try to get as many points or cash back as possible when filling up the tank every now and again.

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Mobile Pay

Mobile pay is becoming increasingly attractive, especially now that people are trying to reduce physical contact as much as possible. As the acceptance of mobile pay services increases, so does its popularity as a bonus category.

  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: 3X points on Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, LG Pay
  • Apple Card: 3% on Apple Pay transactions at Apple, Duane Reade, Exxon and Mobil gas stations, Nike, Panera Bread, T-Mobile, Uber, Uber Eats and Walgreens, and 2% back on all other Apple Pay transactions
  • Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card: 1.8% cashback on mobile payments for the first year with your card

Although the Apple Card and Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card are technically two of the best options for mobile pay, we don’t generally recommend them. Many cards will earn bonus points on their respective categories even if you pay with mobile pay. So if you’re dining out, look to use the best restaurant card instead of the Apple Card or the Cash Wise Visa.

Entertainment

Entertainment can be a broad category, but there are a couple of cards available this quarter that specify all entertainment as a bonus category.

  • Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card: 4% cash back on entertainment
  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: 3% cash back on entertainment
  • Citi Custom Cash Card: 5% back on the first $500 in your top category spend each month, 1% cash back thereafter
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Streaming Services

For many people, streaming services have replaced traditional cable and satellite TV. Although it may be a hassle to change all your billing information, using one of the following cards will get you the most back on streaming services this quarter.

Quarterly Bonus Categories (January through March 2022)

Some of our favorite rewards cards include bonus categories that change quarterly. Below are two of our favorite rotating category credit cards and their quarterly bonuses for January through March.

  • Chase Freedom (not available to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Flex: 5% cash back/5X Ultimate Rewards points at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and on eBay purchases (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter)
  • Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: 5% cash back at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) and fitness clubs and gym memberships (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter)

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of great cards out there for every bonus category this quarter. Missing a category you’d like to see included in the future? Let us know in the comments and we’ll be sure to include it next quarter.