There could be many reasons why you might not be working on earning a credit card welcome bonus at the moment. 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 lines of credit.

Whatever the reason, you still want 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 might have in your wallet.

While some cards have permanent bonus categories, others change every few months. We hope this guide will make choosing the best card for your everyday purchases just a little bit easier.

Groceries

For the first quarter of 2024, there are quite a few options to earn points at elevated rates on supermarket purchases. You can earn tons of rewards to make the increasingly painful cost of groceries sting less.

The following cards offer bonus points or high cashback rates on grocery purchases:

A fan-favorite American Express® Gold Card is still one of the best cards to earn flexible rewards on grocery purchases in the United States. The Citi Premier Card earns bonus points on supermarkets all over the world, so consider this card when buying groceries overseas.

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’s 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 maximize the grocery store category with this card every month.

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Flights

The pandemic is officially over, and air travel is back in full swing. Whenever you’re not redeeming credit-card rewards for airfare, make sure to earn the most points possible on any cash tickets you’re purchasing.

The best cards offering bonus points for flights purchased in Q1 2024 include:

Nothing has changed in this spending category in a while. Although both the Amex Platinum and the Citi Prestige Card earn 5X points on flights, the Amex Platinum is a preferred option between the two because it provides trip delay insurance.

The Amex Gold and the Amex Green could be good choices here as well as they both earn 3X Membership Rewards points on airfare booked directly with airlines.

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, the 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. However, keep in mind that booking directly with an airline might save you some headache 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, consider using the Citi Prestige Card (not available to new applicants). You can get the fourth night free on a paid hotel stay booked through Citi Travel (up to two times per year).

The Citi Premier Card holders receive a $100 annual statement credit per calendar year after booking a single stay totaling at least $500 through the Citi Travel portal. Additionally, the Citi Premier and the Citi Prestige card holders earn 10X points on hotel bookings made through its new portal partnered with Booking.com (through June 30, 2024).

Those who have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can save $50 per membership year when booking a hotel stay through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

The Platinum Card from American Express cardmembers receive a $200 hotel credit toward a property participating in the Fine Hotels + Resorts or The Hotel Collection booked via Amex Travel (no enrollment required, but terms apply).

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® might entice you with 10X points per dollar spent on hotels booked through their respective travel portals. However, it’s worth remembering that chain hotels don’t honor elite status benefits on portal bookings, 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 card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. You’ll earn 5X points on these hotel bookings, but your elite status won’t be recognized.

You also can earn 5X points on hotel stays with 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 Capital One Venture X Rewards Card or one of either the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Chase Freedom Flex credit card over the Altitude Reserve.

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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 a credit card that earns a boatload of flexible points and offers trip insurance in case you miss the boat.

  • American Express Green Card: 3X Membership Rewards points on travel
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom Flex℠: 5% cash back/5X Ultimate Rewards on purchases made in the Ultimate Rewards travel portal
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 5X Ultimate Rewards points on travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards or 2X points on travel
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: 3X Ultimate Rewards on travel
  • Citi Prestige Card: 3X ThankYou Points on cruise lines
  • Ink Business Preferred® credit card: 3X Ultimate Rewards on travel
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card: 4X points per dollar spent on travel
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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 offer either secondary coverage or no coverage at all.

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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.

This quarter, restaurants are one of the bonus categories for the Discover it cardholders, so make sure to swipe this card on all things dining for your 5% cashback bonus.

  • American Express Gold® Card: 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide
  • American Express Green Card: 3X Membership Rewards points at restaurants worldwide
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: 4% cash back on dining
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® or Chase Freedom Flex℠: 3% cash back/3X Ultimate Rewards at restaurants
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 3X Ultimate Rewards points on dining
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®: 10X Ultimate Rewards points on prepaid reservations with Chase Dining and 3X points on all other dining 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 restaurants
  • Citi Prestige Card: 5X ThankYou Points at restaurants
  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: 3% cash back at restaurants
  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: 3% cash back at restaurants
  • Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: 5% cash back at restaurants (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter)
  • Wells Fargo Autograph℠ Card: 3% cash back at restaurants
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Ride-Hailing Services

Ride-booking can be tricky. Some banks code these services as travel while others don’t. For extra rewards, look for cards that have partnerships with specific ride-hailing companies.

Although The Platinum Card® from American Express and the American Express® Gold Card don’t earn bonus points with ride-hailing services, they offer a monthly Uber Cash credit of $15 and $10, respectively (enrollment required), so don’t forget to link these cards with your Uber account.

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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.

The Amex Gold Card offers a $10 monthly credit that you can use with Grubhub and a $10 monthly Uber Cash credit (enrollment required), which can be used toward Uber Eats orders as well.

The Amex Platinum Card members receive a $15 monthly Uber Cash credit and $35 in December (enrollment required). The credits with either card don’t roll over to the next month, so be sure to place an order before they expire.

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Gas Stations

Gas stations are a big category for those who commute to work or prefer road trips to air travel. Use the cards below to get as many points or as much cash back as possible when filling up the tank to offset the high cost of fuel. Those buying snacks, such as meat jerky and granola bars, will thank us later as well.

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations
  • 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 gas stations
  • Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi: 4% cash back on gas, including at Costco (on up to the first $7,000 per year, then 1%)
  • Ink Business Cash® credit card: 2% cash back/2X Ultimate Rewards at gas stations (on the first $25,000 per year)
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Connect Visa Signature® Card: 4X points at gas stations
  • Wells Fargo Autograph Card: 3% cash back at gas stations and EV charging stations
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Mobile Pay

Mobile pay is becoming increasingly attractive, especially now that consumers are trying to reduce physical contact at shops, restaurants and coffee shops. As the acceptance of mobile pay services increases, so does its popularity as a bonus category.

  • Apple Card: 3% on Apple Pay transactions at Apple, Ace Hardware, 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
  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card: 3X points on Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, LG Pay

Although the Apple Card is technically one of the best options for mobile pay, we don’t generally recommend it. Many cards earn bonus points on their respective categories even if you pay with mobile pay. So if you’re dining out, for example, look to use the best restaurant card instead of the Apple Card.

Entertainment

Entertainment can be a broad category, but there are several cards available this quarter that list entertainment as a bonus category.

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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.

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 6% cash back on streaming
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card: 4% cash back on popular streaming services
  • Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card: 3% cash back on popular streaming services
  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: 3X Ultimate Rewards points on select streaming services
  • Citi Custom Cash Card: 5% cash back on the first $500 in your top category spend each month, 1% cash back thereafter
  • U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card: 5% cash back on streaming as long as it’s one of your top two category choices (on the first $2,000 each quarter)
  • Wells Fargo Autograph Card: 3% cash back on streaming services

Quarterly Bonus Categories (January through March 2024)

Some of our favorite rewards cards include bonus categories that change every quarter. Below are two of our favorite rotating category credit cards and their Q1 2024 bonus categories.

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

Self-care and spa services is a new category that we haven’t seen before, so it’s interesting to see Chase mix things up for their 5% back lineup.

Offer activation is required for both Chase and Discover cards, so don’t forget to click the magic “Activate” button to get the bonus rewards.

Chase My Bonus on Co-Branded Cards

If you happen to hold any co-branded cards issued by Chase, such as Aeroplan, Amazon, Avios, IHG, Hyatt, Marriott, Southwest Airlines or United Airlines credit cards, you might be eligible for bonus earnings.

To check whether you’re eligible for extra rewards, go to this page and enter your information. If your card is eligible, make sure to activate the offer and use said card in the listed spending categories, which can include grocery stores, gas and dining.

Final Thoughts

There are a lot of great cards out there for every bonus category this quarter to help you start the new year strong and maximize rewards on your everyday expenses. Banking double or triple points per dollar means you’ll get to your next vacation much faster. And if you’re having a hard time tracking it all, we recommend referring to this article before making a purchase.