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 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 for you

Groceries

For the third 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 following cards offer bonus points or increased cash back 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 shopping 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

Travel is returning in full swing, which may have you thinking of booking a flight in the near future. Whenever you’re not redeeming credit-card rewards for a flight, make sure to earn the most points possible on any cash tickets you’re purchasing.

The best cards offering bonus points for flights from July through September 2022 include:

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, 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 Credit 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 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 your fourth night free on a paid hotel stay booked through Citi ThankYou Rewards up to two times per year.

The Citi Premier Card holders receive a $100 annual statement credit after booking a single stay totaling at least $500 through the ThankYou Rewards portal.

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

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 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 can also 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 over the Altitude Reserve.

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Cruises

Setting sail? 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 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.

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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.

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 (enrollment required). The credits with either card don’t roll over to the next month, so be sure to place an order before it expires.

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Gas Stations

With gas prices being sky-high and summer road trips on the horizon, this will be a huge category for many this quarter. Try to get as many points or as much cash back as possible when filling up the tank to offset the high cost of fuel.

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations
  • Chase Freedom and Chase Freedom Flex: 5% cash back/5X Ultimate Rewards at 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 Propel American Express® Card: 3X points at gas stations
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Mobile Pay

Mobile pay is becoming increasingly attractive, especially now that people 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.

  • 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.

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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 (July through September 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 July through September.

  • Chase Freedom (not available to new applicants) and Chase Freedom Flex: 5% cash back/5X Ultimate Rewards points at gas stations, car rental agencies, movie theaters and on select live entertainment (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter)
  • Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card: 5% cash back at restaurants and PayPal (on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter)

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

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.