5 Credit Cards That Let You Pick Your Own Bonus Categories

5 Credit Cards That Let You Choose Your Own Bonus Rewards. In the world of credit cards, maximizing your rewards is key to getting the most bang for your buck. Many cards offer bonus rewards in specific categories, like travel or groceries. But what if your spending doesn’t fit neatly into those categories?

This is where credit cards with customizable bonus categories come in. These cards allow you to choose which spending categories earn you the most rewards, giving you more control over your rewards strategy. On June 8, 2024, we explore five top credit cards that let you pick your own bonus categories, helping you find the perfect fit for your spending habits.

Beyond One-Size-Fits-All: The Rise of Customizable Rewards

Traditional credit cards often lock you into pre-selected bonus categories, which might not align with your spending habits. Customizable rewards cards offer more flexibility, allowing you to select the categories that earn you the most points or cash back. This can significantly boost your overall rewards potential.

Top 5 Credit Cards with Customizable Bonus Categories:

  1. Citi Custom Cash® Card:
  • Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Customization: Choose a new bonus category each month from a wide selection, including restaurants, gas stations, groceries, streaming services, and more.
  • Pros: High potential cash back on your top spending category, flexible category selection.
  • Cons: Annual fee, cash back is capped at $500 per category each month.
  1. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card:
  • Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on two different bonus categories you choose each quarter, up to $2,000 combined in those categories. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Customization: Select two new bonus categories each quarter from options like department stores, cell phone service, hotels, and fitness clubs.
  • Pros: High potential cash back on two chosen categories, no annual fee.
  • Cons: Rewards are capped at $2,000 combined across two categories each quarter, requires planning your category selection quarterly.
  1. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card:
  • Rewards: Earn 3% cash back in your choice of two categories you select each month, up to $1,500 combined in those categories. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Customization: Pick two new bonus categories each month from options including gas stations, online shopping, travel, and home improvement stores.
  • Pros: Decent cash back on two chosen categories, allows for monthly category selection.
  • Cons: Rewards are capped at $1,500 combined across two categories each month, lower cash back percentage compared to some competitors.
  1. Venmo Credit Card:
  • Rewards: Earn a variable cash back rate on your top spending category each month, currently offering up to 5%. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Customization: The top spending category is automatically chosen based on where you spend the most each month. However, you can choose to “lock” a category for the month to keep earning bonus cash back there.
  • Pros: Potential for high cash back on your top spending category, option to lock a category if desired.
  • Cons: Top spending category is automatically chosen, less control over customization compared to other options.
  1. Truist Enjoy Cash credit card:
  • Rewards: Earn 2% cash back in two categories you choose each quarter, up to $1,500 combined in those categories. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Customization: Select two new bonus categories each quarter from options including groceries, gas stations, travel, and dining.
  • Pros: No annual fee, decent cash back on two chosen categories, allows for quarterly category selection.
  • Cons: Rewards are capped at $1,500 combined across two categories each quarter, lower cash back percentage compared to some competitors.

Choosing the Right Card for You: Consider Your Spending Habits

The best customizable rewards card depends on your spending habits:

  • High Spenders: If you spend a lot in specific categories, look for cards with high cash back percentages and higher caps on category rewards.
  • Frequent Travelers: Cards offering bonus rewards on travel categories can be a good fit for frequent flyers or hotel stayers.
  • Low Spenders: Cards with no annual fees might be more suitable for those with lower overall spending.

Beyond the Top 5: Exploring Other Customizable Rewards Cards

While the cards listed above are some of the most popular options, there are other customizable rewards cards worth considering:

  • Discover it® Cash Back: This card offers a rotating bonus category that earns 5% cash back each quarter, up to $1,500 in that category. Additionally, you can choose a bonus category to earn 1% cash back on throughout the entire year.
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠: Similar to the Discover it® Cash Back, this card features a rotating 5% cash back category that changes quarterly, with a spending cap of $1,500. You can also choose a category to earn additional points on throughout the year. However, Chase Freedom Flex℠ rewards come in the form of points that can be redeemed for travel, cash back, or transferred to travel partners.
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card doesn’t offer category selection, but it rewards you with a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases. While not technically customizable, it can be a good option for those who prefer simplicity and don’t want to worry about tracking categories.

Important Considerations Before Applying for a Customizable Rewards Card:

  • Annual Fees: Some customizable rewards cards have annual fees, while others don’t. Weigh the potential rewards against the annual fee to decide if the card is worth it for you.
  • Rewards Caps: Most cards with customizable categories have caps on how much bonus cash back or points you can earn in those categories each month or quarter. Be aware of these caps to avoid exceeding them.
  • Minimum Redemption Requirements: Some cards may have minimum redemption requirements for your earned rewards. Make sure you can easily redeem your rewards for something you value.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: If you travel internationally, consider a card that doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.

Maximizing Your Rewards with Customizable Cards:

Here are some tips to get the most out of your customizable rewards card:

  • Track Your Spending: Analyze your spending habits to identify the categories where you spend the most. This will help you choose the most rewarding bonus categories.
  • Adjust Your Categories Regularly: Since most cards allow you to change your bonus categories monthly or quarterly, take advantage of this feature to maximize your rewards based on your current spending patterns.
  • Combine with Other Rewards Programs: Consider using your customizable rewards card alongside store loyalty programs or other rewards programs to earn even more rewards on your purchases.
  • Pay Your Balance in Full Each Month: Rewards cards typically come with high interest rates. To avoid paying interest charges, aim to pay your balance in full each month.

Customizable Rewards Cards: A Flexible Rewards Strategy

Customizable rewards cards offer a flexible way to maximize your rewards potential. By understanding the different options available, considering your spending habits, and employing smart strategies, you can choose a card that helps you earn more rewards on the things you buy every day. Remember, the key to success is to be informed, strategic, and choose a card that aligns with your financial goals and lifestyle. Happy rewarding!

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