Saving 5 percent at restaurants adds up over time, which is why my Amazon Rewards Visa card is my new go-to card when dining out.
Sorry, AARP card, you’ve been replaced in my wallet. Albeit temporarily. My Amazon Rewards Visa’s 5 percent at restaurants trumps your 3 percent cash back. It even tops the Uber Visa’s 4 points per dollar and Capital One’s Savor card’s 3 percent when dining out.
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Chase emailed select Amazon Prime Rewards and Amazon Rewards Visa cardholders offering 5 percent cash back at restaurants through May 31. This comes on the heels of Chase announcing that Amazon Prime Rewards Visa cardholders now earn 5 percent back at Whole Foods.
The fine print: Like other cash back bonus category cards, you have to activate the bonus, and that 5 percent is on up to $1,500 in spending at restaurants. If you didn’t receive or didn’t see the email about this targeted offer, you can try to activate the bonus at this link.
The total possible savings is $75, if one spends $1,500 eating out over three months. That’s not a heaping helping of cash back by a long shot, but small potatoes add up. My Chase Freedom card usually has restaurants as the 5 percent bonus category card from July to September, so that’s another chance to rack up $75.
The credit card rewards game
I’ll be switching restaurant credit cards quite a bit in coming months. This is just a three-month fling with my Amazon Visa card, then I’ll return briefly to my old standby AARP card until June. Then I’ll spend the summer with my Chase Freedom and bounce back to my AARP card in the fall.
It’s enough to make one dizzy, knowing which card to use when. It is a little extra work to maximize rewards with category bonus cards, but, for me, it’s worth it.
A sweet bonus on restaurant spending definitely turns my head. The 10 percent that the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card offered for the first six months with the card led me to sign up. I did max out that bonus to earn the full $150, and that card is now my go-to for grocery shopping because it earns 3 percent cash back there.
Do’s and don’ts of category bonus cards
Something on my to-do list now: Updating all the other ways I stack my rewards at restaurants to reflect the Amazon Visa card that’s now my restaurant companion. That means updating the card on file at Groupon’s restaurant cash back site and with cash back apps like Dosh.
And something on my don’t-do list: Don’t let 5 percent – or 3 percent, 4 percent or any percent – cash back lead you to overspend. If you were going out to eat anyway, fine. Use the card that earns you the most rewards, but don’t eat out more to rake in more cash back. You’ll be fatter, and your wallet will be thinner.
See related: Easy ways you can save money at restaurants, Watch out for limits on rewards category bonuses, Do you check your restaurant receipts? You should