There are two kinds of cash back reward cards – those that offer the same percentage of cash back on various categories of purchases throughout the year and those that offer bonuses on categories of merchants that change each quarter. Chase and Citi are two of the largest credit card issuers that offer cards with cash back bonuses on rotating categories of spending.
This summer, the Citi Dividend and Chase Freedom cards are both offering 5% cash back on different categories of merchants as well as $100 sign up bonuses. Question is, which offer is better?
The Citi Dividend card offers 5% bonus cash back for the summer of 2012 on purchases from airline and car rental companies as well as several clothing stores. Citi is offering shopping bonuses at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Stores. By doing so they are targeting summer travel as well as back to school purchases. Yet savvy cardholders will realize that the summer is one of the best times to make airfare purchases for Thanksgiving and winter holiday travel.
The Freedom card from Chase is one of the most popular reward cards of any type. This summer, cardholders will receive 5% bonus cash on purchases from restaurants and gas stations. In doing so, Chase is also appealing to cardholders with summer travel plans, but with more of an emphasis on road trips than longer distance excursions requiring air travel and car rentals.
Chase and Citi have very similar structures for their reward programs, and both require cardholders to take an extra step to activate these reward categories. And while both products impose limits on the bonus cash that can be earned, they do so in different ways. The Chase card allows for bonus cash on the first $1,500 of spending each quarter while the Citi card limits annual bonus cash to $300. In each case, customers are limited to $300 per year in bonus cash, but the Citi offer is superior in that customers can accumulate the bonus cash all in one quarter if they choose to.
The summer is a particularly good time to have the Dividend card, as airfare can easily help consumers attain a ton of cash back at a 5% rate making this card the better choice for the next few months.
Below you can compare both offers and apply online.