The US Airways Dividend Miles Mastercard has been competing with Chase Freedom by offering similar quarterly bonus categories. This quarter is no different, with Barclays offering 2 bonus miles per $1 on grocery store, movie theaters, and dining purchases. Upwards of 2,500 bonus miles can be earned between now and January 31, 2015. The registration deadline is January 20, 2015. In order to register, you must provide a registration code that was sent out via mail or email. Not everyone has been targeted, but it never hurts to call Barclays and see if they’ll extend one to you.
The quarterly 5% cash back/5 points per $1 Chase Freedom bonus categories are the same, except instead of a dining bonus, cardholders get bonus points/cash back at Starbucks. Considering Ink Plus cardholders can get the same bonus by purchasing Starbucks gift cards at office supply stores, this isn’t anything to get excited over. The Chase Freedom category bonus is also valid on purchases made through March 31, 2015. The activation deadline is March 14, 2015.
The Chase Freedom card has an advantage in terms of paying out a flexible rewards currency (either cash back or Ultimate Rewards points, if you also have a Sapphire Preferred or Ink Plus card). Freedom cardholders also have an opportunity to earn more miles (up to $75/7500 miles), since the category bonuses are limited to the first $1,500 spent. So if you’re not going to be able to max out both card bonuses, I’d recommend focusing on the Chase Freedom card.
Needless to say, the inclusion of grocery stores really come in handy for those who are able to buy Visa gift cards with a credit card. The 5% cash back/5 Ultimate Rewards points per $1 at grocery stores brings us back to the days when office supply stores still stocked Vanilla Reload cards. While you’re limited to $1,500, this is an easy way to generate some bonus points or cash back this quarter. In the past, I’ve had varied success buying REloadit cards at grocery stores and with both the Chase Freedom and Barclays US Airways Mastercard bonuses, it’s definitely worth trying to purchase them at your local grocery store.
While it may not be much, I’m always glad to see banks other than Chase offer revolving category bonuses from time to time. They’re a great way to bank more miles whether you’re manufactured spending or earning them the old fashioned way. If the quarterly bonuses continue once the US Airways Mastercard has been converted to the AAdvantage Aviator Red card, then this might be more incentive for some of you to choose Barclays over the Citi AAdvantage Platinum card.
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