If you liked last year’s categories, you’re in luck. If you didn’t, there’s still some possible good news for Q3.
As a reminder, you can already start enrolling for Q1.
The Citi Dividend recently unveiled all its bonus categories for 2017. The card is no longer open for new applications, but it’s still out there due to cardholders being grandfathered in (it may also be possible to product-change to it).
The 2017 categories are as follows:
- Q1 (Jan-March 2017): Home furnishing stores, including Bed Bath & Beyond, Crate & Barrel, Empire Today, Ethan Allen, IKEA, La-Z-Boy, PC Richard & Son, Pottery Barn, West Elm, Williams-Sonoma and more. Sign-up began 12/15/16.
- Q2 (April-June 2017): Drugstores and fitness clubs.
- Q3 (July-September 2017):Hilton and airlines.
- Q4 (October-December 2017): Best Buy and department stores.
This bonus calendar is nearly identical to 2016’s, with one notable difference: Airlines is offered as a bonus category in Q3. That could potentially be a lucrative category, as Q3 is likely when you’ll be purchasing airfares for holiday travel. This also makes the Dividend one of cards with the highest return on airfares (the Platinum Card from American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner) notably also started offering boosted rewards on airfare this year.
So, should you keep the Dividend in your wallet another year? We think so, especially because it has no annual fee, but also because the bonus earnings are capped yearly, instead of quarterly. While other cards have individual quarterly caps, the Dividend card gives you a single $300 cap on rewards earnings for the year. So, you could sock-drawer this card until a lucrative category pops up.
Plan on spending $6,000 on home decor in Q1? Max out your rewards earnings on that. Buying $6,000 worth of airfare in Q3 for a family trip? Use the card for that. Then use your other cards the rest of the year. The Dividend does not have a good cash-back return on non-category spending (only 1 percent), so consider a card that offers at least 1.5 percent back on everything, or Citi’s own Double Cash card, which earns 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent back when you pay it off.