Someone reported on Fatwallet Finance that Chase will end the 5% rebates for gas and grocery purchases on its Cash Plus rewards credit card. I have the Rewards Plus and Cash Plus cards from Chase. They stopped issuing the Rewards Plus and Cash Plus cards shortly after I got in. However they have continued the 5% rewards program for existing cardholders until now. I have been getting 5% rebate on gas and grocery purchases, and I only charge gas and grocery purchases on the Chase card. The Fatwallet report didn’t say anything about the Rewards Plus card, but it’s very likely that the same will happen to that card as well.
Although I didn’t expect to be grandfathered in forever, this change is still a negative because it marks the end of the ongoing 5% gas and grocery rebate cards. The reported replacement offer is 3% rebate for the first $600 in top 3 “everyday” categories in each month. Everything else is 1%. If you can wait until you accumulate $200 in rebates, you then get a 25% bonus for converting it into a $250 gift card. It’s a complex offer. To maximize the rewards, you have to charge only 3 “everyday” categories and also make sure the total charges don’t exceed $600 every month. Otherwise the charge will fall into the 1% bucket.
Offers from other credit card companies are not any better. There are some cards that offer 5% or more rebates only for the first 12 months. I don’t count those because they are a limited time offer and I have no interest in applying for new cards every year. Other ongoing offers are equally gimmcky. American Express Blue Cash promises 5% rebate on gas and grocery purchases but the first $6,500 of the charges only earn 0.5% rebate. Pass. Citi Driver’s Edge card requires that you mail in your car service receipts or call them in order to convert your rebates to Thank You points which you then redeem for gift cards. Pass.
Oh well, too bad the 5% rebates came to an end. I will stay with the new Chase Freedom program because it still gives me straight cash. I will charge gas, groceries, and utilities to the card.