They could do what BoA does with choosing the Cash Rewards 3% category - once you set your 5% and 2% categories, default to automatically carry them into each subsequent new quarter over unless and until you go in and change them.
Well yes, but setting categories quarterly is pretty standard. I have to activate Discover's 5% pre-selected category quarterly, and have to set my BBVA Clear Points 3% & 2% categories, as well as USB Cash+ 5% & 2%. They're all the same: Jan. 1, April 1, July 1 & Oct. 1. So I have a reminder in my MS Outlook calendar to remind me every 3 months. BoA Cash Rewards is easy, I always leave it set to gas, even though not a big spend for me, because their other categories are even a less spend for me or I have better rewards on other cards.
We had a similar discussion recently and I guess it didn't get very far, with one side pointing out how easy it is sign up, and the other (correct, because it is mine) saying how ever easy there is no need to make the customers do it, except for some "breakage" for the issuer.
I still don't really see why consumers wouldn't support:
1) Automatically signed up for this quarter's "specials" where there is no choice (as on Freedom/Discover etc)
2) Where there is choice,
a) keep existing choice where possible (Cash + and others)
b) If first time (or previous category is unavailable) choose. (Could be a default selection but....)
Or those who support the sign up, should also want to sign up for Citi DC 2% (or else you get 1%) and supermarkets on BCE/BCP etc.