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Over the past year, many of us have seen a change in our spending habits. We also saw major travel credit cards start offering more bonus rewards on everyday spendings, like groceries and gas. Now things are slowly getting back to normal, there are a lot of ways to keep maximizing daily purchases.
Here are a few ideas and guides to some of the best credit cards for everyday spending, including the opportunity to earn 100,000 bonus points or up to 5% cash back on purchases.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Earn 100k Points
You earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining plus an unlimited 1 point per $1 on everything else. However, Lyft rides earn 5x points, through March 2022.
As always, your points are worth 1.25 cents each when booking award travel on the Chase travel portal. Each point is worth 1 cent each for cash redemptions. You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to the Ultimate Rewards airline and hotel partners.
There’s another exciting retail partner benefit that can save you money and make life easier. You get one year of free DoorDash DashPass membership. DashPass benefits include unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders with a $12 minimum purchase total. This must be activated by 12/31/21 though.
Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Cardholders don’t need a Peloton bike or treadmill to take advantage of the digital membership that includes 1,000s of on-demand or live fitness classes. Also to note, new Peloton Digital Members are entitled to a 30-day free trial, by visiting Onepeloton.com/ChaseSapphire and enrolling using your Sapphire Preferred card.
Points are worth 25% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.
The annual fee is $95, but we believe its value is justified (you can learn more in this in-depth Chase Sapphire Preferred review).
New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $1250 when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. This is the highest bonus offer ever for the Chase Sapphire Preferred!
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
A travel rewards credit card is still a good option for maximizing daily purchases. However, you should be selective about which travel credit card you use. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns an unlimited 2x Venture Miles per $1 on every purchase.
It also has no foreign transaction fee, which is handy for when you book a trip abroad again. It’s no surprise that it is also one of the best credit cards for international travel.
It’s also easy to redeem your Capital One Venture miles. Each mile is worth 1 cent for travel statement credits. Eligible purchases include flights, hotels, timeshares, car rentals, and other common travel purchases.
This Capital One Venture Card review explains how this card also comes with Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. The annual fee is $95.
New Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards
Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited
Two other Chase options are perfect for everyday spending: the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. Both cards have no annual fee, earn cash back on all purchases, and have the same signup bonus.
New cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, they can earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
Both cards can also be used along with a Chase Sapphire Preferred®, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card to earn more bonus points. You can then transfer points earned with the Freedom cards to your Sapphire or Ink account for the card’s travel redemption bonus or 1:1 point transfers. Each Ultimate Rewards point is worth 1 cent each for cash redemptions or award travel you book through the Chase travel portal.
These two cards are also some of the best no-annual fee credit cards.
Chase Freedom Flex
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is a World Elite Mastercard product that offers cardholders the opportunity to earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, up to $1,500 (then 1% back). However, cardholders must activate the categories, though it’s fairly simple to do when the time comes.
These are the other Chase Freedom Flex bonus categories that cardholders will earn cash back from:
- 5% cash back on travel purchases in the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 3% cash back on restaurants, including takeout and delivery services
- 3% cashback on drugstore purchases
- 1% cashback on everything else
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a Visa Signature product that has similar earning opportunities. However, there are no quarterly rotating categories to activate. Instead of earning at least 1% cash back on all purchases, as you do with the Freedom Flex, you’ll earn at least 1.5% back. However, a few select purchases earn up to 5% cashback.
- 5% cashback on travel you book using the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
- 3% cash back at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cashback on drugstore purchases
- 1.5% cashback on all other purchases
Besides the 5% and 3% bonus categories, the base rate of 1.5% cashback (1.5 Ultimate Rewards per $1) lets you earn 50% more on non-bonus purchases than most rewards credit cards.
The in-depth Chase Freedom Unlimited Review has more information if you are still unsure about this card.
Citi Double Cash Card
Earning cash rewards is the most flexible credit card currency. The Citi® Double Cash Card keeps it simple as you can earn up to 2% back on every purchase. Cardholders earn 1% back when they buy, plus 1% back when they pay for the purchase. Earning is unlimited. You can redeem your cash balance for statement credits, paper checks, or bank deposits.
The Citi Double Cash also has no annual fee which makes this a perfect compliment to a card that earns up to 2% on your other monthly purchases. However, signup bonus chasers may find this card lacking as there isn’t a signup bonus.
Related: Best cash back credit cards
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Tiered rewards credit cards like The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express make it easy to earn outsized bonus cash on your largest everyday spending. Earning categories include:
- 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1% back)
- 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions (such as Hulu, Netflix, and Apple Music)
- 3% back on transit
- 3% back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% back on everything else
Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Also, Plan It gives cardholders the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest (terms apply).
There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees).
The welcome offer is the ability to earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
Learn more: Cash Back Credit Cards
This is your best option for getting the most cash back at U.S. supermarkets (and is one of the best credit cards for groceries). The other 6% and 3% daily spending categories are attractive too.
Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Attention, Costco shoppers! The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a good match if you do the bulk of your shopping at this warehouse club. This can be one of the best credit cards for everyday spending due to these bonus categories:
- 4% on eligible gas station purchases (including Costco gas) on the first $7,000 per year, then 1% back
- 3% back on restaurants
- 3% back on eligible travel purchases
- 2% back at Costco and Costco.com
- 1% back on everything else
You receive your rewards balance as a Costco shopping credit or cash credit each February. Only being able to redeem your credit once per year can be a slight frustration if you prefer a cash rewards card with more flexible redemption options.
This card has no annual fee, although you must be a Costco member to qualify.
Related: Best Citi Credit Cards
Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
If you’re going to get a premium travel credit card, your best option can be the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Of the pricey travel credit cards, the Sapphire Reserve has some of the most friendly benefits for everyday spending purchases.
Here are the best Sapphire Reserve benefits for your daily habits:
- Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on dining every day and on travel (once you earn the $300 travel credit)
- $300 annual travel credit (Chase applies this credit toward grocery and gas station purchases as well as travel through Dec. 31, 2021)
Cardholders can also earn up to $120 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021.
This is in addition to the complimentary DoorDash DashPass subscription that lets cardholders get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees. They also earn up to $120 in statement credits on DoorDash purchases ($60 in statement credits through 2020 and another $60 in statement credits through 2021).
Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022. Points are worth 50% more through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed through the Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.
When flying, you can also get a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit. Priority Pass Select airport lounge access is another frequent flyer perk when you fly regularly again. You can transfer your Ultimate Rewards to airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio to book award travel.
The annual fee is $550. But, using the shopping benefits can help offset the annual fee and your limited travel schedule.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardmembers can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Summary on Best Credit Cards for Every Day Purchases
An increasing number of credit cards are shifting their bonus categories to match your everyday spending habits in 2021. You can quickly earn bonus points that can turn into cash rewards or for booking future award travel.
What are everyday purchases?
“Everyday purchases” are common and recurring expenses including:
- Dining, takeout, and food delivery services
- Gas stations
- Public transit and commuting expenses
- Streaming services
- Cell phone, cable TV, and internet service
- Childcare or extracurricular activities
You may enroll in “auto-pay” for some expenses so the merchant automatically bills your credit card on the same day each month. Other expenses may require you to pay at the time of purchase, including groceries or gas stations since the price varies with each purchase.
Non-everyday purchases include traveling for a vacation or a spontaneous road trip. Unplanned home repairs or medical bills may also be irregular purchases. However, you can still earn bonus points when paying these bills with a rewards credit card.
Is it good to use a credit card for everyday spending?
Yes, rewards travel credit cards can be one of the best ways to pay for everyday purchases. One reason why is that you can earn rewards points that you can redeem for cash back or award travel to save money on future expenses.
A second benefit of paying with a credit card is for the purchase protection benefits. You might be able to reverse a charge even if the merchant refuses to issue a refund. Your dispute claim must be for a qualifying reason, of course.
Using a credit card instead of a debit card means you’re not liable for fraudulent transactions. If scam purchases happen with a debit card, you must wait for the bank to reimburse the unauthorized purchase amounts back into your bank account. With a credit card, your bank account balance remains intact.
Also, credit cards may offer additional benefits to offset select purchases. Premium travel credit cards, for example, reimburse up to $300 in travel purchases and airline fees.
Is it better to use cash or a credit card?
A credit card can be a better option to pay for purchases as you can earn rewards points. These points defray future expenses whether you earn cash rewards or travel rewards. Cash purchases (and most debit card purchases) don’t earn purchase rewards.
Paying with credit is also more popular for in-store purchases as paper money can spread germs. Plus, you don’t have to carry exact change. The ongoing coin shortage is making some businesses accept credit and debit card purchases only.
Paying with cash can be better if you’re going to pay late fees or interest charges on your credit card balance. These charges almost always cost more than the rewards you earn. Cash can also be the better option when merchants charge a fee higher than the rewards you earn, like paying your taxes with a credit card.
- Best Credit Cards To Use During COVID Travel Restrictions
- Best Credit Cards for After Travel Restrictions Are Lifted
- Why You Should Reconsider Canceling Your Unused Travel Credit Card
For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
The comments on this page are not provided, reviewed, or otherwise approved by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
- 1 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Earn 100k Points
- 2 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- 3 Chase Freedom Flex and Chase Freedom Unlimited
- 4 Citi Double Cash Card
- 5 The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
- 6 Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
- 7 Chase Sapphire Reserve Card
- 8 Summary on Best Credit Cards for Every Day Purchases