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Over the past two years, most of us have seen a change in our spending habits. We also saw major travel credit cards start offering more bonus rewards on everyday spending, like groceries and gas purchases. While things are slowly starting to pick up, many things still aren’t certain. Fortunately, there are a lot of ways to keep maximizing daily purchases. Here are some of the best credit cards for everyday spending.

Vallarta Supermarket produce section. Credit: Vallarta Supermarket

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Chase Sapphire Preferred Card – Earn 60k Points

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card earns some of the most valuable credit card points—Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
  • 5x points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
  • Also 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases 

There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.

This can be one of the best credit cards for hotels.

Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.

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.

Additional Perks

There’s another exciting retail partner benefit that can save you money and make life easier.

Additional Chase Sapphire Preferred benefits include 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 03/31/22.

Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer of 60,000 Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The annual fee is $95, but we believe its value is justified (you can learn more in this in-depth Chase Sapphire Preferred review).

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. You can also earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

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

If you’re in the market for a premium card, you might consider the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, which earns up to 10x miles and has a 100,000-mile bonus (after spending $10,000 in the first 6 months). Read more in our Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card review.

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 and earn cash back on all purchases.

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 up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1% back)
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases

New Freedom Flex cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Get more details and learn more about how this might be perfect for you with our Chase Freedom Flex Review.

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.

Cardholders earn unlimited:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back 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.

New Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! That means new cardholders can enjoy:

  • 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (Chase’s premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards, and more)
  • 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 4.5% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery service)
  • 3% on all other purchases

New cardholders earn this extra 1.5% cash back on up to $20,000 spent in the first year.

The in-depth Chase Freedom Unlimited Review has more information if you are still unsure about this card.

Credit: CVS

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.

Cardholders can also enjoy $0 plan fees when using Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.

The welcome bonus is the ability to earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. There is a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 (See Rates & Fees).

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:

  • 1:1 point transfers
  • TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit
  • $300 annual travel credit

Chase Sapphire Reserve® purchases earn up to 10x Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Cardholders can earn unlimited: 

  • 10x total points on hotels and car rentals purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 10x total points on Chase Dining purchases with Ultimate Rewards
  • 5x total points on flights when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3x points on other travel worldwide (after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually)
  • 3x points on other dining at restaurants, including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out
  • 1x points for all remaining purchases

 You will not receive rewards points on your first $300 in annual travel purchases as the annual travel statement credit reimburses these purchases. This is one of the best miles credit cards

Sapphire Reserve cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 31, 2022.

Points are worth 50% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature

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 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, worth $750 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 

Summary

An increasing number of credit cards are shifting their bonus categories to match your everyday spending habits in 2022. 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:

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 to get 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.

Related articles:

For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 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 03/31/22.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.

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