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Most of us are adjusting our spending habits as our everyday spending habits change. The money you previously spent on travel is going toward other expenses instead. Even if your daily purchases tend to be boring, you can still earn exciting rewards. Here are a few ideas and guides to some of the best credit cards for everyday spending.

chase sapphire instacart bonus
Some of the best credit cards for everyday spending include the Chase Sapphire cards with their Instacart bonus. Photo by Instacart

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

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

This is your best option for getting the most cash back at U.S. supermarkets. The other 6% and 3% daily spending categories are attractive too. Amex lets you redeem your cash rewards as a monthly statement credit.

You can also earn a one-time welcome bonus of $250 back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months. The annual fee is $95 (See Rates & Fees).

Related: Best Credit Cards for Grocery Purchases That Earn Rewards

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 unlimited 2 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. Through September 30, 2020, you can redeem your miles for food delivery, takeout and streaming services.

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 but the 50,000-mile signup bonus is worth $500 in award travel. New cardholders can earn the 50k mile bonus by spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

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

You earn 2 points per $1 on travel and dining plus unlimited 1 point per $1 on everything else. Chase is adding several Sapphire bonus categories available from July 1, 2020, through September 30, 2020:

  • 3x Ultimate Rewards on Instacart purchases on the first $3,000 spent
  • 3x Ultimate Rewards at gas stations on the first $1,500 spent
  • 5x Ultimate Rewards on select streaming purchases on the first $1,500 spent in combined spending
  • Up to $50 statement credit for Instacart Express memberships

It’s also possible to redeem your Ultimate Rewards for 1.25 cents for gas stations, grocery stores, and home improvement stores through September 30, 2020, with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. 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.

The annual fee is $95, but we believe its value is justified (you can learn more in this in-depth Chase Sapphire Preferred review). The signup bonus is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards, worth $750 in award travel, after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

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 due to coronavirus for your daily habits:

  • Earn 3x Ultimate Rewards on dining every day and on travel (once you earn the $300 travel credit)
    • Also earn up to 10x points on Instacart, gas station and streaming service purchases from July 1, 2020, until September 30, 2020
  • $300 annual travel credit
    • Chase applies this credit toward grocery and gas station purchases as well as travel through December 31, 2020
  • 50% point redemption bonus (1.5 cents each) when booking award travel on Chase
    • Points are worth 1.5 cents each for gas station, grocery, and home improvement purchases with the Chase Pay Yourself Back tool
  • Up to $50 in statement credits for Instacart Express memberships until September 30, 2020
  • One year of complimentary DoorDash DashPass membership
  • Up to $120 in DoorDash statement credits ($60 in 2020 and $60 in 2021)
  • One year of complimentary Lyft Pink membership
  • Earn 10x points on Lyft purchases through March 2022

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. Using the limited time shopping benefits can help offset the annual fee and your limited travel schedule. Also, the signup bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points is worth $750 in award travel or Pay Yourself Back benefits. You earn the signup bonus after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months.

Related: Is Paying Annual Fees On Premium Credit Cards During COVID Worth It?

Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Everyday Spending

An increasing number of credit cards are shifting their bonus categories to match your everyday spending habits in 2020. 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 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.

Related articles:

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

Josh Patoka
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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 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 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, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That’s 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

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