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Which are the best cards for everyday spending?

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Which are the best cards for everyday spending?

Meghan HunterWhich are the best cards for everyday spending?Million Mile Secrets Team

Signing up for credit cards through partner links earns us a commission. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

When it comes to picking the right credit cards for you, there are lots of questions to answer: Where do I spend your money? What do I want to accomplish with your cards? Should I have a cash-back card? Should I pay an annual fee or use no-annual-fee cards? Finding the right card can be tricky.

If you’re not working right now to meet the minimum spending requirements to earn a big welcome offer from one of the best cards for travel, you might be wondering: What’s the best card to use for my everyday purchases?

There are some common expenses that just don’t fall into any bonus categories, like tax payments, visits to the dentist and those crayons you just bought from Target for your kids. We’ve put together a list of the best cards for non-bonused spending — so you can make the most of all of your expenses.

Best credit cards for everyday spending

The information for the Citi Premier, Citi Prestige has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

CardWelcome bonus & minimum spending requirementsAnnual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®$150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening$0
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening$95, waived the first year
Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ Visa®️ credit card50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening$95
Citi® Double Cash CardNone$0
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American ExpressNoneNo annual fee (see rates & fees)
Ink Business Unlimited℠ Credit Card$500 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening$0
Capital One® Spark® Cash for BusinessLimited-time up to $2,000 offer: $500 cash bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and $1,500 cash bonus after spending $50,000 (in total) within the first six months.$95, waived the first year
Capital One® Spark® Miles for BusinessLimited-time up to 200,000-mile offer: 50,000 miles after spending $5,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening and 150,000 miles after spending $50,000 (in total) in the first six months.$95, waived the first year
When it comes to choosing the right card for everyday spending, you’ve got options. (Photo by Prostock-studio/Shutterstock).

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Current bonus

You can earn 50,000 Venture miles (worth $500 in travel) by applying for the Capital One Venture card and spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.

Insider tip

This is a great travel credit card. The miles are easy to use and I love getting a statement credit to reimburse the application fee for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck. I’ve saved so much time at airports with this perk. Other cards that offer to reimburse Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fees usually have higher annual fees (often between $450 and $550).

Benefits and perks

In addition to the card’s valuable welcome bonus, you’ll get:

  • 2 Venture miles per $1 you spend on all purchases
  • Statement credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck (up to $100)
  • No foreign transaction fees

The card also comes with Visa Signature benefits, including:

  • Rental car insurance: Secondary protection for damage from collision or theft
  • Travel accident insurance: Up to $250,000 insurance for accidental loss of life, limb, sight, speech or hearing
  • Lost luggage insurance: Up to $3,000 per trip, provided the luggage was lost from theft or misdirection by the airline, cruise line, etc.

You’ll find a rundown of the Venture card’s benefits and perks here.

Annual fee

This card has a $95 annual fee, waived the first year.

Why it’s worth it

The card has a straightforward rewards program, which means the miles are easy to redeem. All you do is pay for travel expenses (such as airfare, hotel stays and parking) with your credit card, then use your miles to “erase” the purchase from your statement.

Capital One Venture miles are worth 1 cent each, so the 50,000-mile welcome bonus is worth $500 in travel. Your miles could be worth even more if you transfer them to a Capital One transfer partner. Here’s our full Capital One Venture Rewards credit card review.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card From American Express

Current bonus

This card isn’t offering a bonus at the moment. But having a no-annual-fee Amex card (see rates & fees) that earns 2x points per $1 on $50,000 in purchases per year is an excellent deal. Similar no-annual-fee small-business cards have a lower earning rate.

Insider tip

This is my go-to card when it comes to non-bonus spending. Keep an eye out for Amex Offers where you can earn additional Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Benefits and perks

The Amex Blue Business Plus card comes with:

  • 2 Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year (then 1x Membership Rewards point per $1 on all purchases)
  • Terms apply

Annual fee

The card has no annual fee.

Why it’s worth it

With the no-annual-fee Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2 Amex Membership Rewards points per $1 on the first $50,000 in purchases per year (1x Membership Rewards point per $1 on all purchases after that).

If you spend the maximum, you could earn 100,000 Amex Membership Rewards points per year. That’s a great deal for a card with no annual fee. I plan to keep mine forever to have a card that delivers bonus points without thinking about bonus categories. For more detailed information, check out our full Amex Blue Business Plus review.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Current bonus

With Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. You also can combine the points you earn with other eligible Chase cards, which helps you save money on travel.

Insider tip

Combine the Ultimate Rewards points you earn with the Freedom Unlimited with the points from an annual-fee Ultimate Rewards card and watch the value of your rewards skyrocket. The Freedom Unlimited and Sapphire Reserve, for example, make a great combination. You can earn 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on every purchase, then move your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 1.5 cents per point toward travel.

Benefits and perks

The main Chase Freedom Unlimited benefit is the ability to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases, with no minimum redemption amount.

Annual fee

The Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee.

Why it’s worth it 

If you don’t want to bother with bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great way to earn valuable Chase Ultimate Rewards points. You can read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited here.

Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card

Current bonus

With this card, you can earn a $500 cash bonus (50,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. Again, that is a great intro bonus for a credit card with no annual fee.

Insider tip

This is the no-annual-fee, cash-back business credit card I recommend most to my friends and family who have businesses. You’ll be earning a higher cash-back rate on every purchase, regardless of how much you spend per year and most businesses have lots of large expenses that don’t fall into narrowly defined bonus categories.

Plus, you can pool the Chase Ultimate Rewards points you earn onto an eligible Chase credit card and then transfer them to Chase’s travel partners.

Benefits and perks

The Chase Ink Business Unlimited card is similar to the Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card. The biggest difference is that it doesn’t have any bonus categories. Instead, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) on every purchase with no yearly limits.

Annual fee

This card has no annual fee.

Why it’s worth it 

This is the perfect card for earning those coveted Chase Ultimate Rewards points for non-bonus business spending without paying an annual fee. There are very few business owners who wouldn’t benefit by having this card because they can earn 50% more rewards (1.5% back on everything) for all of the non-bonus spending, which for some businesses can be the majority of expenses. Read our Chase Ink Business Unlimited review here.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Bonus

The Citi Double Cash card does not have a welcome bonus offer.

Insider tip

This year Citi added the ability to convert the cash-back rewards you earn with the Citi Double Cash card into Citi ThankYou points at a ratio of $1:100 points, so each penny is worth one ThankYou point. If you have either the Citi Premier℠ Card or Citi Prestige® Card you can combine your Citi ThankYou points together and then transfer them to any of Citi’s 15 airline partners. That makes the Double Cash card the best way to earn Citi ThankYou points on non-bonus-category spending.

Benefits and perks

The Citi Double cash card earns a straight forward 1% cash back when make a purchase and 1% cash back when you pay for that purchase. To earn the cash back you’ll need to pay at least the minimum amount due on time.

Annual fee

This card has no annual fee.

Why it’s worth it

Anytime you can earn 2% cash back on a no-annual-fee card, it’s nearly impossible to go wrong. But this card adds the ability to take advantage of the Citi ThankYou transfer partners to greatly increase the value of your rewards. For example, you can transfer 15,000 Citi points to Turkish Airlines and book a round-trip United Airlines partner award from the continental U.S. to Hawaii. Normally, 15,000 points would be worth $150 cash back, but even a cheap flight to Hawaii would cost you three times that much.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Current bonus

With the Capital One Spark Cash card, you’ll earn a $500 cash bonus after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. You can earn another $1,500 cash bonus after you spend $50,000 in total (an additional $45,000) in the first six months of account opening.

That’s the potential to earn $2,000 in cash from a single card offer — the best cash bonus you’ll find.

Insider tip

The card earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It doesn’t get any simpler than that. You can get your rewards as a check or statement credit any time with no minimum redemption amount.

Benefits and perks

You’ll get other built-in benefits, like purchase security and extended protection, auto-rental collision damage waiver (primary coverage) and lost-luggage reimbursement. You also don’t have to worry about foreign transaction fees; employee cards are free to add.

Annual fee

The card has a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year.

Why it’s worth it 

This is a great card to try out because the $95 annual fee doesn’t kick in until after your first year.

If you want to earn rewards that you can redeem for any expense, this is the card for you, but be sure you can meet the card’s big minimum spending requirement before you apply. That minimum might be easier to hit than you think because you can pay your taxes with a credit card (for a fee). If you apply for the card now, both your annual and quarterly tax payments (depending on when you file) could be used to help meet your minimum spending.

Here’s our review of the Capital One Spark Cash card.

(Photo by Wyatt Smith)

Capital One Spark Miles for Business

Current bonus

To earn the Spark Miles business card’s full 200,000-mile bonus, you need to spend $50,000 in the first six months of account opening as follows:

  • You’ll earn 50,000 miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
  • You’ll earn 150,000 miles after you spend $50,000 (an additional $45,000) within the first six months of account opening.

Insider tip

Every purchase you make with the Capital One Spark Miles card earns 2 miles per dollar. So you always know how much you’re getting regardless of what you’re purchasing. On top of that, you can now earn 5 Spark miles per dollar on hotel and rental car purchases made through the Capital One Travel℠.

Because you earn double miles on every purchase, you will earn 100,000 miles just on the Capital One Spark Miles card’s minimum spending.

Benefits and perks

You can transfer Spark miles to 15 different airlines partners. For most of the partners, the transfer ratio is 2:1.5 (except for Singapore Airlines, JetBlue and Emirates, which transfer at 2:1). Capital One has partnered with programs like Flying Blue (Air France and KLM), Air Canada and Avianca Airlines, which are good options for booking award flights to Europe.

For example, Avianca only charges 63,000 miles for one-way business-class flights to Europe. So with 225,000 Avianca miles, you could book three one-way business-class flights to Europe with partners like SWISS. Booking those same three tickets could easily cost $7,000-$10,000 if you paid cash — that’s the power of being able to transfer miles to airlines. If you need help transferring your miles, read our step-by-step guide on how to transfer Capital One miles.

This card also comes with a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry fee credit (worth up to $100).

Annual fee

The card has a $95 annual fee but it is waived the first year.

Why it’s worth it 

This is an exceptional offer if you can meet the minimum spending requirements. Even though you can only transfer Spark Miles at a 2:1.5 ratio (2:1 ratio for Singapore Airlines, JetBlue and Emirates), using credit card rewards to fly in international business class is one of the best ways to maximize the value of your miles. You won’t find a better way to stock up on rewards than with this offer.

Bank of America Premium Rewards Card

Current bonus

When you open the Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card, you’ll earn a welcome bonus of 50,000 points (worth $500) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of opening your account.

Insider top

What’s great about the rewards you’ll earn with this card is that they’re flexible. The Bank of America Premium Rewards credit card might earn points, but you can also redeem them for cash back. Bank of America points from this card are worth 1 cent each toward cash back, travel and gift cards.

Benefits and perks

The Bank of America Premium Rewards card comes with a host of valuable perks including up to $100 in statement credits each year for airline incidental purchases on domestic-originating itineraries with most U.S. airlines. It also offers a statement credit for the application fee for TSA PreCheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) once every four years.

You can read more about the card’s benefits and perks here.

Annual fee

The annual fee is just $95, but the card’s benefits and welcome offer make it more than worth it.

Why it’s worth it 

The value of the welcome bonus makes the card a no-brainer for the first year, but there are lots of reasons why you’ll want to keep the card in your wallet for the long term.

How we chose the best cards for everyday spending

Ongoing earnings

We want you to find a card that works best for your personal spending habits and travel goals. That’s why we consider each card’s ongoing earnings when determining the best offers. This is especially important when finding a card for your everyday spending as it’s less about earning a big welcome bonus and more about finding a card that has a strong earnings rate on non-bonused spending. A strong earnings rate means you can quickly accumulate points to redeem for something meaningful in a reasonable amount of time. 

Flexibility in redeeming rewards

Having options when it comes to redeeming your rewards means you’ll be more likely to use them. Plus, the more flexibility a card offers, the more likely it is to offer more value too.

Valuable benefits

Certain credit cards offer benefits that save you money and also make your travel experience a lot more enjoyable. That’s why cards that offer perks like airport lounge access and statement credits to TSA PreCheck or Global Entry often make our “top cards” lists. If you can find a card that not only earns valuable rewards for your purchases but offers valuable perks, it’s a double-win.

Summary of the best credit cards for everyday spending:

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
  • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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@Chris: Your statement about none of the Chase Ink cards giving a bonus on restaurants is incorrect. The Chase Ink Cash card gives you 2% back on restaurants.

@Erik: none of the chase ink cards give you a bonus on restaurants. That’s why it’s worth considering keeping the CSP if you dine out a lot.

I just signed for a discover it miles card to take advantage of the Apple Pay offer. I also use it as my everyday card, because it doubles the earning at the end of year for the first year, resulting in a 3% cash back. I wouldn’t use it after the first year though.

Cards that I carry everyday:

Chase Freedom, 5% cash back in different categories each quarter.

Chase Ink bold (discontinued) for 2% on gas and restaurants, and 5% on office supply store. I am keeping this card for transferring points earned from Chase Freedom. I cancelled Chase Blue Sapphire 2 years ago, which was not used often.

Amex Costco True earning, for Costco membership and Costco related shopping (since Costco only accepts Amex credit card). Plus its 90 day purchase protection and theft insurance etc.

Depends so much on what you’re saving up for and what you spend the most on. Amex Everyday Preferred I would say is the best by far (especially if you really know how to use MR Points). Or if you’re looking just for hotel rewards I would say the Hilton Amex. Though an argument can be made for the Wyndham credit card too.

Though the CSP card is way overrated nowadays. It’s not anywhere near where it used to be and isn’t really worth it. I am cancelling mine once the AF comes around, they gutted it way too much and next year isn’t looking much better.

I would use the Wyndham Rewards card for everyday spending because it earns 2x on everything. With each $7500 spent, I’ll a get a free night. Some of the high-end properties cost about $400 / night. So that means the 2x really becomes 5% cash back (400 / 7500) on everything.

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