Which are the best cards for everyday spending?
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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
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card
- Citi® Double Cash Card
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card
|Card||Welcome bonus & minimum spending requirements||Annual fee|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening||$0|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||Earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.||$95|
|Bank of America®️ Premium Rewards®️ credit card||50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening||$95|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||None||$0|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||None||No annual fee (see rates & fees)|
|Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card||$750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.||$0|
With Chase Freedom Unlimited, you can earn a $200 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.
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 Chase Sapphire Reserve, for example, make a great combination. You can earn 1.5% cash back (1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on purchases), then move your points to the Chase Sapphire Reserve to get 1.5 cents per point toward travel.
The main Chase Freedom Unlimited benefit is the ability to earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases, with no minimum redemption amount.
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.
You can earn up to 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening.
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).
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.
This card has a $95 annual fee.
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.
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.
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.
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 (up to $100) for TSA PreCheck ($85) or Global Entry ($100) once every four years.
The annual fee is just $95, but the card’s benefits and welcome offer make it more than 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.
The Citi Double Cash card does not have a welcome bonus offer.
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.
The information for the 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.
The Citi Double cash card earns a straight forward up to 2% cash back (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.
Anytime you can earn 2% cash back (1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay) 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.
The Blue Business Plus credit card does not have a welcome bonus offer.
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.
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 1 Membership Rewards point per $1 on all purchases)
- Terms apply
Having a no-annual-fee Amex card (see rates & fees) that earns 2x points per $1 on $50,000 in purchases per year (then 1x) is an excellent deal. Similar no-annual-fee small-business cards have a lower earning rate.
The card has no annual fee. (see rates & fees)
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.
With this card, you can earn a $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Again, that is a great intro bonus for a credit card with no annual fee.
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.
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.
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.
How we chose the best cards for everyday spending
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.
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.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardAPPLY NOW
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
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, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel 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 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
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! :)