Best Credit Cards For Large Purchases
What’s better than finally pulling the trigger and buying that laptop you’ve spent months researching and saving for? How about getting $150 or more back when you buy?
When you open a new credit card offering a cash bonus, you could earn $150 or more from your large purchase on top of 1.5% of the purchase price (or more) in rewards.
Timing a large purchase with opening a new credit card to take advantage of a sign-up bonus is just plain smart. If you’ve got a big purchase on the horizon, opening a new credit card with a sign-up bonus will help you get the biggest bang for your buck.
Why Should I Use a Credit Card to Pay for Big Purchases?
The choice is yours, but we are big fans of finding a credit card with at least one of the main kinds of rewards and sign up bonuses to make a large purchase.
This goes for any major purchase you have coming down the pipeline – a TV, a new computer, furniture, or round trip airfare to the other side of the world.
Everyone has their own idea of what dollar value a “big” purchase has, but one of these credit cards can help you maximize your purchase whether you’re spending $500 or $5,000.
And there’s more good news: In most cases, you usually don’t have to pick just one kind of reward. You’ll see below in our list of the best credit cards for large purchases that most of the following cards have at least two kinds of benefits, if not all three.
8 Best Credit Cards for Large Purchases
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- HSBC Gold Mastercard
- Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa®
- Chase Freedom Flex
- Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards
- HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Chase Freedom Unlimited
With the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card you earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months of opening the account.
Nothing wrong with a little double-dipping if it means you can shop your heart out and still make money.
Pay 0% interest on your purchase as long as it’s paid off in 15 months. The APR after 15 months is 14.99% – 23.74% variable.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: Introductory purchase APR; get a year of extended warranty coverage on major purchases with manufacturer’s warranties of three years or less.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Other perks: Unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
HSBC Gold Mastercard Credit Card
We’ll start with this card with no annual fee and a 0% APR introductory period of 18 months. That means you can pay for your large purchase little by little over a year and a half.
This card would be ideal if you have to come up with the cash to pay for a surprise purchase that you haven’t saved the cash for.
Avoid paying expensive interest – Simply apply for this card and wait for it to arrive in about a week.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: 0% Introductory APR on Purchases in the first 18 months.
- Annual Fee: $0
- Other perks: Take this card abroad and enjoy 0% foreign transaction fees. There are also zero late fees, and your APR won’t increase just because of a late payment.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Get $200 back when you spend at least $500 on your purchase.
No need to hunt for a coupon code when Capital One rewards you right away for your spending.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: $200 cash bonus after you spend the first $500 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus 0% intro APR on Purchases for the first 15 months
- Annual Fee: None
- Other perks: No foreign transaction fee. 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase – and it never expires!
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Buying a cell phone in the next few months?
Consider the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card and sleep better knowing your phone is protected for theft or damage with a modest $25 deductible.
Plus, a $150 cash reward and 0% APR for the first 15 months makes your new phone even sweeter.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: Up to $600 protection on your cell phone with a $25 deductible. Receive $150 as a cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Last – 0% Introductory APR on purchases in the first 15 months.
- Annual Fee: None
- Other perks: Enjoy unlimited cash rewards in your first year – 1.5% on purchases and 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases with Apple Pay® and Google Pay™. Your cash rewards never expire.
Chase Freedom Flex
Chase knows a thing or two about freedom – especially the freedom that comes from getting $200 cash back when you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.
You’ll earn 5% cashback on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drug stores purchases, and 1% cashback on all other purchases. The cash back continues with 5% cashback categories that rotate every quarter.
There’s a 0% Introductory APR on purchases in the first 15 months (APR is 14.99% – 23.74% variable after that).
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: $200 welcome bonus; Introductory purchase APR
- Annual Fee: None
- Other perks: 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter (must activate rewards every quarter). Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Savor your new items more when you know they are protected.
The Capital One Savor One card comes with a free extended warranty on eligible purchases.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: 0% Introductory APR on purchases in the first 15 months. An extended warranty to add additional warranty protection at no charge on eligible items that you purchased with your credit card.
- Annual Fee: None
- Other perks: No foreign transaction fees. $200 cash bonus on your first $500 spent in the first 3 months. Unlimited 3% cashback on dining and entertainment. 2% cashback at grocery stores. 1% cashback on all other purchases.
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard Credit Card
If you’ve got a major move on the horizon or another reason you need to drop a healthy $10k – put it on the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard and get $300 back in your wallet.
Plus, you can pay it off within a year while paying 0% in interest.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: 3% cashback on all of your purchases in the first year up to $10,000. 0% Introductory APR on purchases in the first 12 months.
- Annual Fee: None
- Other perks: No foreign transaction fees. 1.5% cashback after the first $10,000. Annual 10% “Anniversary Bonus” on all cash rewards earned within the year.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card From American Express
American Express is known for protecting the right to shop. More specifically, AmEx protects consumers against less-than-adequate manufacturer’s warranties that run out just before your expensive washing machine springs a leak.
When you use the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, you’ll get up to two extra years of coverage tacked on when the original manufacturer’s warranty is 5 years or less, with some exclusions.
- Best Feature for Big Purchases: Extended warranty, plus 0% Introductory APR on purchases in the first 12 months (APR is 12.99% – 23.99% variable after that). You’ll also enjoy a $250 Intro Bonus after you spend $1,000 on your new card in the first 3 months.
- Annual Fee: $95
- Other perks: Eye-popping cashback rewards. Are you ready for this? – 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year (then 1%); 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more, 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. For everything else, you’ll be rewarded with 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
What Type of Credit Card is Best for Big Purchases?
While paying for big purchases in cash is a safe way to stay out of debt, putting large expenses on a credit card comes with benefits like cash bonuses and cashback rewards.
If you’re trying to find the best type of credit card for your large purchases, let’s also not forget the cards with extended warranties to protect your purchases.
Another option to consider when seeking the best credit cards for big purchases is a credit card with a 0% introductory APR. That way, you can budget to pay for your purchase over time, with most 0% credit cards offering an intro period of 12-18 months.
It goes without saying here, but we at Millennial Money always recommend you understand how credit cards work and that you pay off your balance in full each month. Even if you use one of these credit cards to make your major purchase, it’s always best to plan on paying it off as soon as possible, or within the 0% intro APR period.
Just remember – credit cards are convenience cards and luxury cards. By putting a major purchase on a credit card, you can make money back and protect your purchase for years, but it’s not worth going into more expensive debt to do it.
So, don’t wait any longer. Once you’ve picked out your patio set, or your new set of rock climbing gear, take a look at our list of the best credit cards for making your next big purchase.
How Credit Card Sign-up Bonuses Work
Some cards offer new cardmembers the chance to earn a sign-up bonus (either cash or a lump sum of travel points). Credit card sign-up bonuses are in addition to the card’s regular rewards rate!
To qualify for sign-up bonuses, you will need to spend a minimum dollar amount on the card within a specified time frame. In addition, you must keep your account in good standing by making payments as agreed.
Every sign-up bonus offer is slightly different, but the most common requirement is that you must meet the minimum spending requirement within 90 days or 3 months of opening the new account. You can meet the minimum spending requirement with multiple purchases—it doesn’t have to be one large purchase! However, if you transfer a balance to the new credit card, the transferred balance will not count toward earning the sign-up bonuses, only purchases.
Each card with a credit card sign-up bonus has different minimum spend requirements. Some cards may only require you to spend $500, while other cards may require a much higher spend of $2,000 or $3,000. (Typically, the value of the sign-up bonus is commensurate with the spending requirement, but not always, which is why it always pays to shop and compare the best rewards credit cards.
Finally, some credit cards offer “flexible” sign-up bonuses. Instead of giving you a one-time payout after meeting a spending requirement, these bonuses come in the form of increased rewards rates for a specified period of time (one year, for example). These promotions often double the cash back or rewards you earn on all purchases during the promotional period.
When deciding which kind of sign-up bonus is best, consider how much you’re likely to spend on the new credit card — both in the first 3 months and in the first year. If you can’t meet the minimum spend within 3 months, opt for a flexible bonus. Likewise, if you’ll charge a lot to your card over the entire year, the doubled rewards may be far more valuable than a one-time benefit. Conversely, if you simply have a large purchase to make but don’t expect to spend a lot after that, the one-time sign-up bonus is the way to go.