Best Credit Card for Everyday Spending

Using a credit card for everyday purchases is the perfect way to earn valuable rewards.

Points, miles, and cash back can add up quickly when you use a credit card for daily coffee runs, trips to the grocery store, fueling up your car, and more.

The key is having money to pay for all your purchases and paying off your card in full every month.

10 Best Credit Cards for Everyday Spending

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best Overall

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0

If you want to earn rewards for all of your purchases, no matter how big or small, Chase Freedom Unlimited is our recommended credit card.

Chase Freedom Unlimited has no annual fee and earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on everything. Unlike the Chase Freedom card, there are no rotating bonus categories to activate. Just use your card and get rewarded. There’s also a $150 cash back sign-up bonus when you spend $500 in the first three months.

Chase Freedom Unlimited is your all-purpose credit card. And if you have one of the Chase cards connected to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, you can convert your cash back rewards to Ultimate Rewards points to use for travel. However, the only thing that Chase Freedom Unlimited isn’t good for is international travel since there’s a 3% foreign transaction fee tied to the card.

Learn More: Read our complete Chase Freedom Unlimited Review or see how Chase Freedom Unlimited compares to Chase Freedom.

 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Runner-Up

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 3% cash back at U.S. grocery stores, up to the first $6,000 in purchases and then 1% after, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, 1% cash back on other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0

American Express also has an everyday credit card that’s worth a look. With the Blue Cash Everyday Card, you’ll earn a $150 sign-up bonus after spending $1,000 in the first three months.

There’s plenty of rewards-earning power with Blue Cash Everyday. Cardmembers earn 1% cash back for most purchases, but also 3% cash back at the supermarket and 2% back at gas stations and U.S. department stores.

Learn More: Read our complete American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card Review.

 

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
  • Sign-up Bonus: $150 cash bonus after spending $500 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0

Capital One Quicksilver card is another excellent choice for an all-purpose, everyday credit card to use for all your purchases. It earns unlimited 1.5% on all spending and has a $150 sign-up bonus, just like Chase Freedom Unlimited.

There’s no annual fee and also no foreign transaction fees, so it’s perfect to use when traveling outside the U.S.

The Capital One Quicksilver card offers new cardholders introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfer for the first 15 months.

Learn More: Read our complete Capital One Quicksilver Review.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card

citi double cash card

  • Sign-up Bonus: None
  • Earning Potential: 1% cash back on all purchases, an additional 1% cash back when you pay for purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $0

Citi Double Cash is the card that rewards you twice: once when you spend and once when you pay.

You’ll earn 1% cash back with all of your purchases on this versatile Citi credit card. Then, you will also receive an additional 1% when you pay at least the minimum monthly payment for those purchases.

There’s no cap on rewards earning. All of your purchases earn rewards. There’s also no annual fee.

Citi Double Cash also has introductory 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers. Some restrictions apply, and there is a fee of $5 or 3% of the transferred balance, whichever is greater. People looking to consolidate and pay off existing credit card balances can benefit from getting the Citi Double Cash Card.

 

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

amex everyday preferred

  • Sign-up Bonus: 15,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $1,000 in your first three months of account opening
  • Earning Potential: Earning Potential: 3X points at grocery stores, 2X points at gas stations, 2X points on travel purchases booked through American Express, 1X points on other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95

Any credit card to use for all your everyday purchases is the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card from American Express. Its simple rewards program is a perfect fit for the spending habits of the majority of Americans.

Amex Everyday Preferred comes with a nice sign-up bonus of 15,000 Membership rewards points for spending $1,000 on qualifying purchases in the first three months. Membership Rewards points are great to use for booking travel through amextravel.com. This Amex card does have a $95 annual fee but is justified with the rewards you’ll earn through everyday spending.

Cardmembers get high rewards earning rates for purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, and select travel purchases, plus 1X points on everything else. People who use their Everyday Preferred card 30 times or more during a billing period will earn an extra 50% on all of those purchases.

Amex EveryDay Preferred offers other valuable perks, like car rental damage insurance and 24/7 emergency assistance.

Pro Tip: Read about all of the Best American Express Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card: Best For Everyday Travel

Capital One Venture Rewards credit card
  • Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: Unlimited 2X miles on all purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95, waived the first year

People looking for big rewards right off the bat with a new credit card will love the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. It delivers with a generous 50,000-mile sign-up bonus. That’s equal to $500 in travel.

It also has unlimited 2X earning power on all purchases.

Capital One Venture Rewards has a $95 annual fee, but between the sign-up bonus and 2X earning on all purchases, you’ll more than make back your money. It’s simply one of the best cards available for travel rewards.

Learn More: Read our complete Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Review.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

chase sapphire preferred credit card
  • Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 point bonus after spending $4,000 in the first three months
  • Earning Potential: 2X points on travel and dining out, 1X points on other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $95

We love the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which is why it tends to show up on many of our lists. It has so many benefits to offer consumers, including rewards for everyday spending. It’s an all-purpose card that delivers, especially with its travel rewards.

New cardholders who spend $4,000 in purchases over the first three months will earn 60,000 bonus points, which are worth $750 when used to book travel directly through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.

Using your Chase Sapphire Preferred for dining and travel purchases nets 2X points, and everything else earns unlimited 1X per dollar spent.

Chase Sapphire Preferred gives cardholders access to one of the most popular and valuable rewards programs available, Chase Ultimate Rewards. Your points can be used in a variety of ways, including through Chase’s expansive list of travel partners.

Learn More: Read our complete Chase Sapphire Preferred Review.

 

The Platinum Card® from American Express

the platinum card from american express
  • 5x points on flights booked through American Express
  • Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $5,000 in the first three months from account opening
  • Earning Potential: 5X points on flights booked directly or through American Express, 5X points on prepaid hotels booked through American Express, 1X points on other purchases.
  • Annual Fee: $550

With an annual fee of $550, the Platinum Card from American Express doesn’t seem like a great choice as an everyday spending card. However, the perks and rewards earning potential make this Amex card a great option if you love to travel.

The Platinum Card has a 60,000 point sign-up bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first three months. Everyday purchases earn 1X points, similar to Chase Sapphire Preferred, but select airline and hotel purchases offer even more earning potential at 5X points per dollar spent.

Travel perks abound with the Platinum Card, including various statement credits, hotel and airline perks, access to airport lounges worldwide, and other exclusive high-end programs.

 

Discover it® Secured: Best for Bad Credit

discover it secured credit card image

  • Sign-up Bonus: Any cash back earned will be matched at the end of your first year
  • Earning Potential: 2% cash back at restaurants and gas stations on combined $1,000 in purchases per quarter, then 1% after that, 1% cash back other purchases
  • Annual Fee: $0

Discover it Secured is for people who need to build or rebuild their credit. It’s a secured credit card, which means it requires a refundable deposit instead of established credit. Your deposit will become your credit line.

Your Discover it Secured card can be used or all of your smaller, everyday purchases. As you pay off your card in full every month, Discover reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus, which in turn rebuilds your damaged credit.

Discover it Secured also earns rewards, which is rare for a secured credit card. Cardholders can also track their credit score for free every month.

Pro Tip: Read about all of the Best Discover Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Capital One® Secured Mastercard®: Best for Bad Credit Runner-Up

capital one secured mastercard
  • Sign-up Bonus: None
  • Earning Potential: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

Another option, if you need a secured credit card, is the Capital One Secured Mastercard. This Capital One card can be used to rebuild damaged credit through responsible use,

Unlike the Discover it Secured card, this card doesn’t earn rewards. But if rebuilding your credit is the goal, worrying about earning rewards may not be what you need. It’s better to focus on using the card for everyday purchases and then paying off your balance in full every month. This will raise your credit score and help you recover from past credit mistakes.

The Capital One Secured Mastercard requires a $49, $99 or $200 refundable minimum security deposit and access to a bank account. Paying your bill on-time for your first five months will increase your credit line.

Pro Tip: Read about all of the Best Capital One Credit Cards for 2020.

 

Everyday Spending Credit Card FAQs

Which everyday credit card gives you the most cash back?

Finding the credit card that earns the most cash back depends on the spending categories that matter the most to you. A credit card that has a high earning rate for travel purchases is great, but only if you travel regularly.

If your spending varies from month to month, we suggest getting a card, like Chase Freedom Unlimited, that has a decent 1.5% earning rate on all purchases.

Is it good to use a credit card for everyday purchases?

Yes, as long as you have money to pay off your bill every month. You can earn valuable rewards for all of your purchases, but if you don’t pay off your bill, interest charges will begin to add up and will cancel out any rewards you’ve earned.

Which credit card gives the best rewards?

Ultimately, the most valuable rewards credit card is the card that rewards the kind of spending you do most. If you spend a lot on groceries and gas, the Amex Everyday cards are worth a look. If you dine out and travel a lot, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card might be worth a look. If, however, your spending is mostly spread over a number of different areas, any of the other cards such as Chase Freedom Unlimited or Capital One Venture will be solid choices.

Do you need a credit card for everyday spending?

best credit cards everyday spendingIf you are currently using a debit card or cash to pay for your daily and weekly spending, there are good reasons to consider switching to a credit card. The rewards are an obvious one. But did you know that paying with a credit card affords you other benefits that paying with a debit card does not? For example, most credit cards offer purchase protections that will refund your purchase in the event your purchase is defective and the retailer will not honor a warranty. You may also have access to rental car insurance and other purchase protection insurance. Finally, in the event someone steals your wallet and uses your cards to make purchases, the money they spend on your debit card will come straight out of your checking account. You’ll be without your cash until your bank resolves the fraud. This doesn’t happen with a credit card

Of course, using a credit card for everyday spending only makes sense if you are disciplined and can pay off the card every month. Otherwise, cash and/or a debit card is the way to go.

What credit card do you use for most of your spending, and why? Let us know in the comments.

David Weliver

David Weliver

David Weliver is the Credit Cards Editor at Millennial Money. He is the Founder of Money Under 30 and is widely regarded as one of the top credit card rewards experts in the world. David has been writing about personal finance and credit cards since 2006 and been featured in The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and many others.
David Weliver

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