5 Rewards Credit Cards I Use the Most for Everyday Purchases

Jul 10, 2014

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Instead of talking about which rewards cards have the highest sign-up bonuses, today I want to cover which five cards I am actually using the most for my day to day purchases.  Make no mistake, I absolutely get rewards credit cards in part for the sometimes awesome sign-up bonuses, but that is just part of the points earning process for my family.  Another major way we earn points is by strategically using the rewards credit cards that we already have.  We don’t go crazy with signing up for tons of cards each year or rack up lots of charges by “manufacturing” lots of expenses we wouldn’t otherwise have.  Instead we mainly just think twice about which card to use every time we buy gas, head to the grocery store, or pay bills.  You know, boring normal people stuff.

While I have a bunch of rewards earning cards I use from time to time, here are the five I am using the most right now to maximize everyday purchases.

Chase Freedom®

The more things I can earn 5x on the better, so I vigilantly keep up with the Chase Freedom 5x bonus quarterly categories.  The third quarter just kicked off and with it the card earns 5x at gas stations and Kohl’s (be sure to register).  I don’t frequent Kohl’s, but I do frequent the gas station, so this is my current go-to card for gas at 5x points.  Remember that these points can transfer 1:1 to United, Hyatt, Singapore, Southwest, IHG Rewards, British Airways, and more because I also have a Chase Sapphire Preferred, Ink Bold, or Ink Plus card.  If you have the Freedom card, be sure to use it for all your fill-ups and other gas station needs his quarter until you hit the $1,500 quarterly 5x cap.

Ink Plus® Business Card 

Again, since I am a 5x fan I use this card as much as I can for its 5x bonus categories including: cell phone bills, internet, landline, internet, cable, and office supply store purchases.  I have many of those bills like cell phone, internet, and DIRECTV set to auto-pay each month to my Ink Bold so I earn 5x without even trying.  This is literally thousands of Ultimate Reward points earned each month without lifting a finger…other than to pay the Ink Bold bill of course.

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

This card has won a big spot in my heart (and wallet) since it pays out 3x Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), 2x on US standalone gas stations, and 1x on everything else.  That alone is pretty good, especially at grocery stores, but it also pays out a 50% bonus on all points earned in the billing cycle if you have 30 or more transactions.  This means that grocery stores effectively pay out 4.5x Membership Reward points, which is great!  I have easily hit 30 transactions every month that I have had the card, so I use it for my grocery purchases, as well as little purchases here and there to hit 30 transactions.  That means that even the transactions that would normally be just 1x pay out at 1.5x for me since I have 30 transactions a month.  It sounds uber corny, but this really is one of my everyday cards now.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The good ‘ol Chase Sapphire Preferred doesn’t get as much play in my wallet as it used to thanks to all the other awesome cards on the market, but it still is my go-to card for dining and travel since it earns 2x Ultimate Reward points on those charges.  It is pretty much the perfect travel card  since it also has no foreign transaction fees.  It will be the stand alone best travel card once it has chip + pin instead of just chip + signature. 

Citi Executive AAdvantage Card: (offer expired)

This very popular card pays out 100,000 American Airlines miles after you spend $10,000 in the first three months.  It’s weak in terms of bonus categories at 1x on most everything, but we are still using it almost every day since my husband and I are both working on hitting the 10k spending mark on our respective cards.  Since this will result in another 200,000 miles between the two of us, it’s worth the effort.  Anything we spend money on that doesn’t fall into a bonus category on another card is pretty much going on this card.

That’s our current system with the main five cards we have in rotation right now.  It isn’t overly elaborate, but it is very effective for us.  What is your current spending system?


Disclosure: I do receive a commission if you are approved for a credit card using one of my affiliate links.  The opinions expressed here are mine and not provided. reviewed, or commissioned by any company.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 50,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first three months of card membership.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

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More Things to Know
  • Earn 50,000 Bonus Miles and 5,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months.
  • Plus, earn up to $100 back in statement credits for eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants with your card within the first 3 months of membership.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
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  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
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  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
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