What’s the best card to use for everyday purchases — including seasonal gifts — when you’re not trying to meet minimum spending requirements on a top travel credit card to unlock a generous sign-up bonus? From a straightforward cash-back card that earns 2% on all expenses to valuable travel rewards cards, here’s a list of the cards from our partners that offer the best return on everyday non-bonus spending.
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — Best for beginners
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express — Best for U.S. supermarkets and gas in the U.S.
- Citi® Double Cash Card — Best for cash back
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card — Best for airline miles
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® — Best for drugstores
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express — Best for everyday business expenses
- Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card — Best for travel
- Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card — Best for business cash back
- 5x 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3x 3x on dining.
- 2x 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of the most popular travel rewards credit card on the market. Offering an excellent return on travel and dining purchases, the card packs a ton of value that easily offsets its $95 annual fee. Cardholders can redeem points at 1.25 cents each for travel booked through Chase or transfer points to one of Chase’s 14 valuable airline and hotel partners. Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
- 6% 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
- 6% 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- 3% 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
- 3% 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
- 1% 1% Cash Back on other purchases
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. You’ll get a great return across a wide range of bonus categories, a solid welcome bonus and a low annual fee. Read our review of the Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
- 2% Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
When it comes to everyday spending, it’s hard to beat the Citi Double Cash Card. You’ll earn up to 2% back on every purchase (1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases) , and you can now redeem as cash back or by converting rewards to ThankYou points with an eligible card. Read our review of the Citi Double Cash.
- 5X Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
- 2X Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
When it comes to simplicity and strong rewards, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for most travelers. You’ll earn earns 2 miles per dollar on every purchase with no bonus categories to memorize, making it an ideal card for those with busy lives. Read our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
- 5% Enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more;
- 3% 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
- 1.5% 1.5% on all other purchases
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a surprisingly powerful card that earns at least 1.5% back on everything. However, it becomes a standout card if you pair it with a card that earns transferable Ultimate Rewards points, doubling their potential value. Read our full review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
- 2X Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners
- 1X 2X applies to the first $50,000 in purchases per year, 1 point per dollar thereafter
The Blue Business Plus is a great card for small business owners who want to earn lucrative Membership Rewards points on everyday business spending. It was created specifically for sole proprietorships and start-ups with limited revenue who would appreciate a card with an introductory interest rate and expanded buying power. Read our review of the Amex Blue Business Plus.
- 2X Earn unlimited 2 points for every $1 spent on travel and dining purchases
- 1.5X Unlimited 1.5 points per $1 spent on all other purchases
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card is great for using the points earned for rewards that normal airline miles or credit card points can’t cover. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members get a 25%-75% rewards bonus on every purchase. New cardmembers earn a 50,000-point sign-up bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days of account opening. Read our review of the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.
- 1.5% Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
The Ink Business Unlimited’ sign-up gives you a generous $750 cash back spending $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening plus unlimited 1.5% cash back on every business purchase. It fills in rewards gaps not cpvered by the Ink Business Cash Credit Card and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. You can maximize this card by pairing it with cards including the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the Ink Business Preferred. Read our review of the Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card.
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|Card||Best for||Welcome Offer/Sign Up Bonus||Earning Rate||Annual Fee|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Best for drugstores||Earn an Additional 1.5% Cash Back||
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Best for airline miles||75,000 miles||
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||Best for everyday business expenses||15,000 points||
||No annual fee|
|Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card||Best for travel||50,000 points||
|Citi® Double Cash Card||Best for cash back||N/A||
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||Best for business cash back||$750||
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Best for U.S. supermarkets and gas in the U.S.||$350||
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Not to be confused with the Chase Freedom Flex that offers 5% cash back (5 points per dollar spent) on rotating quarterly bonus categories on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate, the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns at least 1.5% cash back (1.5 points per dollar spent) spent on everything. Plus, Chase added three higher-earning categories in recent years, giving cardholders an opportunity to boost their rewards on the following:
- 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
- 3% back on dining.
- 3% back on drugstore purchases.
Points earned from the Chase Freedom Unlimited can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points if you have a premium Chase credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred Credit Card. If not, you can redeem your cash back as a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts, or in the Ultimate Rewards portal for travel, for shopping at Amazon.com or buying gift cards.
TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, making the Chase Freedom Unlimited welcome offer of an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) even more valuable when you transfer those earnings to one of Chase’s full-fledged Ultimate Rewards cards.
The Freedom Unlimited is a perfect starter card and an ideal pairing with one of Chase’s premium cards but it is subject to Chase’s 5/24 rule — which means that you’ll be automatically denied if you’ve opened five or more new cards in the previous 24 months.
Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited full card review for more information.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Long before the Capital One Venture began adding hotel and airline transfer partners, the card was a fan favorite (and THE Points Guy Brian Kelly’s favorite), thanks to a strong earning rate of 2 miles per dollar on all purchases. While you can still redeem miles at a fixed rate of 1 cent each to eliminated eligible purchases made in the last 90 days, you also have the option to transfer them to some truly exceptional frequent flyer programs — including Avianca LifeMiles, Air Canada Aeroplan, Flying Blue and more — to unlock outsized value.
Read our review of the Capital One Venture card for more details.
Official application link: Capital One Venture.
The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express
Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 points after spending $3,000 in eligible purchases on the card within the first three months of account opening.
The Blue Business Plus card is a favorite among Membership Rewards enthusiasts because it’s one of the only no-annual-fee cards (see rates and fees) to earn full-fledged transferable points. The credit card earns 2 points per dollar spent on all purchases up to $50,000 in a year (then 1 point per dollar spent thereafter). TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents each, meaning this card provides a 4% return on all spending.
Potentially, you could net 100,000 Membership Rewards points a year by spending $50,000, which TPG values at $2,000. There are many ways to redeem Membership Rewards points for maximum value.
The only downside of this card is that it’s a business card, not a personal card, so not everyone can apply for it (though you may be more eligible than you think).
Read the Blue Business Plus card review for more details.
Official application link: Amex Blue Business Plus.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
As the lone Bank of America card on our list, the Bank of America Premium Rewards card packs a punch, with a sign-up bonus worth 50,000 points ($500). It also includes an up to $100 annual airline incidental fee statement credit, meaning you come out ahead every year you keep the card open after paying the $95 annual fee.
Points can be redeemed for travel, cash back or even a cash deposit into a linked Bank of America or Merrill account. The card earns 1.5 points per dollar on non-bonus spending and 2 points per dollar on travel and dining, which means this is a decent but not exceptional card for everyday purchases. However, the card becomes more attractive when combined with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.
To significantly increase the value of your spending return, you’ll need an eligible Bank of America checking account with an average daily balance of at least $20,000. The largest bonus is available to customers with a balance of $100,000 or more — at that level, you’ll earn 3.5 points per dollar spent on dining and travel, and an impressive 2.62 points per dollar spent on non-bonus spending.
Read the Bank of America Premium Rewards review for more details.
Official application link: Bank of America Premium Rewards.
Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash card comes with a competitive 2% cash back on everything — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off. With no annual fee to worry about, you can keep it forever. The card increased in value when Citi allowed the cash back earned on the Double Cash card to convert into Citi ThankYou Points.
The card has substantial stand-alone value but paired with Citi’s more premium cards, such as the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card, you could extract incredible value for travel. That’s because Citi allows you to transfer points to their airline partners and book flight awards. With the added flexibility, the Citi Double Cash is a great option for everyday expenses.
The information for the Citi Prestige Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Read the Citi Double Cash card review for more details.
Official application link: Citi Double Cash.
Chase Ink Business Unlimited
The Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card earns 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The card is an excellent addition to the Chase small-business lineup and currently offers a generous sign-up bonus of $750 (after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first three months after account opening). That’s unusually large for a cash-back card with no annual fee.
You can qualify for a business credit card, whether you sell stuff online or work as a sole proprietor. Many freelance jobs or side hustles are considered businesses and eligible for a business credit card.
What makes the Ink Business Unlimited a phenomenal everyday card is that beyond earning 1.5 points per dollar on all purchases, you can also combine your rewards with Chase Ultimate Rewards credit cards (Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve and Ink Business Preferred). This gives you the ability to transfer points to travel partners or receive between 1.25-1.5 cents (depending on whether you have the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve) when you redeem points toward travel reservations made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal.
This card is very similar to the popular Chase Freedom Unlimited, except it offers a higher sign-up bonus. The only drawback is that you may have a tougher time getting approved for the Ink as a business card than for the personal Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Related: Ink Business Unlimited card review
Official application link: Ink Business Unlimited.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
This card only earns 1% cash back on everyday expenses. However, the real reason the Blue Cash Preferred is a top everyday spending card is for its incredibly lucrative bonus categories that hit home with many people.
The categories are as follows:
- 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, etc.).
- 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per calendar year) then 1% after that.
- 3% back on transit (parking, tolls, ride-share, subway, etc.).
- 3% back at U.S. gas stations.
- 1% everywhere else.
- Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits. Terms apply.
See the Blue Cash Preferred card review for more details.
Official application link: Amex Blue Cash Preferred.
There is no single best card for everyday spending — just the best one for your situation.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a wonderful starter card to begin accruing treasured Ultimate Rewards points. The Blue Business Plus offers an impressive 4% return on general spending (based on TPG valuations) with a limit of $50,000 each calendar year to earn 2 points per dollar (then 1 point per dollar thereafter). In comparison, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a valuable sign-up bonus paired with more than a 2x miles return on everyday spending long-term.
The Citi Double Cash card earns 2% cash back (1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay), which can be converted to ThankYou Points via a linked ThankYou account. And the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card is a superb option if you have a high-balance relationship with Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program.
Ultimately, all cards on this list are valuable for everyday spending. Which one you choose will be determined by your spending habits and goals.
Related credit card guides
- Best rewards credit cards.
- Best airline credit cards.
- Best hotel credit cards.
- Best cash back credit cards.
- Best credit cards for groceries.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Benji Stawski.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, please click here.