The best cards to pair with your New Year’s resolution
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Happy New Year! Now that 2021 has passed, we all have a clean slate and can look forward to 2022. It's natural to make resolutions that will help you be better in the new year.
Unfortunately, we all know that many times these resolutions start to fade away somewhere around February. But what if we told you that credit cards can help you keep your resolutions through the end of 2022? And what if you could use the points and miles you earn to keep your resolutions on a great trip in 2023?
Below we share 10 credit cards that can help you meet the most common New Year's resolutions in 2022.
Save more money with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Saving more money is a perennial favorite on the list of top New Year’s resolutions, and the Blue Cash Preferred Card is a great option to help you save for your goals. Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months. This card can certainly help you put back money in your (figurative) wallet, since you earn 6% cash back for groceries at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per calendar year; then 1%) and select streaming services, along with 3% for gas and transit. Plus you save money since the card has a $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95 (see rates and fees).
Related: Why the Amex Blue Cash Preferred might be the best cash-back card right now
Start your points and miles journey with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Maybe this is the year to jump into the complex (yet lucrative) world of points and miles. If that's the case, the new Capital One Venture X is a great first travel rewards card. It starts with a generous 100,000-mile sign-up bonus after you spend $10,000 on purchases in the first six months. You earn 10x miles on hotels and car rentals booked via Capital One Travel, 5x on flights booked via Capital One Travel and 2x on everything else.
You also earn up to $200 in statement credits for vacation rental purchases (such as Airbnb and Vrbo) charged to the account within the first year of account opening. And receive up to $300 back in statement credits annually for bookings made through Capital One Travel.
According to TPG’s latest valuations (not provided by the issuer), those bonus miles are worth $1,850, thanks to the outsize value you can get from transferring Capital One miles to the program’s 16 airline and hotel partners. You get these and other perks, including lounge access, travel insurance and purchase protection, for $395 a year.
Related: The most exciting premium card to come around in years: A review of Capital One Venture X
Plan more travel with the Chase Sapphire Preferred
Considering how the pandemic shut down a lot of travel, maybe 2022 can be the year we can all catch up. If this is your main resolution, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is a great card to help you achieve your travel resolution. You get a jump on travel redemptions with 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 5x on Peloton equipment; 3x on dining, select streaming services and online grocery purchases; 2x points on other travel; and 1x on all other purchases. Receive a 10% card anniversary points boost and a $50 hotel credit every year, along with strong travel insurance and purchase protections — all for a $95 annual fee.
Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card review
Tackle home improvement projects with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Maybe you didn't get into the home improvement game during the peak of the pandemic in 2020, but now you're ready to spend on projects. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card is ideal for this resolution since you can choose a 3% cash-back category from a list of six, including home improvement and furnishings. This category expands to include contractors such as plumbers, electricians, landscapers and more. The card comes with a sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.
Once you're done with your project, you can change your 3% category bonus selection (to gas, online shopping, dining, travel or drugstores) up to once a month, plus earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined spending across bonus categories each quarter (1% thereafter).
If you’re a Bank of America® Preferred Rewards member, you can earn an additional 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means the 3% earned on your choice category spending could go up to 5.25% and the 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs could go up to 3.5%.
Related: Customize your rewards structure: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review
Get into crafting with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If your 2022 resolution is to learn a new craft, the Capital One Venture card is a good one to use toward spending on tools and equipment, thanks to earning a flat 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases. For example, if you want to learn how to quilt, you'll earn 2x on everything from a sewing machine to fabric. The card comes with a sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening. That bonus is worth $1,388, according to TPG valuations (not provided by the issuer).
Related: Earn 75,000 bonus miles: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card review
Eat healthier with the American Express® Gold Card
If your goal is to eat healthier — plus maybe lose some weight — in 2022, the American Express Gold Card can help. Because it earns 4x points (equal to an 8% return based on TPG’s latest valuations) at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year at supermarkets, then 1x), so you rack up some incredible earnings while eating healthy, both at restaurants and at home.
In addition to this strong earning rate, the card offers up to $120 in annual dining credits, up to $10 each month, when you use the card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar, and select Shake Shack locations, with the first two being your best bet from a healthy-eating perspective.
You can also get a $120 yearly Uber Cash credit after you add your Gold Card to your Uber account, at $10 a month. The Uber Cash can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. This card has a $250 annual fee (see rates and fees). Enrollment is required for select benefits.
The card’s currently offering a welcome bonus of 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first six months of card membership, but you could be targeted for a 75,000-point offer after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months through CardMatch (targeted offer subject to change at any time).
Related: 4x on everyday purchases and a bonus worth $1,200 in travel: American Express Gold review
Work out with the World of Hyatt and Bilt cards
Working out more is the second-most popular resolution, and the World of Hyatt Credit Card is a great facilitator in this regard. You’ll get 2x points on fitness club and gym membership and costs, which equals a 3.4% return on spending based on TPG’s valuations — all for a modest $95 a year. That may not sound like much, but this card is one of the best options for gym expenses.
With the current World of Hyatt sign-up bonus, you can earn 30,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening. Plus, earn up to 30,000 more bonus points by earning 2x points on purchases that normally earn 1x points, on up to $15,000 in the first six months of account opening. Those 60,000 Hyatt points are worth up to $1,020 based on TPG’s valuations.
The Bilt Mastercard® is offering cardmembers 5x on any gym monthly membership fee (up to 5,000 points) nationwide through the end of January. While the Bilt Mastercard doesn't come with a sign-up bonus, it's the only card on the market that allows you to pay your rent, completely fee-free. Plus, cardholders can earn 3 points per dollar on dining and 2 points per dollar on travel without the worry of an annual fee.
Editor’s note: TPG founder Brian Kelly is a Bilt advisor and investor.
Related: ‘One of the most valuable hotel cards’: A review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card
Make more friends with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
While this card can’t literally help you make friends, it can help make your nights out with friends a bit cheaper. You can go hit the town with your squad, and with 4% cash back on dining and entertainment on the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, there is even less reason to stay home and binge-watch Netflix. And you can jump-start your savings with $300 cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit 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.
Related: The best for cash back for dining, groceries and entertainment: Capital One Savor credit card review
Read more with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
To wrap up with the most common New Year's resolution, reading is more rewarding when you pay for your books with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Not only will you be able to get your book in no more than two days with Amazon Prime (membership is $119 a year), but you will also earn 5% cash back on all your Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. You’ll also earn a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval.
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa 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.
No matter what card you choose to reach your New Year's resolutions, always remember to follow the first commandment of TPG's 10 commandments of credit card rewards: Thou shalt pay thy balance in full. You won't get the full value of the points and miles you're earning on your resolutions if you're spending but not paying off your cards. Use your cards wisely so you don't get into a financial hole.
Related: 4 ways to manage your spending on multiple credit card accounts
Additional reporting by Brett Holzhauer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Amex Gold Card, please click here.