The Best Credit Cards for Commuting

May 17, 2019

This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

Credit cards compete for the top spot in your wallet by offering high-value bonus multipliers for purchases in a wide range of categories, including travel, dining and groceries.

But even if you spend the bulk of your budget in these categories, you probably aren’t going grocery shopping or buying plane tickets every single day. Not as many cards step up to the plate to offer bonus points on the one thing most us have to do every single day: commute to and from work or school. If you’re looking to earn bonus points on this often unavoidable expense, here are the top cards you should consider.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

You’re not going to find the word “commute” anywhere in the fine print on this card, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s beloved 3x points on travel purchases (excluding $300 travel credit) will extend to your morning commute. Just like the 3x bonus category for dining purchases, Chase defines travel in the broadest way possible. You’ll earn bonus points for all the conventional things like airfare and hotels, but you’ll also earn for ride-share services like Uber, public transit, and even some parking fees.

This makes the Sapphire Reserve a great choice for your day-to-day life and for your vacations as well. The 60,000-point welcome bonus (earned after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months) will jump-start you toward your next tropical getaway. The Reserve has a $550 annual fee, which is largely offset by a $300 annual travel credit. This credit is automatically applied to any eligible purchases you make, so you might even find yourself getting reimbursed for your commute by Chase if you pay with a Sapphire Reserve. If the $550 annual fee is more than you’re willing to pay, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers 2x points in the same broadly defined travel and dining categories.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

(Image by The Points Guy.)

While Amex’s cash-back portfolio often gets overshadowed by its impressive lineup of Membership Rewards points-earning cards, the Blue Cash Preferred can be a great option for those looking to earn a little cash back on their commutes. The card underwent a recent refresh that included the addition of a new 6% bonus category for select US streaming services and 3% back for transit. Amex indicated that this category will cover parking, tolls, ride-shares, subway tickets and more.

The Blue Cash Preferred comes with a $95 annual fee, waived the first year (see rates & fees), and is currently offering a welcome bonus of a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Importantly, unlike the earlier cards on this list, it carries a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (see rates & fees). This means that you’ll want to leave it behind when packing for vacation.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card goes out of its way to reward customers who are loyal to BoA through the BofA Preferred Rewards program. To enroll in this program, you’ll need an eligible Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more in a Bank of America account and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Members of the Preferred Rewards program will see their earning rates on the Premium Rewards card jump to the following amounts:

Spend Categories Regular Cardholder Tier 1 – Gold ($20,000 – $50,000) Tier 2 – Platinum ($50,000 – $100,000) Tier 3 – Platinum Honors ($100,000+)
Travel/Dining Earnings 2x points 2.5x points 3x points 3.5x points
Other Earnings 1.5x points 1.875x points 2.25x points  2.625x points

The good news is that the travel category is defined quite broadly to include things like busses, taxis, ferries, parking lots and garages and more. If you’re a Platinum Honors member, that 3.5x earning on travel purchases is one of the better offers out there.

Bottom Line

Commuting to and from work can make a long day even longer. While you can’t cut your commute just by carrying the right credit cards (we wish!), you can get a good amount of points or cash back on transit expenses. Some of the cards with the best “travel” bonus categories include very broad definitions that will cover your morning commute, whether you’re filling up the gas tank or hopping on the subway.

For rates & fees of the Blue Cash Preferred Amex, click here.

Featured photo by Bilgin S. Sasmaz/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

WELCOME OFFER: $300 Cash Back Terms Apply.


CARD HIGHLIGHTS: Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back on transit. Plus earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%) and 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
Regular APR
13.99%-23.99% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95.
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
Excellent, Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.