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TPG reader credit card question: Which card(s) are best for tech purchases?

July 27, 2020
5 min read
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Editor’s note: This article is part of a column to answer your toughest credit card questions. If you would like to ask us a question, tweet us at @thepointsguy, message us on Facebook or email us at info@thepointsguy.com.

A common question we get is, “What is the best card for XYZ purchases?” When people are considering a larger purchase, they want to make sure they’re maximizing the rewards they earn to make the most out of that expense.

[pullquote source="WYATT S. "]With so many phone and tech items being released in the coming months (such as the Canon R5), which card(s) are best for those electronics purchases? [/pullquote]

There are three big things to consider when asking which card you want to use for a larger electronic purchase like a new camera, phone or computer:

  1. Where you make the purchase
  2. Earning rewards vs. a sign-up bonus
  3. Purchase protections

Where you purchase matters 

Because “electronics” or “tech” are two expansive categories that are rarely bonus categories in their own right on top credit cards, where you buy these purchases might determine which card is the best option for the purchase.

For example, if you’re going to buy a new iPad Pro from Amazon, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card might be the right choice. If you’re buying the new Canon EOS R5 from Best Buy, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card might make the most sense, especially since it comes with extended warranty coverage. And a card like the Ink Business Cash Credit Card might be best if you’re buying a new laptop from Office Depot or another office supply store.

Additionally, it could make the most sense to buy gift cards to your preferred tech merchant from a grocery store with a card that earns great rewards on those purchases. But be warned -- it can get complicated with larger purchases if the gift cards have caps on how much you can put on them.

The information for the Amazon Prime 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.

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Young man working at home office. (Photo by Eva-Katalin/Getty Images)
Which merchant you're shopping from -- and whether you're shopping in-store or online -- can help determine which card is best. (Photo by Eva-Katalin/Getty Images)

Earning rewards vs. a sign-up bonus 

Something else to consider is whether you want to focus on earning rewards or hitting a sign-up bonus.

If you just applied for a new credit card with a high sign-up bonus threshold (such as the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card with its 100k bonus after spending $15,000 on purchases in the first three months), you may want to forgo earning bonus rewards on another card to help you hit the Ink Business Preferred’s bonus instead.

This is especially true when you’re shopping for products that don’t typically fit into traditional bonus categories. For example, if you’re looking at buying the new Canon EOS R5 from B&H online, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card may give you the best rewards rate, at 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose. But is that 5% back ($100 in value) more valuable to you than using this purchase to hit the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening ($1,200 in value based on TPG valuations)?

Related reading: Cards currently offering welcome bonuses of over 100,000 points

Purchase protections 

Last but not least, think about how important purchase coverage is to you.

There are plenty of cards with varying extended warranty coverage to check out, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve, Capital One Venture and American Express® Gold Card. Extended warranty will generally either match the coverage of a manufacturer’s warranty or extend the life of the coverage by a set timeline.

Purchase protection is rarer. It will cover your purchase in the case of some damage, theft and occasionally even losing a product. The Amex Gold, Ink Business Cash and Chase Freedom (No longer open to new applicants) are among the top cards with purchase protection.

For a larger purchase such as new electronics, it may be worth sacrificing $100 worth of rewards if you’re getting coverage that could save you thousands of dollars in the long run.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Bottom line 

If you’re shopping online, make sure you’re also using a shopping portal to make your purchases. That way you could potentially double-dip your rewards earning. Shopping portals could also help make sure you’re still earning rewards if you decide to use a card that may not earn bonus points but will provide purchase protection on the purchase.

Featured image by Getty Images/Westend61
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
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TPG featured card

Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 10X points
10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day

Intro offer

75,000 bonus miles
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

Annual Fee

$395

Recommended Credit

740-850
Excellent
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023
Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
2X2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

    75,000 bonus miles
  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
    Excellent

Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,400+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and our Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023