TPG reader credit card question: Which credit cards should I use to buy household furnishings?

May 4, 2020

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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. 

As we all spend more time at home during the pandemic, some of us have decided that this is the perfect time to put all that HGTV inspiration to work.

For some, that may be a new paint job and for others it may mean new furniture. Regardless, these upgrades can be pricey. On the bright side, that means there’s an opportunity to earn rewards on those purchases. Reader Drew S. asked a question along these lines:

I’m renovating my Condo. What card gives me the best points on furniture and other household furnishings?

Drew S.

So before you go sprucing up your home, let’s take a look at some ways you can maximize these upgrades.

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In This Post

Option 1: Open a new card to get a welcome bonus

Investing in new furniture is pricey, but if you charge it to a new card, you can jump-start the spending required to earn a welcome bonus on a premium rewards card. That’s why you may want to consider opening a new credit card if you have large purchases in mind. That new couch could earn enough bonus rewards to pay for your next flight or hotel stay.

Of course, you should always take into consideration the long-term benefits of opening a new credit card. For instance, will you use the annual travel credits on the expensive Platinum Card? Or are you a more moderate traveler who may be better served by the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card? If you’re not maximizing all of the perks that come with these premium credit cards, the annual fee may not be worth it to you.

Here’s a look at some of our favorite premium rewards cards that offer generous welcome bonuses:

Card Welcome bonus Earning structure (% return based on TPG valuations) Best for … Annual fee
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening. 2x on travel and 3x on dining, 1x on all other purchases (2% return on everyday spending) Long-term travel rewards at an affordable price $95
The Platinum Card® from American Express Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the card in the first six months of card membership. Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the card at restaurants worldwide and when you “Shop Small” in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first six months of card membership. 5x on airfare booked directly with the airline or through amextravel.com (on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year, starting Jan. 1, 2021), 1x on all other purchases (2% return on everyday spending) Premium travel rewards and lounge access $695 (see rates and fees)
Ink Business Preferred Credit Card 100,000 Ultimate Rewards after spending $15,000 in the first three months of account opening. 3x on travel, shipping, internet, cable and phone services, and advertising purchases; 1x on all other purchases (2% return on everyday spending) Business spend and valuable rewards $95

Related: How to complete a Chase business credit card application

Option 2: Leverage what you already have

Whether or not you’re over Chase’s 5/24 rule, you don’t want to add another card to your wallet, or you don’t want to worry about reaching a minimum spending requirement over three months, don’t worry. There are plenty of other great cards out there that can help you maximize your spending. And you may even have one or two of these in your wallet already.

Here’s a look at the cards that offer a return of at least 2% — no minimum spending required:

Card Earning structure (% return based on TPG valuations) Annual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5% cash back or 1.5x Ultimate Rewards* on purchases (3% return on spending) $0
Citi® Double Cash Card 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you make purchases; 1% as you pay your bill (3.4% return on spending) $0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 2x on all purchases (2.8% return on spending) $95
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card 3% cash back in the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings); 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs — up to $2,500 in combined bonus category spend each quarter, then 1% (3% return on spending) $0

*When paired with a Sapphire card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve

As you can see, all of these cards offer a solid amount of points per dollar spent on nonbonus spending, like furniture. However, some cards offer more flexibility than others. For instance, you can convert the 1.5% cash back earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited into 1.5x Ultimate Rewards when paired with another Sapphire card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve. TPG values Ultimate Rewards points at 2 cents each, increasing your return on spending to 3%. 

Related: 9 things to consider when choosing a card for large purchases 

Bottom line

Before making any large purchases, always take some time to evaluate your wallet. If you have the room to expand your portfolio, a new credit card is definitely worth considering as the welcome bonus alone is much easier to achieve and could be well worth it in the long run. However, be sure to pick a premium rewards card that fits your long-term spending habits, not just your short-term purchasing needs.

This should be a good start in helping Drew narrow his options and figure out which card to use for his redecorating.

Featured image by Nicolas McComber/Getty Images.

For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum Card, please click here.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

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.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • 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.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
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.

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