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Use the right card when shopping at local small businesses

Jan. 16, 2020
4 min read
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Editor's Note

/strong> This post has been updated with new card details. It was originally published on Nov. 30, 2019. 

Editor's note: This post has been updated with new card details. It was originally published on Nov. 30, 2019.


Even though retail giants like Amazon, Target and Dillards are still go-to shopping locations for many Americans, there has been a movement the past few years to get consumers to shop local. Shopping local supports community entrepreneurs and your local economy, not to mention there are some fantastic small businesses you can shop with no matter where you live.

Most credit cards don't offer bonus categories that many small retail businesses will fall into, but that doesn't mean you can't still maximize those purchases and get a solid return on your spending. Here are three of my top picks to use for small business shopping.

Citi® Double Cash Card

With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you'll earn 2% back on every purchase — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill each month. This is a great card to use when shopping local because you're earning a flat rewards rate no matter where you shop. That means no matter the retailer, from your favorite clothing boutique to your favorite bakery, you'll earn 2% back. Plus, the Citi Double Cash rewards can now be converted to ThankYou Points with an eligible linked ThankYou account, so you can use your rewards as cash back or points.

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited comes with unlimited 1.5% back on purchases. While it's not quite as high as the Citi Double Cash's rewards rate, remember that you can convert Chase Freedom Unlimited rewards into Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you also have an eligible Chase card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card. Chase UR points are worth 2 cents each, so you'll end up with a 3% return on all spending, no matter where you decide to shop local.

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited review.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

If you are an existing Bank of America customer with enough stashed with the bank to qualify for the Preferred Rewards program, it's hard to beat the Premium Rewards Card's rewards structure. You're earning 2x points on travel and dining purchases, plus 1.5x point on everyday purchases. But Preferred Rewards members can get anywhere from 25% to 75% more in rewards based on what tier you qualify for. That means you could earn up to 2.62x on non-bonus spending, making it the highest potential earner on this list.

Read our full Bank of America Premium Rewards Card review.

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Bottom line

Shopping local is a great way to support local business owners and the local economy. 2019's Small Business Saturday (Nov. 30, 2019) recorded an estimated $19.6 billion in sales across independent retailers and restaurants, according to data from the 2019 Small Business Saturday Consumer Insights Study from American Express. Same same study found that 97% on consumers who shopped during the recent Small Business Saturday agreed that small businesses are essential to the community.

Using the right card while you shop local could help your local economy while boosting your rewards earnings.

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Updated on 5/3/21.

Featured image by Getty Images
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 premium travel card for value
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

1 - 10X points
10xEarn 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

80,000 bonus points
Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Annual Fee

$550

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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Best premium travel card for value
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 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
5xEarn 5x total points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3xEarn 3x points on other travel and dining.
1xEarn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    80,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $550
  • 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

If you are looking to take your premium rewards to the highest level, this card is really a no brainer in our eyes. Chase's Ultimate Rewards make points easy to redeem, with a wide range of 10 airline and three hotel transfer partners and a friendly user interface. Despite the high annual fee, Chase is consistently adding new benefits to keep the card competitive in a fierce premium rewards field.

Pros

  • $300 annual travel credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • Access to Chase Ultimate Rewards hotel and airline travel partners
  • Unlimited 3x points on the broad category of travel and dining
  • 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Broad definitions for travel and dining bonus categories

Cons

  • Steep $550 annual fee
  • May not make sense for people that don't travel frequently
  • You must spend the $300 travel credit before earning 3x points for travel and dining
  • No automatic hotel elite status
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,200 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,200 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more