Skip to content

How TPG staffers are using credit cards to beat inflation

August 22 2022
6 min read
Close up couple with credit card paying bill calculating tip with smart phone in brewery restaurant.
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.

If you feel like life is more expensive right now, you aren't wrong. Inflation rates have hovered around 8.5% over the past few months, according to recent data.

Today marks the start of "Beating Inflation with Credit Cards Week." Every day this week, we'll share tips and tricks on how you can earn extra rewards, cash back or discounts on your daily spending to help offset rising costs and ease the pinch of inflation.

Credit cards may not be the first thing you think of for combatting increasing costs. However, using a credit card that provides a quality return on your spending can help. So let's kick things off by looking at our favorite credit cards for beating inflation.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

For more TPG news delivered each morning to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.

Credit cards we're using to beat inflation

Which credit cards do we personally use to help beat inflation? Here's what some TPG staff members said when I asked them:

Senitra Horbrook, credit cards editor

I've been using my Chase Freedom Flex on gas this quarter because it is offering 5% cash back (or 5 points per dollar spent when combined with Ultimate Rewards points-earning cards) at gas stations, car rentals and select entertainment this quarter.

I also look for ways to combine that Freedom Flex bonus with additional discounts, such as Chase Offers on gas stations and the 10-cent discount on gas at Walmart, Murphy USA, Exxon or Mobil or Sam's Club prices with my Walmart+ membership from the Amex Platinum.

(Note that earning 5% cash back or 5 points per dollar is limited to the first $1,500 spent in the bonus categories each quarter.)

Emily Thompson, credit cards writer

I am paying my utilities and internet/streaming services with my U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. I chose this as my 5% cash back category, and this is a bonus that doesn't require any extra work or thought on my part.

(Note that the 5% cash back is limited to the first $2,000 spent in your chosen category each quarter.)

(Photo by Georgijevic/Getty Images)

Gabe Travers, senior director of product management

I'm enjoying the solid earn rate of 4 points per dollar on restaurants and groceries (up to the first $25,000 per year, then 1 point per dollar) with my American Express® Gold Card. According to TPG valuations, that earn rate is equivalent to an 8% return on my spending in these categories, which is almost the same percentage rate as inflation, effectively negating its effect.

Also, the $10 monthly dining statement credit, which I choose to use with Wine.com, is a nice "treat yourself" bonus (enrollment is required in advance to receive the credit).

Katharine Leitch, director of business growth

For the first time ever, I'm earning points on (very expensive New York City) rent with the no-annual-fee Bilt World Elite Mastercard. I've already paid for a flight with Bilt points this year. Also, I use it at restaurants to earn 3 points per dollar spent when dining out.

TPG founder Brian Kelly is a Bilt advisor and investor. The information for the Bilt 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.

(Photo by Anna Blazhuk/Getty Images)

Matt Moffitt, senior credit cards editor

Like Gabe said, the American Express® Gold Card provides an unbeatable return on grocery purchases — 4 points per dollar on the first $25,000 spent annually at U.S. supermarkets. Given the higher costs of eating out, I'm preferencing cooking at home more than before, so my grocery spend has increased and I want the best return on it.

The Platinum Card® from American Express is also helping. I'm keeping a closer eye on Amex Offers, which help me save money year-round. I just stacked an Amex Offer for $20 off a $100+ purchase at Lululemon with Texas' Sales Tax Holiday, taking a total of 26.25% off my $100 purchase.

Kyle Olsen, points and miles reporter

Although points and miles are nice, sometimes cash is better. I've been enjoying my quarter 5% restaurant cash back on my Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card (up to $75 back per quarter).

The information for the Discover it 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.

My approach

My wife takes the bus to and from work every day. The Chase Sapphire Reserve earns us 3 points per dollar spent on travel, which is giving us a 6% return on this necessary spending, according to TPG's latest valuations. If we hadn't already used the annual $300 travel credit on this card, bus passes would qualify. That means we wouldn't earn bonus points but instead would get a statement credit erasing these purchases.

We also get $10 per month in GoPuff credit on this card, which we are using for free groceries. Furthermore, I'm excited about the new Instacart benefits on the card, providing free delivery and $15 per month in statement credits.

(Screenshot from gopuff.com)

The Platinum Card® from American Express also provides perks that help us save money. The Walmart+ membership statement credit grants us waived grocery delivery fees and 10 cents per gallon in gas discounts at Exxon and Mobil gas stations. That's on top of providing free streaming services with the digital entertainment credit, so we are using this perk to watch movies for free instead of paying to go to movie theaters.

Bottom line

As you probably know, credit cards can offer some great travel perks. Getting the most out of your cards' perks and benefits, like lounge access, is key to offsetting the annual fee (if there is one).

However, perks and benefits that help you beat inflation by providing a valuable return on spending or discounts on daily necessities also can be important — maybe now more than ever.

Stay tuned for more tips on beating inflation with credit cards throughout this week.

Featured photo by HERO IMAGES/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.

TPG featured card

Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

2 - 6X points
6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.

Intro offer

Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points75,000 points
Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

Annual Fee

$125

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
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 Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Marriott Bonvoy Business® American Express® Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best Marriott card for Business Owners
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

6X6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
4X4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
2X2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Intro Offer
    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.

    Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 points
    75,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $125
  • 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.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

The Marriott Bonvoy Business Amex is a stacked card with a rewards rate that will help you earn bonus points on everyday and business-related purchases. You'll earn 15 elite night credits each calendar year, and receive automatic Gold elite status. Finally, the free night award certificate with a redemption level of 35,000 points or less can get you hundreds of dollars in potential value each year.

Pros

  • 6x points on eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program
  • 4x points at restaurants worldwide, U.S. gas stations, wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and U.S. shipping
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases
  • Earn a free-night award each card renewal month (up to 35,000 points)
  • Receive 15 elite night credits to jump-start status
  • Transfer Marriott points to 40+ airlines

Cons

  • Airline points transfer ratios are poor
  • Must spend $60,000 in a year for second free-night award
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 100,000 Bonus Marriott Bonvoy Points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer expires 11/2/22.
  • 6x points at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy® program.
  • 4x points for purchases made at restaurants worldwide, at U.S. gas stations, on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. service providers and on U.S. purchases for shipping.
  • 2x points on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a 7% discount off standard rates for reservations of standard guest rooms at hotels that participate in the Marriott Bonvoy program when you book directly. Terms and Conditions Apply.
  • Receive 1 Free Night Award every year after your Card renewal month. Plus, earn an additional Free Night Award after you spend $60K in purchases on your Card in a calendar year. Awards can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 35,000 Marriott Bonvoy® points) at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy®. Certain hotels have resort fees.
  • Enjoy Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Status with your Card.
  • Terms apply.
  • See Rates & Fees