Never just 1 point per dollar: Cards that earn 1.5x or more on all purchases

May 13, 2021

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Some of the most popular credit cards on the market feature a list of merchant categories that are eligible for bonus points, miles or cash back, followed by the well-worn phrase, “and you earn 1x points per dollar on all other purchases.”

One point per dollar might have been OK a decade or so ago, but now there are plenty of ways to earn more than 1x points per dollar on all non-bonus purchases.

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With competition fierce among credit card issuers, many have had to fend off one another and elevate the base earning rate of 1x points per dollar on a number of their credit card offerings. The good news for consumers is that there are now several cards available that offer impressive welcome bonuses and allow cardholders to earn a base rate of at least 1.5x points per dollar on any purchase.

Using a combination of TPG’s latest monthly valuations and the everyday earning rates across some different cards, here’s how you can leave earning just one point per dollar in the past.

Consumer cards that earn 1.5x or more on all purchases

Card Everyday spending rate TPG valuation per point/mile Value per dollar spent
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card 2x 1.7 3.4
Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express  1.5x (if you have at least 30 purchases per billing cycle) 2.0 3.0
Chase Freedom Unlimited 1.5x 2.0 3.0
Citi® Double Cash Card 2x 1.7 3.4

The information for the Amex Everyday Preferred credit 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.

 

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy)

You’ve probably seen the commercials — this is the original card that offered double miles on all purchases.

But the value of the miles wasn’t always as high as it is now. The value jumped the first time when Capital One added transfer partners a few years ago. And now, in light of Capital One’s recent addition of new transfer partners, including some at the improved 1:1 transfer ratio, the Venture card offers exceptional value on everyday purchases that normally never qualify for a category bonus. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

Related: Earn up to a 100K sign-up bonus: Review of the Capital One Venture Rewards credit card

Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

This was one of the first cards with the potential to offer 1.5x points on all everyday purchases (hence its name), but there’s a significant catch.

You only earn 1.5x points per dollar on otherwise non-bonused purchases if you make 30 charges in a billing cycle to trigger a 50% multiplier. Otherwise, you just earn 1x on everyday spending for that month.

The card has some generous built-in bonus categories, too, that are also increased 50% if you hit 30 or more transactions that billing cycle. This includes 3x points per dollar (on up to $6,000 spent each year, then 1x) at U.S. supermarkets and 2x points per dollar at U.S. gas stations. Terms apply. These bonus categories can become 4.5x and 3x respectively when you meet 30 transactions during your monthly billing period for a 50% points boost. There’s a $95 annual fee for this card.

Related: Review of the Amex EveryDay Preferred Credit Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

This card offers a simple 1.5% cash back on all purchases, but your rewards come in the form of Chase points that you can combine with rewards from other premium Chase cards that also earn valuable Ultimate Rewards points. And if one of your other Chase cards has an annual fee, such as the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, then you can enjoy the opportunity to transfer the points you earn to travel partners or receive 1.25 or even 1.5 cents per dollar toward travel booked through Chase.

Like the Amex EveryDay Preferred, the Chase Freedom Unlimited also offers you some nice opportunities to earn bonus points. You can earn 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3x on drugstore purchases. But unlike both the Amex EveryDay Preferred and the Capital One Venture Rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t carry an annual fee.

Related: Chase Freedom Unlimited: A great card for beginners and pros alike

Citi Double Cash Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

The Citi Double Cash Card is another card marketed as a cash-back card but it can do more if you want. Savvy award travel enthusiasts know how to convert their cash back to valuable points that can be transferred to airline partners.

With this card, you earn 1% cash back at the time of purchase and another 1% when you pay for your purchases, for a total of up to 2% cash back on all purchases. You can then convert your cash back to Citi ThankYou points and redeem them for maximum value. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Related: Simple and rewarding: Citi Double Cash Card review

Business cards that earn 1.5x or more on all purchases

Card Non-bonus offer TPG valuation per point/mile Value per dollar spent
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
2x (on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1x) 2.0 4.0
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 1.5x on purchases over $5,000 (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year) 2.0 3.0
Capital One Spark Miles for Business 2x 1.7 3.4
Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business 1.5x 1.7 2.55
Chase Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card 1.5x 2.0 3.0

 

The information for the Capital One Spark Miles Select has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Blue Business Plus Credit Card from American Express

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

This card offers 2x American Express Membership Rewards points on up to $50,000 in purchases each calendar year, and 1x after that. This is the single most rewarding Amex business credit card for everyday spending as it has a simple rewards-earning structure (no category bonuses to memorize) and doesn’t tack on an annual fee (see rates and fees).  It’s also quite unusual in that it is a card with no annual fee that earns fully transferable points all by itself.

Related: Blue Business Plus card review: Double up your everyday spending for no annual fee

The Business Platinum Card from American Express

(Photo by The Points Guy)

While this card normally offers 1x on all non-bonus purchases, you can receive 1.5x on individual purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per calendar year). That’s why I used it to charge a recent car purchase. Otherwise, it offers 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel and tons of travel and shopping benefits. There’s a $595 annual fee for this card (see rates and fees).

Related: Review of the Business Platinum Card from American Express

Capital One Spark Miles

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

This small-business card earns the same valuable Capital One miles that the personal Venture card earns. Cardholders earn an unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, with no limit. Those miles can then be redeemed at a fixed rate of 1 cent per point to “pay” for travel purchases going back 90 days on your statement, or transferred to one of Capital One’s airline or hotel partners. It has a $95 annual fee, which is waived the first year.

Related: Double miles on everything: Capital One Spark Miles for Business credit card review

Capital One Spark Miles Select

Capital One Spark Miles Select for Business
(Photo by John Gribben/The Points Guy)

This no-fee version of the Capital One Spark Miles card sneaks into the list as it offers 1.5x miles on all purchases. And since Capital One Miles are worth 1.7 cents each according to TPG’s latest valuations, you receive a total value of about 2.5 cents per dollar spent. That’s pretty good for a small-business card with no annual fee.

Related: Capital One Spark Miles Select review: Earn transferable miles with no annual fee

Chase Ink Business Unlimited

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Much like a small-business version of the Chase Freedom Unlimited, this card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Still, your rewards come in the form of Ultimate Rewards points when you combine them with other valuable Chase cards that also earn these points. Likewise, if one of your other Chase cards has an annual fee, such as the Sapphire Preferred, Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred, then you can enjoy the opportunity to transfer the points you earn to travel partners or receive 1.25 or even 1.5 cents per dollar towards travel booked through Chase. There’s no annual fee for this card.

Related: Ink Business Unlimited Credit Card review: $750 cash bonus and no annual fee

Cards that offer 1.5x or more, but with less valuable points

There are more travel rewards cards that offer more than 1.5x points per dollar spent. But since not all points and miles are valued equally, these may not always be the best choice. However, depending on your own points and miles earning priorities, these are options that earn more than 1x on everyday charges:

The information for the Hilton Honors Aspire 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.

Bottom line

It’s easy to get down on earning points and miles when you hear about the latest devaluation of your favorite loyalty program. But don’t forget that you’re also able to earn more rewards per dollar than ever before. While it used to be normal to earn just 1x on everyday purchases that don’t qualify for a bonus, there are plenty of credit cards that offer you 1.5x or more flexible reward points per dollar spent.

These are all cards that you can use for non-bonus purchases, probably including many of your largest expenses. Think of bills like insurance, health care, education, utilities, home improvement, furniture, appliances, automotive purchases, maintenance and repair. By choosing the right card for these kinds of frequent everyday purchases, you can be sure to earn as many points and miles as possible every time you use a credit card.

For rates and fees of the Amex Business Platinum card, please click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus card, click here.

Featured photo by Astrakan Images/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first three months of card membership. Plus, earn a $200 statement credit after your first Delta purchase within the first three months. Offer ends 7/28/21.

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 after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months and a $200 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Limited Time Offer: Plus, get a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable 15.74%-24.74%. Offer expires 7/28/2021.
  • Accelerate your path to Medallion Status, with Status Boost®. Plus, in 2021 you can earn even more bonus Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) to help you reach Medallion Status.
  • 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.
  • 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
Intro APR on Purchases
0% on purchases for 12 months
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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