The best credit cards for everyday use will vary from one person to the next. For a family, it may be card that pays excellent rewards at the grocery store. For a small business owner it may be a card with excellent rewards on office supply purchases. And then there are the frequent travelers, who’s best card for everyday purchases will pay the most in miles or points.
To help you pick the right card for you, here is my list for the best credit card for everyday use:
- Best all-around card (up to 6% cash back): American Express Blue Cash Preferred
- Best rotating category card (up to 5% cash back): Discover it
- Best standard cash back (2% on every purchase): Citi Double Cash
- Best everyday travel card (50,000 miles bonus): Capital One Venture Rewards
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
Ideal for: Families and individuals who spend a lot on groceries, gas, and shopping.
Signup Bonus: $200
Rewards: Up to 6% cash back on groceries, up to 3% cash back on gas and at U.S. department stores
Annual Fee: $95
The American Express blue Cash Preferred card is one of the best cash back cards available today. What makes it ideal for everyday spending is its elevated rewards on groceries, gas, and shopping at department stores. The signup bonus is a plus.Here’s what you need to know about the rewards program:
- 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
- 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
- 3% cash back at certain U.S. department stores
- 1% back on other purchases.
As for the signup bonus, you’ll get a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. The card also offers a 0% APR introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
There is also a version of this card with lower rewards, but no annual fee. You can get details on this card here.
Ideal for: Those who don’t spend a lot in a single category
Signup Bonus: Discover matches the cash back earned at the end of the first year
- Rewards: Up to 5% cash back
Annual Fee: $0
The Discover it card is one that requires you to manage rotating categories. Each quarter you can earn 5% cash back on select categories, up to $1,500 in spending. After that and on all other purchases, you earn 1% cash back.
The categories typically correspond to the season. For example, during the holiday season this year you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending at Amazon and Target.
Another helpful feature is that Discover gives you free access to your FICO score. The card also offers a 0% APR introductory rate on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months.
Citi Double Cash
Ideal for: Those who want to use just one credit card but still get great rewards.
Signup Bonus: None.
Rewards: 2% cash back–1% at the time of purchase; 1% when you pay for the purchase
Annual Fee: $0
This is the card my wife and I use everyday. With the Citi Double Cash card you earn 2% cash back, and you don’t have to fuss with rotating categories. There is no annual fee, and redeeming the rewards takes less than 60 seconds. We have them deposited into our Citi checking account. If you don’t bank at Citi, they will send you a check.
In addition, the card offers a 0% APR introductory rate on balance transfers for 18 months.
Capital One Venture Rewards
Ideal for: Those wanting to use rewards for travel
Signup Bonus: 50,000 miles worth $500 in travel
Rewards: 2x miles on every $1 spent
Annual Fee: $0 the first year; $95 thereafter
The Capital One Venture Rewards credit card is another one I’ve carried for years. It pays 2 miles for every $1 spent. But there’s a catch. Each miles is worth one cent only if you use it for travel. Redeem miles for anything else and each miles is worth half a cent.
If you use rewards for travel, the card is effectively a 2% rewards card. And that’s where it shines. You can also earn 50,000 bonus miles if you spend $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months. Use these miles for travel and they are worth $500.