Credit Cards for Everyday Spending

Do you still pay for things with cash or a debit card?  If you want to be a travel hacker then you’ll have to break that habit!  Always use a credit card for your everyday spending.

The number one way to earn rewards from credit cards for free travel is to apply for credit cards that offer a high bonus. Meeting a credit card’s minimum spend requirement and earning 50,000+ points is by far, the quickest way to get a lot of points.  And we all know a lot of points = a lot of free travel.

There will be times that you are not meeting the minimum spend on a credit card. You may be trying to decide what card to apply for next. Maybe you are trying to get under Chase 5/24 again. Whatever the reason, sometimes we aren’t meeting minimum spend.

We do want to continue earning points on our credit cards so we want to maximize the points we can earn with our everyday spending.  I never use cash or debit cards. Even $5 purchases add up over time and I want ALL the points.  It is important to use the right card for certain purchases to get the most points. Let’s check out the best credit cards for some of the most common everyday spendings.

Gas

The Hilton Honors Surpass Card is a great card to use for buying fuel. You will get 6 points per dollar spent on gasoline. This card also offers 6x the points at U.S. restaurants and supermarkets! Keep in mind though that Hilton points are valued at about .05 cents a piece so they aren’t the most valuable point currency. The bonus on this card is currently 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Rewards when you spend $2,000 in the first three months.  If you love staying at Hilton Hotels, then this is a great card for you!

American Express credit card
This is a great card for buying fuel for your vehicles!

If you are looking to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards (Alex always uses Ultimate Rewards cards when she isn’t meeting minimum spend) then the Chase Ink Business Cash is a great option. It gets 2 points per dollar spent on gas.

The American Express Every Day Preferred offers 2 Membership Rewards per $1 spent on fuel. You also get 3 points per $1 spent at grocery stores. You can receive a 15,000 Membership Rewards as a bonus when you apply and meet the minimum spend of $1,000 in 3 months. The Annual Fee is only $95. You’ll earn a 50% bonus if you use this card 30 times or more in a month so that makes it a good everyday spending card.

Good credit card for gas and groceries

 Airfare Purchases

I use the American Express Platinum Card for most of my airfare purchases on the rare occasion I’m not using miles (like domestic travel). It gives me 5 points per $1 spent. The current bonus on this card is 60,000 points after $5000 spend in 3 months. Yes, I know this card has a high annual fee but as I’ve written, it’s worth it to me.  I totally get my value out of it (read here why).

American Express Platinum Card
Even with its high annual fee, this is Pam’s favorite credit card!

Another good option for purchasing airfare is the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Preferred earns 2 points per $1 spent on all travel purchases and the Reserve earns 3 points. These cards come with great travel insurance benefits as well. Even if you book with points and use the card to pay taxes, you will be covered.

Dining Out

American Express offers 4 points per $1 spent on dining out on their American Express Gold Card AND 4 points per $1 spent on groceries!! This is my go-to card in both these areas. It has an annual fee of $250 but the benefits cover the fee. Right now you can get 35,000 Membership Rewards if you meet the minimum spend of $2,000 in 3 months. It’s also a good card for airfare as it will give you 3 points per $1 spend.

American Express Gold Card
Pam uses this card for groceries and eating out for 4 points per $1 spent

Cellular Phone, Cable, and Internet

There is one card that is perfect for this – the Chase Ink Business Preferred Card.  It gives 3 points per $1 spend.  Additionally, it offers an amazing cell phone protection plan. How does $600 towards cell phone protection against theft or damage sound? Just be sure and pay your phone bill with this card.

Chase Ink Business Credit Card
Pay your phone bill with this card

Groceries

Alex already wrote a great article on the best cards to use for groceries.  Be sure and read it and decide what card you will use. Just remember to always use a credit card at the grocery store!

Everyday Spending

If having to think about which card to use on various purchases is too much or you want to focus all your spending to earn Ultimate Rewards then consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited. It earns 1.5% back on all purchases. That cashback can be turned into Ultimate Rewards and transferred into your Sapphire Preferred or Ink Business Preferred account.

Chase Freedom Credit Card
No Annual Fee Credit Card

The Chase Freedom is also a good option as it earns 5% back on select categories that rotate every quarter. Some examples of the categories they rotate between include gas stations, grocery stores, streaming services, warehouses, home improvement stores, and more. You can check out the current category bonuses. These points and can also be combined with your other Ultimate Reward Cards.

If you are more focused on American Express Membership Reward Points than your best bet for everyday spending would be the American Express Everyday Preferred that is listed above or the Amex Gold, also listed above.

Bottom Line

We all want to get bonus points for free travel. Occasionally we aren’t meeting minimum spend so in that case, it’s important to use the right card in the right way on our everyday spending purchases.  ALWAYS use a credit card when buying anything!!

pinterest graphic on which credit cards are the best for everyday spending
Credit Cards

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