Trying to maximize every single one of your purchases based on the spending categories for a pile of different credit cards can be stressful. To avoid this hassle on smaller purchases, having a general credit card for daily use is a great strategy.
In addition, having a credit card designated for your day-to-day purchases, rather than paying cash or using a debit card, is easier than going to the ATM all the time. This can also give you peace of mind when it comes to debit card fraud — and you can earn valuable cashback or travel rewards at the same time.
In this article, I’ll highlight the best credit cards for daily use, along with a few points to consider before selecting a new card for your daily expenses.
- How to choose the best credit cards for daily use
- The 7 best credit cards for daily use
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Citi Double Cash Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
- Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
- The 2 best business credit cards for daily use
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
- Capital One Spark Cash for Business
- Why we chose these cards (methodology)
- The bottom line on the best credit cards for daily use
How to choose the best credit cards for daily use
The best credit card for daily use is one that will earn you high returns on your day-to-day purchases. Whether it be filling up your car, grabbing a quick cup of coffee, or buying materials for a home project, everyone needs a card they can turn to that will reward them regardless of the purchase.
Additionally, it’s important to consider which type of credit card rewards and redemption options are going to suit you best. Are cashback rewards needed to put money back into your monthly budget? Or is redeeming travel rewards to help fund your next vacation more appealing? Either way, deciding which is a better fit for your budget and lifestyle is critical to finding the best credit card for daily use for you.
With that in mind, I’ve picked a variety of cards from different credit card issuers below — any one of which could be your best rewards credit card for everyday use.
The 7 best credit cards for daily use
|Card||Welcome bonus||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months||5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases||$0|
|Citi Double Cash Card||N/A||up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay||$0|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months (or earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months)||2X miles on every purchase, every day||$95|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Earn $100 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months; plus, earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $150 back||20% cash back at Amazon.com during the first six months (up to $150), 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply.||$0 (See rates and fees)|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Earn $150 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months; plus, earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases in the first 6 months, for up to $200 back||6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases. Terms apply.||$95 (waived first year) (See rates and fees)|
|Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card||Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days||3% cash back on the category of your choice; 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 spent each quarter in the 2% and 3% categories combined); and 1% cash back on all other purchases||$0|
|Costco Anywhere Visa Card||None||4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else|
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is great for someone looking for easy cashback savings without any rotating categories to keep track of. New cardholders can earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of account opening. For rewards, you'll earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. You can redeem your rewards for statement credits, travel, Amazon purchases, and more.
With the consistent cashback rewards and ease of use, the Chase Freedom Unlimited can easily be considered one of the best cashback credit cards out there. And this card is not only great for earning cash back, it also comes with great cardmember perks, such as purchase protection and extended warranty protection.
Citi Double Cash Card
Similar to the Chase Freedom, the Citi Double Cash Card will earn you cash back across all purchases. With the Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay.
This is an excellent card for earning cash back on all your purchases with no annual fee. Along with that, the card has an intro 0% APR (annual percentage rate) on balance transfers for the first 18 months.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you want to earn valuable miles on all your purchases, the Capital One Venture Rewards is a travel rewards card that's worth considering. With this card, you’ll earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. The points you score can be used for booking any airline, along with paying for hotel stays, rental cars, rideshare services, and more.
If you’re looking for more “lifestyle” perks, the card comes with exclusive access to premier culinary experiences, must-see music events, and big-time sports events. The Venture Rewards also comes with travel assistance services, auto rental collision damage waiver (secondary coverage), travel accident insurance, extended warranty protection, and no foreign transaction fees.
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is a respectable $0-annual-fee card for someone looking for cashback opportunities. With this card, you’ll earn 20% cash back at Amazon.com during the first six months (up to $150), 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 a year, 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% cash back on other purchases. All cash back is in the form of a statement credit.
It also provides car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage), as well as travel accident insurance coverage in case your adventure experiences a bump in the road.
Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
If your spending is a bit more diversified across various categories, you may want to consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. This card will allow you to score more cash back than the Blue Cash Everyday Card. You’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases. Cash back is in the form of a statement credit.
However, the caveat to this card is that it comes with an annual fee of $95 (waived first year). While that may be a detractor for some, you can more than make up for that charge by earning significant cash back on your grocery shopping alone.
If you’re trying to decide if the Amex Blue Cash Everyday Card or the Blue Cash Preferred Card is the better fit for you, the best thing to do is break down some math. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average household (which includes both single-member households as well as families) spent roughly $4,500 on groceries in 2018. If your expenses are similar to this, your earnings will be the following with each card:
In the case above, you’d earn an extra $40 per year in cash back — and a $135 more in year one — with the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card, even after the annual fee. Because of these great returns, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is considered one of the leaders for best credit card for buying groceries.
Costco Anywhere Visa Card
If you’re as much of a Costco fan as I am, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card is a must-have credit card. You’ll earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (up to $7,000), 3% on restaurant and travel purchases, 2% on all other Costco purchases, and 1% on everything else.
There are an incredible amount of perks that come with having a Costco membership, but arguably the best one is the discounted gas. You’ll typically see a decent price difference between warehouse stores like Costco and your regular retail gas stations. Regardless of which credit card you use, you’ll see savings in your fuel bill each month if you begin filling up at Costco instead of a retail gas station. And using the Costco Anywhere Visa Card will add even more savings back into your wallet.
If you were to spend $200 a month on gasoline, you’d save $8 a month or $96 per year. This is on top of the already discounted gas prices you’ll enjoy at Costco.
There’s no annual fee with this card. However, you do need to have a Costco membership to qualify for this card, and that has its own annual fee.
Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card is a great daily-use card because of its flexible categories and earning potential. It will earn you 3% cash back on the category of your choice; 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on the first $2,500 spent each quarter in the 2% and 3% categories combined); and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Since you can change your 3% category up to once a month, you’ll be able to plan out your purchases ahead of time to maximize your cashback potential. Between your 3% category and 2% category, you’re capped at $2,500 in purchases each quarter. All purchases made after the $2,500 threshold in those categories will go back to earning 1% cash back.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card also comes with a great sign-up bonus where you can get a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days. And you’ll have an introductory 0% APR offer on new purchases for 15 billing cycles and an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. So there’s a great opportunity for savings right out of the gate.
To add, you’ll also have trip cancellation and interruption coverage in case your travel plans get disrupted.
The 2 best business credit cards for daily use
If you are a business owner with consistent expenses such as purchasing office supplies or paying your company cell phone bill, having an everyday business credit card can earn you rewards for your business. Whether you want to score cash back to save your business money or rack up bonus points to help pay for flights, your expenses can get you closer to these goals by using one of the following credit cards.
Blue Business Plus from American Express
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express is a great way to earn valuable Membership Rewards points without worrying about spending categories. With this card, you’ll earn 2X Membership Rewards points on business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on purchases after that.
Membership Rewards can be used in a few different ways. They can be transferred to a number of different travel partners, redeemed for gift cards, or redeemed for statement credits, just to name a few.
If you’re traveling and things go wrong, the Blue Business Plus from American Express can also assist by giving you access to the Global Assist Hotline, as well as car rental loss and damage insurance (secondary coverage). The annual fee is $0 (See rates and fees).
Capital One Spark Cash for Business
The Capital One Spark Cash for Business is a seamless way to put cash back into the bottom line of your business. When you use this card, you’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase, every day.
To increase these rewards, you can also earn a $500 cash bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 3 months. If you get the bonus and put your daily business expenses on this card, you could net some serious cash back in the first year. You’ll also have no annual fee in that initial year, and then it will be $95 (waived first year) annually after that.
Along with these incredible savings, you can issue your employees an authorized employee card at no additional cost. You’ll also have auto rental damage waiver protection (primary coverage), purchase security, and extended protection.
Why we chose these cards (methodology)
All of the cards listed above provide valuable earnings without restrictive spending categories. Everyday spending cards are meant to give you great returns based on purchases you make on a regular basis.
For example, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card has spending categories, but they’re designed for qualifying purchases made on a regular basis, such as gas and Costco purchases. Or if you’re looking for even more simplified daily rewards, the Citi Double Cash Card will earn you cash back on every single purchase, regardless of what it is.
In summary, the best credit card for daily use is the one that will give you the best returns with the least amount of stress. So if you’re looking for worry-free rewards for your daily spending, simply use one of the above cards to swipe away and earn yourself cash back or points without the hassle.
What is the best credit card for everyday use?
The credit card that offers the best rewards program to suits your needs will also likely be the best one for your wallet. Some of the best cards for everyday use include:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited
- Citi Double Cash Card
- Capital One Venture Rewards
- Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
- Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
- Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Costco Anywhere Visa Card
- Discover it Cash Back
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise
You can also use the Blue Business Plus from American Express and the Capital One Spark Cash for Business, as well as consider the Chase Ink Business Unlimited. If you’re looking for good travel credit cards for everyday use, the Chase Sapphire Reserve and the Chase Sapphire Preferred can work well.
Which is better, cards with a flat cashback rate or bonus categories?
The best credit card offers depend on your individual needs and daily usage. If you can pay attention to rotating categories and you’re likely to spend regularly in the highlighted categories, a bonus cashback card can be a good way to go. On the other hand, if you’re not interested in keeping track and just want to earn cash back without fuss, a flat-rate card might work better for you.
Is it good to use a credit card for everyday purchases?
As long as you only spend on what’s in your budget, it could make sense to use a credit card for everyday purchases. Just make sure you pay off your balance in full at the end of each month to avoid paying high interest charges that can offset any rewards you earn from your spending.
What credit score do you need for a top cash back or travel card?
Card issuers will consider your creditworthiness when you apply for a new card. To get approved for one of the best cash back or travel rewards credit cards, you will generally need a credit score of at least 700, or you might need a score of at least 750 to qualify for the best credit card offers. However, some cards like the Capital One QuicksilverOne might have lower credit score requirements.
If you have bad credit or a limited credit history, you may want to consider a secured credit card to start. The Secured Mastercard from Capital One and the U.S. Bank Secured Visa Card could be worth considering. With responsible use, you could increase your credit score and the likelihood you'll be approved for a card with generous perks.
The bottom line on the best credit cards for daily use
Credit cards for daily use are necessary for any type of spender:
- If you’re looking for simplicity, daily-use credit cards can make a significant difference in your monthly budget through cashback savings. Or they can put a large dent in the cost of your next vacation with points earnings on purchases that you were going to make anyway, like gas, groceries, streaming subscriptions, or takeout from your favorite restaurant.
- Even if you enjoy maximizing every single one of your purchases with multiple credit cards, you still may want a daily-use credit card to cover any remaining expenses.
And finally, as using cash earns no rewards and debit cards are becoming more commonly compromised by fraudsters, a daily-use credit card could be both more convenient and safer for all levels of spenders alike.