Best Credit Cards for Utility Bills [2024]

CREDIT CARDS - CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
The best credit cards for utilities can offer valuable rewards and benefits by just using them to pay your monthly bills.
Updated July 18, 2024
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Utility expenses often include electricity and water bills, as well as phone, internet, and streaming services.

If you want to make it easy and use one card for all your bills, we recommend cards with simple rewards rates, such as the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card(Rates and fees) and Citi Double Cash® Card. These cards can help you avoid the stress of using different cards for each utility bill.

For those who want to boost their earning potential, using a card with specific earning categories makes more sense. For example, the Citi Custom Cash® Card earns 5% on purchases in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), which includes streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, and Amazon Prime Video.

The best credit cards for utility bills

In this article

The best credit cards for utilities [July 2024]

Card Excellent for Why it’s special Annual fee
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
5.0
No-stress cash rewards Simple cash rewards rate on all eligible purchases $0
Citi Custom Cash® Card Citi Custom Cash® Card
4.7
Customized earning High earning potential in your top eligible spend category $0
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
4.4
Customized earning You choose your highest earning category $0
Citi Double Cash® Card Citi Double Cash® Card
4.8
Overall spending on utilities Straightforward and unlimited earning on every purchase $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited® Chase Freedom Unlimited®
4.7
Earning Ultimate Rewards High earning potential on everyday categories plus excellent redemption options when paired with Chase Sapphire cards $0
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
4.5
Rotating category for home utilities Unique option to earn bonus rewards on categories you choose plus increased earning potential on everyday categories $0
Bilt Mastercard® Bilt Mastercard®
4.3
Earning rewards on rent You can earn points on your rent payments without paying a transaction fee $0
Discover it® Cash Back Discover it® Cash Back
4.7
High earning potential High earning potential in common spending categories $0
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
4.8
Business utility expenses Excellent earning potential for common business expenses $0
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
5.0
Streaming services Excellent earning potential for groceries and streaming services plus other common categories $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter (terms apply)
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
4.7
Earning miles Simple rate for earning travel rewards $95

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Excellent for no-stress cash rewards

  • Welcome offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Rewards rate: Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable); 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases (then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable)

The Wells Fargo Active Cash makes it easy to earn rewards on different types of purchases, including your utility expenses. With a simple and unlimited rewards rate, there’s no stressing about which card you should use for which utility bill.

Apply now or learn more in our Wells Fargo Active Cash review.

Citi Custom Cash® Card: Excellent for customized earning

  • Welcome offer: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
  • Rewards rate: 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, then 1% cash back), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases; plus, as a special travel offer, earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)); 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable))

The Citi Custom Cash makes sense if you want customization over how you earn rewards, but it takes the stress out of choosing or enrolling in categories. Rather, you simply pay for your expenses like normal and you’ll automatically earn the highest rate on your top eligible spend category.

For utility expenses, that includes select streaming services, such as Amazon Prime Video, Amazon Music, Paramount+, Disney+, ESPN+, Max, Netflix, Pandora, Showtime, Sling TV, and Spotify.

Apply now or learn more in our Citi Custom Cash® Card(Rates and fees) review.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card: Excellent for customized earning

  • Welcome offer: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Rewards rate: 3% cash back in the category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and 1% on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days (then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable); 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable)

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards gives you the freedom to choose which category to earn 3% cash back in. For utilities, that includes the online shopping category, which counts cable, internet, phone plans, and streaming services as eligible expenses.

Apply now or learn more in our Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards review.

Citi Double Cash® Card: Excellent for overall spending on utilities

  • Earning rate: 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable))

The Citi Double Cash Card is one of the best cash back credit cards available because of its high earning potential. Many cards offer a 1.5% cashback rate, yet the Citi Double Cash provides up to 2%, regardless of the expense category. Cardholders get the same rewards rate on all eligible purchases.

This makes it an ideal choice for earning unlimited cash back when paying for all your monthly utility bills. Depending on where you live in the U.S., you could be paying over $300 each month on utilities, not including cell phone bills or streaming subscriptions. Over the course of a year at $300 per month, you would pay $3,600. Getting 2% cash back on this would be $72 back into your pocket.

Apply now or learn more in our Citi Double Cash® Card(Rates and fees) review.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Excellent for earning Ultimate Rewards

  • Welcome offer: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)
  • Earning rate: 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable); 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 20.49% - 29.24% Variable)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great overall cashback card, but its general cashback rate of 1.5% is not as lucrative as the up to 2% found on the Citi Double Cash. However, if you want to earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points for the purpose of travel redemptions, the Chase Freedom Unlimited could make a lot of sense.

This is especially true when you pair Chase Freedom and Chase Sapphire cards. If you earn 10,000 Ultimate Rewards points from paying your utility bills with the Chase Freedom Unlimited, they would be worth $100 in travel redemptions. But you can transfer your points to a Chase Sapphire card and get more bang for your buck. 

Ten thousand points on the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card would be worth $125 in travel redemptions through the Chase Travel℠ portal. The same 10,000 points would be worth $150 toward travel through Chase Travel℠ on the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Apply now or learn more in our Chase Freedom Unlimited review.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card: Excellent for home utilities as a rotating category

  • Welcome offer: Earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening
  • Earning rate: 5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter) and on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles (then 19.74% - 29.74% (Variable)); 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles (then 19.74% - 29.74% (Variable))

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card takes a unique approach to its top-earning categories. You can earn 5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter). Available categories include cell phone providers and home utilities, as well as TV, internet, and streaming services.

You get to choose two of these categories each quarter, though you only get the 5% cashback bonus on the first $2,000 that you spend across the categories combined. But if you spend $2,000 each quarter on these utility categories, that’s $100 you get back every few months and $400 on the year. Not a bad return for simply paying your bills each month.

Get more details at our U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card review.

Bilt Mastercard®: Excellent for earning rewards on rent

  • Welcome offer: Earn up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points)
  • Rewards rate: 3X points on dining, 2X points on travel, up to 1X points on rent payments without the transaction fee (up to 100,000 points each calendar year), and 1X points on other purchases; must use the card 5 times each statement period to earn points
  • Annual fee: $0

The Bilt Mastercard is our favorite card for renters. This one-of-a-kind product gives you the opportunity to earn travel rewards by paying your rent, all without paying a transaction fee. That’s generally unheard of for renters, making this an extremely appealing option for ongoing earning potential.

Learn more in our Bilt Mastercard review.

Discover it® Cash Back: Excellent for high earning potential

  • Welcome offer: Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Annual fee: $0

Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable); 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 18.24% - 28.24% Variable)

The Discover it Cash Back makes sense if you want to earn a lot of cash back in everyday categories. Just keep in mind that there’s a quarterly maximum and you have to activate the rotating categories each quarter.

Past categories have included:

  • Grocery stores, drugstores, and select streaming services (Jan-Mar 2023)
  • Gas stations and digital wallets (Jul-Sep 2023)
  • Gas stations, wholesale clubs, and select streaming services (Apr-Jun 2021)
  • Restaurants and PayPal (Jul-Sep 2021)

Apply now or learn more in our Discover it® Cash Back(Rates and fees) review.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: Excellent for business utility expenses

  • Welcome offer: Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening
  • Rewards rate: 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases (then 18.49% - 24.49% Variable)

The Ink Business Cash is one of our favorite business credit cards because of its high earning potential in common business categories. That includes business utility expenses, such as internet, cable, and phone services. When it comes to earning a lot of rewards in these categories, there are few, if any, other business cards that can compare.

Apply now or learn more in our Chase Ink Business Cash review.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Excellent for streaming services

  • Welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months
  • Earning rate: 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases
  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable; 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases, then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable

If you spend a lot on streaming your favorite shows and movies, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express would likely make sense for you. It’s one of the best credit cards for streaming services because of how much cash back you can earn when paying for streaming subscriptions.

For example, if you pay $75 per month on streaming services, you could get 6% back, which would be $4.50. It might not seem like much, but over the course of a year that’s $54 in cashback savings (in the form of statement credits) on your streaming services alone.

Learn more or read our Amex Blue Cash Preferred review.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Excellent for earning miles

  • Welcome offer: Enjoy $250 to use on Capital One Travel in your first cardholder year, plus earn 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Rewards rate: 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25
  • Annual fee: $95

The Capital One Venture Rewards makes sense if you want to earn travel rewards on your utility expenses. This card has an all-around excellent earning rate for all eligible expenses, which makes it easy to use one card for everything.

Learn more in our Capital One Venture Rewards Card review.

How credit cards can save you money on utilities

Paying for just about any utility typically works the same way. You pay the utility companies each month and in return receive the helpful services they provide. But if you pay utility bills with a credit card, it could make the whole experience more rewarding, especially if you select cards based on your specific utility expenses and financial goals.

When you compare credit cards, you have plenty of options to choose from. If you want to offset the cost of your bills, consider a cash rewards credit card to earn cash back on every purchase. Or if you want to earn travel rewards, a travel credit card could help you get the points or miles you need for your upcoming trip.

But not every card offers the same level of rewards and benefits. Using one of the best rewards credit cards helps to make sure you get higher earning potential and useful card perks compared to the other available card options. In addition, picking a card that has spending categories that pair well with your specific utility expenses can make a lot of sense.

For example, if you subscribe to multiple streaming services, a credit card that earns bonus rewards for streaming subscriptions could be a good fit. Or if your biggest expense outside of utilities is shopping at the grocery store, then a card that also rewards you for that might be useful. Here are our suggestions for the best credit cards for utilities in different situations.

Methodology: How we chose these cards

We looked at a variety of credit card issuers and chose these cards based on their overall earning potential, rewards value, and benefits, as well as how these three criteria aligned with paying for monthly utilities. Then specific credit card offers were selected that could fit any number of potential situations.

For example, if you want to earn bonus rewards for rotating categories and get cell phone protection at the same time, the Chase Freedom Flex is likely your best option. But if you want to use utility bills to earn rewards and fuel your travels, cards that earn Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited and the Chase Ink Business Preferred, are excellent choices.

Additional tips for saving money on your utility bills

If you want to continue offsetting the cost of your utility bills, consider these tips:

  • Beware of fees: Some utility bills could charge a transaction fee if you want to pay with a credit card. If the rewards you earn on the card aren’t enough to make up for the fee and then some, it’s likely not worth using a credit card to pay for the bill.
  • Pay off your card balance: Credit cards can help you earn rewards from paying your utility bills, but it’s not worth it if you don’t make your card payments or pay off your card balance in full each month. Paying credit card interest negates the rewards you earn and missing payments can negatively impact your credit. The exception to this would be if you have a card with a 0% interest rate, but even then you’ll need to have a plan for paying your balance before your promotional period ends.
  • Use apps: Apps like Rocket Money and Trim can help you save money on utilities by helping you negotiate or cancel utility bills.

FAQs

Should I put my utilities on a credit card?

Using a credit card to pay for your utilities is typically only worth it in certain situations. If you have to pay fees to use a credit card to pay for a bill, make sure the value of the credit card rewards you’re earning is higher than the fee. Otherwise, it’s likely not worth it to use a credit card.

In addition, remember that you need to pay your credit card balance off in full each month to make paying for your utilities with a card worthwhile. Taking a hit on your credit score because of late payments or accruing interest charges on your balance means that paying your bills with a credit card likely won’t be worth it.

Which credit card is best for utility bills?

The best credit card for utility bills is the one that aligns with your spending habits and lifestyle. If you pay for lots of streaming subscriptions, it could make sense to use one of the best credit cards for streaming services. But if you want to earn cashback rewards on a wide range of utility bills, cards like the Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom Unlimited might be a better fit.

Do you get points for paying bills with a credit card?

You should earn points, miles, or cash back when you pay your bills with a rewards credit card. Though, the rewards you receive depend on the card you use to make your bill payments.

For example, using the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express to pay for streaming subscriptions would earn cash back (in the form of statement credits). 

Bottom line

Utility payments can make up a large portion of your monthly expenses, especially when you include cell phone plans, streaming services, and cable TV in your overall cost. Using the right credit card for your situation can help offset these costs through earning rewards, taking advantage of card benefits, or both. Using a credit card can also help your cash flow since you can plan better for when the card payment will come out of your bank account.

If you use a credit card to pay for utilities, remember to practice good habits, as you would with any financial product. In this case that includes paying your balance off in full each month and not missing any payments. This will help you earn rewards for your necessary expenses while not racking up interest or negatively affecting your credit score.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI® Ben Walker, CEPF, CFEI®, is credit cards specialist. For over a decade, he's leveraged credit card points and miles to travel the world. His expertise extends to other areas of personal finance — including loans, insurance, investing, and real estate — and you can find his insights on The Washington Post, Debt.com, Yahoo! Finance, and Fox Business.