The 10 Best Credit Cards for Paying Monthly Bills & Utilities [2021]

Utilities

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Monthly bills can be a headache. Between outdated payment systems, bureaucratic policies, and inconsistent service, taking care of utilities and monthly bills is a project in and of itself. Wouldn’t it be great if you could just set up your utility payments and leave them alone forever?

Some utility companies are built on old systems, so it might not always be possible — but in this guide, we’ll show you the best credit cards for paying monthly bills and utilities (electric, gas, heating, water etc) so you can at least earn lots of rewards for your trouble.

In all cases, you should try to set up autopay with your credit cards, if your service providers allow it. This ensures that you don’t miss payment dates and you don’t have to constantly manage your bills every month — juggling all these bills can be an enormous burden!

So if you have lots of monthly recurring bills such as internet, phone, utilities, and streaming, you could be earning thousands of extra points per month just by using the best credit cards.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to scan the credit card rewards landscape for the best options to pay for monthly bills and utilities. Then, we’ll show you the best personal credit cards, followed by the best business credit cards for these purposes.

Let’s get started!

What To Look for in a Credit Card for Monthly Bills and Utilities

The best credit cards for monthly bills and utilities are the ones that reward you the most for these purchases. That might sound obvious, but since there are so many different types of monthly recurring bills out there, you need to figure out where your largest transactions are and focus your research there.

For example, big spenders on travel should likely focus on cards like The Platinum Card® from American Express, while big spenders on dining should focus on cards like the American Express® Gold Card.

The specific cards we’re looking for will accumulate lots of transferable points on major monthly payments such as your phone bill, internet bill, streaming subscriptions, and any utilities like water and electricity.

While there isn’t a single card that offers bonus points on every one of those categories above, there are a few that offer bonuses on a few of these categories.

Ideally, you’ll want to earn at least 2 points for every dollar you’re spending, avoid huge annual fees, and get the best return on spending overall. Of course, there might be important ancillary credit card perks that might attract you to 1 specific credit card, such as travel insurance.

Hot Tip: Some utility providers either do not accept credit card payments online or charge a fee for paying with a credit card. In that case, you’ll need to find an alternative, such as using Plastiq or accept a small extra fee, usually around 2% to 3%.

So, without further ado, let’s get into our favorite personal credit cards for monthly bills and utilities.

Best Personal Cards for Monthly Bills and Utilities

Utilities for consumers
Image Credit: fizkes via Shutterstock

1. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred card is our top pick for monthly bills and utilities. And perhaps it doesn’t come as a big surprise because you can earn up to 6% cash-back on your purchases, which is about as high as it gets when it comes to cash-back rewards.

Specifically, you will earn:

  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more)
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

When you consider the fact that transit includes tolls, parking, and other forms of transportation, U.S. streaming subscriptions include Netflix, Spotify, Disney+, and more, and supermarkets include Trader Joe’s, Smart & Final, Whole Foods, Gelson’s, ALDI, and more, you can really start to imagine the rewards you’ll be racking up.

Without a doubt, the most impressive feature of this card is the generous bonus categories of up to 6% cash-back. To sweeten the deal further, the Blue Cash Preferred card also offers an awesome statement credit welcome bonus to kickstart your rewards.

The Blue Cash Preferred card also offers return protection, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, and secondary rental car coverage.

2. U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Signature card is an excellent credit card that often flies under the radar. This credit card allows you to earn up to 5% cash-back on your spending. 

First of all, this credit card usually offers a decent welcome bonus, though nothing to write home about. But the real appeal is the fact that you can earn:

  • 5% cash-back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on 2 categories you choose
  • 2% cash-back on 1 everyday category like gas stations, grocery stores, or restaurants
  • 1% cash-back on all other eligible purchases

Currently, you can pick from the following list for 5% cash-back categories:

  • Cell phone providers
  • Department stores
  • Electronics stores
  • Fast food
  • Furniture stores
  • Ground transportation
  • Gyms/fitness centers
  • Home utilities
  • Movie theaters
  • Select clothing stores
  • Sporting goods stores
  • TV, internet, and streaming services

The bolded options above encompass most of the monthly bills and utilities out there, which means that earning 5% cash-back on these categories should be easy.

This credit card comes with no annual fee, a 0% intro APR benefit on balance transfers (not purchases or cash advances), and zero fraud liability.

3. Citi® Double Cash Card

Our next best personal credit card for monthly bills is the Double Cash card, one of the best no annual fee rewards credit cards.

This credit card comes with no annual fee and earns 2% cash-back (1% cash-back at purchase and another 1% cash-back when you pay). But 2 of the most impressive features of this credit card are that there are no caps on your rewards and you could potentially convert your cash-back to ThankYou Points, a major transferable points currency.

Before we talk about that second point, however, let’s talk about this credit card. Currently, the credit card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus, but you can access an introductory APR benefit when you sign up.

This credit card also has fraud protection, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, a late fee pass, access to Citi Private Pass, flexible pay dates, and World Elite Mastercard benefits.

Why We Like Earning Citi ThankYou Rewards Points

We mentioned above that you can convert your cash-back rewards to Citi ThankYou Points, a major transferable points currency. This is a huge benefit, and the redemption possibilities are amplified if you have a ThankYou Rewards credit card like the Citi Premier℠ Card or the Citi Prestige® Card. 

By itself, the Double Cash card’s points are only redeemable for statement credits, direct deposit, checks, gift cards, and ThankYou Points at a 1:1 ratio.

But if you have a ThankYou Rewards credit card, your Double Cash card’s converted points can be transferred to Citi’s full range of partners for incredible redemptions like Lufthansa first class and Singapore Airlines First Class Suites.

Indeed, by converting your cash-back to ThankYou Points, you’ll increase the value by 60%, up to 1.6 cents per point, according to our valuations. That means your Double Cash card would earn you a return on spend of 3.2% for your monthly bills and utilities, among other purchases.

4. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

Our favorite Chase personal credit card for paying monthly bills and utilities is the Freedom Unlimited card.

Because you can earn 5% cash-back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, 3% cash-back on dining, and 1.5% cash-back on all other purchases, you’ll start racking up rewards quickly.

The Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fee and offers a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers, which can help you defer the accrual of interest.

Additional card benefits include purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, zero liability protection, fraud protection, secondary rental car coverage, and more.

But one of the biggest reasons why we love this card is that you can convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points with an Ultimate Rewards credit card, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.

Why We Like Earning Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

You would normally earn 5%, 3%, or 1.5% cash-back on your purchases with the Freedom Unlimited card, but if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card, you can convert that into 5x, 3x, or 1.5x points, respectively.

That means that, according to our points and miles valuations, you would earn a return on spend of at least 3% on your utilities and monthly bills.

Once you convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1% to 1x ratio, you can then transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to numerous transfer partners and use them for first and business class flights or luxury hotel stays.

5. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

The CapOne Venture card is a hugely popular rewards credit card, perfect for those looking for a huge welcome bonus, simple rewards, and the ability to use transfer partners.

In many ways, this card offers the flexibility of using points for easy redemptions like statement credits or more advanced techniques like transfer partnerships.

After earning a hefty welcome bonus after meeting the minimum spending requirements, you can earn unlimited 2x Capital One miles on every purchase you make.

Indeed, this credit card offers 2x miles not just on utilities and monthly bill payments, but all of your purchases. This card also gets you a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

You’ll enjoy benefits like secondary rental car coverage, lost luggage coverage, travel accident insurance, roadside dispatch, and no foreign transaction fees.

The card also offers purchase security, extended warranty, zero fraud liability, a low annual fee of $95, and access to the Capital One miles program.

Why We Like Earning Capital One Miles

Earning Capital One miles is easy, thanks to the straightforward earning structure with the CapOne Venture card. You can rest assured that you’ll earn at least 2 Capital One miles for every dollar you spend using the CapOne Venture card.

Once you’ve earned the points, you should strongly consider transferring them to partners for terrific flights like Qatar Airways QSuites or ANA business class.

When you transfer your points, you’ll notice a typical transfer ratio of 2:1.5 or 2:1, which isn’t as impressive as a 1:1 ratio, but still solid.

Other ways to redeem Capital One miles include statement credits with the Purchase Eraser, travel purchases, gift cards, experiences, and more.

Best Business Cards for Monthly Bills and Utilities

Utilities for business
Image Credit: Fevziie via Shutterstock

If you’re running a business and are responsible for paying monthly bills and utilities, you’ll need to make sure that your business expenses are totally separate from your personal expenses.

Luckily, there are some exceptional credit cards you should use for your business’s utilities and monthly bill payments. We’ll show you the best choices in the next section.

1. Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Credit CardKey Benefits & Info
Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card

Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
Apply Now
(at Chase's secure site)
  • Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • $2,000
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent in combined purchases on travel, shipping purchases, internet, cable and phone services, advertising purchases made with social media sites and search engines each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases—with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 25% more value when redeeming points through Ultimate Rewards® travel
  • Good to Excellent Credit Recommended (670-850)
  • Annual Fee: $95

Must Reads: For more info on the Ink Business Preferred, see our guides on its benefits, 7 things to do as a new cardholder, and our full review. This is our favorite Chase business credit card.

The Ink Business Preferred card is our top business credit card winner for monthly bills and utilities.

This credit card is well-known as being the king of business credit cards, and one of the reasons why is because of its huge welcome bonus, worth around $2,000, according to our valuations.

Also, the Ink Business Preferred card earns 3x Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on up to $150,000 in combined purchases on internet, cable, and phone services, shipping expenses, travel, and ads purchased with search engines or social media sites.

As you can tell, this covers many types of relevant bills, such as your phone bill, your internet bill, and more. And as a business, earning points on these categories can mean amassing thousands of more points every month.

You’ll also earn 5x points per dollar on Lyft purchases through March 2022.

The card offers great cell phone protection insurance — up to $1,500 per year via 3 claims every rolling 12 months and $600 in coverage per claim with a $100 deductible per claim.

Additional benefits offered include purchase protection, extended warranty, primary rental car coverage, other travel insurance benefits, no foreign transaction fees, and a low annual fee of $95.

2. The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

The Amex Blue Business Plus card is one of the best credit cards you can get without an annual fee, and it’s our second-best business credit card for monthly bills and utilities.

The biggest attraction of this card is the fact that you earn 2x Amex Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases, up to $50,000 in total purchases per calendar year. After that, you’ll revert back to the standard 1x points structure.

With a 0% introductory APR benefit, you’ll save big on interest fees. Also, you’ll find common credit card perks like secondary rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

This credit card, uniquely, offers a way to access Amex Offers and the award-winning Amex Membership Rewards program without paying an annual fee.

Why We Like Earning Amex Membership Rewards Points

This credit card earns Amex Membership Rewards points, and being able to access our most valuable points currency without having to pay an annual fee is superb.

You can freely redeem your Amex points for things like cash-back, charity, gift cards, travel bookings through Amex Travel, and merchandise, but our favorite way to use Amex points is to transfer them to airlines and hotels for amazing redemptions.

3. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

One of our favorite business credit cards, the Ink Business Cash card offers up to 5% cash-back with no annual fee — it is one of the best business credit cards out there.

The Ink Business Cash card earns:

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases) on office supply stores and cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services
  • 2% cash-back (on up to $25,000 in combined purchases) on gas stations and restaurants
  • 1% cash-back everywhere else

If you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can convert your cash-back to Ultimate Rewards points at a ratio of 1% cash-back to 1x Ultimate Rewards points.

That means that your 5%, 2%, and 1% cash-back can be equivalent to 5x, 2x, and 1x Ultimate Rewards points!

This credit card also offers benefits like free employee cards, primary rental car insurance, travel insurance, and purchase protection.

4. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

The CapOne Spark Miles card is arguably Capital One’s flagship business credit card. Offering an unlimited 2x Capital One miles on every purchase and a great welcome bonus, this business credit card does straightforward rewards right.

You can also earn 5x Capital One miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel, too.

This credit card has a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, employee cards for no additional fees, no foreign transaction fees, roadside assistance, purchase protection, extended warranty, zero fraud liability, and more.

5. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited card is our final business credit card choice, but you should take this option seriously because it jams a lot of value into a no-annual-fee credit card.

Much like the Freedom Unlimited card, the Ink Business Unlimited card earns 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases with no caps to earning.

The welcome bonus will get you on the right path to racking up rewards, and the 0% introductory APR will help you reduce any credit card interest accumulated in the first year of card membership.

This card has no annual fee for the primary and any employee cardmembers. The Ink Business Unlimited card offers impressive perks, like primary rental car coverage, purchase protection, extended warranty, zero liability fraud protection, and more.

But the best part is that if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points, which is equal to a 3% return on spend, according to our valuations.

Final Thoughts

Well, there you have it!

We’ve covered some interesting credit card options for paying monthly bills and utilities, but you can rest assured that these are the absolute best choices you can pick from.

Whether you’re looking for the most cash-back or the best points-earning structures, there’s an excellent credit card for your needs.

All of these credit cards have low annual fees, but that doesn’t mean that you’re losing out on any rewards you could be accumulating.

Hopefully, you found this comprehensive guide useful in helping you narrow down which credit card you’ll be using for utility and monthly bill payments.


The information regarding the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer. 

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What bills can I pay with a credit card?

In many cases, you can pay for all your monthly bills and utilities using a credit card. Small service fees may apply if you’re using a credit card, but these are often worth the rewards you would earn.

In some cases, you can’t directly pay for bills using a credit card, which is when you can investigate using an option like Plastiq!

Can you pay a water bill with credit card?

In most cases, you can. There are lots of different water companies out there, but if you look on their website or give them a call, you might be able to find out if they accept credit card as payment.

If so, you can just change your payment method normally. If not, you may have to use a service such as Plastiq to send them a check and charge the amount to your credit card to earn points.

Should I pay all my bills with a credit card?

In general, you should. The obvious exception is if there are any extra fees that would wipe out the rewards you earn.

For example, if the cost of using a credit card would add another 5% to your bill and the rewards you would earn are only worth around 3%, you’d be losing 2%. In that case, it’s probably not a good idea to pay your bills with a credit card.

Is it better to pay bills with credit or debit?

If there are no extra fees (or if the rewards are greater than the fees) and if you can pay off your balances in full, you should try to pay bills with credit cards. The reason why is because you could be earning lots of bonus points on purchases you’d be making anyway!

Which credit card is best for utility bills?

For personal credit cards, we like the Blue Cash Preferred card, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Signature card, the Double Cash card, the Freedom Unlimited card, and the CapOne Venture card.

For business credit cards, we like the Ink Business Preferred card, the Amex Blue Business Plus card, the Ink Business Cash card, and the CapOne Spark Miles card.

Stephen Au

About Stephen Au

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Stephen has been privileged to enjoy many premium cabin products and 5-star hotels. A petroleum engineer by trade, Stephen caught the travel bug in college when he traveled to Asia several times. After 2 years of continual promotions, Stephen quit his safe and secure career path in favor of entrepreneurship.

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