The 10 Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases in 2021 [Cash-Back & Points]

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In the world of points, we’re always trying to get as many of the best points possible. And trying to figure out the best card to use for each bonus category can drive you crazy. In an ideal world, you’d just have 1 credit card that covers every type of expense you’ll ever have.

But it rarely ever works like that. Sure, you might have a go-to card like the American Express® Gold Card if you tend to eat out or go grocery shopping a lot. but what about all the other purchases in life?

Importantly, there is plenty of day-to-day spending and expenses that don’t fit into a specific bonus category. That’s why you need to have a credit card for everyday purchases, also known as miscellaneous purchases.

In this guide, we’ll walk you through the aspects of a rewarding credit card for everyday purchases, and then we’ll split up our favorite picks into a section for personal cards and a section for business cards.

Let’s get started!

What To Look for in a Credit Card for Everyday Purchases

You may already know that the Amex Gold card is one of the best cards for dining or that the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is one of the best business credit cards out there, especially for advertising purchases. But when you look for a credit card for your everyday purchases, you’re specifically looking for a rewarding credit card for the non-categorized purchases out there.

You’re looking for the most rewarding credit card for other transactions like car maintenance, retail stores, medical bills, gyms, utilities, movie theaters, online shopping, and events. These types of purchases don’t fit perfectly into any single bonus category out there, and collectively, these purchases can really add up in the long run.

That’s why it’s so important to have the best credit card possible for everyday purchases. A rewarding credit card for everyday purchases will provide the highest return on spend, ideally 2 points per dollar, low annual fees, and the most miscellaneous perks.

So with all that being said, let’s talk about our favorite credit card picks for everyday purchases. We’ll start with personal cards. Then, we’ll move into the best business credit cards for everyday purchases.

Best Personal Cards for Everyday Purchases

Shopping
That next shopping trip will be extra rewarding knowing you’re earning points or miles! Image Credit: NDAB Creativity via Shutterstock

1. Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card

The Freedom Unlimited card is our top recommended personal credit card for everyday purchases.

This credit card earns you at least 1.5% cash-back on all purchases. You will also earn 3% cash-back on dining and drugstore purchases, as well as 5% cash-back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal.

By itself, earning 1.5% cash-back is great — however, if you also have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card, or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can convert your cash-back into Ultimate Rewards points.

That means your 1.5%, 3%, and 5% cash-back would be equivalent to 1.5x, 3x, and 5x Ultimate Rewards points respectively. That means that you would earn a minimum of 3% back on your spending, according to our points and miles valuations!

Furthermore, this card has no annual fee and comes with a 0% introductory APR period on purchases and balance transfers, which is an awesome perk.

Other benefits include purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, zero liability protection, secondary auto rental collision damage coverage, fraud protection, and more.

Why We Like Chase Ultimate Rewards Points

If you only have the Freedom Unlimited card, your points are redeemable at a 1 cent per point value for cash-back, Shop at Amazon, gift cards, and travel through the Chase travel portal.

However, with an Ultimate Rewards credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, you can dramatically increase the value of your points.

That’s because your cash-back is convertible to Ultimate Rewards points at a 1% to 1x ratio. You can transfer your points to numerous airline and hotel partners and then redeem them for incredible travel experiences like business and first class flights.

2. Capital One® Venture® Rewards Card

The CapOne Venture card is our next favorite card option for everyday purchases.

In the past, Capital One was more focused on offering cash-back rewards and products for those with lower credit scores, but in recent years, Capital One unveiled a new rewards program, Capital One Miles, with transferable partnerships that have added yet another awesome rewards ecosystem to the mix.

Today, the CapOne Venture card is the flagship personal credit card, and it’s our runner-up for the best personal credit card for everyday purchases. First of all, you’ll enjoy a generous welcome bonus. Then, you’ll earn an unlimited 2x Capital One miles on all purchases you make with no caps! In addition, you’ll get a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, as well as no foreign transaction fees, and a low annual fee of $95.

Uniquely, this credit card offers great travel protections and benefits, including secondary rental car coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage insurance, roadside dispatch, and travel assistance services.

You can also shop with peace of mind with the purchase security and extended warranty perks. Lastly, you’ll enjoy zero fraud liability and a fabulous rewards program.

Why We Like Capital One Miles

We love Capital One miles because they’re one of the major flexible rewards currencies. You can redeem your Capital One miles for statement credits via the Purchase Eraser, for travel purchases, experience, gift cards, and more.

But our favorite way to redeem Capital One miles is to transfer them to airline partners for some awesome flights like Lufthansa first class and Etihad Airways first class. When transferring to airline partners, the transfer ratio will be 2:1.5 most of the time and 2:1 sometimes, so it generally won’t be a solid ratio like Chase’s 1:1 partners.

3. Citi® Double Cash Card

One of the most misunderstood credit cards is the Double Cash card. This card offers some of the best rewards in the world with no caps. And as you become busier and busier, this card will be one of the best companions you can have for unfussy rewards. 

The Double Cash card earns 2% cash-back (1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay it off). It also allows you to earn 2% cash-back with no caps. 

There isn’t usually a sign-up bonus, but you will often find an introductory APR offer. Other unique features include flexible pay dates, access to Citi Private Pass for event tickets, fraud protection, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, and a late fee pass.

This credit card has no annual fee.

Why We Like Citi ThankYou Rewards Points

We love earning Citi ThankYou Points because these points are one of the largest transferable currencies out there.

Normally, your rewards from the Double Cash card can be cash-back, direct deposit, checks, gift cards, and ThankYou Points (with limited redemption options).

However, if you have a ThankYou Rewards credit card such as the Citi Premier℠ Card or the Citi Prestige® Card, you can convert your cash-back to 2x transferable points per dollar and then transfer your Citi points to partners to redeem for jaw-dropping flights like Emirates first class and ANA first class.

4. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred card is yet another excellent choice for those interested in great rewards and who want to maximize cash-back. 

This card earns:

  • 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

Getting the ability to earn 6% cash-back on any card is an achievement by itself, but this card offers that and much more.

In addition to a hefty statement credit welcome bonus, you’ll find that this card also offers a number of benefits like return protection, fraud protection, and secondary car rental coverage.

5. Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card

The last personal credit card choice on our list is the Bank of America Premium Rewards card, which has the potential to be a lucrative credit card if you have large banking relationships with Bank of America. 

First, you’ll receive a valuable welcome bonus, which can be redeemed at a flat rate of 1 cent per point.

This card earns 2x points on travel and dining and 1.5x points everywhere else. However, if you are a member of Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, you’d earn up to 75% in bonus points, which could elevate your earning to 3.5x points on travel and dining and 2.625x points everywhere else.

You’ll also get a $100 airline incidental credit, a $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit, and travel protections like trip delay, trip cancellation, trip interruption, baggage delay, baggage loss, emergency evacuation, transportation, and travel, emergency assistance, and rental car coverage. You’ll enjoy these benefits, and others like purchase protection, all for an annual fee of $95.

Best Business Cards for Everyday Purchases

JIffy Lube car maintenance
Car or fleet maintenance typically falls outside of bonused categories. Image Credit: Jiffy Lube

Now that we’ve combed through our favorite personal credit cards for everyday purchases, let’s take a deep-dive into the best business cards for everyday purchases.

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

The Amex Blue Business Plus card is our favorite business card for everyday purchases. You’ll seamlessly maximize your everyday purchases without having to pay an annual fee.

Specifically, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points per $1 spent on everyday business transactions, up to $50,000 per calendar year. You’ll also be able to utilize an introductory APR on purchases.

If you max out the 2x points, your earnings will drop to 1x points. With this card, you’ll also enjoy additional employee cards with no additional cost, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, and access to Membership Rewards.

Why We Like Amex Membership Rewards Points

The Amex Blue Business Plus card is one of the only credit cards out there that allows you to access transferable points without paying an annual fee.

Amex points are among the easiest to redeem, but they are, according to our valuations, the most valuable transferable points there are.

You can redeem your Amex points for statement credits, gift cards, Amazon purchases, and travel bookings through Amex Travel, but these options don’t yield the most value.

Instead, the best way to redeem your Amex points is to transfer your points to airline and hotel partners.

Remember, you don’t actually need any other credit cards to access transfer partners — this no annual fee business credit card is all you need!

2. Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited card is our runner-up business credit card because it will earn you simple rewards with no bonus categories.

First, start off with a hefty welcome bonus that you can use to catalyze your rewards. Then, similar to the Freedom Unlimited card mentioned above, earn 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases with no caps.

In addition, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months, which should help you with avoiding interest fees during your first year of card membership.

This card has no annual fee and allows you to add unlimited employee cards with no fees. Also, you’ll get zero liability fraud protection, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, primary rental car coverage, and other benefits!

Remember, if you have an Ultimate Rewards card like the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points, effectively doubling the value of your rewards.

3. Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Our next business credit card is an excellent choice for everyday purchases. Specifically, the CapOne Spark Miles card is great for business owners looking to earn unlimited 2x Capital One miles on every purchase with no blackouts or seat restrictions and no minimum to redeem.

You’ll first get a 1-time welcome bonus. You’ll also enjoy 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings through Capital One Travel, in addition to your 2x miles elsewhere.

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

4. Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

The Amex Blue Business Cash card earns great cash-back rewards without needing to worry about bonus categories.

If you’re looking for an organized way to manage business expenses while earning cash-back rewards, this card is an excellent choice.

The Amex Blue Business Cash card earns 2% cash-back on all eligible purchases on up to $50,000 per calendar year, then 1%. Also, any cash-back earned is automatically credited to your statement so you don’t have to worry about redeeming your rewards — they’re redeemed automatically for you!

This card also comes with a 0% introductory APR on purchases to help you grow your business and defer interest accrual.

Other worthwhile benefits include purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. If you’re a traveler, your card will cover you with car rental and damage insurance, baggage insurance, and travel accident insurance.

This card has no annual fee.

5. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

The CapOne Spark Cash card is the last business credit card for everyday purchases that we’ll review — and it’s one worth considering because you can earn an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases. 

You’ll earn a 1-time new cardmember offer to start, and you’ll also get zero fraud liability, free employee cards, roadside assistance, no foreign transaction fees, extended warranty, and purchase protection.

Final Thoughts

When you’re making everyday purchases that don’t fit neatly into a bonus category, it’s unreasonable to expect to earn 4x or 5x points like you could on dining, groceries, and airfare.

However, with the right personal or business credit cards, you can still make the most out of these purchases, earning up to 2x points per dollar spent!

Be sure to do your homework and choose the cards that best fit your needs, whether it be low annual fees, transfer partnerships, or card benefits.

Hopefully, you found this guide useful to help you figure out the best credit cards for everyday purchases.


The information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Card, Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business, and  Capital One® Spark® Cash 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.
For rates and fees of the American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.


Frequently asked questions

What is the best credit card for everyday purchases?

Our best personal cards for everyday purchases are the Freedom Unlimited card, the CapOne Venture card, the Double Cash card, the Blue Cash Preferred card, and the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.

Our best business cards for everyday purchases are the Ink Business Unlimited card, the Amex Blue Business Plus card, the CapOne Spark Miles card, the Amex Blue Business Cash card, and the CapOne Spark Cash card.

Should I use a credit card for everyday purchases?

Yes! You should absolutely use a credit card for all the purchases you can, provided you can pay them all off in full without accruing any interest or late fees.

Is it good to use a credit card for everyday purchases?

Yes, it is! These everyday purchases can add up to a lot of money over the course of a year, so it makes a lot of sense to maximize your spending by using the right credit card.

What purchases help build credit?

Pretty much any responsible usage of credit will build credit. If you consistently make payments, avoid maxing out your credit cards, and pay all of your bills on time, you’ll build your credit very quickly.

What credit cards have no spending limit?

Charge cards have no preset spending limit, but this doesn’t mean that you can spend an unlimited amount of money.

It means that instead of a traditional credit limit, your spending limit gets adjusted based on your spending habits, your payment history, and other factors made available to the card issuer.

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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