In a NutshellThe best everyday credit cards offer solid rewards rates on everyday spending categories and other valuable perks that will benefit you over time. And depending on your spending habits and lifestyle, there are different types of cards to choose from to help you make the most out of everyday spending. We’ve rounded up our top picks.
These offers are no longer available on our site: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
There are a lot of credit cards out there that offer various perks and benefits, but which is the best everyday credit card that you can use regularly without fail? Here are our top choices.
● Best well-rounded card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
● Best for travelers: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
● Best intro offer: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
● Best for dining: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
● Best for grocery shopping: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
● Best for gas: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
● Best for students: Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Best well-rounded card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Here’s why: The card offers a flat 2% cash back on every purchase you make, regardless of the spending category. What’s more, you don’t have to jump through hoops like you do with some other 2% cash back credit cards.
As a new cardholder, you’ll earn $200 cash back when you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months.
You can also enjoy an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, after which the variable APR for both will be 20.24%, 25.24%, 29.99%. There’s a balance transfer fee: 3% for 120 days from account opening, then up to 5% (minimum $5). To qualify for the intro APR, you must complete any balance transfers within 120 days from account opening.
You’ll also get up to $600 in cellphone protection against damage or theft (with a $25 deductible) when you use the card to pay your phone bill. The card doesn’t charge an annual fee.
Learn more about the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card to determine if it’s the right fit for you.
Best for travelers: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers five miles per $1 spent on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and two miles per $1 spent on all other purchases, regardless of the category.
The card also offers an impressive 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. You can redeem your miles for travel in three ways:
- Book directly with travel providers and request a statement credit.
- Reserve your trip through Capital One Travel.
- Transfer your rewards to one of Capital One’s travel loyalty program partners.
For its modest $95 annual fee, you’ll also get a statement credit of up to $100 to cover a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. It also charges no foreign transaction fees.
Best intro offer: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
Here’s why: The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card’s introductory 0% APR promotion is tough to beat, offering up to 21 months on both purchases and balance transfers.
After the promotion ends, your variable APR for both purchases and balance transfers will be a variable 18.24%, 24.74% or 29.99%. Balance transfers must be completed within 120 days to qualify for the intro rate, and there’s a balance transfer fee of 5% (minimum of $5) for each balance transfer.
This Wells Fargo credit card doesn’t offer rewards, but the value of the intro APR promotion and the interest you can save might outweigh the value of cash back, points or miles — especially if you’re paying down debt. The card has a $0 annual fee.
Read our review of the Wells Fargo Reflect® Card to get more details.
Best for dining: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: Cardholders can earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, as well as on entertainment and popular streaming services.
You’ll also get 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases, 3% cash back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target) and 1% back on everything else. As a new cardholder, you’ll earn a $300 cash bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. The card charges a $95 annual fee.
Best for grocery shopping: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Here’s why: With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express you’ll earn a whopping 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each calendar year at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%). This American Express credit card also offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back on transit and at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on all other purchases.
As a new cardholder, you’ll earn $250 back when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months of card membership.
As an additional perk, you’ll get a $7 monthly statement credit when you use the card to spend $9.99 or more per month on a Disney Bundle subscription, which includes Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+. The card comes with a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 after that.
Best for gas: PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card
Here’s why: The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers five points per $1 spent on gas paid at the pump and at EV charging stations, making it a solid choice for both gasoline-powered and electric vehicle owners.
You’ll also earn three points per $1 spent at supermarkets and restaurants, as well as on TV, radio, cable and streaming services. All other spending will net you one point per $1.
As a new cardholder, you’ll receive 15,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days of account opening. The PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card has no annual fee.
Best for students: Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card
Here’s why: As you start building credit with the Capital One Quicksilver Student Cash Rewards Credit Card, you don’t have to worry about keeping track of various rewards categories — this Capital One credit card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.
You’ll also earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. And as a new cardholder, you can earn $50 in cash back when you spend $100 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. The card has no annual fee or foreign transaction fees.
How we picked these cards
There’s no single best credit card out there for everyone, so we picked cards that excel in certain common spending categories, such as groceries, gas and dining. We also realize that some people may prefer no-interest credit cards or a rewards card over luxury credit cards, so we chose some options for those based on the length of the promotion. And providing an option for student credit cards was also important.
And while there are more heavy-hitting travel credit cards out there, these cards often charge steep annual fees and don’t always have rewards rates that align well with everyday spending habits.
Finally, we tried to focus on a mix of rewards cards that offer a chance to maximize rewards in certain categories, along with a couple of cards that provide a high rewards rate on everything.
How to make the most of everyday credit cards
Because these cards excel with popular everyday spending categories, it’s a good idea to use them often so you’re able to maximize your rewards. Just be sure to avoid spending more than you can afford to repay in full every month, and if the card offers a welcome bonus, choose one that you can meet without overextending your budget.
Also, note that some of these cards offer low rewards rates on non-bonus spending. If you want to make the most of your everyday spending, consider pairing two or more cards that outperform in different areas, so you can rack up rewards faster.
If you’re still asking yourself which credit card you should use daily, the answer depends on what makes sense for you based on your spending habits, lifestyle and preferences. The more cards you compare, the easier it will be to find the best fit for your wallet.