Best Credit Cards for Everyday Spending

Why not earn some rewards on the things you buy every day? Use one or more of these credit cards for your daily purchases.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own. Here is a list of our partners and here's how we make money.

Using a credit card to pay for almost everything can help you track spending, build credit and earn rewards, so long as it doesn't tempt you to overspend. That advice is especially relevant when it comes to everyday expenses.

By picking the right credit card, you’ll earn anywhere from 2%-5% back on purchases that you make on a regular basis. What counts as everyday expenses varies across households, but in general, it includes essentials such as food, gas and utilities.

Here are some of the best credit cards for everyday spending.

Top cards for everyday spending

Our pick for gas: Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 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:

  • 5% cash back in your highest spend category on up to $500 spent per billing cycle (from a list of 10 preset categories).

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Why we like it for gas:

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is like a genie in a lamp who promises riches to its cardholder. The catch: This genie only gives one wish, so it must be used wisely. The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers a 5% rewards rate in one spending category every billing cycle. So if you designate the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card as the only card you use at gas stations, you’ll guarantee yourself an industry-best 5% cash-back rate on gas. (Earnings are capped after $500.)

Over gas-powered cars? Check out our roundup of best credit cards for electric vehicle owners.

Our pick for dining: U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Rewards:

  • 4 points per $1 spent on dining, including takeout and delivery.

  • 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores (including grocery delivery), gas stations, EV charging stations and on eligible streaming services.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

🤓Nerdy Tip

U.S. Bank points are worth a penny each when redeemed for options like cash back, travel, gift cards or merchandise, although minimum redemption requirements apply. (You need at least 2,500 points for cash back or gift cards; 1,000 points for travel or merchandise.)

Why we like it for dining:

The U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card should fit the bill for most diners. First, the 4X points rate on dining is excellent and equal to what you'd get with a card like the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card. But it and other cards that offer 4X points on dining charge an annual fee, while you won't pay anything for the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card.

Takeout and delivery qualify as dining with the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card, so this card will turn a profit whether you're at a sit-down restaurant or parked on your couch. And sign that check with confidence: Points earned on dining have no cap and never expire.

Our pick for groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Welcome bonus: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Rewards:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 in spending per year.

  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.

  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations.

  • 3% cash back on transit.

  • 1% cash back on other purchases.

  • Terms apply.

Why we like it for groceries:

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a perennial favorite of households that rack up high grocery bills, and for good reason. The 6% return at U.S. supermarkets is virtually unbeatable and will more than make up for the card's annual fee (currently $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.) However, American Express does not classify superstores like Target or Walmart, or warehouse clubs like Costco, as supermarkets. If you do most of your grocery shopping at those merchants, you'll find more value in another card like the Target REDcard™ Credit Card.

Cash back earned at U.S. supermarkets is capped at $6,000 per year; after that, the rate drops precipitously to 1%. Many families will blow through that $6,000 before the year is up, and earning 1% can be a hard swallow for those who were used to getting 6%. In the event that you hit the $6,000 limit, you could switch to the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, the little sibling of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. With the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, you'll get 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in annual spending, and the annual fee is $0. (Terms apply.)

Our pick for transit: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Rewards:

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Why we like it for transit:

Other credit cards offer higher rewards rates for transit, but it's unlikely that their definition of transit is as generous as the one you'll find with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. Cardholders get 3% cash back in one category out of six. To make the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card your go-to card for commuting costs, select the "travel" category to start earning 3% on parking garages, ferries, taxis, subways, EZPass, tolls and bridge fees, ridesharing services like Uber, and plenty more.

Unlike with some other credit cards, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card holders only have to opt in to the 3% category once to activate it.

Our pick for utilities: U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose.

  • 2% cash back in one "everyday" category that you choose.

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in U.S. Bank's Rewards Center.

  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

Why we like it for utilities:

Utilities may be the epitome of everyday spending: Many of us can’t survive a day without the electricity that keeps our AC running and our phones charged. The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is one of the few cards on the market that earns rewards on utility bills, and the 5% rate is impressive. To lock in that rate, you'll have to remember to select "utilities" as a bonus category every quarter. Cardholders can choose up to two bonus categories that will earn 5% cash back, but rewards are capped at $2,000 in combined spending across the two bonus categories.

The "utilities" category is fairly broad and includes water, gas and electric companies but not internet, cable or cell phone providers.

Our pick for entertainment: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Rewards:

  • 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases.

  • 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

  • 3% back on dining, eligible streaming services, entertainment and purchases at grocery stores.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Why we like it for entertainment:

The card's 3% rate should be easy to take advantage of, considering that the "entertainment" category is so inclusive. You'll get unlimited cash back from the purchase of, among other things, movie tickets, tickets to professional sporting events, and outings to zoos and amusement parks.

The 8% return on Capital One Entertainment purchases might be the true headliner, though. As long as you book through Capital One and use your Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card to buy tickets, you'll secure that 8% rate. Past events available through Capital One include March Madness, Taylor Swift's "Lover" concert and the iHeartRadio Music Festival. Some of these experiences are surely once-in-a-lifetime purchases due to their hefty price tags — but all the more reason to use the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card for an 8% discount.

Merchant-specific cards

A number of people prefer the convenience of big-box stores like Walmart and Costco where it's possible to buy many items you need in one stop. After all, you can pick up groceries, clothing basics and a full tank of gas in one trip to Costco. For those who consolidate their everyday shopping into one or two stores, a store card may be the best option.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on gas and EV charging purchases (both at Costco and other gas stations) on up to $7,000 of spending a year, then 1% back.

  • 3% cash back on restaurants and most travel purchases.

  • 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: N/A.

Rewards:

  • 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Get a $200 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.

Rewards:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Sam's Club® Mastercard®

Annual fee: $0.

Sign-up bonus: Get a $50 statement credit when you open a new account and make $30 in Sam's Club purchases within 30 days..

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back (on up to $6,000 spent per year, then 1%) at EV charging stations and eligible gas stations worldwide, including stations at Sam's Club.

  • 3% back on dining.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

  • For Sam's Club Plus members only: Up to 5% back on eligible Sam's Club purchases (3% back with the card, plus up to 2% back from the membership tier.)

Get more smart money moves – straight to your inbox
Sign up and we’ll send you Nerdy articles about the money topics that matter most to you along with other ways to help you get more from your money.