Best Credit Cards for Transit and Commuters

Many cards reward you at gas stations, but what if you don't drive? These cards can help many kinds of commuters.
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Written by Sara Rathner
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More than three-quarters of Americans commute by car, but millions of people also use public transit and other shared forms of transportation to get to work.

Whether it's bus/train/cab fare, rideshares, tolls or parking, you may spend hundreds of dollars a month just getting around. Thankfully, several credit cards offer bonus rewards specifically on those costs.

Even general travel cards that don't explicitly list "transit" as a bonus category may still help with your commute, thanks to broad definitions of "travel."

Here are our favorite credit cards for transit expenses.

Top credit cards for transit and commuters

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Families

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3% back on transit including parking, tolls, trains, buses, taxis, subways, ferries and rideshare services. (More about the "transit" category here.)

  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations.

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

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

  • 1% back on everything else.

  • Terms apply (see rates and fees).

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

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

APR: An intro 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an ideal pick for busy families with hungry mouths to feed at home. It earns bonus cash back on many forms of transit for mom and dad, plus a market-leading rate on select U.S. streaming subscriptions — which is handy on a commute, but also at home when your kids demand entertainment. Still, the star of the show is the card's eye-popping rewards at U.S. supermarkets. If the final stop on your daily commute is your kitchen, this card merits a hard look.

Drawbacks

Unlike a lot of other cash-back cards, this one charges a significant annual fee (currently $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. Terms apply.) Also be aware that expenses such as airfare, car rental and cruises do not qualify as "transit" spending.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Flexibility

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

Card details

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back in two categories you pick, from a list of a dozen, on up to $2,000 spent per quarter on combined purchases; then 1%. (See full list of categories below.)

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center.

  • 2% back in an everyday category you pick (grocery stores, restaurants, or gas stations/EV charging stations).

  • 1% back on other purchases.

  • Fast food.

  • Home utilities.

  • TV, internet and streaming.

  • Department stores.

  • Cell phone providers.

  • Electronics stores.

  • Sporting goods stores.

  • Movie theaters.

  • Gyms/fitness centers.

  • Furniture stores.

  • Ground transportation.

  • Select clothing stores.

Sign-up bonus: $250 rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 19.49%-29.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card is all about customization. You get to choose (from a list) what kind of spending earns bonus cash back, and "ground transportation" is one of those several 5% cash-back options. That category includes eligible bus/passenger railway/taxi fares, plus spending on services like Uber and Lyft, limos and Zipcar. And if you're interested in optimizing your card to cover even more kinds of transit-related spending, you could select gas stations as your 2% "everyday" bonus category.

Drawbacks

You'll have to be willing to juggle several bonus categories and "opt in" to them each quarter. Also keep in mind that "ground transportation" doesn't include expenses like parking meters, parking garages or toll stations.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Our pick for: Daily commuters

Citi Custom Cash® Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in your highest spend category per billing cycle.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: 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.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Citi Custom Cash® Card can essentially earn you a 5% discount on both regular and occasional transit if that’s your highest spending category on the card for the billing cycle. The definition of transit includes such useful spending as car rentals, commuter railways, subways, taxis/limousines/car services, bridge and road tolls, parking lots/garages and bus lines, among others.

Drawbacks

Transit might not be the optimal category for the 5% cash back on this card unless you can regularly use most of the $500 per month on transit spending, which is unlikely for most people. Transit spending does not include gas.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Until June 30, 2025, Citi Custom Cash® Card cardholders will earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals and attractions booked through Citi. So if that's your top spending category, you'll earn a whopping 9% back. If not, you'll still earn 5% back on these purchases.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Bank of America® customers

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3% back in a category of your choice (from a list of six) and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, for the first $2,500 of combined bonus category/grocery store/wholesale club spending per quarter (1% back after that).

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

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..

Annual fee: $0.

APR: An intro 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the Intro APR offer ends, a Variable APR that’s currently 19.24% - 29.24% will apply.

Why we like it

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card also offers a choose-your-own-adventure rewards program. One of the 3% bonus-category options is "travel," but that doesn't just mean airfare and hotels. That category also includes parking lots and garages, bus lines, passenger railways, ferries, cabs, limos, toll and bridge fees, and eligible ridesharing. You can change your 3% category up to once a month. The default category is gas. Plus, if you're eligible for the Bank of America Preferred Rewards® program, you can earn higher rewards rates — from 25% to 75% more, depending on the amount of money you have in eligible Bank of America® accounts.

Drawbacks

This card requires a fair amount of maintenance; you'll need to keep track of bonus categories and your own spending. Its bonus-category spending caps mean it's not ideal for big spenders.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our pick for: Lyft rides

Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 10 points per dollar spent on Lyft through March 2025 (7 points per dollar spent on Lyft, plus 3 points per dollar spent on travel).

  • 10 points per $1 spent on hotel stays and car rentals booked through Chase.

  • 10 points per $1 spent on Chase Dining purchases.

  • 5 points per $1 spent on air travel booked through Chase.

  • 3 points per dollar spent on travel and dining not booked through Chase. (Travel purchases that qualify for the card's annual $300 travel credit won’t earn points.)

  • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

Annual fee: $550.

APR: The ongoing APR is 22.49%-29.49% Variable APR.

Why we like it

For a limited time (through March 2025), the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is offering the highest rewards rate on the market when it comes to rideshares through Lyft. You'll earn a total of 10 points back per dollar you spend with the service (7 points on Lyft purchases, plus the card's normal 3 points per dollar spent on travel). That's a fantastic rate. Plus, the card's overall travel category is broad and includes car rental agencies, passenger trains, buses, taxis, limousines, ferries, parking lots, toll bridges and highways, to name a few. The $300 annual statement credit is similarly expansive, covering most kinds of travel expenses.

Drawbacks

The card has a steep annual fee of $550. It's not worth it if you can't take full advantage of all the perks and benefits the card offers. If you prefer a lower annual fee, or no annual fee at all, some Chase credit cards offer 5 points or 5% cash back per dollar spent on Lyft rides through March 2025, and that's still an impressive rate.

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card

Our pick for: Military and qualifying family members

Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent at supermarkets, at restaurants, and on gas and transit.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. Expires on Jun. 30, 2024.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 1.99% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers requested within 60 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 14.90%-18.00%, Variable.

Why we like it

Whether you drive or hitch a ride, the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card rewards you generously. The card offers a broad transit category that includes ridesharing services, tolls, ferries, parking lots and garages, limos, taxis, bus lines, charters, tour buses and rail lines. It's a rarity among rewards credit cards because it earns top rewards in many other everyday categories including gas, dining and groceries. Other credit cards reward only one or two of those categories, and sometimes they come with spending limits.

Drawbacks

You need to be eligible for membership at Navy Federal Credit Union to qualify for this card. Membership is generally limited to current or former military members, Department of Defense employees, or their qualifying family members. And as an AmEx card, the Navy Federal Credit Union® More Rewards American Express® Credit Card has limited merchant acceptance abroad, which might be a dealbreaker if you frequently move around the country.

Wells Fargo Attune World Elite Mastercard

Wells Fargo Attune

Image courtesy of Wells Fargo

Our pick for: Eco-conscious commuters

Card details

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on planet-friendly purchases, including electric vehicle charging stations, public transit and secondhand and vintage stores.

  • 4% cash back on self-care, including gym memberships, spas and more.

  • 4% cash back on sports, recreation and entertainment. This includes live events, select streaming services, sporting equipment, pet care and more.

  • 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $100 after spending $500 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. Plus, on behalf of cardholders who apply before May 31, 2025, and qualify for the bonus, Wells Fargo will donate $50 to Capital Link, a nonprofit that supports health centers.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months from account opening on purchases, then 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR.

As of this writing, the following merchants will qualify as "self-care, planet-friendly, and recreation, sports and entertainment" purchases:

Self-care:

  • Beauty shops and barbershops.

  • Gym memberships and fitness studios.

  • Health and beauty spas.

  • Massage parlors.

Planet-friendly:

  • Antique shops.

  • Used merchandise and secondhand stores.

  • Bus lines.

  • Electric vehicle charging stations.

  • Local and suburban commuter passenger transportation, including ferries.

  • Passenger railways.

  • Other transportation services.

Sports, recreation and entertainment:

  • Artist supply and craft shops.

  • Camera and photographic supply stores.

  • Hobby, toy, and game shops.

  • Photofinishing laboratories and photo developing.

  • Sewing, needlework, fabric and piece goods stores.

  • Florists.

  • Florists supplies nursery stock and flowers.

  • Nurseries and lawn and garden supply stores.

  • Aquariums, seaquariums, dolphinariums, and zoos.

  • Amusement parks.

  • Billiard and pool establishments.

  • Bowling alleys.

  • Circuses, carnivals and fortune tellers.

  • Dance halls, studios and schools.

  • Public golf courses.

  • Recreation services not elsewhere classified.

  • Sporting and recreational camps.

  • Tourist attractions and exhibits.

  • Trailer parks and campgrounds.

  • Pet shops, pet foods, supplies stores and miscellaneous pet services.

  • Bicycle shops – sales and service.

  • Boat rentals and leasing.

  • Marinas, marine service and supplies.

  • Motor home and recreational vehicle rentals.

  • Sports and riding apparel stores.

  • Sporting goods stores.

  • Bands, orchestras and miscellaneous entertainers.

  • Commercial sports, professional sports clubs, athletic fields and sports promoters.

  • Ticket agencies and theatrical producers.

  • Bookstores.

  • Cable and other pay television.

  • Digital goods media – books, movies, digital artwork/images, music.

  • DVD/videotape rental stores.

  • Large digital goods merchant.

  • Motion picture theaters.

  • Music stores – musical instruments, pianos and sheet music.

  • Record stores.

Why we like it

The Wells Fargo Attune World Elite Mastercard isn't for gas-guzzlers. If you drive an EV and use EV charging stations, routinely take public transit, or frequently hail an Uber, you'll earn an impressive 4% cash back for a $0 annual fee. Plus, the forms of eligible public transit include a wide variety of ways to get around, such as buses, trains and even ferries.

Drawbacks

There's a wide variety of 4% cash back categories, which is both helpful and potentially confusing. Depending on your spending habits, this card may or may not be a fit for you. Note that common everyday categories such as dining, groceries and gas earn only 1% cash back.

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®

Our pick for: Avid Amtrak users

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent with Amtrak.

  • 2 points per $1 spent at other eligible non-Amtrak travel merchants.

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

Annual fee: $79.

Why we like it

This card's 3X category speaks for itself, but even its 2X category includes spending on eligible airlines, car rental agencies, hotels and resorts, steamship/cruise lines, commuter rail and passenger rail. While you can redeem points for a number of travel costs including car rentals and hotel stays, when you apply points toward Amtrak tickets you get a 5% point rebate.

Drawbacks

A general card will give you much more flexibility in how to use your points.

General travel cards to consider

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Several general travel cards can work well for transit, especially those that allow you to redeem points to cover commuting-related purchases. Here are a few options:

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card makes redeeming rewards easy (it also makes earning them easy — you'll get 2 miles per $1 on all purchases). Use your miles as a statement credit to reimburse yourself for transit costs like train tickets and taxis within 90 days of purchase. Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel. The annual fee is $95.

The Platinum Card® from American Express
NerdWallet rating 

The Platinum Card® from American Express has a number of add-ons that help offset its eye-popping $695 annual fee, including Uber credits worth $200 a year. You’ll get $15 in Uber Cash per month ($20 in December) to use on rides in the U.S. Terms apply (see rates and fees). New cardholders can earn this bonus: Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.


To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page. To view rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, see this page.

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