NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for Recurring Bills and Expenses

Here are our favorite cards for gas, groceries, utility bills and other everyday expenses.
Jul 1, 2022

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Saving as much as you can on a major purchase feels worthy of the effort it takes to comparison shop. But those smaller recurring costs — trips to the grocery store, utility bills, commuting, and monthly memberships and subscriptions — can make up a sizable part of your budget. Using a credit card that rewards you for those expenses is a relatively low-effort way to lower costs.

Here are our top picks for credit cards for bills, utilities and other everyday expenses.

Top credit cards for bills and utilities

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Grocery spending, commuting and streaming service subscriptions

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
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Card details

Rewards:

  • 6% 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% back on transit including taxis, rideshare services, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations.

  • 1% back on everything else.

  • Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $95.

APR: An intro 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a strong choice for those who spend a big chunk of their household budget on getting around town and filling up the fridge. You'll earn an industry-leading cash-back rate at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%), plus 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit expenses. Terms apply. Even for those days when you don't want to fight the traffic and would prefer to park yourself on the sofa, the card will snag you 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. It also offers extended warranties and return protection on eligible card purchases, giving you additional safeguards for new appliances or other big-ticket items.

Drawbacks

There's an annual fee: $95.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive

Our pick for: Utilities, commuting and more

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Credit Card
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Card details

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on the first $2,000 in combined spending each quarter in two categories of your choice. Past categories have included: TV, internet and streaming services; fast food; cell phone providers; department stores; home utilities; select clothing stores; electronics stores; sporting goods stores; movie theaters; gyms and fitness centers; furniture stores; and ground transportation.

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked through U.S. Bank’s Rewards Travel Center.

  • 2% cash back in one “everyday” category of your choice like grocery stores, restaurants, and gas and EV charging stations.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

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

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it

With the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive, you can earn 5% cash back on your choice of spending categories each quarter, which often includes recurring costs such as home utilities, cell phone providers, ground transportation like bus and train tickets, gym memberships, internet and streaming services. This gives you the option to save more where you know you spend more. Plus, you can change your categories each quarter so the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive can adjust with your seasonal spending.

Drawbacks

A choose-your-own-adventure rewards program can be a lot to keep up with, and it’s not always possible to anticipate where you’ll spend the most in the future. That can make it hard to pick the most optimal categories and earn the most cash back you can. Plus, if you don’t pick any categories, you’ll only earn 1% cash back on everything.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Your choice of expenses

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
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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 on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card earns 3% back your choice of these categories: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. You can change your 3% category once a month, which is helpful if you’re anticipating spending more on certain purchases in the near future. Also take note of the card's 2% categories: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs, which can be quite useful.

Drawbacks

You'll need to be OK with tracking bonus categories and how much you're spending in them. The $2,500 quarterly spending cap applies to the 3% and 2% bonus categories combined; big spenders may hit that cap pretty early.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Our pick for: Earning more automatically

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
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Card details

Rewards:

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

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 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 16.24% - 26.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you don’t have to keep track of rotating bonus categories, or select or activate anything each month or quarter. Simply use your card and you’ll automatically earn a high cash-back rate where you spend the most that month from among these categories, which include several recurring costs: restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment.

Drawbacks

The $500 cap on your highest spending category can limit your earning potential in categories where you might exceed the limit (hello, groceries!). Plus, unlike other cash-back cards like the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, there’s only one category per month that can earn more than 1% back.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our pick for: Wholesale shoppers

Citibank Costco-Anywhere Visa Card Credit Card
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Card details

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases for the first $7,000 per year (1% thereafter).

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

  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 17.49% Variable APR.

Why we like it

If you dread making multiple stops to finish your to-do list, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could be your wallet's MVP. Fill up your tank, pick up a year's worth of ketchup and purchase a new flat-screen TV all in one trip. The card's gas rewards are among the highest you'll find, and families who dine out often will be handsomely rewarded.

Drawbacks

While the annual fee is technically $0, you must be a Costco member, which starts at $60 a year. (By comparison, the Sam's Club® Mastercard® requires a membership starting at $45 annually.)

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Our pick for: Consistent cash back

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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Card details

Rewards:

  • 2% cash back on all purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

It doesn’t get easier than 2% cash back everywhere you use the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. That makes it a useful pick for common expenses like medical and vet bills, home repairs and utility bills. Pair the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card with a cash-back card earning 3% back or more in certain categories, like groceries and gas, so you’ll always earn at least 2% back.

Drawbacks

If you don’t mind managing cards with more complicated rewards programs, you’ll be able to earn more than 2% cash back.

Bilt Rewards Mastercard®

Our pick for: Paying rent

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining.

  • 2 points per $1 spent on travel.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases, including rent.

Welcome offer: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 16.99% - 24.99%, depending on creditworthiness.

Why we like it

While most landlords don’t allow rent payments with a credit card — and if they do, they generally charge a costly fee — the Bilt Rewards Mastercard® not only allows fee-free payments but rewards cardholders on the transaction. The card pays 1 point per $1 spent on rent, up to 50,000 points annually, plus bonus rewards on dining and travel. Even if your landlord only accepts checks, you can still pay your rent using the card through the Bilt App, and it’ll mail a check for you. You can redeem points for rent or transfer Bilt points to a variety of travel partners, among other options.

Drawbacks

You’ll need to spend on your card at least five times per billing cycle or you’ll lose any points you’ve accumulated during that month. If you use the card just for rent once per month but don’t use it for anything else, you won’t earn rewards on that rent payment. Additionally, the amount of rewards you can earn on rent payments is capped at 50,000 per year.


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

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