Advertiser Disclosure

NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for the Suburbs

Sept. 20, 2019
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

You’ve traded skyscrapers for cul-de-sacs and your subway pass for an SUV. Once you’ve succumbed to the siren song of suburbia, leaving your urban life behind is going to mean a different set of expenses.

To help maximize the spending patterns that go along with your new residential lifestyle, here are our top picks for credit cards for suburbanites.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Big grocery spenders and commuters

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Leading cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets
    • Bonus offer for new cardholders
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Has annual fee — but if you spend more than $31 per week at U.S. supermarkets, the rewards offset the fee
    • American Express isn’t accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

    Intro APR

    • 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
    • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
    • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%
    • $95 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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.

Welcome offer: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $95.

APR: An intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 25.74% 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 wanna 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 of $95.

» MORE: Full review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: New homeowners

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Cash bonus offer
    • Cash rewards

    Cons

    • If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: up to 29.99% APR

    Bonus Offers

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

    Intro APR

    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Additional Information
    • No annual fee
    • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
    • Earn 3% cash back on gas or your choice of one of five other popular categories, 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
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
    • No expiration on rewards
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase

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% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Now that you’ve made the leap to owning your first home, you’re going to have to fill it. The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card can help with that. One of its 3% bonus category options is “home improvement and furnishings.” And if you already have the home goods you need? You’ll have five other possible 3% categories to choose from, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel and drugstore spending. Also take note of the card’s 2% categories: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs can be quite helpful for homeowners. And the sign-up bonus could be enough to cover the food bill for your first housewarming party.

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.

» MORE: Full review of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Utility bills and more

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Apply Now on US Bank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Complex rewards require maintenance
    • Foreign transaction fee

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.74% - 25.24% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

    Intro APR

    • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • Additional Information
    • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
    • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
    • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
    • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
    • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
    • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.74% - 25.24%.
    • No limit on total cash back earned.
    • No annual fee*
    • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
    • View Rates and Fees

CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on two spending categories you pick from a list of multiple options (on up to $2,000 spent per quarter on those combined purchases).
  • 2% cash back on an everyday category of your choice.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 15.74% - 25.24% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

If you’re highly organized and don’t mind a little extra effort in exchange for customized rewards, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card can be a good fit. It offers 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in purchases each quarter on the combined two categories you choose, from a list that typically includes suburban favorites like furniture stores, home utilities, sporting goods stores, gyms and fitness centers, and movie theaters. You also earn 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category like grocery stores, gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. You can also pair the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card with a flat-rate cash back card for maximum returns on your spending.

DRAWBACKS

It’s a fair amount of work to keep track of so many bonus categories.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our pick for: Wholesale shoppers

Costco Anywhere Visa<sup>®</sup> Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • High rewards rates in certain categories
    • Can use card as Costco membership ID

    Cons

    • Requires excellent credit
    • Needs Costco membership to qualify
    • Rewards redeemable once a year and only at Costco

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 17.24%* Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
    • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 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
    • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*
    • No matter where life takes you, experience no foreign transaction fees on purchases*
    • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

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: An intro N/A, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24% 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 that dine out often will also 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 only $45 annually.)

» MORE: Full review of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our pick for: Avid Amazon or Whole Foods fans

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is perhaps the most valuable store card on the market. It earns 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on all other purchases. So it’s great for those times you don’t feel like braving the mall, or for those times your kids are craving a jar of 365 Everyday Value-brand organic peanut butter. Officially, the card’s annual fee is $0 — but the only way to get it is by becoming a Prime member, and that typically costs $119 annually.

» MORE: Full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Those who bleed Target red

If big-box stores are more your jam and you can’t do without a weekly Target run, consider the Target REDcard™ Credit Card. Instead of waiting to redeem rewards, you’ll get the incentive immediately upon checkout: 5% off nearly anything in the store. The annual fee is $0, and unlike either the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card or the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, no membership fee is required. But the card does have a high interest rate: The ongoing APR is 25.15% Variable. So try not to carry a balance on it.

» MORE: Full review of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

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