August 17, 2022
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For those in the United States with good credit, the best way to rack up points is through credit cards. This can include the welcome bonuses offered by cards, the points offered for spending on cards, and all kinds of other offers.

I’ve written in the past about the credit cards I use for each major bonus category. Nowadays it’s possible to earn 2-5x points on many of the things we spend most on, ranging from travel to dining to supermarkets to gas stations.

However, there are some things we all spend money on where you just can’t earn bonus points for spending. This can include things ranging from doctors visits to paying taxes by credit card to purchases made through Plastiq to buying points through points.com, just to give a few examples.

In this post I wanted to share what I consider to be the best credit cards nowadays for everyday, non-bonused spending. I’ll be sharing both personal and business cards, and the “return” I calculate on these cards will be based on my valuation of various points currencies.

Within each category I’ll rank the cards based on the return on spending they offer, though in all cases these cards offer a return of 2% or more, based on my calculations.

Best personal credit cards for everyday spending July 2022

There are lots of great credit cards for maximizing your everyday, non-bonused personal spending. From a straightforward 2% cash back card, to cards that potentially get you a lot more value with a few tricks, you’re probably leaving money on the table. Here are some of my favorites:

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Card annual fee: $395
Capital One Venture Card return on spending: 2x miles, which I value at 3.4%

What you need to know the Capital One Venture X Card: The Capital One Venture X offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, all with no foreign transaction fees, making it the best card for everyday spending. Each mile can be redeemed for one cent toward the cost of a travel purchase, or can be transferred to an airline or hotel partner, typically at a 1:1 ratio. That means this card offers 2x airline miles per dollar spent. Since I value Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each, that’s the equivalent of a 3.4% return.

While some people may be hesitant to get this card based on the annual fee, most people should be coming out ahead having this card — the card offers a $300 annual travel credit, 10,000 anniversary bonus miles, a Priority Pass membership, access to Capital One Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle status, amazing authorized user perks, and more.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture X, apply for the Capital One Venture X.

Transfer Capital One miles to Singapore KrisFlyer

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Card annual fee: $95
Capital One Venture Card return on spending: 2x miles, which I value at 3.4%

What you need to know the Capital One Venture Card: The Capital One Venture offers 2x Venture miles per dollar spent, with the same redemption options as the Venture X. In other words, for everyday spending it’s equivalent to the Venture X. So why rank the Venture X over the Venture? I’d argue the Venture X is cheaper to hold onto, given the perks that help offset the annual fee.

Learn more about the Capital One Venture, apply for the Capital One Venture.

Redeem Capital One miles toward the cost of virtually any hotel stay

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash annual fee: $0
Citi Double Cash return on spending: 2x points, which I value at 3.4%

What you need to know about the Citi Double Cash: The Citi Double Cash is in a league of its own when it comes to personal no annual fee credit cards for everyday spending. The card offers 1x ThankYou points on every purchase, and then an additional 1x ThankYou points when you pay for those purchases. Each point can be redeemed for one cent cash back, though if you have the card in conjunction with the Citi Premier® Card (review), then points can be transferred to Citi ThankYou airline and hotel partners at a 1:1 ratio, meaning you can earn 2x transferable points per dollar spent.

Learn more about the Citi Double Cash, apply for the Citi Double Cash.

Transfer Citi points to Emirates Skywards

Bank Of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Premium Rewards Card annual fee: $95
Premium Rewards Card return on spending: 1.5x points, which I value at up to 2.625%

What you need to know about the Premium Rewards Card: The Bank of America Premium Rewards earns 1.5x points, but there’s a trick to really maximizing value with the card, and it won’t be for everyone. While each point is usually worth one cent, Bank of America has the Preferred Rewards Program, where you receive bonuses if you have certain amounts deposited with the bank. For example, if you have at least a $100,000 balance with Bank of America you get a 75% bonus, for an incredible 2.625% back on all purchases.

Learn more about the Bank of America Premium Rewards card.

Spend cash back however you’d like with the card

Chase Freedom Unlimited® 

Chase Freedom Unlimited annual fee: $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited return on spending: 1.5x points, which I value at 2.55%

What you need to know about the Chase Freedom Unlimited: The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5x points per dollar spent, and those points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points if you have it in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review), Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card (review), or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card (review). I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, which is how I come up with this valuation.

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited, apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Transfer Chase points to World of Hyatt

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card

Amex EveryDay Preferred Card annual fee: $95
Amex EveryDay Preferred Card return on spending: 1.5x points, which I value at 2.55%

What you need to know about the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card: The Amex EveryDay Preferred earns 3x points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2x points at U.S. gas stations, and 1x points per dollar spent on everything else. However, if you make at least 30 transactions per billing cycle then you earn a 50% points bonus, meaning you earn 1.5x points on your non-bonused spending. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, which is how I come up with this valuation.

Learn more about the Amex EveryDay Preferred, apply for the Amex EveryDay Preferred.

Transfer Amex points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Best business credit cards for everyday spending July 2022

The above are what I consider to be the best personal credit cards for everyday spending, but what about the best business cards? Getting a business card with a good return on non-bonused spending could be hugely valuable, regardless of whether you’re looking to earn cash back rewards or points. Here are some of my favorites:

Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Blue Business Plus Card annual fee: $0 (Rates & Fees)
Blue Business Plus Card return on spending: 2x points, which I value at 3.4%

What you need to know about the Blue Business Plus Card: The Amex Blue Business Plus is pretty unbeatable, given that it offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year (and then 1x points). This is a great business card for your first $50,000 of non-bonused spending annually. I value Membership Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, which is how I come up with this valuation.

Learn more about the Amex Blue Business Plus, apply for the Amex Blue Business Plus.

Transfer Amex points to All Nippon Airways Mileage Club

Capital One® Spark® Miles for Business

Capital One Spark Miles Card annual fee: $95, waived the first year
Capital One Spark Miles Card return on spending: 2x Spark miles, which I value at 3.4%

What you need to know about the Capital One Spark Miles Card: Each Spark mile can be redeemed for one cent toward the cost of a travel purchase, or miles can be transferred to airline and hotel partners, primarily at a 1:1 ratio. That means the card offers 2x airline miles per dollar spent, all with no foreign transaction fees. Since I value Capital One miles at 1.7 cents each, that’s the equivalent of a 3.4% return.

Learn more about the Spark Miles Business, apply for the Spark Miles Business.

Transfer Capital One miles to British Airways Executive Club

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited Card annual fee: $0
Ink Business Unlimited Card return on spending: 1.5x points, which I value at 2.55%

What you need to know about the Ink Business Unlimited Card: The Ink Business Unlimited earns 1.5x points per dollar spent, and those points can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points if you have the card in conjunction with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, or Ink Business Preferred. I value Ultimate Rewards points at 1.7 cents each, which is how I come up with this valuation.

Learn more about the Ink Business Unlimited, apply for the Ink Business Unlimited.

Transfer Chase points to World of Hyatt

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Capital One Spark Cash Card annual fee: $150
Capital One Spark Cash Card return on spending: 2% cash back

What you need to know about the Capital One Spark Cash Card: The Spark Cash Business is one of the best cash back business cards, as the card offers 2% cash back, and also offers a $200 cash bonus when you spend $200,000 on the card in an anniversary year. When you consider that this card has no foreign transaction fees and no cap on rewards you can earn, this is a great one-size-fits-all option.

Learn more about the Spark Cash Plus, apply for the Spark Cash Plus.

Spend cash back however you’d like with the card

Blue Business Cash™ Card from American Express

Amex Blue Business Cash Card annual fee: $0 (Rates & Fees)
Amex Blue Business Cash Card return on spending: 2% cash back

What you need to know about the Amex Blue Business Cash Card: The Blue Business Cash is one of the best cash back business credit cards, as the card offers 2% cash back on the first $50,000 spent every calendar year (and then 1%). The $50,000 cap is restrictive for some businesses, but then again, the card also doesn’t have an annual fee.

Learn more about the Amex Blue Business Cash, apply for the Amex Blue Business Cash.

Spend cash back however you’d like with the card

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

Amex Business Platinum Card annual fee: $695 (Rates & Fees)
Amex Business Plus Card return on spending: 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more, which I value at 2.55%

What you need to know about the Amex Business Platinum Card: The Amex Business Platinum bonus category is only useful if you have a business where you’re consistently making very big purchases. The card offers 1x points on most purchases, but offers 1.5x points on purchases of $5,000 or more in a single transaction, for a total of up to a million bonus points per year.

Learn more about the Amex Business Platinum, apply for the Amex Business Platinum.

Transfer Amex points to Air France-KLM Flying Blue

The cards I use for non-bonused personal spending

Which cards do I spend the most on for non-bonused personal spending? Nowadays I use the Capital One Venture X the most. The card offers 2x Capital One miles per dollar spent, all with no foreign transaction fees, which is unbeatable for me.

However, I also use the Citi Double Cash sometimes, given that rewards can be transferred to Citi ThankYou, meaning I’m earning the equivalent of 2x ThankYou points per dollar spent.

These cards also perfectly demonstrate why it can make sense to pay your taxes by credit card. There are services that will let you pay your taxes for a fee of under 2%. Being able to pick up 2x ThankYou points or 2x Capital One miles for under two cents each is an incredible value, if you ask me. That’s like picking up airline miles for less than a penny each — yes please!

The cards I use for non-bonused business spending

I have two go-to cards for non-bonused business spending. I use the Amex Blue Business Plus for the ability to earn 2x Membership Rewards points. The only downside of this card for many businesses is that you’re capped at earning 2x points on the first $50,000 spent annually.

For spending beyond that, I use the Capital One Spark Miles, which earns 2x Capital One miles with no caps and no foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

Not only are credit card bonus categories better nowadays than ever before, but the value you can get from your non-bonused spending has also improved considerably.

You truly can’t go wrong with any of the above cards. As a general rule of thumb, just be sure you’re earning at least 2% cash back or a minimum of 1.5x transferable points per dollar spent in non-bonused categories. Ideally you’d earn 2x transferable points, possible with cards like the Citi Double Cash, Capital One Venture X, Amex Blue Business Plus, and Capital One Spark Miles.

What cards do you use for your everyday, non-bonused spending?

The following links will direct you to the rates and fees for mentioned American Express Cards. These include: The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), The Business Platinum® Card from American Express (Rates & Fees), and American Express® Blue Business Cash Card (Rates & Fees).

See also  Weekly Review: August 13, 2022