Best Credit Cards For Every Day Purchases

We’ve recently looked at credit cards that earn at a high rate on specific categories, but one of the most important cards to have is one that earns at a high rate on all purchases. This should be used as your baseline card, below we’ve outlined your best options when it comes to these purchases.

This post is affiliate link free. If you think we’re missing any cards then please let us know in the comments section or by using the contact us page.

It’s also important to keep in mind that you can often earn at a higher rate by employing some basic manufactured spending strategies (e.g purchasing prepaid Visa, MasterCard or AmEx gift cards or similar with a card that has a high category bonus).


Personal Credit Cards

AmEx Everyday No Annual Fee, 1-1.2 Membership Rewards Points, No Annual Fee

This card earns membership rewards points on all purchases at a rate of 1x point per $1 spent, if you make more than 20 purchases per month you get a 20% bonus on all points earned meaning this card would earn at a rate of 1.2x points on all purchases.

You’d need to value these points at 1.67¢ or more for it to beat out a card that earns at 2% cash back.

Capital One Quicksilver, 1.5% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

This card earns at a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases and has no annual fee. It’s a decent card, but the cards below offer better value.

AmEx Everyday Preferred, 1-1.5x Membership Rewards Points $95 Annual Fee Waived First Year

Our full review

This card earns membership rewards points on all purchases at a rate of 1x point per $1 spent. If you make more than 30 purchases per month you get a 50% bonus, meaning this card would earn 1.5x points on all purchases. It does come with a hefty annual fee of $95 per year which is waived the first year.

You’d need to value membership rewards points at 1.34¢ each or more to beat out a card that earns at 2% cash back. This isn’t taking into account the annual fee of $95.

 Chase Freedom Unlimited: 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards, No Annual Fee

This card earns 1.5x Chase Ultimate Rewards per $1 spent with no annual fee. These points are worth 1¢ each when redeeming for cash and you can transfer them to travel partners if you have a premium Chase card (e.g Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Ink Plus)

Capital One Venture Miles Rewards: 1-2% Cash Back, $59 Annual Fee

This card earns 2 miles per $1 spent on all purchases. When you redeem for cash or statement credit these points are only worth 0.5¢ each. When you redeem against travel expenses points are worth 1¢ each which would make it a 2% cash back card. You can also redeem for gift cards and get the same 1¢ in value. There is an annual fee of $59.

Barclays Arrival Plus: 1-2.1% Cash Back, $89 Annual Fee Waived First Year

Our full review

This card earns 2 miles per $1 spent. These miles are worth differing values depending on what you redeem them for. If you redeem these miles against charges that are not travel related they are only worth 0.5¢ each which would make this a straight 1% cash back card and rather ordinary.

If you redeem these miles against charges that are travel related you get 1¢ per mile in value and you also get a 5% rebate. This makes this card 2.1%+ cash back on all purchases when redeeming against travel expenses. Obviously you should only use this card if you’ll have enough travel expenses to redeem against. You can view what Barclays considered as travel here.

It has a hefty annual fee of $89 which is $30 higher than the Capital One Venture. We discuss why this is worse than a straight 2% cash back card here.

Bank of America Travel Rewards – 1.5%-2.625% No Annual Fee

This card earns 1.5x points on all purchases (points are worth 1¢ each). With Bank of America Preferred Rewards Program you can get up to 2.625% back though.

Bank of America Premium Rewards – 1.5%-2.625% – $95 Annual Fee

Basically same as the travel rewards card mentioned above, card does come with a $95 annual fee but this is offset by the generous $100 travel credit. Card also offers 2x points on travel and dining (3.5 with Preferred Rewards) . Our full review here.

SoFi Credit Card – 2%, No Annual Fee

Card earns 2% cash back on all purchases with no annual fee, sometimes comes with a sign up bonus as well.

TD Bank Double Up – 2%, No Annual Fee

TD Bank Double Up card offers 2% cashback when redeemed to a TD Bank deposit account. No annual fee. Comes with a  $75 signup bonus, currently. Only available in the following states: CT, DC, DE, FL, MD, ME, MA, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VT, & VA.

Alliant Visa Platinum Rewards Credit Card – 2%, No Annual Fee

Earns 2x points (worth 1¢ each) and has no annual fee. Also comes with a $50 sign up bonus currently. Our full review here.

Citi Doublecash: 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

The Citi doublecash card has no annual fee and can earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases. You earn 1% cash back when you make the purchases and another 1% when they are paid off. You can view more information on this card here.

Wells Fargo Active Cash: 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

Wells Fargo has their Active Cash card with no annual fee and earning 2% cashback on all purchases. Currently there’s a $200 signup bonus as well. Our full review here. 

Visa Fidelity: 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

This is the best no nonsense card in our opinion. It earns a flat 2% cash back on all of your purchases and there is no annual fee to worry about. There is also no need to worry about having any travel expenses to redeem against (although you can get slightly more value out of this card by exchanging cash back for world points). It’s currently possible to get a bonus of $100 on this card as well.

Paypal Cashback Mastercard: 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

Paypal’s Cashback Mastercard has no annual fee and earn a flat 2% cash back on all purchases into your Paypal account. No minimum redemption. Our full review here.

Blispay: 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee

Read our full review

This is better than the other 2% cash back cards on the market due to the fact that it comes with free financing on purchases over $199 and there is also no minimum redemption amount (it’s applied as statement credit at the end of each month).

SDFCU Premium Cash+ Card – 2% Cash Back, No Annual Fee Or Foreign Transaction Fees

Read our full review

No annual fee or foreign transaction fees.

FNBO Cashback – 3% Cashback First Six Months Then 2% [Select States], No Annual Fee

Read our full review

Major problem is that FNBO is very inquiry sensitive.

Discover it Miles 3% Cash Back For First Year, No Annual Fee

This card earns 1.5 miles on all purchases and at the end of the first year all of the miles you have earned are doubled. Miles are worth 1¢ each which means that this card basically earns 3% cash back for the first year and then 1.5% thereafter. Obviously it only makes sense to use it in the first year.

Alliant Cash Back 3% Cash Back First Year, Then 2.5% ($99 AF Waived First Year)

Read our full review

Card is the same as the Discover it Miles mentioned above (but you get the 3% straight away rather than waiting a year). Year two onwards you get 2.5% cash back but have to pay an annual fee of $99. This means you need to spend $11,800 per year to be better off with this card compared to a 2% cash back card with no annual fee.

Honorable Mentions

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve 3x Points On Mobile Wallet Transactions, $400 Annual Fee

Read our full review here

This card earns 3x points on all mobile wallet transactions, including MST transactions. If you have Samsung Pay then this means you can basically earn 3x points on almost all purchases. Points are worth up to 1.5¢ each as well. $400 annual fee is somewhat offset by the fact that you get $325 in travel credits as well.

Proponent Federal Credit Union Visa Signature Card 2x Points (Up To 2.5% Back In Airfare), No Annual Fee

Read our full review here

Card earns 2x points per $1 spent when you spend $1,000 or more per month. You can use the points for:

  • FlexPass travel discounts: Start at $100 for 8,000 points (1.25¢)
  • Gift cards: Start at 1,500 points for $10 gift card (0.67¢ per point)

This means at best you’re getting 2.5% back but can only redeem it for airfare and must book through their portal.

BB&T Spectrum Rewards Up To 4.05% For The First Three Months, No Annual Fee

This card can earn up to 4.05% cash back on all purchases for the first three months. It earns at a base rate of 3% for the first three months, you can also get a 30% bonus on all cash back earned annually if you spend $50,000 or more and you get an additional 5% bonus as an anniversary bonus.

It’s only available in the following states: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia or D.C and only earns 1% cash back after the introductory three month period. More information can be found here.

Business Credit Cards

Capital One Spark Cash 2% Cash Back, $59 Annual Fee Waived First Year

This business card earns at a flat 2% cash back on all purchases and it’s annual fee of $59 is waived for the first year. I’d only recommend this card over the American Express Fidelity card if you have a lot of purchases that cannot be put on AmEx or JCB.

You’d probably be better off putting these expenses on a 1.5% personal card unless you’re spending more than $11,800 per year.

Amex Blue Business Plus 2x MR, No Annual Fee

Read our review

This card earns a flat 2x Membership Rewards points on all purchases and has no annual fee. There is an annual cap of $50,000 which can earn 2x, subsequently it earns just 1x, so keep that in mind.

BECU 3% Cash Back For First Six Months, No Annual Fee [WA only]

Read our full post

Card earns 3% cash back on all purchases with no cap or annual fee, downside is that this is only for the first six months and the card is only available in WA and also requires joining the credit union.

Cards That Didn’t Make The Cut

The following cards did not make the cut for our best everyday list for various reasons. We’ve listed them below as they still might be of interest to some readers.

  • Hilton HHonors cards: Hilton has continually devalued their points to the point where you will struggle to get 0.5¢ per point in value. You’d need to get 0.67¢+ per point in value on a card that earns 3x Hilton points to beat out a 2% cash back card.
    • Hilton HHonors Surpass From AmEx: 3x points on all purchases
    • Citi Hilton HHonors Reserve: 3x points on all purchases
    • Hilton HHonors From American Express: 3x points on all purchases
    • Citi Hilton HHonors Visa Signature
  • Ollo Optimum Mastercard. Currently offering 2.5% on all purchases, but it’s invite only.
  • We didn’t include cards that earn at a high rate on specific categories.

If you’d like to see what the best credit cards are for purchases in other categories, click on one of the following links:


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Curious why you recommend the BofA Travel Rewards and not the Unlimited Rewards card. The latter gets the same 2.625% CB with preferred rewards, but can be cashed out directly rather than only for travel or restaurant spend. IMHO it’s the best general spend card out there.

SF city nerd
SF city nerd

First Tech Federal Credit Union offers 2% on all spending. It’s a bit harder to qualify for the membership, but you can get around this with buying a “Computer History Museum” ($15) or “Financial Fitness Association” membership ($8).

Also the “Wells Fargo” has the wrong header type, it should be reduced by 1 level.


Why not get Paypal Mastercard? 3% if Paypal checkout and 2% on everythign else. No?


William Charles
list is needed to be updated

– Paceline Card
3% cashback if hitting 150 min exercise goals
$60 annually fees, but could be reimbursed if hitting exercise goals
Need iPhone

– FNBO Evergreen Business Card
Effective Cashback 3% on first $10k spend per year
No annual fees

– FNBO Ford or Lincoln card
Effective Cashback 3.33% on first $6k spend per 12 months
No annual fees

– Alliant CU visa signature
2.5% Cashback on first $10k spend per billing cycle
No annual fees

– US Alliance FCU Visa signature
3% Cashback in 2022
No annual fees


Seriously… Barclays Arrival has been dead for how many years?


Thanks for the informative comment! 3.33% effective cash back on the FNBO Ford or Lincoln cards due to the statement credit if (and only if) you nail exactly $6k in spend on the dot? There is a base rate of 1 point per $ as a baseline for all purchases atop that, so even though it says points aren’t redeemable for cash: if you could find a way to ever use the points it’d be worth up to 1% more (maybe resell merchandise or gift cards from the “Access Rewards Collection”…can you provide more insight on that please?). Since these are both Visa cards, you can’t use them for mortgage payments, though.

Paceline looks like another Visa with no mortgage potential. The 5% rewards category would be nice if it were guaranteed you could hit the heart rate they want every week for 150 minutes, but for those with abnormal heart rate or disability this is likely not an option. Plus, the 3% is only on qualifying purchases and not everything: they have a long list of exclusions.

The FNBO 3% Evergreen Business is blessedly a Mastercard, which also at least will give you 2% cash back on any incidental overage beyond $10k and can be used for profitable mortgage payments. Do you need a business entity type other than sole proprietorship to get the Evergreen Business Mastercard? Would be nice to have that annual bonus without having to churn which I hate having to keep extras…thanks!

Ivan X
Ivan X

Billspay should be removed from this list, since it seems to have vanished.


MidFlorida credit union offers visa signature rewards card. 2.5% cash back with up to $500 cash back earned per billing cycle!


Where is the page for best hotel credit cards?

Penn Adam
Penn Adam

Thank you for this list.

May I request, can you please add for each of these cards what the minimum redemption amount is for cashing out, statement credits etc?

It is an useful data point because, if they make you wait until rewards reach $25 for example, we would incur an opportunity cost by not using more lucrative cards for certain categories.

Thank you.


I would also like to point out that my U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve card gets 3% routinely (and when redeemed for travel its worth 4.5%) when used with a mobile payment like Applepay and Samsung pay. Most stores have compatible terminals and my Samsung s7 has MST which covers for those that don’t. About 97% of my expenses can get this rate. If you learn how to use it, you will see a 3% (4.5% when redeemed for travel) on everyday purchases. HARD to beat that. Comes with so many other perks too! Its my #1 card to use.


Hi, any chance this list could be updated? There seems to be more cards with 3% returns (usually it goes back to 2% after a intro period) but they aren’t in this list (the comments have a lot of them). Any chance we can revisit this? Thanks

Ashok Sharma

After selecting the best credit card, one should also focus on a better credit card payment gateway for hassle-free service.