7 Best Credit Cards for Everyday Use - July 2021

7 Best Credit Cards for Everyday Use - July 2021

These are the best credit cards to cover your daily expenses.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

These are the best credit cards to cover your daily expenses.

Citi is an advertising partner.

Most credit cards are designed to serve a very specific purpose. Some are best used when paying for airline tickets, some for shopping at your favorite department store, while others still may be best suited for paying the bill at a restaurant. However, it's always good to have a trusted everyday card at your disposal that you can turn to for your daily purchases. We culled together the best credit cards for everyday use, and categorized them so that you can find a card that best fits your needs.

Best Everyday Credit Cards 2021

Methodology

To make choosing the right card easier, we've looked at credit cards reviewed on ValuePenguin as well as cards on major issuer sites to compile a list of the best rewards credit cards available right now. Our recommendations are based on the additional value you can earn with the cards — including the rewards value, cost of ownership and value of benefits such as travel and purchase protections, lounge membership and airline companion passes. Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

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Best Credit Card For Everyday Use: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
  • Plus, earn $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • 6% Cash 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% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Terms Apply.

Compared to other credit cards, it's clear that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is one of the most rewarding for the average consumer's daily expenses. It offers 6% Cash 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% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Supermarkets and gas stations especially are two of the most common places people spend money everyday. While other cards can be more rewarding for specific purchases, they require you to keep track of "rotating categories," and there are usually more restrictive limits than the $6,000 yearly spending maximum found on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

We calculate that the average consumer, as defined by data gathered from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, stands to gain $845 in net rewards over a two-year period (including the card's annual fee). This is one of the most rewarding everyday cards on the market for the typical consumer.

Highlights

  • Pay a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee.
  • 6% Cash 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% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more), 1% Cash Back on other purchases. Terms apply. Rewards are redeemable for statement credits toward your purchases.
  • Earn a $150 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Terms apply.
  • Read Full Review

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

here.

Runner-Up for Best Credit Card For Everyday Use: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

$0

13.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

If you're hesitant to pay the annual fee for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (though we think it's worth it for most people), take a look at the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. For a $0 annual fee, you can earn cash back on U.S. gas station and U.S. supermarket purchases at a more modest though still very rewarding rate.

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. Rewards are redeemable for statement credits toward your purchases.
  • $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Terms apply.
  • Read Full Review

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

Best Everyday Credit Card For Bad Credit: Discover it® Secured Credit Card

The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a secured credit card that offers rewards comparable to unsecured cards. The 2% cash back on restaurants and gas stations is limited to $1,000 per quarter, Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. Usually, having a low credit score means that your credit card options don't offer rewards. Fortunately, that isn't the case with the Discover it® Secured Credit Card.

While the card has a deposit requirement, you get to choose the deposit amount so long that it's over the $200 minimum. Your account is reviewed on a monthly basis after eight months of card membership to see if you qualify for an unsecured line of credit. Once your account is approved for an unsecured line of credit, you receive your deposit. As long as you make your payments on time and keep your credit utilization low, your score will increase over time. Users with low credit scores will have trouble finding a card this accessible with as many features and perks as the Discover it® Secured Credit Card has.

Highlights

  • 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically
  • Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Requires an initial security deposit.
  • Discover it® Secured Credit Card Review.

Best Fixed-Rate Cash Back Everyday Credit Card: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • On Citibank's Secure Website

$0

13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is an excellent choice for individuals whose everyday spending doesn't conform to one or two categories. This card maintains an above-average rewards rate no matter where you use it. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Most other cards only offer 1% back when you use them on their non-bonus categories. The card also doesn't come with an annual fee, which is an added plus.

Highlights

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • $0 annual fee
  • Read Full Review

Runner-up for Best Fixed-Rate Cash Back Everyday Credit Card: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$0

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Excellent/Good

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

It's hard to beat the cash back on the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, but the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a pretty compelling alternative. You earn a high rate of cash back on most purchases, plus some extra cash back on dining, drugstore and select travel purchases. And, since the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is part of the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, it's a great option for both people who love to collect travel points and cash back aficionados. You can cash out your points for a penny each, or transfer them to premium chase cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, and get a bonus on redeeming them for travel.

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee.
  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Read Full Review

Best Travel Credit Card for Everyday Use: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

  • On Capital One's Secure Website

$95

17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

Excellent/Good

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is great for consumers who want a "top of the wallet" credit card that can help earn rewards for travel. Most travel credit cards will typically be excellent when used towards travel and dining purchases, and are below average when it comes to everything else. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card bucks that trend and gives a high 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day. Like most high-end travel credit cards it comes with a good sign-up bonus too: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel. That is worth around $1,000 in travel statement credits -- enough to cover this card's $95 annual fee for over five years.

Once you accumulate enough miles to take a vacation, this card is also handier than most when used abroad. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card also doesn't charge any foreign transaction fees, while other cards typically charge users 3% when used outside of the country.

Highlights

  • 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Foreign transaction fees: None
  • Read Full Review

Best No-Fee Travel Credit Card for Everyday Use: Discover it® Miles

The Discover it® Miles is the best card if you spend less than $15,000 per year and still want a travel credit card for everyday use. The card lets you Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee. This is a higher rewards rate than the average credit card. It doesn't reach the 2% rate that the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card does.

The Discover credit cards, including the Discover it® Miles, have an unusual but good sign-up bonus. Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match. The travel credit card comes with a bonus worth around $200. Therefore, as long as you spend at least $20,000 in your first year this card will be performing better than average.

Highlights

  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Read Full Review

Summary of Best Everyday Credit Cards & How They Compare

Here is a recap of the best credit cards for everyday use, in case you want a quick reminder of what each card is best for. Below the chart you can also see a graph of how these cards compare to one another when it comes to their annual fee and who they're best for.

Card
Best For…
Annual Fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressBest Credit Card For Everyday Use$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressRunner-Up for Best Credit Card For Everyday Use$0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
Discover it® Secured Credit CardBest Everyday Credit Card For Bad Credit$0
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerBest Fixed-Rate Cash Back Everyday Credit Card$0
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Runner-Up for Best Fixed-Rate Cash Back Everyday Credit Card$0
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardBest Travel Credit Card for Everyday Use$95
Discover it® MilesBest No-Fee Travel Credit Card for Everyday Use$0

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

The information related to Discover it® Secured Credit Card and IHG® Rewards Club Select Credit Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).