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Best everyday credit cards of 2021

The right card will pay you back handsomely on your day-to-day purchases.

An everyday credit card rewards you for purchases you make regularly like on gas and groceries. But your savings will differ depending on your card’s annual fee, reward rate and your spending habits.

When comparing the best everyday credit cards we looked at several features, including eligible reward categories, points or cash back earned per dollar spent, earnings flexibility, annual fees, welcome bonus value, introductory APRs and other reward perks. The cards that stood out in one or several of these categories were chosen for our top picks.

What’s changed in 2021?

We’ve added the Discover it® Secured to our list this year thanks to the surprisingly solid rewards offered for a secured card. We’ve also added an important niche to the list we hadn’t previously included.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express lost its intro APR on balance transfers, as well as the option for new applicants to make transfers at all. The good news is it still has an intro APR for purchases, but the changes are certainly a downgrade.

We also added the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card after the September 15 update. This is now one of the most rewarding credit cards you can get without paying an annual fee.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
This is an excellent card to maximize cashback rewards on a variety of categories. You can earn accelerated cash back at grocery stores, travel, Lyft rides, dining and more.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% back on travel purchase through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 5% back on rotating categories on up to $1,500 each quarter. After reaching the cap, you earn 1% back. You also earn 5% back at drugstores and restaurants, including take out and delivery, and 1% back on all other purchases.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months. You can also earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Annual fee: None.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus 5% cash back at grocery stores (not including Target® or Walmart®) on up to $12,000 in the first year
Estimated welcome offer value $200 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 5% cash back on up to $1,500 combined in quarterly categories you activate, 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
This is an excellent card to use for all of your day-to-day purchases. If you pay your balance in full every month, the Citi® Double Cash Card is the top no-annual-fee cashback product on the market.
  • Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and another 1% as you pay for them. If you consistently pay your balance in full, the Citi® Double Cash Card offers solid cash back.
  • Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 18 months following your account opening, and 13.99% to 23.99% variable after that.
    Citi offers a balance transfer intro APR from time to time, and an excellent one at that. This intro APR is one of the best you'll find.
  • Annual fee: None.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Estimated welcome offer value
Rewards Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)

Citi Premier® Card

Citi Premier® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
Up to 3x
Points
80,000
Points welcome offer
An excellent travel credit card with accelerated rewards on purchases made at restaurants, gas stations and supermarkets. Redeem points for a variety of rewards including travel purchases, cash, gift cards or use them at Amazon.com.
  • Reward points. Earn 3x points at gas stations, supermarkets, restaurants and flights and hotels. Everything else you buy earns 1x points.
  • Signup bonus. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months when you open your account.
  • $100 annual hotel savings. Once every calendar year, get a $100 discount on hotel stays of $500 or more. But you have to book your stay via the Citi ThankYou program.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Welcome offer 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Estimated welcome offer value $800 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 3x points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, flights and hotels and 1x points on everything else

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 6%
Cash back
$300
Welcome offer
If groceries are your biggest bill, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a strong choice. Its grocery rewards are the best on the market, and you'll earn accelerated cash back on purchases made at US gas stations.
  • Rewards: Up to 6% cash back. Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets. For this rewards rate, there's a $6,000-per-calendar-year spending cap. After you reach it, you'll earn 1% cash back in this category. Earn 6% on select US streaming services. Earn 3% on transit purchases. Earn 3% cash back at US gas stations and 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • Welcome offer: $300 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership. If you qualify, you'll receive this welcome offer in the form of statement credit.
  • Intro APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months after account opening, then 13.99% to 23.99% variable. This is a decent intro APR, though several other cards offer intro purchase APRs of 15 or more months.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Estimated welcome offer value
Rewards 6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$250
Annual fee
Up to 4x
Points
60,000
Points welcome offer
With 4x points on dining that can give you an 8% reward rate after point transfers, the American Express® Gold Card is a powerhouse choice if you're a foodie. You'll also earn the same rewards rate at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in spending, then 1x points.
  • Rewards. 4x Membership Rewards points on dining, including takeout and delivery, such as Uber Eats. 4x points at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 in spending per calendar year, then 1x points. 3x points on eligible flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases.
  • Credits. Earn up to $120 in dining credits per calendar year, plus up to $120 in Uber cash each year, in increments of $10 each month, to use on Uber rides or Uber Eats.
  • Welcome offer. Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 6 months of opening your card.
Annual Fee $250
Purchase APR See Pay Over Time APR
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 6 months
Estimated welcome offer value $600 based on Finder's valuation
Rewards 4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5x
Points
$150
Points welcome offer
Among general-rewards cards, the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card offers the highest rewards rate on gas when you buy at the pump.
  • Rewards: Up to 5x points. Earn 5x points when you buy gas at the pump. Earn 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases.
  • Signup bonus: $150 statement credit. To earn this bonus, spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership.
  • Promotional APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months following your account opening. After the promotional period is up, your APR will revert to to 17.99% variable.
  • Annual fee: None.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.49% to 17.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 17.99% variable)
Welcome offer 15,000 Bonus Points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
Estimated welcome offer value
Rewards 5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$95
Annual fee
2x
Miles
60,000
Miles welcome offer
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a strong and consistent rewards rate on all purchases.
  • Rewards: 2x miles on every purchase. This strong base rate rewards you on all purchases.
  • Signup bonus: 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Earn an additional 50,000 bonus miles after you spend at least $20,000 within your first 12 months.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit. Every four years, you're eligible for a statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
Annual Fee $95
Purchase APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% to 23.99% variable
Welcome offer 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
Estimated welcome offer value
Rewards Earn unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, every day

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (300-669)
Read review
300
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
Other
Welcome offer
The Discover it® Secured is one of the rare secured cards that offers rewards on purchases. If you need to rebuild your credit, this card can help you earn rewards on everyday purchases at the same time.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on the first $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Earn 1% back after that and on everything else.
  • Discover will match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year.
  • Discover may upgrade your card to an unsecured card after eight months of responsible card usage.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit. Every four years, you're eligible for a statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 10.99% intro for the first 6 months (then 22.99% variable)
Welcome offer Discover will match cash back earned at the end of your first card year
Estimated welcome offer value
Rewards 2% back on gas and dining up to $1,000 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

How do I choose the best everyday credit card?

It can be difficult to choose the right credit card for everyday use as there are so many options. Here are a couple of factors to consider when making your choice:

  • What does your monthly spending look like?
    Each rewards cards offers a different rewards structure. One card might offer elevated rewards for your favorite categories, while another might not fit your spending at all. Take stock of how you spend and find a card that offers accelerated rewards for where you spend the most. Without changing your spending, you can get paid back daily in the form of cash back, points or miles.
  • Do you want to pay no annual fee?
    Many everyday cards have $0 or low annual fees, but lack spectacular features. Your main consideration with these products will be the rewards rates. Premium cards are loaded with great benefits, but they come with steep annual fees — often $450 or more.
  • How big of a signup bonus do you want?
    A signup bonus can give you a quick burst of rewards and cover your card’s annual fee several times over. Consider whether you can meet the spending requirement before the signup-bonus window closes. Cards with higher annual fees tend to have more impressive bonuses.
  • Do you want an intro APR?
    An intro APR can help you save on interest. But many of the top rewards cards don’t have promotional interest rates.

Alternatives to everyday credit cards

Everyday credit cards tend to be great picks for day-to-day purchases such as groceries, gas and the odd purchase here and there. But they’re not always the best if your spending is concentrated in other areas. Here are a few alternatives:

  • Premium travel credit cards. While these cards may have a higher annual fee, they can be worth it for the frequent traveler who will enjoy top-notch travel rewards. If that’s you, you might like cards such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • Dining credit cards. The American Express® Gold Card is a dining credit card that happens to give great rewards at US supermarkets as well. For more dining options, consider the Savor Rewards from Capital One, Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and Citi Prestige® Credit Card.
  • Airline and hotel credit cards. If you’re a loyal customer with a certain airline or hotel chain, check if it has a cobranded card. You can earn accelerated rewards with your card, plus get access to special perks you might find nowhere else.

Compare everyday credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin, then 1.5% on all purchases
14.99% to 24.99% variable
$0
Earn 3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin. After that you'll earn a solid 1.5% back on all purchases.
American Express® Gold Card
4x at restaurants including delivery and Uber Eats; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points), 3x points on directly-booked flights and 1x points on other eligible purchases
See Pay Over Time APR
$250

Rose Gold is Back

Earn up to 4x points on select purchases, a bevy of travel perks, and a welcome offer worth up to $600 based on our valuation with this upper-mid tier travel card. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months. This is a higher-than-average welcome offer for a card with no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
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Bottom line

An effective everyday credit card is one that rewards you for your day-to-day spending. Consider your budget and find a product that offers elevated rewards for your top categories.

If you’re not sure an everyday credit card is right for you, consider other rewards products.

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