What Card Do I Use For This Purchase?

This is a question that many friends & family ask me almost every day. There is usually a simple answer, but sometimes there are just so many types of purchases that one can forget.

A fairly updated array of all our credit cards

Here are a list of categories that you might commonly spend your money on and the cards that offer bonuses for spending within those categories:

Groceries

American Express Blue Cash Preferred: A straight up, no frills 6% cash back.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Gas

Chase Ink Bold Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Ink Plus Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Mercedes Benz: 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Business Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Dining/Restaurants

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

American Express Mercedes Benz: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Citi Forward: 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent.

Airfare

American Express Premier Rewards Gold: 3 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent (3 if you purchase through Ultimate Rewards Travel Portal)

Hotels

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Bold Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Other Travel (Tolls/Taxi Fare/Train Tickets)

Chase Sapphire Preferred: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spen

Office Supplies

Chase Ink Bold Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Drugstores/Pharmacies

American Express Hilton Honors Surplus: 6 Hilton Honors points per dollar spent.

Communications (Cable/TV/Internet/Cell)

Chase Ink Bold Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Chase Ink Plus Business: 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent

Advertising/Shipping

American Express Business Gold: 2 Membership Rewards points per dollar spent.

Amazon.com

Citi Forward: 5 ThankYou points per dollar spent.

Department Stores

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Movies

Chase Freedom (rotating categories): If eligible for that quarter, earn 5 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar, capped at $1,500 per quarter.

Things to Note

  • ALL the links in this post are PUBLIC OFFERS that don’t pay me any commission. They are open to anyone and can be found with a simple Google search. That is, in face, how I found these links.
  • The Chase Freedom appears in a lot of these categories. Its bonuses change every quarter (as I’ve most recently posted about here) and with no annual fee, it’s almost a no-brainer to always have one in your wallet.
  • The Chase Sapphire Preferred also shows up in a lot of categories, mainly because Chase considers a lot of things in the category of “travel”.

Wrap-Up

Clearly, there are A TON of bonus categories that you’ll come upon in your everyday spending. It can get a bit daunting, but hopefully this guide will help you out.

As for me, I have my favorites of the bunch. Both the aforementioned Chase cards earn Ultimate Rewards points, which is why they are my favorite card combo for earning points that can be transferred to the following:

  • United Airlines
  • Southwest
  • British Airways
  • Korean Air
  • Hyatt
  • Priority Club
  • Marriott
  • Amtrak

Please let me know what you think and if this helps. Also, if you have other categories you are wondering about, post a comment and I’ll see if there is a card that qualifies for it!

4 Comments What Card Do I Use For This Purchase?

  1. Scott B

    I use my Thank you card for groceries, Gas, and drug store 5x for the first year. I use my forward card for restaurant spend 5x.

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