August 17, 2022

Best Credit Cards for Everyday Use in June 2022

Besides housing costs, most spending for American households is dedicated to gas, groceries and restaurants….

Best Credit Cards for Everyday Use in June 2022

Besides housing costs, most spending for American households is dedicated to gas, groceries and restaurants. So to determine the best credit cards for the typical ledger, we identified the cards with rewards programs that could maximize value across these categories. These cards all have no annual fee, so they are easy to maintain if used responsibly, and there are picks for a variety of credit scores.

Intro OfferEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

APR15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% Variable APR

Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Balance Transfer APR15.74%, 20.74%, or 25.74% Variable APR

Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

Penalty APR None

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Our Take

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card will help you maximize cash back on purchases across the board. It’s got one of the highest flat rates on the market, with 2% cash rewards on purchases. While you can find higher rewards rates for specific spending categories elsewhere, you won’t have to switch between different cards to get a good overall return. 

Your everyday spending may earn you a welcome bonus, as well. The $200 cash rewards welcome bonus requires you to meet a $1,000 spending threshold in the first three months after account opening.

For more details and benefits, see our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

Best for fluid spending habits

Intro OfferEarn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

APR14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)

Intro Purchase APR0% for 15 months on purchases

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 15 months on balance transfers

Balance Transfer APR14.74% – 24.74% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee Balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Late Payment Fee Up to $40

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

Penalty APR Up to 29.99% (Variable)

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Our Take

If you find yourself flowing through different phases of spending from month to month — perhaps you primarily use groceries at home for a few weeks and then turn to takeout the following weeks — the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card allows you to optimize your cash-back rewards automatically.

This card earns you 5% cash back on your highest eligible spending category each billing cycle (on up to $500 spent, then 1%), calculated by Citi without any work required on your end. Eligible spending categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment — running the gamut of popular everyday spending categories. You’ll earn 1% on all other purchases.

You can take advantage of the welcome bonus, too. Spend $750 in the first three months after account opening to earn $200 (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for cash back).

To learn more about this card and its benefits, see our full review of the Citi Custom Cash card.

Best for cash back and extra perks

Intro OfferEarn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

APR15.24% to 23.99% Variable

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months

Balance Transfer APR15.24% to 23.99% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fees 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Penalty APR Up to 29.99%

  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Our Take

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ claims many rewards categories in an eclectic fashion. There is a rotating 5% category that changes every quarter. It typically covers common everyday spending categories — like grocery stores, gas stations and retailers like Walmart — but it only applies to your first $1,500 in spending per quarter (then 1%). You’ll also have to manually activate this benefit each quarter to use it.

Other cash-back rates for this card include 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, which is Chase’s rewards portal, and 3% on dining at restaurants (including takeout and delivery services) and drugstore purchases. You earn 1% back on all other purchases.

You’ll also get benefits for Lyft and DoorDash. Through March 2025, you can earn 5% cash back on all Lyft rides when you use the Chase Freedom Flex to pay. You also get three complimentary months of DashPass, DoorDash’s subscription service (activate by Dec. 31, 2024). This service provides unlimited deliveries for a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders of $12 or more on DoorDash and Caviar. You’ll then automatically be enrolled in DashPass at half off for the next nine months, but you can opt out if you decide not to keep the service. 

For more details on this card’s other offerings, check out our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex.

Intro OfferIntro Offer: Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

APR15.74% – 24.74% (Variable)

Intro Purchase APR0% for 12 billing cycles on purchases

Recommended Credit Good/Excellent

Reward Rates

  • 4X points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery.
  • 2X points on streaming services.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% for 12 billing cycles on balance transfers

Balance Transfer APR15.74% – 24.74% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee Either 3% of the amount of each transfer or $5 minimum, whichever is greater

Foreign Transaction Fees N/A

  • 4X points on dining, takeout, and restaurant delivery.
  • 2X points on streaming services.
  • 2X points at grocery stores, grocery delivery, gas stations, and EV charging stations
  • 1X point on all other eligible purchases.

Our Take

Food away from home is one of the biggest everyday spending categories for Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. If you love grabbing takeout or dining out, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card earns 4x points on dining, takeout and restaurant delivery. At a redemption rate of 1 cent per point, you earn 4% back.

But that’s not all — there are additional everyday spending categories that earn more than the basic rate. You’ll also earn 2x points on grocery stores, gas stations, EV charging stations and streaming services. The basic rate is 1x point for all other eligible purchases.

The welcome bonus is also competitive with the other picks for everyday spending. You earn 20,000 bonus points — equivalent to $200 — when you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Best crypto card for everyday spending

Intro OfferN/A

APR13.24% – 24.24% Variable

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Recommended Credit N/A

Reward Rates

  • 3% back on dining (up to $6,000 in annual spend, then 1%)
  • 2% back on groceries.
  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

  • 3% back on dining (up to $6,000 in annual spend, then 1%)
  • 2% back on groceries.
  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Our Take

The Gemini Credit Card* — one of a handful of new crypto credit cards — opened its waitlist recently. To apply, you must be a verified Gemini user or become one by making an account, uploading your passport or driver’s license and getting approved. If you get through this process you can apply for the Gemini Credit Card.

You can choose to earn your rewards in over 60 cryptocurrencies, and you can move your rewards off of the Gemini platform and into your own crypto wallet. This card offers the best rewards for everyday spending of the available crypto cards on the market right now. You’ll earn 3% on dining (on up to $6,000 annually, then 1%), an unlimited 2% back on groceries and 1% back on all other purchases.

See our full review of the Gemini Credit Card for more information.

FAQs

How should I choose a credit card?

Ultimately, the right credit card is individual to each person and their goals and preferences. Decide what features you’re looking for: maximized rewards, spaced-out payments on a large purchase, credit building, an emergency credit card or other benefits. From there, you can decide the type of card you’re looking for. You can then use online reviews like those at CNET to further narrow down what terms will work best for you.

How do I qualify for a credit card?

The better the benefits, the more hoops you’ll need to jump through to be eligible for certain credit cards. Credit cards with attractive rewards programs or cash-back rewards require better credit than more basic credit card varieties.

If you have poor or fair credit, you might only qualify for credit builder or secured credit cards. If you have good to excellent credit, you may easily qualify for any credit card you want. But if you don’t have the right score, you can always work to improve your credit for better odds of approval.

What’s the best credit card to get for first-time users?

The best credit card for beginners is one that will help you build credit, so make sure to get a card that reports to the three credit bureaus. You’ll also want to determine how you plan to use a credit card. Are you expecting to carry a balance from month to month, or can you reliably pay the credit issuer off? Are you a student who needs to finance a bunch of back-to-school purchases? Depending on what you need, one credit card might be better than another.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles — with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different — and the designated function of a card. 

*All information about the Gemini Credit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.