I receive compensation for content and many links on this blog. Citibank is an advertising partner of this site, as is American Express, Chase, Barclays and Capital One. Any opinions expressed in this post are my own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by my advertising partners. I do not write about all credit cards that are available -- instead focusing on miles, points, and cash back (and currencies that can be converted into the same). Terms apply to the offers and benefits listed on this page.
Never earn just one mile per dollar spent. If you want to earn the most points for your spending — beyond just earning a big signup bonus — you need to pay attention to what you spend the most money on and which cards give you the best juice for that specific spending – whether you spend a lot on airfare, on gas, or groceries.
Here are the cards I believe offer best value in each of the major bonus categories. Information about the Ink Cash card is neither provided or reviewed by its issuer.
|Groceries||American Express® Gold Card||4x (up to $25k/yr)|
|Dining||Citi Prestige Card||5x|
|American Express® Gold Card||4x|
|Air Tickets||Platinum Card by American Express||5x|
|Citi Prestige Card||5x|
|Car Rentals||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card||3x + Primary CDW|
|Hotels||Chase Sapphire Reserve Card||3x|
|American Express® Green Card||3x|
|Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card||3x|
|Hyatt Hotels||World Of Hyatt Credit Card||4x|
|Advertising||Chase Ink Business Preferred Credit Card||3x|
|Office Supplies||Chase Ink Cash Card||5x|
|Telephone/Cable/||Chase Ink Cash Card||5x|
|Fitness/Gym Memberships||World Of Hyatt Credit Card||2x|
|General Purchases||Blue Business℠ Plus Credit Card from American Express||2x|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2x|
I’d be remiss if I didn’t give separate attention to the American Express® Business Gold Card. It isn’t included in the chart because its bonus categories ‘float’ based on whatever you’re spending the most on.
The card earns 4x points on the two categories you spend the most in each month out of:
- airfare purchased directly from airlines
- U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
- U.S. purchases at gas stations
- U.S. purchases for shipping
- U.S. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases made directly from select providers
This is available for the first $150,000 in combined purchases in bonused categories each calendar year. And in addition to points transferring to Membership Rewards airline and hotel partners you receive a 25% rebate on points after you redeem for an eligible flight booked with Amex Travel (up to 250,000 points back per calendar year).
Personally I like the Platinum Card by American Express for flights; American Express® Gold Card for restaurants and groceries; Chase Ink Cash Card for office supplies, cell phone and internet; and I stay at Hyatts most often paying with the World Of Hyatt Credit Card.
I especially value the World Of Hyatt Credit Card for the additional category 1-4 free night (on top of the annual free night) at $15,000 spend and the elite nights earned. You can earn Hyatt top tier Globalist with spend alone, 5 nights for having the card and 2 additional nights for each $5000 spend on the card each year.
Of course that’s largely because I’ve already spent enough on the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card to earn the card’s initial bonus and then enough more to earn a companion pass for the rest of 2020 and all of 2021.