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Utilizing the best rewards credit cards can optimize your bill payment strategy to earn more cash back or travel miles. But what credit card is best for bill payments? Here are some of the best credit cards for bill payments and for avoiding transaction fees.
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The Best Credit Card for Bill Payments
We realize that a lot of people have the same bills, such as utilities, rent, groceries, gas, and cell phone payments. Therefore, we’ve broken up this article into different categories to help make it easier. By earning rewards on these consistent purchases, you can get more for your money.
However, while service providers are happy to take your money, it’s worth noting that some bill payment services charge extra or straight up don’t allow credit card payments. Be sure to check with your relevant service to avoid extra fees.
Related: 8 Best Credit Cards For Everyday Spending (Groceries, Gas, & More)
Which Credit Card is Best for Utility Bills?
The information for the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card (See Rates & Fees) earns 5% back on the first $2,000 in combined quarterly spending on two categories of choice. Home utilities (i.e., electric, gas, and waste management companies) are one of the 5% back categories.
Even if the utility provider charges credit card processing fees (up to 3%), you’re still earning at least 2% back as the rewards can help offset the fee. With most competing cards, you may still lose money if the rewards don’t exceed the transaction fees.
Your 5% cash back options include:
- Fast food
- TV, internet, and streaming services
- Cell phone providers
- Department stores
- Electronic stores
- Home Utilities
- Sporting goods stores
- Movie theaters
- Gym/fitness centers
- Furniture Stores
- Ground Transportation
- Select clothing stores
This card also earns an unlimited 5% back on eligible travel purchases and 2% back at grocery stores, gas stations and EV charging stations, and restaurants. All non-bonus spending earns 1% back.
Additionally, this card has no annual fee, but you must enroll quarterly for the bonus categories.
Read all about the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card review to learn more.
Which Credit Card is Best for Rent Payment?
It’s also possible to pay rent without fees and earn rewards. The only card currently offering this benefit is the Bilt World Elite Mastercard® which earns 1% back (on the first $100,000 in rent per year) without fees. If they don’t accept credit card payments, this card will also send direct deposits or a paper check to your landlord.
The card’s other rewards categories include:
- 3% back on dining
- 2% back on travel
- 1% back on all remaining purchases
This card also has valuable redemption options including a 25% travel redemption bonus and 1:1 point transfers to many airlines and hotels. Cardmembers can also enjoy limited-time elite travel benefits with monthly Rent Day promotions on the first of each month (here’s April’s Bilt rent day promotion).
Check out our Bilt Credit Card review to get more information.
What is the Best Credit Card for Groceries and Gas?
For many, the best overall option is The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express as it earns 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year and then 1% back), 6% on streaming, 3% on transit, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases. One potential drawback is the introductory annual fee of $0 for the first year and then $95 for each renewal (See Rates & Fees).
If you prefer no annual fee, the Citi® Double Cash Card earns up to 2% back on all purchases (1% at the time of purchase and 1% on balance payments). You can use your rewards for cash back or travel. As it earns Citi ThankYou points, you can transfer them to travel partners too.
Many rewards cards provide bonus points on gas and groceries in addition to other expenses like travel and dining. So, the best option can boil down to which one earns the most on your most common spending and your preferred redemption of either cash back or travel miles.
What is the Best Credit Card for Cell Phone Bills?
The best overall option for many is the Chase Freedom Flex℠ as you earn rewards and get complimentary cell phone protection benefits. Each claim is eligible for up to $800 in cell phone coverage and $1,000 in annual benefits (up to 2 claims per year plus a $50 deductible per claim).
The Chase Freedom Flex earns up to 5% back on purchases and has no annual fee.
A premium travel credit card with complimentary cell phone protection is the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card which offers up to $800 in insurance benefits per claim (up to 2 claims per 12-month period and a $50 deductible applies). Phone-related purchases earn 2 miles per $1.
Related: Credit Cards to Pay Your Cell Phone Bill With Each Month
What is the Best Credit Card for College Students?
College students have bills too, and the Chase Freedom® Student credit card is one of the best options. This product can earn 1% on purchases, including recurring bills like cell phones and streaming services. It’s also possible to earn $20 in annual Good Student Rewards for up to 5 years as an actively enrolled pupil.
Which Credit Card is Best for Bill Payments?
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card (See Rates & Fees) is the best overall option as it has no annual fee and earns up to 5% back on two categories of your choice, including home utilities. You can earn up to 5% back on travel and everyday spending too.
Ultimately, the best bill payment option depends on if you’re loyal to a particular bank and whether you want cash or travel rewards. For example, award travel fans will appreciate a card combination from American Express, Chase, or Capital One to combine points and redeem them for maximum travel value.
You may consider additional benefits such as airport lounge access or statement credits for certain expenses too.
Is It Worth Paying Bills with a Credit Card?
Scheduling bill payments with your credit card is worth it when the rewards are more valuable than any processing fees. When the fees are too expensive, or the merchant doesn’t accept credit, you may decide to schedule automatic payments from a checking account.
In addition to avoiding upfront fees, be sure to pay your balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. Carrying a balance defeats the purpose of using a credit card. You should pay with cash or online bill pay from a bank account if interest is a high probability.
There are many excellent credit cards that earn up to 10% back on purchases and have flexible redemption options. The best option depends on your monthly spending habits, what cards you already have (i.e., can you earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points or Membership Rewards® points on bills), and your preferred redemption reward.
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For rates and fees of The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.