How to Earn Points Faster With Credit Card Category Bonuses

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I don't have referral links for the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Cash cards. Information about these products is neither provided nor reviewed by their issuer.

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.

If you drive a ton you want a card that maximizes gas spend. If you eat out a lot, there are cards that bonus restaurant spend.

Since I travel a lot it’s air, hotel, and dining. Some cards are great for multiple categories.

I’ve been a big fan and user of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card for many years which gives you double points for both travel and dining. It’s the best all-around card for people getting started seriously collecting miles and points with a $0 annual fee the first year (then $95), though the $450 annual fee Chase Sapphire Reserve Card earns triple points on travel and dining.

I’ve compiled a list of what I consider to be the best card for several spend:

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community InsideFlyer.com, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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Editorial note: any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. Comments made in response to this post are not provided or commissioned nor have they been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any bank. It is not the responsibility of any advertiser to ensure that questions are answered, either. Terms and limitations apply to all offers.

Comments

  1. Any reason you’ve left out the Amex Everyday Preferred? With the 50% bonus, you also earn 3 MR points per dollar on gas which is comparable to the cards you list. And it earns 4.5 on grocery spend, which with your 1.8 cent valuation equates to 8.1% back.

  2. Bank of America cards with Platinum Rewards increases bonuses 75% turning gas @ 3% into 5.25%, groceries @ 2% into 3.5%, travel @ 2% into 3.5%, … And its all cash money! I love my miles and points but BoA is doing something great here.

  3. @mpk620
    Because he doesn’t have a referral link for that one. And it is in fact a better card for groceries.

  4. I think you are leaving out the Uber Visa card on purpose, probably because there are no referral links for that one, but that is clearly the best card for dining now.

  5. I originally though the AMEX Platinum card was best for air travel as well but upon further investigation it does NOT offer cancellation insurance like the Chase Sapphire and Reserve.

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