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The 5 best credit cards to pay your bills: Make it a rewarding experience

Which is the best credit card to pay your bill? Citi Double Cash Card is ZDNet's top choice because it enables you to get the most rewards and save money at the same time.
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Written by Lena Borrelli, Contributing Writer on
Reviewed by Marc Wojno

For many Americans, paying bills, like taxes, is a financial fact of life. It may not be a fun task, but it can be a rewarding one. That's where your credit card comes in. Credit cards can be an excellent way to receive rewards while paying off those seemingly endless bills. 

Whether you're paying your utilities or groceries, ZDNet has selected these five credit cards as the best credit cards that can help make paying your bills a rewarding experience. 

Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APR16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Recommended CreditExcellent, Good
Reward Rates
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Annual Fee$0
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

The Citi Double Cash Card is our best credit card for paying bills because it enables you to maximize your rewards while saving money. It starts off with an excellent introductory offer for balance transfers, offering a 0% APR for your first 18 months. The balance transfer fee is lower, too, with 3% of each transfer offered for the first four months before switching to 5% of each transfer, both with a $5 minimum.

Citi offers two types of cash back on your purchases, awarding you with unlimited 1% cashback when you make your purchase and another 1% when you pay it off. Rewards are distributed in the form of ThankYou points. There are no annual fees, no caps, and no category restrictions to give you far greater freedom in your purchase decisions.

Pros:

  • Excellent intro offer
  • Flat-rate cashback
  • Generous rewards

Cons:

  • No bonus categories
  • Must have good credit
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn a $350 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
APR16.24%-26.24% Variable
Recommended CreditExcellent/Good
Reward Rates
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%)
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases
Annual Fee$95
Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 12 months
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express gives you very high, very impressive rewards when you use your card to shop for groceries. American Express will give you 6% cashback on your purchases at US supermarkets, up to $6,000. You also receive 6% cashback on your US streaming subscriptions, 3% on gas, 3% on transit, including rideshare, and 1% on all other purchases. If you spend $3,000 within your first six months, you will also receive $400 back in statement credits. 

When it comes time to pay, you also have the opportunity to opt for the Buy Now, Pay Later introductory offer, which uses Plan It by American Express to split payments into monthly installments. When you choose this option, there is a lower APR on your purchases for the first 12 months. Regardless, this card comes with a 0% introductory APR on your purchases within the first year. However, in typical Amex fashion, an annual fee costs $95 per year. 

Pros:

  • Intro APR offer
  • High grocery rewards rate
  • Statement credits

Cons:

  • Annual fee
  • Spending caps apply
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
APR16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Recommended CreditExcellent, 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 Purchase APR0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

The Chase Freedom Flex starts off with a bang, giving you a $200 bonus after you spend $500 within your first three months of having the card. There is also 5% cash back on your first $6,000 in gas purchases during the first 12 months. There are bonus categories each quarter that give you up to 5% cashback on your first $1,500 combined purchases. 

This includes categories like gas, groceries, and online merchants. You also receive 5% cashback when you purchase travel through Chase. There is also 3% on dining, takeout, and drugstores, with 1% on all other purchases. To make the card more attractive, be rewarded with a 0% intro APR lasting your first 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers.

There are also no annual fees to boost your rewards, plus no minimums when redeeming your rewards.  

Pros:

  • No annual fee
  • Rotating categories
  • Bonus travel rewards

Cons:

  • Higher starting APR
  • Travel restrictions apply
Card Highlights
Intro BonusEarn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 cash back or $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
APR17.49% - 22.49% Variable
Recommended CreditGood, Excellent
Reward Rates
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases–with no limit to the amount you can earn
Annual Fee$95
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Additional Details
Rewards & Redemption Details

The Ink Business Preferred Credit Card is a card for business owners, allowing you to earn rewards all while paying the bills. To welcome you as a new cardholder, you start off with 100,000 bonus points after spending $15,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. 

That is worth $1,000 in cash back. If you choose to redeem your rewards through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, that can be up to $1,250 in travel. From there, the regular rewards schedule begins with 3x the points on shipping and other rotating business categories, such as advertising, phone and Internet, and even travel. Other purchases earn you one point per dollar with no expiration as long as the account remains open.  

Pros:

  • Intro offer
  • Welcome bonus
  • Bonus categories

Cons:

  • High starting APR
  • No intro APR
Card Highlights
Intro BonusN/A
APRN/A
Recommended CreditNo Credit History
Reward Rates
  • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter in two categories you choose
  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center
  • 2% cash back on eligible purchases in your choice of one everyday category (like gas stations and EV charging stations, grocery stores and restaurants)
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
Annual FeeN/A
Intro Purchase APRN/A
Rewards & Redemption Details

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card is our pick for the best utilities credit card because you get to pick where you get your savings. To start, U.S. Bank rewards you with a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days when you apply online. Your first $2,000 earns you up to 5% cash back in each category on your choice of two categories, whether it is your utilities, shopping, and entertainment. 

You also receive 5% cash back when you prepay your air, hotel, or car reservations in the Rewards Travel Center. From there, there is 2% cashback on an everyday category, such as gas, groceries, or dining. All other purchases earn 1% cashback. There is no annual fee, plus you get a 0% intro APR on both your purchases and balance transfers, lasting the first 15 billing cycles. 

Pros:

  • Welcome bonus
  • No annual fee
  • Generous rewards

Cons:

  • Reward limits apply
  • Balance transfer and foreign transaction fees

What is the best credit card to pay bills?

The best credit card to pay bills is the Citi Double Cash Card, offering an extended APR on your balance transfers with a lower balance transfer fee to start. There is also unlimited cashback so you never have to worry about meeting any minimums or exceeding any rewards caps. With few fees, this is stress-free credit for all of your bills, both big and small.

Credit card

APR

Recommended credit

Annual fee?

Citi Double Cash Card

16.24% - 26.24%

Good, Excellent

$0

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

0% for first 12 months; 15.49% - 25.49% thereafter

Good, Excellent

$95

Chase Freedom Flex

0% for first 15 months; 16.49% - 25.24% thereafter

Good, Excellent

$0

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

17.49% - 22.49%

Good, Excellent

$95

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

0% for first 15 months; 15.99% - 25.99% thereafter

Good, Excellent

$0

Which is the right credit card for bills for you?

The best credit card for bills may be one card for one person and a different card for another -- it all depends on your personal needs. These are our expert recommendations to help you find the right card for your family. 

Choose this credit card...

If you want...

Citi Double Cash Card

A well-rounded rewards card for paying bills

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Savings on your groceries and streaming services

Chase Freedom Flex

Cell phone protection with your cell phone payments

Ink Business Preferred Credit Card

To pay bills for your business  

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

To pay your utilities and other bills

How did we choose these cards?

In searching for the best credit cards, we consider the following aspects of each credit card:

  • APR: The annual percentage rate, or APR, is the amount of interest you will pay based on your purchases. The lower the APR, the better.  

  • Rewards: Whether it is cash back or statement credits, there are many rewards you can earn when you make specific purchases within specific categories. 

  • Fees: It is important to consider what kind of fees you will pay for each credit card, whether it is  annual, foreign transaction, or balance transfer fees.

We also give consideration to the credit score recommended for each card, focusing on those that are attainable for a wide group of consumers.

Should you use a credit card to pay your bills?

Your credit card can be an excellent way to pay your bills because you can earn while you pay. It is often simple and efficient to use a credit card in conjunction with your merchant or provider's phone or online bill pay. Just be sure to make timely payments, or you may find your credit card costing you instead of rewarding you.

Do you get points for paying bills with a credit card?

When you use your credit card to pay your bills, you may be eligible for special incentives. Your purchases often count toward extra rewards and cash back, such as the best credit cards for bills that are seen here. 

Are there alternative credit cards worth considering?

While creating our list of the best credit cards to pay bills, we came across many different options that may also work for your expenses. These are some of the other cards we considered. 

To round out your search, check out our expert picks for the best rewards credit cards and the best credit cards for online shopping!   

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