The Best Credit Cards for Managing Recurring Bills and Expenses

Paying bills and recurring expenses every month can feel like a chore. Having to remember when each bill is due log into multiple accounts, and keep track of expenses takes time and effort. However using the right credit card can help streamline bill payments and even earn you rewards on this routine spending.

I analyzed the top credit cards for managing bills and recurring costs to find the best options. Based on factors like rewards rates, benefits fees and flexibility, here are my top picks for credit cards that make bill pay easier.

Why Use a Credit Card for Bills?

Most people have regular expenses like utility bills, subscriptions, insurance premiums, and more. These predictable costs make up a significant portion of the average household budget.

Paying bills with a credit card offers several advantages over other payment methods:

  • Convenience: If you have a credit card, you only need to change your billing information once, instead of for each company or account. This saves time and reduces the hassle of managing payments.

  • Rewards: Many credit cards offer cash back, points, or miles on all purchases. This allows you to earn rewards on recurring expenses you’d be paying anyway.

  • Payment flexibility: Credit cards allow you to pay bills on your own schedule rather than when they’re automatically deducted from your bank account.

  • Advantages: Credit cards offer advantages such as purchase protection, longer warranties, and rental car insurance. Using a card adds a layer of security and perks to bill payments.

  • Financial cushion: Paying with a credit card gives you a grace period before payment is due. This provides a bit of breathing room in case you ever need extra time to pay.

As long as you pay your balance in full each month, using a rewards credit card is an easy way to maximize bill payments.

The Best Credit Cards for Bills and Expenses

Based on rewards potential, flexibility, fees, and other factors, here are my top recommended credit cards for recurring expenses:

1. Citi Custom Cash Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card offers 5% cash back on up to $500 spent each month in your top eligible spending category. The bonus categories include groceries, gas stations, restaurants, travel, drug stores, utilities, internet/cable/phone services, streaming subscriptions, and more.

This card automatically detects your highest spending category each billing cycle and applies the 5% rate – no activation needed. The customized rewards make it easy to maximize cash back on variable expenses like groceries or utilities depending on your needs that month.

The Citi Custom Cash Card has no annual fee and offers a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $750 in the first 3 months.

2. Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex provides 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly bonus category spending. The categories rotate each quarter and have included gas, internet/cable/streaming services, wholesale clubs, Chase Pay/PayPal, plus activation bonuses like groceries and drugstores.

By picking your card’s bonus categories, you can align 5% earnings with your biggest bills. And any ineligible spending earns 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom Flex charges no annual fee and offers a $200 sign-up bonus.

3. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature lets you choose 5% cash back categories each quarter from options like fast food, electronics stores, movie theaters, utilities, department stores, cell phone providers, internet/cable/streaming, and more.

You can opt for the categories where you spend the most each billing cycle, making it easy to maximize rewards on variable recurring expenses. The U.S. Bank Cash+ has no annual fee and provides a $200 sign-up bonus once you spend $1,000 in the first 120 days.

4. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in spending) and 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. These bonus categories make it a great option for earning rewards on grocery, gas, and other routine purchases.

There’s no annual fee, and the card provides a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. The Blue Cash Everyday is a great flexible pick for earning on variable monthly expenses.

5. Wells Fargo Autograph Card

The Wells Fargo Autograph Card provides 3% cash back on one category you choose each quarter from options like gas, dining, travel, transit, phone plans, streaming services, computer hardware/software, and more.

By optimizing category selections for upcoming bills, you can maximize rewards on your largest expenses. Ongoing perks include cell phone protection and up to $600 of cell phone protection. There’s a $0 annual fee.

6. Capital One SavorOne Rewards

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards card offers 3% cash back on groceries, dining, entertainment, and select streaming services. With no annual fee, it’s a straightforward option for earning rewards on routine purchases like groceries and subscription services.

New cardholders can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening.

7. Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi

For Costco members, the Costco Anywhere Visa by Citi provides 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases (including gas at Costco up to $7,000 per year). You also get 2% back at restaurants, eligible travel, and Costco/ and 1% back elsewhere.

With no annual fee, this card optimizes rewards for Costco shoppers – especially families who purchase gas and groceries there monthly.

8. PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature offers a straight 2% cash back on all purchases with no limit on earnings. The flat 2% rate makes it easy to maximize rewards on every bill payment without tracking categories.

This card has no annual fee when you have a PenFed membership (membership is open to everyone). There’s currently a $100 sign-up bonus when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.

9. Citi Double Cash

Like the PenFed card, the Citi Double Cash provides an unlimited 2% cash back – 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off. This straightforward earning makes it easy to optimize rewards on all expenses without remembering rotating categories or quarterly caps.

There’s currently a $200 cash back offer after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months. The Citi Double Cash has no annual fee.

10. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice from options like gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings.

You can change the 3% choice category once per month as your spending needs change. Ongoing perks include 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in quarterly spending). There’s no annual fee.

Key Factors in Choosing a Credit Card for Bills

Here are some important considerations when picking out a credit card for optimizing bill payments and recurring expenses:

  • Rewards Rates: Look for cards offering bonus rates of 2% cash back or more on routine purchases like groceries, gas, dining, travel, utilities, subscriptions, etc.

  • Category Flexibility: Choose cards that allow you to change/customize bonus categories periodically to match your spending.

  • No Annual Fee: Avoid paying an annual fee just for the convenience of card bill pay. Look for fee-free options.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: A good welcome offer can provide an extra incentive and initial rewards boost.

  • Organic Spending: Pick categories where you’ll naturally spend enough each billing cycle to earn the bonus rewards rather than overspending.

  • Payment Due Dates: Make sure your card’s payment deadline syncs with your pay schedule and cash flow.

  • Credit Score/Profile: Only open accounts for which you’ll likely qualify based on your creditworthiness.

Maximize Rewards and Convenience

By using the right credit card strategically for recurring expenses, you can simplify bill pay while earning cash back, points or miles. Just be sure to always pay your statement balance in full each month to avoid interest charges. With a little planning, you can optimize rewards earning on these routine household costs. The cards above offer flexibility and bonus rates to make bill management a bit easier.

Credit Cards With Bill Pay

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Pros

    • The card has excellent earning rates in numerous categories, making this a great choice for everyday purchases.
    • It has one of the best rates for groceries and streaming expenses.


    • The annual fee might be a deal-breaker for people.
    • The U.S. supermarkets category doesn’t include wholesale clubs, superstores or online grocery stores.

How to choose the best cards for bills and utility payments

While you don’t have much control over your recurring bills and utilities, what you can control is how you choose to pay them. Some utility companies may charge convenience fees for paying with a credit card, but you may be able to offset it with credit card rewards. No one card will be the correct answer for all of your bills and utilities since they all offer different bonuses and incentives. Here are some things to consider when deciding which cards work best for you.


Leave a Comment