Paying monthly bills using a credit card is a great way to simultaneously pay your bills on time and earn rewards. Plus, some cards offer extra benefits like cellphone insurance, giving you protection for choosing to pay with plastic.
Paying monthly bills using a credit card can be a convenient method to pay your bills on time and also earn rewards like miles, points or cash back.
Plus, there are some credit cards that offer superlative benefits like cellphone insurance, giving you extra protection for choosing to pay with plastic.
Consumers can also set up to pay certain bills automatically using a credit card, to ensure a due date isn’t missed. If a rewards credit card is used, and you pay your entire balance in full each month, the rewards earned can be a huge bonus.
Here are five standout credit cards for paying monthly bills.
U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature: Best for utility payments
With the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card, cardholders have the convenience of earning up to 5% cash back on their first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories they choose, which can include utilities. Just pay your utility bills with this card and score high cash back benefits.
This card takes rewards to an extra level, as cardholders get 2% cash back on an everyday spending category of choice (like gas and groceries) and then 1% on all other purchases.
These cash back rewards can be received either as a statement credit or direct deposit into your U.S. Bank checking or savings account.
Wells Fargo Propel: Best for cellphone payments
If you hold a Wells Fargo Propel credit card and pay your monthly cellphone bill on it, you will have free cellphone insurance provided by Wells Fargo. The protection will cover the cardholder for theft or damage to a cellphone. This card offers up to $600 of protection, subject to a $25 deductible.
This no-annual-fee card has an impressive rewards rate of 3 points per dollar on dining, travel, gas station purchases, ride-shares, car rentals and select streaming services, and there is no spend cap on these 3 point-per-dollar bonus categories. Cardholders will also earn 1 point per dollar on other eligible purchases. Cardholders can redeem these points through the Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards site for things like travel, statement credits or gift cards.
Chase Freedom: Best for gym memberships
Chase Freedom cardholders who pay their monthly gym membership dues with this card can enjoy an outstanding perk. The card earns a generous 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent (1% thereafter) in rotating bonus categories each quarter, after enrollment. For Q2 2020, accelerated earn categories for Freedom include gym and fitness club memberships, grocery stores and select streaming services.
While the 5% gym membership category will expire at the end of Q2, Chase has included several other monthly bills in its rotating bonus categories in the past — making this card a good choice year-round. Plus, you’ll earn 1% back on all non-bonus category purchases.
Citi Double Cash Card: Best for paying all monthly bills together
The Citi Double Cash Card offers a terrific cash back benefit, allowing cardholders to earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you spend and another 1% as you pay off your purchases.
While the cash-back benefit on this card may not be as lucrative for certain bonus categories, cardholders who prefer to keep payments streamlined with the same card could benefit from enjoying a consistent flat-rate award on every purchase.
Paying all your monthly bills together is a smart way to rack up cash to boost your monthly budget. There are no earning caps, so you can put the up to 2% you get back from your bills toward the next month’s payment.
Ink Business Cash Credit Card: Best for business expenses
The Ink Business Cash credit card should be a go-to for business owners who want to earn more while they pay business expenses. This card offers 5% cash back at office supply stores plus internet, cable and phone services (on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per year). In addition, cardholders enjoy 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (on the first $25,000 in combined purchases per year) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
For business owners to earn even more, all Ink products offer employee cards at no additional cost so authorized users can earn on those purchases. This is an efficient way business owners can earn more rewards on their employees’ spending.
Tips for paying monthly bills with a credit card
Paying monthly bills on a credit card can be lucrative, but only if you follow certain tips. To make the most of your rewards, follow these strategies:
Watch out for processing fees
Avoid paying fees if possible. While you are enjoying benefits like cash back bonuses and insurance protection using your reward credit card to pay your monthly bills online, it’s important to know safeguards. Cardholders should not pay any convenience fees to pay bills online using a credit card. These fees will offset your reward earnings.
Pay off your card balance in full each month
Make paying your entire balance in full your goal every month to avoid high interest charges. When you don’t pay your entire balance in full or if you carry a balance on a rewards credit card, this cuts into your earnings.
Always pay on time
Paying your bills on time each month also can build a favorable credit history. Plan your monthly budget carefully so you can consistently pay your credit card payments on time and in full. This positive payment history can boost your credit score.
Is your budget tight? Here’s which bills you should prioritize
In times of financial struggle, it can be hard to know how you should prioritize bill payments to save money while staying afloat. With the COVID-19 pandemic crisis currently putting many households under financial strain, many are having to make tough decisions about making payments. Here is some advice on how to prioritize your debts:
- Pay off highest interest debt first. In many cases, you should prioritize your debt by paying the highest interest rate credit card down first. This will save you money, so you can redirect resources to other debts or financial goals faster.
- Pay off low balance debts. Alternatively, by paying your lowest balances, you can feel encouraged that debts are being satisfied.
- Prioritize bills. According to Experian, essential bills that should be paid first include rent or a mortgage payment for your residence; utility bills like gas, electricity and water; child support debts; car payments, especially if transportation is needed to get to work; medical and insurance premiums and student loans.
- Cut back on nonessentials. When money is tight, extras like streaming services, fitness club memberships, monthly subscriptions to meal delivery services and entertainment should be curtailed.
Bills come in like clockwork every month. Smart cardholders can plan and earn cash, points and other perks by paying bills with rewards credit cards. Paying as many bills with reward cards as possible can rack in rewards, but be certain to pay balances in full — so hefty interest on these credit cards doesn’t negate your rewards. Research, planning and setting up online payment options can go a long way to earn rewards just for paying bills.
*All information about Wells Fargo Propel, Chase Freedom and the Ink Business Cash Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer. These cards are no longer available through CreditCards.com.