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Don’t drive? You can still earn rewards on your commute

Plenty of cards offer great rates on public transportation or ride-share services – here are our favorites

Summary

If you use public transportation or ride-share services to get around, there is no reason to sacrifice a great rewards rate. Check out our favorite cards for earning on your commute.

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There are no shortage of rewards cards offering bonus points or cash back on gas purchases – but what about those who take public transportation or alternative routes to work? If you prefer a bus, train or ride-share service to get around, there are still plenty of cards that allow you to earn rewards on your daily commute.

When deciding which of these options is best for you, consider what else you want out of the card. Do you want a card that rewards transit and U.S. supermarket purchases? Or would you prefer to earn rewards on transit and dining out? No matter which categories you prefer, there is a card that also rewards you as you get to work.

Best for transit and U.S. supermarket purchases: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

With the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, cardholders can combine great rewards on their daily commutes with a competitive rate on U.S. supermarket purchases. The transit category is very flexible, covering purchases like subway and bus fares.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Why get this card?

The Blue Cash Preferred card offers one of the highest rates of cash back available on U.S. supermarket purchases, in addition to a good rate on U.S. gas station, select U.S. streaming service and transit purchases.

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Other things to know:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1%), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and U.S. gas station purchases and 1% on other purchases
  • $250 if you spend $1,000 in first 3 months
  • Free ShopRunner subscription
  • Terms apply

If you take public transit to get around and also spend a decent amount on U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station purchases, the Blue Cash Preferred card is a great way to rack up cash back every day.

Best for transit and restaurant purchases: Wells Fargo Propel American Express or Citi Premier

If you prefer dining out to eating in, there are two cards that offer great rewards on both restaurant purchases and public transportation. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card and the Citi Premier℠ Card both come with inclusive travel bonus categories that cover all kinds of transit purchases, including bus, train and subway fares and ride-share services.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card
Citi Premier Card
Citi Premier℠ Card
Rewards rate
  • 3 points per dollar on dining, travel and transit, gas station purchases and select streaming services
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
  • 3 points per dollar on travel, including gas and transit
  • 2 points per dollar on restaurants and entertainment
  • 1 point per dollar on other purchases
Introductory bonus30,000 points if you spend $3,000 in first 3 months60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
Annual fee$0$95
Estimated value in first year ($15,900 spend)$383$413

 For cardholders who take pubic transportation and regularly eat out, both the Propel and the Citi Premier are rewarding options.

Best for transit and travel purchases: Chase Sapphire Preferred

For those who take advantage of public transportation while at home or traveling, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card rewards both kinds of purchases – and comes with a great point value on travel purchases when redeemed through the Ultimate Rewards portal.  That means you’ll be rewarded for getting around both at home and on vacation.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Why get this card?

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers valuable rewards for frequent travelers, as well as the potential for savvy rewards card users to glean some extra value out of their rewards.

Read full review

Other things to know:

  • 2 points per dollar on travel and restaurant purchases and 1 point per dollar on general purchases
  • 60,000 points if you spend $4,000 in first 3 months
  • 25% higher point value when redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards
  • No foreign transaction fee

The travel category on this card is very inclusive, covering purchases like parking garages, bus and train fares and ride-share services – so you’ll be rewarded no matter what form of transit you take.

Bottom line

Even if you don’t drive, you can still earn plenty of points or cash back on your daily commute. By choosing a rewards card with a flexible travel or transit category, you can earn rewards on bus or train fares, ride-share services and more.

Plus, you can choose a card with great rewards in another category to earn on all kinds of spending. Whether you spend more on groceries, dining out or travel, you can earn points or cash back on those purchases in addition to getting around every day.

What’s up next?

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Published: May 21, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: June 19th, 2019
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