Best Credit Cards for Paying Bills

Maximizing credit card rewards on utility payments and other recurring bills is a challenge. Most cards don’t offer increased rewards for these categories. There are, however, ways to get the most out of these payments. We cover strategies and the best credit cards for paying utilities and other recurring bills in this article.

Best Overall Credit Card for Paying Bills

Chase Freedom Unlimited®—Editor’s Choice

Best Overall Card for Cash Back on Bills

Why it made our list

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns the top spot for bill paying (and just about any other cash back needs) for one key reason. Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases. Add to that no annual fee, and this card is arguably one of the best cash back cards for any purpose.

What could be better

Frankly, not much. Even after the first-year match expires, the minimum cash back is 1.5%. There are some cards that pay higher base rates, but they don’t offer the elevated cash back rewards this card does.

Rewards:

1.5% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
3% cash back
Drugstores
Earn 3% on drugstore purchases
3% cash back
Dining
Earn 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
5% cash back
Travel
5% cash back on all travel purchased through Chase Travel(SM)

Signup Bonus: Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then an ongoing rate of 20.49% - 29.24%% variable APR.

Annual Fee: $0

More: Read our review of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

7 Best Credit Cards for Paying Recurring Bills

Before we get into the list, it should be noted that some companies may not allow you to pay your bills with a credit card. And others may charge a convenience fee for credit card payments, which could outweigh any rewards you may earn.

You’ll want to consider which of your monthly bills you can pay with a credit card (and ideally without a fee), before choosing the right card for you. Here are seven great credit cards to consider for paying bills.

Card NameBest For
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Overall bill paying
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressStreaming service bills
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® CardHome utility bills
Ink Business Cash® Credit CardBusiness internet, cable, and phone bills
World of Hyatt Credit CardGym membership fees
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit CardEarning travel rewards on every bill
Bilt World Elite Mastercard®Paying Rent
Wells Fargo Active Cash® CardLong-term bill paying

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Best For Paying Streaming Service Bills

Why it made our list

Have you already jumped headfirst onto the Disney+ bandwagon? Perhaps you subscribe to multiple streaming services so that you can access your favorite shows.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express could reward you handsomely for those streaming subscription fees. It pays a whopping 6% cashback on streaming service bills. The decision becomes easier for the Disney+ Bundle (Disney+, Hulu, ESPN+) with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription with your card. Enrollment required.

But the isn’t a one-trick pony. It offers great rewards in other categories as well.

What could be better

The card does come with an annual fee (see below). In addition, you’ll only get 1% cash back for purchases that don’t qualify for a special rewards category.

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
1% cash back on all other eligible purchases
3% cash back
Gas
3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
3% cash back
Transit
Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more)
6% cash back
U.S. supermarkets
6% cash back on groceries up to $6,000 per year in purchases at U.S. supermarkets, then 1%
6% cash back
Streaming services
6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions

See Rates & Fees

Welcome Offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then an ongoing rate of 19.24% - 29.99%% variable APR.

Annual Fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

More: Read our review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Best For Paying Home Utility Bills

Why it made our list

It’s difficult to find a credit card that includes a bonus category for household utility providers. But with the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card, you could earn 5% cashback on home utility expenses.

With this card, you’re allowed to choose two categories to earn 5% on your first $2,000 in combined purchases. Home utilities are one of the options to choose from. Here are the other categories that are eligible for 5% cashback:

  • TV, Internet & Streaming Services
  • Fast Food
  • Cell Phone Providers
  • Department Stores
  • Home Utilities
  • Select Clothing Stores
  • Electronics Stores
  • Sporting Goods Stores
  • Movie Theaters
  • Gyms/Fitness Centers
  • Furniture Stores
  • Ground Transportation

You’ll notice that other common bills like TV, internet, cell phone, and gym are eligible for the 5% bonus as well. Additionally, cardholders can earn 2% cashback from one everyday category (gas, groceries, or dining out).

What could be better

Once you move beyond the elevated reward categories, you’re stuck at the 1% rewards level. For this reason, we’d never make this our only card. It’s best paired with a 2% cash back card. In addition, the 5% cash back on utilities is capped at $2,000 per quarter.

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
1% cash back on all other purchases
2% cash back
Rotating Categories
2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations and EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants
5% cash back
Rotating Categories
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
5% cash back
Airfare
5% cash back on prepaid air booked directly in the Rewards Center
5% cash back
Hotels
5% cash back on prepaid hotels booked directly in the Rewards Center
5% cash back
Rental Cars
5% cash back on prepaid car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center

Signup Bonus: $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles and for 15 billing cycles, and then an ongoing rate of 19.49% - 29.74%% variable APR.

More: Read our review of the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Best For Paying Business Internet, Cable, and Phone Bills

Why it made our list

If you own your own business, the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card could be a great way to pay for some of your business expenses. The card pays up to 5% on recurring bills for internet, cable, and phone. If your business is anything like mine, these charges can add up.

What could be better

There are spending caps on some of the elevated rewards. Depending on the size of your business, these caps may or may not matter. In addition, the base rewards tier is just 1%, so this card should be paired with another business credit card that pays a higher base rate.

Rewards:

1% cash back
On all other eligible purchases
2% cash back
Dining
Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
2% cash back
Gas
Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year.
5% cash back
Select Categories
Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year

Signup Bonus: Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases, and then an ongoing rate of 18.49% - 24.49%% variable APR.

More: Read our review of the Ink Business Cash® Credit Card.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Best For Paying Your Gym Membership Fees

Why it made our list

Gym memberships can be expensive. But with the World of Hyatt credit card, you can at least earn some rewards on the money that you’re spending each month on fitness. With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per $1 spent on fitness clubs and gym memberships.

You’ll also earn 2 points on dining, rideshares, taxis, and airline tickets. Plus, you’ll earn up to 9 points per $1 that you spend on purchases at Hyatt hotels.

But one of the best benefits of the World of Hyatt Credit Card may be the free hotel nights that you can earn. You’ll receive one free night at a Category 1-4 hotel on each cardmember anniversary. And you can earn an additional night if you spend at least $15,000 during your anniversary year.

What could be better

The card does charge an annual fee (see below). As such, using it just for rewards from gym membership costs is not money well spent.

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1 Bonus Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
2x points
Select Categories
2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on fitness club and gym memberships
2x points
Airfare
2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on airline tickets purchased directly from the airline
2x points
Dining
2 Bonus Points per $1 spent at restaurants
2x points
Transit
2 Bonus Points per $1 spent on local transit and commuting
9x points
Hotels
4 Bonus Points per $1 spent on purchases at all Hyatt hotels. Plus, 5 Base Points from Hyatt per eligible $1 spent for being a World of Hyatt member.

Signup Bonus: Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. Plus, up to 30,000 More Bonus Points by earning 2 Bonus Points total per $1 spent in the first 6 months from account opening on purchases that normally earn 1 Bonus Point, on up to $15,000 spent.

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 21.49%–28.49% variable APR

More: Read our review of the World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Best Flat-Rate Travel Rewards Card

Why it made our list

For those who want a simple, one-card solution and spend their rewards on travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is an excellent option. You earn 2 miles on every purchase. When used for travel, the miles are worth one cent, making this a 2% rewards card. And it’s easy to redeem miles for travel on the Capital One website. Plus, you can transfer your points to any of Capital Ones’ 15+ travel partners.

What could be better

The card does come with an annual fee. In addition, miles are worth one cent each only if you use them for travel. If you redeem miles for other purchase types, the value drops by 50%.

Rewards:

2x miles
All eligible purchases
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
5x miles
Hotels
5 Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

Signup Bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 Miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee: $95

APR: 19.99% - 29.99% variable APR

More: Read our review of the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

Bilt World Elite Mastercard®

Best for long-term bill paying

Why it made our list

The Bilt World Elite Mastercard® is the only card we know of where renters can earn cash back on rent. Even if your landlord doesn’t accept credit card payments, and most do not, you can charge your rent to this card. Bilt will then send in your payment via check.

What could be better

There is a $100,000 spending cap on the rent cash back, although this won’t affect most people. In addition, its base rewards rate is just 1%.

Rewards:

1x points
On all other eligible purchases
Earn 1x points on other purchases.
1x points
Select Categories
Earn 1x points on rent payments without the transaction fee. Up to 100,000 points each calendar year.
2x points
Travel
Earn 2x points on flights, hotels, rental cars, and cruises when booked directly with airlines, hotels, and car rental agencies.
3x points
Dining
Earn 3x points on dining.

Signup Bonus:

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 21.49%, 24.49%, or 29.49 variable APR

More: Read our review of the Bilt World Elite Mastercard®.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Best 2% cash back option

Why it made our list

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a simple 2% cash back card. While it doesn’t offer elevated reward tiers, a 2% base rate is excellent. The card charges no annual fee and comes with a solid signup bonus.

What could be better

There are no elevated rewards. Even so, I think this card is ideal for everyday spending, including recurring bills. You can pair it with other cash back cards that offer higher rewards in categories where you spent a lot of money.

Rewards:

2% cash back
All eligible purchases
Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Signup Bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee: $0

APR: 20.24%, 25.24% or 29.99% variable APR

More: Read our review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.

FAQs

Does paying bills with a credit card hurt your credit score?

As long as you make on-time credit card payments and keep your overall credit utilization rate below 30%, using a credit card to pay your bills shouldn’t hurt your credit score. In fact, a positive payment history could help raise your credit over time.

Can you use your credit card to pay utilities?

Yes, most utility companies accept credit card payments. However, some may charge a convenience fee. If your trash, water, or power company does charge a convenience fee, you’ll need to run the numbers to determine if you’d still come out ahead because of the rewards that you’d earn.

Can you pay your mortgage with a credit card?

Unfortunately, most mortgage companies do not accept credit card payments. There are third-party companies, however, that will allow you to pay your mortgage with a credit card in exchange for a fee. These fees will typically exceed what you could earn in credit card rewards. But you could come out ahead if using one of these services would help you reach your card’s sign-up bonus spending requirement.

Can you pay your taxes with a credit card?

Yes, the IRS can accept credit card payments but taxpayers are charged a fee that varies by card processor. Currently, these fees range from 1.85% to 1.98% of the amount paid. There’s also a minimum fee with each processor that ranges from $2.50 to $2.69.

Is paying a bill with a credit card considered a purchase?

Yes, most credit cards will consider any bill payment to be a “purchase” for rewards purposes. This means you’ll at least earn the base rewards rate (typically 1% to 2%) for every bill that you pay with your card. And you may be able to earn much more on bills that are eligible for bonus rewards.

Bottom Line

If you spend a large percentage of your monthly income on one or two particular bills, you may want to apply for a credit card that offers that expense as a bonus category.

However, if your monthly expenses are spread fairly evenly on several types of bills, a flat-rate card may offer the best bang for your buck.

Finally, if you have an unusually large bill coming your way in the near future, you may want to consider one of the best credit card signup bonus deals.