Making large purchases can be daunting. But if you have the best credit cards for large purchases, you can reduce the stress of juggling finances together for a large purchase and earn valuable rewards as well!
In this article, we’ll be looking at a selection of the best credit cards that can be used for large purchases.
13 Best Credit Cards For Large Purchases
1. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you’re a frequent Amazon shopper, enjoy 5% back on purchases made at Amazon, plus Whole Foods and Amazon Fresh with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. There’s no limit to your earnings; all that’s required is an Amazon Prime membership plus good credit.
You can purchase retail items, subscriptions, and even Amazon gift cards to earn the 5% back. Because Chase backs the card, you can also earn 5% back on Chase Travel purchases, 2% on restaurant, local transit, and gas purchases, and 1% back on most everything else.
- Travel benefits
- There’s no limit to the rewards
- Rewards are available for immediate redemption
- You must have an active Prime membership
- Other online purchases only earn 1% cash back
2. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
- Best for Everyday Cashback Rewards
If you’re making large purchases online, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers 3% back on online purchases up to $6,000 per year. You can also earn 3% back on everyday purchases like groceries and gas up to $6,000 annually, plus 1% back on everything else.
Planning your purchases wisely will net you up to $180 back per year on large purchases, plus money back on everyday spending like gas and groceries, giving you a single card for many benefits.
- No annual fee
- Includes travel protection
- Credits on things like Home Chef and Disney Bundle
- Great credit required
- spending caps on reward categories
3. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for Flexible Cashback Utilization
If you are tired of waiting to hit a certain threshold to cash out rewards or don’t like tracking categories, the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards credit card offers the ultimate flexibility.
Your rewards won’t expire as long as you have an active account, and you can redeem rewards in any increments.
The card pays 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and you can earn an extra $200 if you spend $500 in the first three months of opening the card.
- No annual fee
- Includes six months of an Uber One monthly membership
- Intro APR is available for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- High regular APR
- Low cashback rewards for some categories like travel and groceries
4. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for Frequent Foodies
Foodies who love to try the latest and greatest restaurants can earn 4% back on dining with unlimited rewards. If you plan a large dinner or outing, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards credit card can pay you well in rewards while you have fun.
You can also earn 3% back on groceries and 1% on most other purchases, so there are always rewards to earn, even if they are lower.
- No foreign transaction fees
- Can redeem your rewards through PayPal
- Pays a $300 reward if you spend $3,000 in three months
- No intro APR
- Has an annual fee
5. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
- Best for Grocery Expenses
If you spend a lot on groceries, it can feel impossible to find ways to save. For a limited time, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card pays 5% back on groceries and gas on up to $12,000 combined purchases in the first year.
The card also pays a $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. In addition to the bonus earnings, the card pays 3% on dining and drugstore transactions, 5% on travel booked through Chase, and 1.5% on everything else.
- No annual fee
- Cash back rewards don’t expire
- 0% introductory offer on balance transfers for 15 months
- High standard APR
- After the first year, grocery purchases earn 1.5% back
6. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
- Best for Medium-Budget Travelers
If you’re planning a big trip or a large purchase in the next few months, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® card that pays 60,000 bonus points to cardholders who spend $4,000 in three months. When booking through the Chase Travel portal, those points equal $750 in travel rewards.
When booking your travel through Chase, you’ll also earn 5x points – 3x points on dining, streaming, or groceries purchased online, and 2x on travel booked elsewhere. All other purchases earn 1x points. If you prefer to book travel directly through the airlines or hotels, Chase also works directly with many partners to transfer points 1:1.
- Bonus travel rewards
- Opportunities for many types of reward redemptions
- 15-month 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases
- Has annual fee
- Regular APR is high
7. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
- Best for High-Budget, Frequent Travelers
If you travel frequently, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® card pays great rewards, including 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Booking through the Chase portal, you’ll also earn 10x points.
Other purchases also earn rewards, like 3x points on dining out and 3x points on travel booked outside of Chase. There’s a 60,000 bonus point opportunity if you spend $4,000 in the first three months (equals $900 in Chase Travel rewards) and a $300 annual travel credit.
- Offers $1,200 in partner value
- 1:1 transfer with major airline and hotel brands
- Complimentary airport lounge access at 1,300+ lounges
- High annual fee
- No balance transfer offer
8. Discover it® Miles
- Best for Privacy-Conscious, Occasional Travelers
The Discover it® Miles credit card is a great travel companion for those who don’t want to book through a credit card’s travel center. With Discover it®, there are no blackout dates, and you redeem your miles to reimburse yourself for travel expenses after paying them.
You can also use your miles on Amazon.com and PayPal. Cardholders earn 1.5x miles for every $1 spent, and Discover matches your miles earned at the end of the first year, giving you double miles.
- No annual fee
- Get cash for what you want
- No minimum spending requirement
- No luxury benefits
- No introductory offer
9. Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card
- Best for Frequent Hotel Visitors
If you’re a Hilton family, you’ll love the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card’s 12x points on hotel and resort purchases within the Hilton family. You can also earn 6x points on dining, groceries, and gas. The card also pays 4x points on online purchases and 3x points on all other purchases.
These are some of the highest rewards available on most cards. Of course, you benefit the most if you frequent Hilton hotels.
- Complimentary Emerald Club at National
- Free hotel night after spending $15,000 annually
- 170,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in six months
- High regular APR
- Charges an annual fee
10. The Platinum Card® from American Express
- Best for Cash Towards Everyday Items
The Platinum Card® from American Express has a high annual fee. Still, most people can easily recoup it and come out ahead with its many benefits, including an 80,000 membership bonus if you spend $8,000 in six months.
You also get $200 statement credits annually for hotels booked through Amex Travel, $20 back monthly on select streaming services, a Walmart+ monthly credit, $15 in Uber Cash monthly, and a $200 airline fee credit annually.
Cardholders also earn 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels. The card also pays 1x points on all other purchases.
- Has multiple ways to pay
- Includes cellphone protection
- Offers American Express Global Lounge Collection® access
- No 0% APR
- Hefty annual fee
11. U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
- Best for Flexible Cashback Services
If you have large purchases planned, you can schedule the categories with the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card and earn 5% back. The categories rotate quarterly, and you can choose two categories for up to $2,000 in spending.
The card also pays 2% back on an everyday spending category of your choice. When it’s time to cash out, you choose how you get your cash, whether a direct deposit, statement credit, or rewards card.
- No annual fee
- $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in 120 days
- Rewards Center Shopping Deals offer even more savings
- No cash back on ‘other purchases’
- Travel cashback only possible by booking through the U.S. Bank travel portal
12. U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
- Best for Frequent Card Users
If you’re looking for a card that keeps your interest costs down but doesn’t pay cashback, the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card does the trick. It offers a lengthy 21-month 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers. This gives you time to pay off those large purchases before interest kicks in and could save you much more money than any cashback credit card might pay.
- No annual fee
- Choose your due date
- Free access to your credit score
- No cash rewards
- High APR after intro period
13. Wells Fargo Reflect® Card
The Wells Fargo Reflect® Card offers another way to save money on interest for 21 months. This is 9 to 12 months longer than most credit cards offer, making it easy to keep your interest costs down on balance transfers or purchases. If you have good credit, the subsequent APR is low for credit card APRs, helping you to save even more money if you carry a balance.
- No annual fee
- Includes cellphone protection
- Access to My Wells Fargo deals
- No cashback offers
- Charges a balance transfer fee
When making a large purchase, there are a few things to consider as to which credit card will suit you best.
As we alluded to at the beginning of the article, different people have different needs when it comes to larger purchases. Maybe it’s a well-thought-out investment or a snap purchase to fix a problem — these two extremes present very different scenarios!
Making sure you understand how much money you have at the moment and when more will be coming in can help inform your decisions about the rest of the points we cover below.
If you don’t completely understand your income and expenses, now is the time to work out exactly what you can afford.
Credit cards typically come with a maximum credit limit, both to protect you from spending too much money and being unable to pay the bill and to protect the bank or organization that is effectively loaning you the money.
The best practice when it comes to purchasing items on a credit card is to avoid flying too close to the credit limit that is placed on you.
If you utilize all of the limit you have available to you too regularly, your credit score will likely drop — and this is especially true if you fail to pay it off promptly!
So, you’ll want a credit card that can comfortably accommodate your large purchase below its maximum spend.
The credit limit is typically calculated based on your credit score, so you might have difficulty finding one that works well for large purchases if you don’t have a high score.
Credit cards come with a variety of interest rates.
Interest rates are important to consider as you are effectively taking out a loan every time you use a credit card. If you’re late on a credit card payment, it’s the same as being late on a loan — you’ll be charged extra as a penalty.
Typically, credit card interest rates are listed as APR, which means “annual percentage rate”. This is the interest rate you would be charged per year on any outstanding credit card balance.
However, that’s not very useful!
You’ll usually be charged interest every month you have a balance outstanding on your card, which means that we need to work out how much this will be.
The easiest way to work out the interest rate per month is simply to divide the APR by twelve.
However, many credit card operators use something called DPR, or “daily period rate”, as the length of each month is not the same.
This is obtained either by dividing the APR by 365 or 360, depending on what your credit card operator chooses to use.
Credit card interest can accrue very quickly. The exact way that the interest is calculated may differ depending on your credit card policy, but in general:
- You won’t be charged interest until you have an outstanding balance. Paying off your balance in full by the due date is the best way to avoid any extra charges from interest.
- If you have an outstanding balance, you’ll be charged from the earliest date that that outstanding balance is from. For example, if you made a purchase at the start of the month that you didn’t pay off at the end of the month, interest will be charged as though from the date of purchase.
- Interest is charged on the average balance of your credit card. This will be over your pay period if you have an outstanding balance. If you start the month with an outstanding balance of $700, that means you won’t just be paying interest on the $700 – you’ll be paying interest on the average balance on your card over the month. So, if you had a big month of spending and got your balance up to $7700 on bill day, you’d be charged interest on the full $7700.
Interest rates are therefore very important to consider when using a credit card to make a large purchase, as your balance can grow very large very quickly if you’re unable to pay it off in a timely manner.
You should aim to choose a card that has the lowest possible interest rate, particularly if you know it will take you a while to pay off your large purchase.
Some cards offer an introductory APR of 0% for a set period of time, meaning that you can carry a balance on your credit card for several months without being charged interest. This is ideal if you need to make a large purchase that you won’t be able to pay back in full for a while.
If you’re only using a card for big purchases, odds are you won’t be using it very often throughout the year. Some cards (such as the Quicksilver offering) offer no annual fee, which can be very attractive for a card that won’t be used often.
You must also consider late fees. Every billing cycle, you’ll have a minimum payment that you are required to make — you can’t just pay nothing at all!
If you fail to cough up this minimum amount, you’ll be hit with a late fee on top of the interest you’ll be accruing on your outstanding balance.
Late fees vary depending on the provider but are on average in the U.S. around $24.58 per month. That might not seem like much, but on top of the interest you’ll be accruing, it could be the straw that breaks the camel’s back.
Many of the cards we looked at above are tied to various corporations and can help you end up with a reduced credit card bill at the end of the month.
In general, relevant card benefits for making a large purchase are tied to cashback rewards.
These give you money back that you can use in online shopping, as a credit towards your next bill, and more.
These rewards are typically calculated as a fixed percentage of the money you spend, and are usually no higher than 2% if they’re a flat cashback rate.
Some cards offer different cashback rates depending on the purchases you make, so it’s worth reading a card’s policy to understand just how this will work for you.
For large purchases, even a low cashback rate can save you a noticeable amount of money. For example, a 1% cashback rate on a $5000 purchase gets you $50 back.
So, to sum up, you’ll want to be looking at the following things if you’re making a large purchase with a credit card:
- Maximum credit card spend
- Interest rates on the card
- How long it will take you to pay back the outstanding balance
- Late fees and annual fees
- Benefits of the card like cashback, and what kind of purchases they apply to.
- Don’t have to withdraw money from a savings account or similar to make the purchase
- Can help you ride out a tricky period before your next payday
- If paid off promptly, it can improve your credit score.
- Debt can accrue quickly if not paid off promptly
- Can decrease your credit score if you are regularly maxing out your credit card
- Can add stress if you are unsure about how exactly interest rates for your card work
- Can lead to reckless spending as you don’t notice any money leaving your account, even though you’ll have to pay the bill at the end of the month.
Frequently Asked Questions
The best possible way to pay for a large purchase is to outright pay for it from money that you have, rather than that which you need to borrow. This helps you avoid going into any debt, and should always be the first choice if possible. However, if you can’t pay for the purchase outright, you’ll need to take out some kind of loan or use a credit card. Depending on just how large a purchase is either of these can be a good option. If you are making a very large one-off purchase, a personal loan is likely a better choice. If you’re making a relatively large purchase that might occur multiple times (such as grocery payments), a credit card is a better choice.
As long as you pay off the balance promptly, making big purchases on a credit card is definitely okay! The key thing to consider is the interest rate, as this is what will cause you the most financial grief. If the interest rate is low, or you’ll be able to pay off any debt before a grace period of 0% interest ends, then making a large purchase with a credit card is an okay move.
A credit card with a high limit is typically one that holds credit between $5,000–$10,000 or above. According to a 2020 report, the average credit card limit across all U.S. providers for credit card holders was $30,365! However, this number varies wildly depending on your occupation, income, and credit score. If you haven’t got a strong credit background you may find that a high credit limit for you is closer to $1000 – or even somewhere in the hundreds.