The 9 best credit cards for your commuting expenses

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.

Credit cards compete for the top spot in your wallet by offering high-value bonus multipliers for purchases in a wide range of categories, including travel, dining and groceries.

But even if you spend the bulk of your budget in these categories, you probably aren’t going grocery shopping or buying plane tickets every single day. Not as many cards step up to the plate to offer bonus points on the one thing most us have to do every single day: commute to and from work or school.

If you’re looking to earn bonus points on this often unavoidable expense, here are the top cards you should consider.

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Considerations for the best credit card for commuting expenses

Cards we considered

Numerous cards can earn bonus points or elevated cash back on commuting expenses. That’s because many of these expenses will code as “travel.” However, not all cards are created equal, which we’ll outline below.

We considered the following cards for possible inclusion on our list of the best cards for commuting expenses:

Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
American Express® Green Card.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
World of Hyatt Credit Card.
World of Hyatt Business Credit Card.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card.
Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®.

The information for the Amex Green, U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve and Amtrak Guest Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Earning rates on the cards we considered

As we looked at the cards on our list, we evaluated how many points you can earn by using that card to pay for things like trains, tolls, parking and other commuting expenses. Any earning limits or exclusions from the commuting category were factored in. We also evaluated the earnings for what they’re worth, according to TPG’s latest valuations.

Card name
Earning rate
Points earned
Value of each point
Earning limits
Annual fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve
3 points per dollar.
Chase Ultimate Rewards.
2 cents each.
None.
$550.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
2 points per dollar.
Chase Ultimate Rewards.
2 cents each.
None.
$95.

American Express® Green Card
3 points per dollar.
American Express Membership Rewards.
2 cents each.
None.
$150 (see rates and fees).

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
3% back.
Cash back.
1 cent each.
None.
$95 (see rates and fees).

World of Hyatt Credit Card
2 points per dollar.
World of Hyatt points.
1.7 cents each.
None.
$95.

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card
2 points per dollar.
World of Hyatt points.
1.7 cents each.
None.
$199.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
5% back.
Cash back.
1 cent each.
$500 of spending per billing cycle in your top spending category.
$0.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Reserve Visa Infinite® Card
3 points per dollar.
U.S. Bank FlexPerks.
1.5 cents each.
None.
$400.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
5% back.
Cash back.
1 cent each.
$2,000 across chosen bonus categories each quarter.
$0.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card
2 to 3.5 points per dollar.
Bank of America Premium Rewards.
1 cent each.
None.
$95.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
2 points per dollar.
Capital One miles.
1.85 cents each.
None.
$95.

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
2 points per dollar.
Capital One miles.
1.85 cents each.
None.
$395.

Amtrak Guest Rewards® World Mastercard®
3 points per dollar.
Amtrak Guest Rewards points.
2.5 cents each.
None.
$79.

By considering the value of your earnings on each dollar spent and the earning and spending limits imposed, we eliminated several cards from our “best” list. These cards were eliminated for the following reasons:

Blue Cash Preferred: There are other cash-back cards that can earn at higher rates.
Citi Custom Cash: While the card can provide 5 cents per dollar in earning value, it’s limited to the first $500 in spending per month and only on your top spending category. If commuting isn’t your top spending category on the card during that billing cycle, you won’t earn 5%.
Venture X: It earns the same rewards at the same rate as the Venture card, which has an annual fee that’s $300 less.
Amtrak Mastercard: It’s not available to new applicants.

That leaves us with 9 credit cards that we consider the best for your commuting expenses. The full details of each are outlined below.

A closer look at the cards you should use for commuting expenses

Chase Sapphire Reserve

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $550

Why we like it: You’re not going to find the word “commute” anywhere in the fine print on this card, but the Chase Sapphire Reserve’s beloved 3 points per dollar on travel purchases will extend to your morning commute. Chase defines travel in the broadest way possible. You’ll earn bonus Ultimate Rewards points for all the conventional things like airfare and hotels, but you’ll also earn for ride-hailing services like Uber, public transit, toll bridges and highways — and even some parking fees.

And earlier this year, Chase extended its partnership with Lyft through March 2025, allowing you to earn 10 points per dollar spent on these purchases.

This makes the Sapphire Reserve a great choice for your day-to-day life, and for your vacations as well. The recently-increased welcome bonus (60,000 points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening) will jump-start you toward your next tropical getaway. Plus, its $550 annual fee is largely offset by a $300 annual travel credit. This credit is automatically applied to any eligible purchases you make (though note you won’t earn points for the travel this credit reimburses). So you might even find yourself getting reimbursed for your commute by Chase if you pay with a Sapphire Reserve.

The Sapphire Reserve also offers 10 points per dollar on hotel and car rental purchases booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal and 5 points per dollar on airline travel booked through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal.

Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review for more details.

Apply here: Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Preferred

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $95

Why we like it: Like the Sapphire Reserve above, the Sapphire Preferred defines travel in the broadest of terms and earns valuable Ultimate Rewards points. With this card, you’ll earn 2 points per dollar on most travel. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through the Chase travel portal, 3 points per dollar on select streaming services and online grocery purchases, 3 points per dollar on dining and 1 point per dollar on everything. Plus, through March 31, 2025, you can earn 5 points per dollar on Lyft rides.

The Sapphire Preferred has strong earnings on a broad range of categories beyond just commuting expenses, making it a great everyday card for your wallet. And the 60,000-point welcome bonus (earned after you spend $4,000 in the first three months of account opening) is worth $1,200, according to TPG’s valuations. Plus, the card also has a $50 annual hotel credit, which offsets more than half of the annual fee.

Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred review for more details.

Apply here: Chase Sapphire Preferred

American Express® Green Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Welcome offer: Earn 40,000 points after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first six months from account opening.

Annual fee: $150 (see rates and fees)

Why we like it: Like the Chase cards above, America Express defines “travel” pretty broadly as it applies to the Amex Green card. The card earns valuable Membership Rewards points, which can be used with some great transfer partners. With this card, you’ll earn 3 points per dollar on travel and transit. You’ll also earn 3 points per dollar at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) in the U.S. and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.

Three items add significant value to the Amex Green card:

You get a full six months to complete the spending for the welcome offer.
You receive a $100 Clear credit each year.
You receive a $100 LoungeBuddy credit each year.

TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece. Thus, the welcome offer is worth $800, and the points you earn on commuting expenses represent a 6% return on spending. Read our American Express® Green Card review for more details.

World of Hyatt Credit Card

Sign-up bonus: Up to 60,000 points:

30,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.
2 additional points per dollar (3 points per dollar total) on up to $15,000 in purchases, for a total of 30,000 points.

Annual fee: $95

Why we like it: The World of Hyatt Credit Card offers commuters 2 points per dollar on all local transit and commuting expenses, which is great whether you’re heading to a vacation spot or just heading to work or school. Eligible expenses include taxis, mass transit and ride-hailing services.

The card’s benefits extend to your stays at Hyatt as well. You receive automatic Discoverist status, which is good for travelers who don’t frequent Hyatt. For travelers who want to earn higher elite status, this card can help you with that, too. You’ll receive five elite night credits from the card automatically and two additional night credits for every $5,000 you spend on the card in a calendar year.

On your Hyatt stays, you’ll earn 4 points per dollar when you swipe your card (in addition to the points you earn as a World of Hyatt member). And best of all, you’ll receive a Category 1-4 free night each year when you renew the card. You have the opportunity to earn a second free night when you spend $15,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Read our World of Hyatt Card review for more card info.

Apply here: World of Hyatt Credit Card

World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $199

Why we like it: The World of Hyatt Business Credit Card offers 2 points per dollar in the business categories where you spend the most each quarter. This applies to the three categories where you spend the most through the end of 2022. However, starting in 2023, you earn 2 points per dollar in the two categories where you spend the most each quarter. “Local transit and commuting” is one of the eligible categories, and there is no limit to the number of points you can earn in this category.

Beyond this bonus category, cardmembers also earn 4 points per dollar spent at Hyatt hotels, at participating Small Luxury Hotels of the World and on eligible Lindblad Expeditions. Additionally, cardmembers earn 2 points per dollar spent on fitness club and gym memberships, and you’ll also earn 2 points per dollar on Find experiences (however, if you purchase these at a Hyatt property, you will earn 4 points per dollar spent). All other purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent.

Along with automatic Discoverist status (the lowest tier with World of Hyatt), you can also spend your way toward status. You’ll earn five nights’ worth of stay credits for each $10,000 spent on the card. You can also receive up to $100 in credits for Hyatt spending each year and unlock a 10% points rebate by spending $50,000 on the card in a calendar year.

Read our World of Hyatt Business Card review for more card info.

Apply here: World of Hyatt Business Credit Card

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in your first three months from account opening.

Annual fee: $199

Why we like it: The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card offers 3 points per dollar on a broad travel category that includes commuting expenses. You’ll earn 5 points per dollar on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly in the Altitude Rewards Center and 3 points per dollar on all purchases made with the Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay mobile-wallet systems. Qualifying mobile-app purchases can be made in a store, in app or online. Eligible travel purchases include those made directly with airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxicabs, limousines, trains and cruise lines. You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

The Altitude Reserve card also has $325 in travel credits each year, which will apply automatically to purchases from airlines, hotels, car rentals, taxis, limousines, trains and cruise lines. However, you need to be an existing U.S. Bank customer to apply for this card.

Read our Altitude Reserve review for more card info.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

(Photo by George Frey/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 rewards bonus after you apply online and spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0

Why we like it: The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card allows you to choose two categories for 5% cash-back earnings and one category for 2% earnings, while all other purchases earn 1% back. Note that your 5% earning is capped at $2,000 in spending each quarter on combined purchases in your two chosen categories, and “Ground Transportation” is one of the eligible categories. So long as your spending on that category and your other chosen category doesn’t surpass $2,000 in a given quarter, you’ll earn 5% back on all of your commuting expenses.

Given that there’s no annual fee, you won’t receive a lot of perks on the Cash+ Visa card. However, the ability to choose your bonus categories and earn up to $400 cash back on your 5% categories each year (plus unlimited earnings in the chosen 2% category and 1% on everyday spending) means this could be a strong earner for your daily commute.

Read our Cash+ Visa card review for more card info.

Apply here: U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

(Photo by The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: 50,000 bonus points after you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $95

Why we like it: The Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card earns 2 points per dollar on travel and dining plus 1.5 points per dollar on everything else. Points are worth a flat 1 cent apiece. Those numbers alone are not impressive and don’t merit a spot on our list of the best cards for commuting. The reason this card enters the list is if you are able to maximize the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. Depending on your tier in Preferred Rewards, you could earn up to 3.5 points per dollar on travel with this card, which includes commuting expenses.

The Premium Rewards card also offers an annual $100 airline incidental credit, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee reimbursement, various travel protections and purchase protection.

Read our Premium Rewards card review for more card info.

Apply here: Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith/The Points Guy)

Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on the card within the first three months of account opening.

Annual fee: $95

Why we like it: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card earns 2 Capital One miles per dollar on nearly everything. The simplicity of that is the card’s bread and butter. You’ll also earn 5 miles per dollar spent on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar spent on cars booked through Turo (through May 16, 2023).

The Venture card also offers several travel protections and perks like reimbursement for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. The card’s more expensive sibling — the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card — has more perks and benefits, but none of those will apply to your daily commute in a taxi or subway. And you would still earn the same amount of points on your spending, despite a much higher annual fee. Thus, the Venture card is a better fit for this list.

Read our Venture card review for more card info.

Apply here: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

What if your commute is a drive?

Of course, the cards mentioned above are primarily geared toward transit purchases. In smaller cities (or for those without public transportation options), you may find yourself driving to work or school. In that case, you may be better off selecting a credit card that’s great for gas purchases.

One terrific option on this list just launched an increased welcome bonus: the Citi Premier® Card. New applicants can earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou points after they spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. The card then awards 3 points per dollar spent in the following categories:

Gas stations.
Restaurants.
Supermarkets.
Air travel.
Hotels.

While this won’t help with transit purchases, it could be a great option for filling up your tank.

Related: Gas prices continue to surge as summer travel begins: 5 ways to save at the pump

Bottom line

Commuting to and from work can make a long day even longer. While you can’t cut your commute time by carrying the right credit cards, you can get a good amount of points or cash back on transit expenses. Some of the cards with the best “travel” bonus categories include very broad definitions that will cover your morning commute, no matter how many wheels are on the vehicle helping you get there.

Featured photo by Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images.

For rates and fees of the Amex Green card, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred card, click here.

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