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You’re a young professional. You’ve got a “real” job. You have your own apartment. And now you want a credit card that rewards you for your spending.
For a more comprehensive list, see our best credit card bonuses here.
We have created a series of guides for the best credit cards for points and miles by spending category. In this guide, we’ll cover the best credit cards that fit well with the young professional lifestyle.
When using a credit card, remember to pay your balance in full and on time each month.
For more credit card tips, click here.
Best Credit Cards For Young Professionals
When selecting the best credit cards for young professionals, we considered a variety of factors, including:
- Annual fee
- Sign-up bonus
- Rewards rate
- Travel benefits
- Other benefits
- Transfer partners
With that in mind, here are the credit cards that made the cut:
|CREDIT CARD||BONUS CATEGORIES||ANNUAL FEE|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||Travel|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Travel|
|American Express® Gold Card*||Dining at Restaurants|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Vivid Seats|
$0 1st year
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||None||$95,|
$0 1st year
|Citi® Double Cash Card||None||$0|
Closer Look at Each Card
Let’s go into more detail with each card below:
The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card® is a very popular rewards card, and for good reason. It has an incredibly generous sign-up bonus and earns extra points for travel and dining. What’s more, travel and dining are both broadly defined to include a wide variety of purchases.
CHASE SAPPHIRE PREFERRED® CARD
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card currently has an offer for 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Redeeming the 60,000 bonus points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which is praised by users, will get you $750 in value towards travel. The 60K bonus points are worth $750 because you get 25% more value whenever you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Even better, strategize with Chase Ultimate Rewards points transfer partners to potentially get even more value. Each point can be worth up to 2 cents apiece (60k points = ~$1,200). Read more on this here.
Yes, the hefty annual fee a year is a lot for a credit card. But if you take full advantage of all that the Chase Sapphire Reserve® has to offer, then you’ll be getting much more than your money’s worth. Features include a big sign-up bonus, extra points on travel and dining, travel credits every year, lounge access via Priority Pass Select and more.
CHASE SAPPHIRE RESERVE®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is offering 80,000 bonus points (worth up to $1,600 in travel per our valuations). You’ll need to spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening to qualify for the bonus. These 80k points are redeemable for $1,200 toward travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This is a premium travel card with a premium annual fee of $550. But, you’ll receive premium benefits such as 5X points on air travel, 10x points spent on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit, 3X points on all other travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
The card also features an application fee credit (up to $100) for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®, access to 1,300+ airport lounges with Priority Pass Select, and 50% more in travel redemption through Chase Ultimate Rewards. With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more for existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
If you spend most of your money on food, then the American Express® Gold Card could be a good fit with American Express Membership Rewards® points on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets.
AMERICAN EXPRESS® GOLD CARD
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.
The American Express® Gold Card has a welcome bonus for 60,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $4,000 within 6 months.
Membership Rewards Points have great flexibility. We value each point to be worth up to an average 2 cents per point. At this value, 60k Membership Rewards Points can be worth up to $1,200.
The Amex Gold Card has plentiful perks. You’ll get:
- Choice between Gold or Rose Gold.
- 4X points at restaurants, including takeouts and deliveries in the U.S.
- 4X points at U.S. supermarkets on up to $25,000 per year in purchases (1X thereafter)
- 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
- Up to $120 in annual dining credits (get up to $10 monthly statement credits)
- No foreign transaction fees
The annual fee is $250. See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply.
*On up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X.
**On flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
Does a big chunk of your budget go towards food and entertainment? Then consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
CAPITAL ONE® SAVOR® CASH REWARDS CREDIT CARD
The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is offering a $300 bonus when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.
This card earns unlimited 4% cash back rewards on dining and entertainment spending. You’ll get 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
There are no foreign transaction fees and the annual fee is waived for the first year. The fee is $95 after the first year.
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is now turning heads, thanks to the recent addition of airline transfer partners. And if you’re into simple travel rewards, the Venture card has your name on it with a flat earning rate of double miles on all your purchases.
You’ll also enjoy a statement credit for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee, which is a rare feature for a mid-tier card.
CAPITAL ONE® VENTURE® REWARDS CREDIT CARD
The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card currently earns 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening. Or if are unable to meet the $20k spending requirement, you can still earn 50,000 bonus miles for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. These bonus miles are equal to $1000 or $500, respectively, in travel and are easy to redeem as a statement credit towards the cost of your travel purchases. Take advantage of Capital One’s travel partners and these up to 100k miles can be worth around $1400 in value.
This card will earn an ongoing 2 miles for every dollar you spend on all purchases. 100 miles is equal to $1 in travel rewards. If you don’t redeem towards travel purchases, your miles will have less value.
The annual fee is $95.
If you’re looking for a low-cost option with simple rewards, you won’t find much better than the Citi® Double Cash Card. It doesn’t come with any bells or whistles – notably, no sign-up bonus – but it does offer a generous, flat-rate on all your purchases: 2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay). In fact, it’s one of the cards we recommend for your everyday spending.
CITI® DOUBLE CASH CARD
The Citi® Double Cash Card is offering a welcome bonus of $200 cash after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. Also, earn up to 2% cash back on all purchases. You’ll earn 1% cash back for all purchases charged to the card. You’ll then earn an additional 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases, as long as you pay at least the minimum due. There are no spending categories to keep up with and the card has no annual fee.
|Ongoing Rewards||2% cash back on all purchases|
While we focused on credit cards for young professionals in this post, you may want to consider other cards with additional earning potential that matches your spending behavior. Click here for our guide on the best credit cards in other categories or check out these other posts:
READ MORE: See The Best Bank Promotions Here And The Best Investing Promotions Here
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