At a Glance
Few people have enough cash on hand to make major life purchases, whether that be medical bills, expired bills, home renovation, or some other type of expenses. A credit card that traditionally comes with a higher credit limit is an excellent resource for making such large purchases, which is why comparing the best credit cards for large purchases is so important.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Comparing the best credit cards for financing large purchases
For a succinct overarching view of the best credit card for large purchases across multiple categories, view each of the below options. However, for a more in-depth view of each card, continue on to the summary of each further below.
|Credit Card||Reward Rate||Welcome Offer||Annual Fee||APR||Credit needed|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases||$200 bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months||$0||14.99% – 23.74% Variable||Good/Excellent|
|Capital One Venture||Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase||75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within 3 months||$95||20.74% – 28.74% Variable||Excellent, Good|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||5X points on travel, 3X points on dining||60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months||$95||21.24% – 28.24% Variable||Good/Excellent|
|U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card||N/A||No current offer||$0||19.49% – 29.49% Variable||670 – 850|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||5X miles on hotels and rental cars||75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 within 3 months||$95||20.74% – 28.74% Variable||Excellent, Good|
|The Business Platinum Card® from American Express||5X points on flights, 5X points on prepaid hotels||80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months||$695||See Pay Overtime APR||Excellent/Good|
|Chase SlateSM Edge||N/A||No current offer||$0||19.74% – 28.49% Variable||Good/Excellent|
*These numbers were updated as of July 2023.
A closer look at the best credit cards for a big purchase
Finding the best credit card for large purchases requires evaluating the many benefits and drawbacks of several prominent cards. Each of the cards outlined above offers something to consumers, which is why breaking down the primary talking points of each is crucial:
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
For the first year: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on top of all purchases’ original cash back rate, on up to $20,000 spent.
Ongoing rewards: 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2025); 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases; 1.5% back on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $0.
Intro APR: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
Regular APR: Variable APR of 19.74% to 28.49% after the introductory period.
Signup bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases up to the first $20,000 spent within your first year of card membership (equivalent to up to $300 in cash back rewards).
Purchase benefits: Purchase protection for up to 120 days (up to $500 per claim, up to $50,000 per account) and extended warranty protection for eligible warranties under three years.
Other travel-related benefits: Auto rental collision damage waivers and trip cancellation and interruption insurance, among others.
Note: Eligibility for the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is restricted if you are a current cardholder or have received its welcome bonus within the past 24 months.
Our Verdict: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is our choice for an excellent “catch all” card that can be used for everyday purchases. The 1.5% cash back rewards rate is just slightly higher than other similar cards offered on the market, with the benefits of this card only bolstered by the fact that there is no annual fee. Whether you’re a foodie, techie, or simply general spender, this card is a staple option for any wallet.
- No annual fee to use this card
- Low starting APR depending on credit score
- Extra bonus perks beyond the generic rewards rate
- Limit of rewards earnings on up to $20,000 may not be ideal for large spenders
- Chase requires a higher credit score than other comparable card issuers
Apply now: Chase Freedom Unlimited
Capital One Venture
Ongoing rewards: Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day.
Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
Annual fee: $95.
Intro APR (Purchases): N/A
Intro APR (Transfers): N/A
Regular APR: 20.74% – 28.74% variable.
Signup bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within three months from account opening, which is equal to $750 in travel.
Purchase benefits: Extended warranty protection.
Mile expiration: Miles won’t expire for the life of the account, and there’s no limit to how many you can earn.
Global Entry or TSA PreCheck® credit: Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.
Lounge access: Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through the Partner Lounge Network.
Credit Needed: Excellent, Good.
Our Verdict: The Capital One Venture card should be a staple card for the avid traveler. With a low annual fee of only $95, a traveler can quickly earn this back by utilizing the 5x miles on hotels booked through the Capital One travel portal. Additionally, everyday purchases earn a cardholder 2x back on miles, which makes this card perfect for travel bloggers, businesspeople, and everyone in between.
- Large 5x miles back on hotels booked directly through the travel portal
- Low annual fee
- Access to lounges simplifies travel
- Large welcome bonus
- No intro APR for purchases or transfers
- Lower everyday rewards rate compared to other travel cards
Apply now: Capital One Venture
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
3X points on dining.
3X points on select streaming services and online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart, and wholesale clubs).
2X points on all other travel purchases.
1X points on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $95.
Intro APR (Purchases): None.
Intro APR (Transfers): N/A
Regular APR: 21.24% – 28.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers.
Signup bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, which is equivalent to $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Balance transfer fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee: None.
Credit Needed: Good/Excellent.
Benefits: $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 25% more value when redeeming for airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance, complimentary access to DashPass for a minimum of one year, and more.
Our Verdict: Serving as the best card for those who call themselves foodie travelers, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is our choice for those seeking dining and travel benefits all in one card. With a competitive 5x back on points for travel booked through the Chase portal and 3x on dining (including takeout services like DoorDash), this card offers something for everyone. Additionally, current Chase Freedom Unlimited cardholders can transfer their points to this card to take advantage of the points multiplier through the Chase rewards portal.
- Low annual fee
- Multiple rewards categories to take advantage of
- Bonus benefits that complement the earnings categories of the card
- Large sign up bonus
- No intro APR for purchases or balance transfers
- High credit score needed for approval
Apply Now: Chase Sapphire Preferred
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Rewards Rate: N/A (No rewards program mentioned in the provided information)
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR (Purchases): None (No introductory APR mentioned in the provided information)
Intro APR (Transfers): N/A (No information provided about balance transfers)
Regular APR: 19.49% – 29.49% (Variable)
Signup bonus: No current bonus.
Balance transfer fee: N/A
Foreign transaction fee: None
Credit Needed: Recommended credit score range of 670 – 850 (Good – Excellent)
Benefits: The U.S. Bank Visa Platinum Card offers 18 billing cycles of 0% introductory APR on purchases, allowing you to stretch out payments on a large purchase.
After the introductory period, the APR becomes variable between 19.49% and 29.49%.
This card is recommended as one of the best options for 0% introductory APR credit cards, potentially saving you significant interest and finance charges if you consistently make the minimum payments and pay off the balance before the 18 billing cycles end.
Our Verdict: For those curious about the best credit card to use for large purchase transactions, yet afraid to get skin in the credit card game all at once, the US Bank Visa Platinum Card is a great middle-ground. With an extremely long 0% introductory APR and no annual fee, cardholders don’t need to stress about existing balances right when they open this account.
- No annual fee
- Long introductory APR
- Limited rewards earnings
- No signup bonus offered
- High credit score required
Apply now: US Bank Visa Platinum Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Rewards Rate: 2X miles on all purchases; 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
Annual fee: $95
Intro APR (Purchases): None
Intro APR (Transfers): N/A
Regular APR: Variable rate based on creditworthiness.
Signup bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Purchase benefits: Extended warranty protection
Why it’s great for large purchases: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card allows you to earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases, making it a suitable option for large purchases that may not fit into traditional bonus categories. Whether it’s wedding expenses or home renovation costs, this flat-rate card ensures you earn rewards across all categories. Additionally, after taking care of your large purchases, the card remains beneficial for everyday spending. You can redeem your miles as a statement credit for eligible travel purchases at a fixed value or maximize their value by utilizing Capital One’s airline and hotel transfer partners.
Our Verdict: Those wondering what is the best credit card for large purchases, specifically for travel, should consider the Venture Rewards card from Capital One. With a low annual fee and a large sign-up bonus, the Venture Rewards card is a good fallback option for those who may not qualify for certain high-tier travel cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
- Low annual fee
- Large rewards rate for travel-related purchases
- Numerous additional benefits beyond basic earnings rate
- No introductory APR
- Variable APR rate depending on credit worthiness can get quite high
Apply now: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express
Rewards Rate: Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year), 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel, and 1X points on all other eligible purchases.
Annual fee: $695 (see rates and fees).
Intro APR: None
Regular APR: See Pay Overtime APR
Signup bonus: Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases within the first three months of card membership.
Welcome offer: The high spending requirement for the welcome bonus can be fulfilled by making larger purchases, which would earn you 120,000 valuable Membership Rewards points worth $2,400 according to TPG valuations.
Bonus on select business categories: Earn 1.5 points per dollar on eligible purchases in select business categories and eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, up to $2 million of these purchases per calendar year. This provides a 3% return in the form of Membership Rewards points, based on TPG’s valuations.
Purchase benefits: The card offers extended warranty and purchase protection, providing peace of mind when making large-ticket purchases. Eligibility and benefit level may vary by card. Terms, conditions, and limitations apply.
Our Verdict: The best credit card for big purchase decisions often revolves around travel, which is why so many travel cards have been included on this list. However, the best credit card to finance large purchase decisions in the travel world is the prestigious Business Platinum Card offered by American Express. While it has a large annual fee, a cardholder earns hundreds in benefits when they utilize this card. On top of this, the card comes with a massive membership rewards bonus offer upon signing up.
- Hundreds of dollars’ worth of benefits offered through this card
- Large welcome bonus for new account holders
- High annual fee
7. Chase SlateSM Edge
Rewards Rate: N/A (The card does not offer a rewards program)
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
Regular APR: A variable APR of 19.74% – 28.49% on balance transfers and purchases after the introductory period ends.
Signup bonus: N/A (The card does not offer a specific signup bonus)
Lower interest rate: You have the opportunity to lower your interest rate by 2% each year. By paying on time and spending at least $1000 on your card by your next account anniversary, you will automatically be considered for an APR reduction.
Credit limit increase: The card provides an automatic, one-time review for a higher credit limit when you pay on time and spend $500 in your first six months.
No annual fee: You won’t be charged an annual fee for the features and benefits that come with the Chase Slate Edge card.
Credit monitoring: Chase Credit Journey allows you to keep track of your credit health with free access to your latest credit score, real-time alerts, and more.
Our Verdict: The best cash back credit card for large purchases, specifically for those with little credit history, is the Chase Slate Edge. While there may not be an established rewards program as with other cards on this list, it is built to be a strong credit builder card. With the ability to have your APR reduced by 2% each year and a fair welcome bonus, the Slate Edge is a card to consider for all levels of spenders.
- No annual fee
- The ability to lower your APR over time
- Chase will automatically consider you for credit limit increases
- Access to credit monitoring tools via Chase
- No established rewards program
- A small sign up offer that is earned over time
Apply now: Chase Slate Edge
How to choose a credit card for a large purchase
When choosing a credit card for a large purchase, there are several factors to consider. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you make an informed decision:
- Determine your needs: Assess your specific requirements for the large purchase, such as cash back, travel rewards, or low-interest rates.
- Research rewards programs: Look for credit cards with generous rewards programs aligned with your spending habits and preferences.
- Evaluate rewards rate: Consider the percentage of cash back, points, or miles earned for each dollar spent. Look for higher rewards rates to maximize your benefits.
- Annual fee: Check if the credit card charges an annual fee and weigh it against the potential rewards and benefits offered.
- Introductory APR: Look for cards with a 0% introductory APR on purchases. This allows you to make large purchases without incurring interest charges for a specific period.
- Regular APR: Consider the regular APR that applies once the introductory period ends. A lower APR can save you money if you carry a balance.
- Signup bonus: Look for cards offering signup bonuses, such as cash back, points, or miles, when you meet a spending requirement within a specified timeframe.
- Additional benefits: Explore other card benefits like travel insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection, or airport lounge access.
- Credit score requirements: Check the minimum credit score required to qualify for the card. Ensure your credit score meets the eligibility criteria.
- Read reviews and compare: Research customer reviews, ratings, and expert opinions to get a sense of the card’s reputation and overall value.
Remember, it’s essential to read the terms and conditions, understand any restrictions or limitations, and consider your own financial situation and spending habits before choosing a credit card for a large purchase.
Tips to maximize large purchases using credit cards
Choose a credit card with high rewards: Look for a credit card that offers a high rewards rate on large purchases. This could be a flat-rate card that provides a consistent percentage of cash back or a card with bonus categories that align with your spending.
- Take advantage of signup bonuses: Select a credit card that offers a generous signup bonus. By meeting the spending requirements within the specified timeframe, you can earn additional rewards or points that can be used towards your large purchase.
- Utilize promotional offers: Keep an eye out for promotional offers like 0% introductory APR on purchases. This allows you to make large purchases and pay them off over time without incurring interest charges.
- Time your purchase strategically: If possible, time your large purchase with a specific promotion or sale season. Some credit cards offer bonus rewards during certain periods or for specific categories like holiday shopping or back-to-school sales.
- Consider credit card benefits: Explore the additional benefits provided by your credit cards, such as extended warranties, purchase protection, or price matching. These perks can add value and protection to your large purchase.
- Monitor spending limits and credit utilization: Ensure your credit limit is sufficient for your large purchase. Consider requesting a credit limit increase if necessary. Additionally, keep track of your credit utilization ratio to maintain a healthy credit score.
Review the terms and conditions: Carefully read and understand the terms and conditions of your credit card, especially regarding rewards redemption, expiration dates, and any limitations or exclusions that may apply to large purchases.
To maximize large purchases using credit cards, the following methodology can be followed:
- Determine your spending needs: Assess the type and amount of the large purchase you plan to make, as well as your preferred rewards (cash back, travel points, etc.).
- Research credit card options: Explore credit cards that align with your spending needs. Consider factors such as rewards programs, rewards rates, signup bonuses, annual fees, and promotional offers.
- Compare credit cards: Analyze the features, benefits, and costs of different credit cards. Pay attention to the rewards rates, signup bonuses, and any limitations or restrictions on earning and redeeming rewards.
- Read reviews and expert opinions: Seek out reviews and expert opinions on the credit cards you are considering. Look for feedback on the rewards programs, customer service, and overall value.
- Check eligibility and credit requirements: Ensure you meet the eligibility criteria and credit score requirements for the credit cards you are interested in. Applying for a card you are likely to be approved for increases your chances of obtaining the desired credit limit.
- Apply for the chosen credit card: Once you have made a decision, complete the application process for the selected credit card. Provide accurate information and necessary documents as required.
- Maximize rewards and benefits: Use your credit card for the large purchase and take advantage of any applicable promotions, rewards, or benefits. Be mindful of meeting any spending requirements to earn signup bonuses.
- Plan for repayment: If you took advantage of a promotional offer with a 0% introductory APR, create a repayment plan to pay off the balance before the promotional period ends. This will help avoid interest charges.
Remember, responsible credit card usage is essential to avoid debt and maintain a healthy financial situation. Only make large purchases that you can comfortably afford to repay within a reasonable timeframe.
The product information provided here is based on research conducted up to a specific date and may have changed. For the latest and most accurate information, we recommend you to visit the respective card’s website before proceeding.