NerdWallet’s Best Credit Cards for Large Purchases

If you have a big buy coming, getting a new credit card can be a smart financial strategy. But people can have very different goals to match a new card with a big expense. Typically they are:

  • A huge signup bonus. If you have to spend money on a big purchase anyway, you might as well charge it off a rewards credit card and earn a bunch of cash or points from a sign up bonus, which usually requires spending several thousand dollars in a few months.

  • 0% interest. Others may prefer a 0% promotional interest period to extend the time they have to make payments for free. the best introductory APR cards 0% do not offer interest on purchases over one year old.

Each of these scenarios is primarily available to new cardholders. They generally do not apply to your existing credit cards.

Whether your big expense is from a wedding, a new furnace, a major auto repair, or something else, below are a few credit card suggestions based on what interests you in a new one. menu. Even if you don’t take a specific map recommendation, categories can be a useful roadmap for what types of maps to look for.

These strategies work best for people with credit scores high enough to get the credit card limit they need for the big purchase.

For a promotion at 0% interest

Long introductory period at 0% but no rewards

If you care the most about avoiding interest charges on a new purchase for as long as you can, and aren’t looking for a rewards credit card to use every day:

American bank Visa® Platinum card

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Introductory APR: Introductory APR of 0% * for 20 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers *, then ongoing APR from 14.49% to 24.49% * Variable APR

Get a long introductory 0% period on purchases (and balance transfers). The card offers no reward for spending and requires excellent credit. The annual membership fee is $ 0 *.

Nerdy tip: Another benefit of using a credit card for large purchases is that you have a number of protections for consumers, including the ability to litigation costs. And many cards offer extended warranties, extending the manufacturer’s warranty.

0% period + cash back

While you can accept fewer months of 0% interest on purchases and prefer your rewards cash, you have a number of choices that offer rewards and a signup bonus. This is an example with flat rate cash rewards.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card
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Introductory APR: Introductory APR of 0% on purchases for 15 months, then ongoing APR from 15.49% to 25.49% variable APR

Get 1.5% unlimited cash back on every purchase. The annual membership fee is $ 0.

0% introductory period + travel rewards

Travel credit cards aren’t known for their 0% terms, but if you don’t need a very long interest-free period, you can get a high-quality travel card with a sign-up bonus. .

Discover it® Miles

Discover it® Miles
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Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR on purchases for 14 months and 10.99% introductory APR on balance transfers for 14 months, then the ongoing APR from 11.99% to 22.99% Variable APR

Earn 1.5 unlimited miles for every dollar spent on all purchases, and redeem miles as statement credit for travel purchases. The annual membership fee is $ 0.

Nerdy tip: As always with credit cards, you want to avoid the interest charges for carrying a balance outside of a 0% promotional period. And if you’re using up a lot of your credit limit, it could credit scores until you pay off the balance.

For a sign-up bonus

The strategy here is for when you already have the money to pay in full but want to earn a stack of cash back or rewards points from a new credit card. You do this in two ways: by hitting the minimum spend required to get the signup bonus, and by accumulating rewards for spending money on the card. The biggest signup bonuses come on cards with an annual fee.

Sign up bonus with cash back

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards credit card

Registration bonus: Earn a one-time $ 300 cash bonus after spending $ 3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account

Earn 4% unlimited cash back on meals and entertainment, including streaming services; 3% in groceries and 1% on all other purchases. Annual subscription : $ 95.

Another good choice with annual fee of $ 0:

Travel rewards registration bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
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Registration bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening the account. That’s $ 1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Double points on travel and meals at restaurants around the world and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases. Annual subscription : $ 95.

Nerdy tip: Some reward credit cards offer additional benefits or rewards for reaching specific spending levels, such as spending $ 25,000 per year. If you have one of these cards, using it could be another way to strategically benefit from a large purchase without requesting a new card.

Sign up bonus for premium travel awards

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Credit Card Chase Sapphire Reserve
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Registration bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after opening the account. That’s $ 900 travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

Earn triple points on trips and dining out; 1 point for every $ 1 spent on all other purchases. Annual subscription : $ 550.

Other options

If you’ve already made a large purchase with a credit card but can’t pay it right away, you can transfer a balance to a card at 0%. See NerdWallet’s Choices for best balance transfer credit cards. Just note the balance transfer fee, often 3% to 5%.


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About Douglas Mackenzie

Douglas Mackenzie

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