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Whether you’re buying the new TV you’ve been longing for or replacing a kitchen appliance, making a large purchase is equal parts nerve-racking and exciting. You’re about to potentially upgrade your life with a new product, but you’re also parting with a lot of money and have a new liability on your hands.
One way to soften the nervousness is to pay with a credit card. Depending on the card you pay with, you can earn bonus rewards, extend your time to pay for your purchase or even protect your new device with purchase protections offered by certain credit cards.
But what card should you use? It all depends on what you’re looking for. Some cards are better for earning points while others are better for purchase protections. Likewise, some cards offer a large welcome bonus to new cardholders.
Here, we’ll break down the 5 best credit cards for large purchases. We’ve broken the list down by cards best for purchase protection, financing and other benefits so you can find the best credit card for your next large purchase.
5 of the best credit cards for large purchases
- Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for purchase and travel protections.
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for 0% financing.
- Capital One Venture Rewards Card: Best for earning travel rewards.
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for earning cash back.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card: Best for a large welcome bonus.
Just because a card is listed as one of the best in this article doesn’t mean it’s the best for your large purchase or financial situation. We picked cards based on their posted benefits, fees and rewards earning rate. However, you should run the numbers and do your own research to see what card deserves a place in your wallet.
Related: CNN Underscored’s credit card methodology
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best purchase and travel protections
Who it’s for: Frequent travelers who want the best purchase protections for travel and big ticket purchases.
Annual fee: $550.
- 10 points per dollar: Hotels and rental cars booked with Chase; Lyft rides (through March 2025).
- 5 points per dollar: Flights booked through Chase.
- 3 points per dollar: Travel and dining.
- 1 point per dollar: Everything else.
Chase credit cards are known for their top-notch travel and purchase protections, and the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers the highest-end protections of the bunch. Eligible purchases are covered by Chase’s purchase protection for 120 days. During this time, your new purchase will be covered from damage and theft, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
Further, it will be covered by extended warranty protection. This extends an eligible item’s manufacturer’s warranty for extra year so long as the standard warranty is three years or less. Like purchase protection, you’re covered up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account with extended warranty protection.
Large travel purchases are covered, too. The Sapphire Reserve has a variety of travel protections that cover you against delays, trip interruptions and more. On the delay side, if your flight, train or other mode of transportation is delayed by 6+ hours (or requires an overnight stay), you’ll be reimbursed for up to $500 in expenses per day. This includes hotel stays, food, taxi fare and other expenses.
Additionally, you’re covered against situations that could interrupt your trip or cancel it altogether. The card’s included trip cancellation and trip interruption coverage will reimburse pre-paid and non-refundable travel expenses if your trip is canceled or cut short by illness, severe weather or other covered situations. This includes things like transportation, prepaid hotel reservations and hotels. This protection is limited to $10,000 per person and $20,000 per trip.
There are a handful of other protections included with the card too, like a rental car damage waiver and lost luggage reimbursement. This makes the card a good choice for those who travel frequently and want to make large purchases on their card, as both items and travel are covered by top-notch purchase protection benefits.
The card includes a variety of other benefits, like Priority Pass lounge access and an annual travel credit. But it also has a $550 annual fee, so make sure you’re able to use the benefits enough to offset it. This shouldn’t be hard for frequent travelers but might be difficult if you only travel one or twice per year.
Should you use the Sapphire Reserve for large purchases?
The main downside to using the Sapphire Reserve for large purchases is low earning on everything but travel and dining. So if you purchase a new laptop with your Sapphire Reserve, you’ll only earn 1 point per dollar on this purchase. Consider whether the included purchase protections are worth the low earnings.
That said, it does offer some of the best purchase protections. If you plan to keep your purchase long-term, it could be worth putting the card on the Sapphire Reserve for the extended warranty benefit alone. Likewise, high-limits on purchase protection gives you peace of mind for the first 120 days after the date of purchase.
Current welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Read our full review of the Chase Sapphire Reserve card.
Learn more and apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Amex Blue Cash Everyday: Best for 0% financing
Who it’s for: Those looking to take advantage of an extended introductory 0% APR interest rate with no annual fee (see rates and fees).
Annual fee: None.
- 3% cash back: at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%), U.S. gas stations (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%).
- 1% cash back: All other purchases.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday is a great option for those seeking extended 0% APR financing for their next big purchase. The card offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR between 18.74% to 29.74%.
If you can pay your purchase off in the first 15 months of opening the account, you can effectively split your large purchase up across multiple payments without paying any fees. This is a huge benefit if you need to make an unexpected large purchase.
Plus, if it’s an online purchase, you may be able to earn 3% cash back on your purchase, on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1% cash back). This is due to the card offering 3% cash back on purchases from U.S. online retail purchases. This doesn’t apply to all online purchases, but we’ve seen reports saying that most common online retailers like Amazon and Walmart earn 3%.
Cash back rewards are earned in the form of Rewards Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits. This means you can use your rewards to effectively lower the cost of your large purchase, giving you a 1-3% discount depending on what you purchase.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday also offers a purchase protection benefit. Eligible purchases are covered against damage and theft for 90 days from the date of purchase, up to $1,000 per covered purchase and $50,000 per card per year. The only exception is purchases damaged due to a natural disaster. In this case, the card holder is covered for up to $500 per covered event.
Should you use the Amex Blue Cash Everyday for a large purchase?
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday is best for those who want extra time to pay off their purchase. The introductory 0% APR for 15 months is one of the best on the market, though you should be sure to pay off your purchase before this rate expires due to the high APR that follows. Plus, you’re also eligible for cash back rewards and limited purchase protection benefits.
Current welcome bonus: Earn $200 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card in your first six months of opening the account. You will receive the $200 in the form of a statement credit.
Read our full review of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card.
Learn more and apply now for the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card.
Citi Double Cash: Best for earning cash back
Who it’s for: Consumers who want to earn the most cash back on a large purchase.
Annual fee: None.
Rewards earning: 2% cash back on all purchases; 1% when you spend and 1% when you pay your credit card balance.
The Citi Double Cash is one of our favorite credit cards at CNN Underscored, and we use it as our benchmark card when reviewing other credit cards. This is in large part because of its earning structure. It earns 2% cash back on all purchases, split up into 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay your credit card balance.
This provides a solid return on your large purchase. For example, if you spend $10,000 on new kitchen appliances, you’ll earn $200 cash back. This cash back is issued in the form of Citi ThankYou points which can be redeemed for statement credits or exchanged for a variety of other redemptions. If you also have a Citi Premier® Card in your wallet, you can transfer points earned with the Citi Double Cash to Citi’s various travel partners.
That said, the card does not have significant purchase protections or a welcome bonus. However, it does offer a 0% introduction APR for balance transfers for 18 months from account opening. This then rises to a variable 18.99% to 28.99% APR. Note that the promotional APR does not apply to purchases.
Should you use the Citi Double Cash for a large purchase?
If you want to maximize your cash back earning, the Citi Double Cash can be a good bet. It’s also a solid option if you also have a Citi Premier card and want to earn extra Citi ThankYou points on your large purchase. Just note that there’s no purchase protections or welcome bonus.
Current welcome bonus: None.
Read our full review of the Citi Double Cash card.
Learn more and apply now for the Citi Double Cash card.
Capital One Venture: Best for earning travel rewards
Who it’s for: Those wanting to earn flexible travel rewards on their large purchases.
Annual fee: $95.
Rewards earning: 2 points per dollar on all purchases.
The Capital One Venture is another favorite in the travel rewards world. As noted, it earns 2 points per dollar on all purchases, regardless of the purchase category. This makes it advantageous for large purchases at retail stores and places that do not often earn bonus points with other travel rewards credit cards.
The card earns Capital One miles which can be used to offset any travel charge at a rate of 1 cent per point. So if you charge a $50 Uber ride to your Capital One Venture card, you can redeem 5,000 points to offset your charge. You can also transfer Capital One miles to various airline and hotel transfer partners to get more value from your points.
The card has one of the better welcome bonuses of the major travel cards too. Right now, it offers 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 on the card within three months of opening the account. This is worth a minimum of $750 when you redeem your points to cover travel purchases.
Beyond rewards, you’ll also get purchase protection benefits with the Capital One Venture card. Eligible purchases are covered for theft and damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase. However, it only covers up to $500 per claim, which is lower than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
The Capital One Venture card also has extended warranty protection that extends manufacturer warranties of up to three years by an extra year. This protection is limited to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year, so it should cover most purchases you make with the card. Just note that there are some exclusions — for example, used products and medical equipment — that are not covered.
Should you use the Capital One Venture for a large purchase?
The Capital One Venture can be a good option if you’re seeking the most possible travel rewards on a large purchase. You’ll earn 2 points per dollar and enjoy extended warranty protection, which could be a huge benefit on expensive long-term purchases. Plus, it has a sizable welcome bonus that will jumpstart your rewards balance.
Current welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after you spend $4,000 in the first three months from account opening.
Read our full review of the Capital One Venture card.
Hilton Honors Surpass: Best large welcome bonus
Who it’s for: Those seeking a large welcome bonus and free hotel stays.
Annual fee: $95 (see rates and fees).
- 12 points per dollar: Eligible purchases charged to your card directly by hotels and resorts in the Hilton portfolio.
- 6 points per dollar: U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations.
- 3 points per dollar: All other purchases.
There are plenty of great welcome bonuses out there, but the Hilton Honors Surpass card offers one of the best. You can earn 130,000 bonus Hilton Honors points and a free night reward when you spend $2,000 on the card in the first three months of opening the account. Travel website The Points Guy values just the points part of this bonus at $780, but it’s possible to get more value depending on how you redeem your Hilton points. And then since the free night reward can be used at most Hilton properties, even those that could possibly go for $1,000+ per night, you can find yourself traveling in luxury in no time.
The card earns 3 points per dollar on most purchases. Since Hilton Honors points are usually valued at 0.6 cents apiece, you’ll get an effective 1.8% return on your purchases. But again, you may be able to a higher return if you maximize your Hilton Honors points by booking high-end hotel stays.
The Surpass card also has two spend bonuses. Card holders can earn a free night reward that can be redeemed at any Hilton property after spending $15,000 on the card in a single calendar year — which is in addition to the free night reward that comes with the current welcome offer. Further, the card includes Hilton Honors Gold elite status which can be upgraded to top-tier Diamond status by spending $40,000 on the card in a calendar year.
Like most Amex cards, the Hilton Honors Surpass includes purchase protection. Eligible purchases are covered against damage and theft for 90 days from the day of purchase, up to $1,000 per covered purchase and $50,000 per calendar year. Like the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, damage due to natural disasters are covered up to $500 per covered event.
Should you use the Hilton Honors Surpass for a large purchase?
The Hilton Honors Surpass card can be a good card to use for large purchases if you’re looking to earn a large welcome bonus that you can redeem for hotel stays. 130,000 Hilton Honors points can go a long way and be redeemed for free nights at virtually all Hilton properties — and that’s on top of the free night award.
Current welcome bonus: Earn 130,000 bonus points and a free night reward after you spend $2,000 in the first three months of card membership.
Read our full review of the Hilton Honors Surpass card.
Learn more and apply now for the Hilton Honors Surpass card.
Making a large purchase with the right credit card can help you earn bonus rewards and be eligible for valuable purchase protections. We recommend applying for the credit card you’d like to use for your purchase as early as possible to ensure it arrives before you need to make said large purchase.
Before deciding on a card, make sure you think through the benefits, rewards and protections that you value the most. In some cases, it could be worth forgoing extra points for added purchase protections, like extended warranty protection offered by certain Chase credit cards. Other times, you may want to prioritize a large welcome bonus if you’re planning a big trip later in the year
Click here for rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday card.
Click here for rates and fees of the Hilton Surpass card.
Find out which cards CNN Underscored chose as its best travel credit cards currently available.
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