The best credit cards for millennials offer generous rewards that can be redeemed in the form of cash, travel and, experiences — as well as drool-worthy introductory offers and sign-up bonuses to fit the Gen Y lifestyle.

When it comes to spending, there are three things millennials don’t skimp on: traveling, dining out, and events. In fact, in a recent survey by Harris, 78% of millennials said they’d rather spend their money on experiences than owning stuff. That’s not to say they don’t like to shop, but when they do, they value the convenience of online shopping above everything else and get rewarded for it to maximize their savings.

The credit cards featured on this list offer generous rewards for everyday purchases, like groceries, gas, and streaming services, in addition to drool-worthy sign-up bonuses and introductory offers that cater to the millennial lifestyle.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

If you love to shop and travel, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is for you. This card offers a sign-up bonus of 75,000 miles (equal to $600 in travel) after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.

The card is best known for earning an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on all purchases as well as a 75,000-mile sign-up bonus when you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. Cardholders also can earn 5x miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and there are no foreign transaction fees — so you can use your card around the globe.

Other benefits include premier access to reservations at exclusive top-notch restaurants around the country and pre-sales to concerts, festivals, games, and other events.

  • Introductory APR: N/A
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0 at this Transfer APR.
  • Regular APR: 18.99% - 26.99% (Variable).
  • Annual Fee: $95.
  • Sign-up Bonus: 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
  • Rewards: 2x miles earned per $1 spent on all purchases.
  • Unique Features: Receive up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®.

Related: Capital One Venture review

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®  is truly the ultimate rewards card. Cardholders get 5% cash back on trips booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards®, in addition to 3% cash back on dining at restaurants (including takeout and eligible delivery services). Lastly, you also get 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

As an added bonus, you’ll earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all of these spending categories for the first $20,000 spent in the first year!

For a no annual fee card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® benefits are generous, especially for budget-conscious millennials looking to maximize their savings.

  • Introductory APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: $0 at this Transfer APR.
  • Regular APR: 17.24% - 25.99% Variable.
  • Annual Fee: $0.
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent (750+)
  • Sign-up Bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% on all purchases you make the first year, up to a maximum of $20,000.
  • Rewards: Earn 5% cash back on trips booked using Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • Unique Features: You don’t need to reach a minimum to redeem your points, and you also get protection for up to 120 days against damage or theft on all new purchases (limitations apply).

Related: Chase Freedom Unlimited® review

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a great match for busy millennials who value convenience and comfort above everything else, but who are also firm believers that traveling broadens the mind.

Here’s why: Chase Sapphire Preferred® will give you 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points every time you order groceries online, 3x points for dining out or ordering takeout, and 3x on select streaming services.

Finally, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is competitive when it comes to the intro reward bonus. New cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s equal to $750 towards travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or $600 in cash back. Additionally, you can earn 2x points on all other travel purchases and 1 point per dollar spent on other purchases.

  • Introductory APR: N/A.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Regular APR: 18.24% - 25.24% Variable on both purchases and balance transfers.
  • Annual Fee: $95.
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent (750+).
  • Sign-up Bonus: 60,000 bonus points (worth $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards® or $600 in cash back) after spending $4,000 in the first three months.
  • Rewards: 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining, online grocery shopping, and select streaming services, 2x points on all other travel purchases, and more.
  • Unique Features: No foreign transaction fees; get 15,000 bonus points for each referral that gets approved.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred® review

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi® Double Cash Card is an outstanding card for balance transfers that also rewards your good financial habits with its unique rewards system.

Here’s how it works:

Instead of paying a flat percentage on purchases, Citi pays 1% on purchases, and 1% on the payments you make on the card.

So, for example, if you charge $1,000 on the card for the month, you’ll receive $10 cash back. But if you pay the balance in full, you’ll receive another $10. It’s a good incentive to get you to pay back what you purchase while intending to take advantage of the rewards. 

But the most notorious feature of this card is that it comes with a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for a full 18 months.

  • Introductory APR: 0% on balance transfers for 18 months.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: An intro balance transfer fee of 3% applies per transfer (minimum $5) when completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, the fee will be 5% per transfer ($5 min.).
  • Regular APR: 16.99% - 26.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0.
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent.
  • Sign-up Bonus: For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Rewards: Earn 2% on every purchase; 1% cash back when you buy plus an additional 1% when you pay for those purchases.
  • Unique Features: Rewards can be redeemed for statement credits or checks; free monthly credit score.

Related: Citi® Double Cash Card vs. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Discover it® Cash Back

If you’re looking for a card that allows you to make the most out of everyday purchases — the Discover it® Cash Back has you covered. This card features 5% cash back on select categories each quarter, including groceries, restaurants, gym memberships, gas stations, and select retailers, like Amazon and Target. Activation is required and the max spend per quarter is $1,500.

You also get 1% cash back on all other purchases, and a 0% introductory APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. 

One of the great things about this card is that instead of giving you an upfront bonus, Discover matches 100% of your rewards within the first year — without any limits. 

Finally, Discover rewards those with excellent credit with one of the lowest starting APRs in the market at just 11.99%, and it doesn’t charge any annual fees.

  • Introductory APR: 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months.
  • Balance Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee on transfers that post before 10/10/2022, then 5% fee on all other balance transfers.
  • Regular APR: 11.99% – 22.99% Variable.
  • Annual Fee: $0.
  • Credit Needed: Good/Excellent (700+).
  • Sign-up Bonus: Your cash back will be matched at the end of the first year.
  • Rewards: 5% cash back on rotating quarterly merchant categories like gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; 1% cash back on all other purchases. Max spend is $1,500 per quarter and activation is required.
  • Unique Features: Redeem rewards for cash at any time; no late fee on your first late payment and paying late won’t raise your APR; no foreign transaction fee; free FICO credit score.

Related: Discover it® Cash Back review

Summary

Although the credit card list above was curated with millennials’ spending habits in mind, finding the one that’s right for you will depend on your specific needs.

For example, if your goal is to consolidate and pay off debt faster, then the Citi® Double Cash Card can be a good option to explore, as it offers the longest 0% introductory APR on all purchases and balance transfers. Got the wanderlust bug? You may want to consider the Capital One Venture or Chase Sapphire Preferred® cards. But if you’re looking for a card that rewards you for everyday purchases, then the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could be your best bet.

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About the author

Heidi Rivera
Total Articles: 33
Heidi Rivera is a Puerto Rico-based personal finance reporter. Her areas of expertise include credit, student debt, and higher education. Heidi’s work has been featured on Money, Yahoo, MSN Money, and Money Talks News. When she isn’t writing, Heidi likes to watch horror movies, enjoy a slice (or four) of pizza while sipping on some wine, or chilling at home with her cats. You can reach her on Twitter @_HRivera or on LinkedIn.