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Whether you need to charge a single large transaction or a series of purchases adding up to more than $25,000, charging it to a credit card is an excellent alternative to traditional financing. You can earn tens of thousands of points and miles, hit a spending bonus and receive a free night certificate or earn elite status with a hotel or airline loyalty program.
Earning rewards on large purchases isn’t just limited to business cards either. Plenty of consumer cards provide bonus points, free nights, or fast-tracks to elite status for hitting pre-defined spending thresholds, or you could choose a card offering unlimited 2% cash back and earn $500 back on your purchase.
Large purchases can include:
- Renovations or the deposit on a new home
- Weddings or family events
- Healthcare spending and medical procedures
- General business expenses and office equipment
- New appliances
- A new car
- Using Plastiq to pay big expenses that don't accept credit cards
- College tuition
Before we jump into the best credit cards for spending north of $25K, making large purchases on your credit card also comes with some caveats. There is the temptation to rake in lots of points from a large purchase without calculating any additional costs such as transaction fees or interest.
We recommend paying off your card in full every month to avoid interest payments, a habit we encourage even on 0% intro APR cards as it helps cement healthy credit habits. Transaction fees and interest on debt quickly wipe out the gains you receive in the form of points, miles, or cash back, so unless you plan on paying your balance in full each month, this isn’t a method we’d recommend for financing large purchases.
It’s also important to consider other factors like purchase protection and extended warranty rather than making your decision based solely on the rewards you receive.
Top Rewards Credit Cards for Spending $25,000
We've broken down our list of top rewards cards into different categories to show the rough value you can extract from different strategies. The value depends entirely on how you value rewards points, and whether the rewards will help get you to your next award travel goal.
|Best Rewards Card(s) For||Credit Card(s)||Rewards Earned After Spending $25,000||Value of Rewards||Total Value|
|Single Welcome Bonus||• Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card|
• Iberia Visa Signature® Card
• British Airways Visa Signature® Card
|• 125,000 Avios||1.5¢||$1,875|
|Annual Spending Bonus||• Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card||• Free Weekend Night|
• 75,000 HH points
|Everyday Card||• The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||• 50,000||1.7¢||$850|
|Cash Back Card||• Capital One Spark Cash for Business||• 2% of $25K||N/A||$500|
Credit Card Welcome Bonuses with High Minimum Spend Requirements
If you’re looking to take advantage of a large purchase, it’s hard to go past the trio of Avios earning cards issued by Chase. All three cards feature high welcome bonuses with higher than average minimum spend requirements to receive the full bonus.
- British Airways Visa Signature® Card – Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Aer Lingus Visa Signature® Card – Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Iberia Visa Signature® Card – Earn up to 100,000 bonus Avios. Earn 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening. Plus earn an additional 50,000 bonus Avios after you spend $20,000 on your purchases within your first year of account opening.
Alternatively, you could consider splitting up a large expense over several new cards and collect multiple welcome bonuses, potentially earning hundreds of thousands of points as shown in the table above.
Credit Card Bonuses for Hitting Annual Spending Thresholds
Outside of chasing welcome bonuses but sitting close behind in value is hitting bonus spending thresholds on cards you already hold. This category is primarily made up of co-brand cards offering bonus miles, free nights, or fast-tracks to elite status (or a combination). One of the most important aspects of annual spending bonuses to wrap your head around is how each card defines a year.
While most annual spending bonuses are tracked by calendar year, some classify a year as a cardmember year, or the 12 month period after you first receive the card, typically counted as the 12 billing cycles from the first statement close following the card being issued. Be sure to check your card T&Cs before chasing down a spending bonus to ensure you have a firm grasp on how the year is defined.
Just to be clear, these are not the only benefits (or even the best) on these rewards cards. For brevity, we’ve only listed the bonuses received when you hit the annual spending bonus threshold.
Update for 2021: As part of its Covid-19 response, Delta is adding a 25% boost to MQMs earned via the Status Boost on your Delta co-brand card in 2021. That means Platinum cardholders will earn 12,500 MQM and Reserve cardholders 18,750 MQM at each status boost tier. We've factored these updated numbers into the bullets below.
- Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card & Delta SkyMiles® Platinum Business American Express Card – Earn 12,500 MQMs after you spend $25,000 or more in eligible purchases in a calendar year, plus an additional 12,500 MQMs after you spend $50,000 in a calendar year for a total of 25,000 MQMs.
- Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card & Delta SkyMiles® Reserve Business American Express Card – Earn 18,750 MQMs for every $30,000 you spend in a calendar year up to 4 times, up to $120,000 in spend.
- Hilton Honors American Express Aspire Card – Receive a free weekend night reward when you spend $60,000 in a calendar year.
- Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card – Receive a free weekend night reward when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year, plus spend $40,000 in a calendar year and earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
- The Hilton Honors American Express Business Card – Receive a free weekend night when you spend $15,000 in a calendar year and an additional weekend night after spending a total of $60,000 in the same calendar year, plus spend $40,000 in a calendar year and earn Hilton Honors Diamond status through the end of the next calendar year.
- Marriott Bonvoy Business™ American Express® Card – Earn Gold Elite status after spending $35,000 or more in eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year.
- AAdvantage® Aviator® Red Mastercard® – Earn $3,000 Elite Qualifying Dollars after spending $25,000 on purchases each calendar year.
- JetBlue Plus Card & JetBlue Business Card – Earn TrueBlue Mosaic benefits for one year after you spend $50,000 or more on purchases each calendar year.
- IHG® Rewards Club Premier Credit Card – Receive 10,000 bonus points after you spend $20,000 on purchases and make one additional purchase each account anniversary every year.
- Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit Card – Earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite Benefits when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- Marriott Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card – Earn Marriott Rewards Gold Elite Benefits when you spend $35,000 on purchases each account year.
- The Ritz-Carlton Rewards® Credit Card – Earn Platinum Elite status when you spend $75,000 in an account year.
- The World Of Hyatt Credit Card – Earn a free night at any Category 1-4 Hyatt hotel or resort if you spend $15,000 during your cardmember anniversary year.
- Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card, Southwest Rapid Rewards® Priority Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Business Credit Card, and Southwest Rapid Rewards® Performance Business Credit Card – Earn 1,500 tier qualifying points towards Rapid Rewards A-List or A-List Preferred status for every $10,000 spent, up to 15,000 tier qualifying points per year. $20,000 spend would net you 3,000 TQP towards Southwest elite status. In addition to earning tier qualifying points, points earned on the four Southwest cards linked above and the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Plus Credit Card count towards earning the Southwest Companion Pass. To earn the Southwest Companion Pass, Rapid Rewards members need to earn 125,000 points in a calendar year. Qualifying points include points earned when flying Southwest, points earned on the Southwest co-brand cards (welcome bonuses and regular spending), and base points earned from Rapid Rewards partners. See our post on how to earn the Southwest Companion Pass for details.
- Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite Mastercard® – Earn 10,000 Elite Qualifying Miles every calendar year when you spend $40,000.
- CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard® – Earn a $99 Companion Certificate after spending $30,000 in a calendar year.
Best Cashback & Everyday Spending Cards for Big Purchases
If you’ve exhausted all the welcome offers you’re eligible for and reached the annual spending bonus on your existing cards, there is still scope to bank a substantial rewards balance from large purchases. The cards listed below all offer better than one point per dollar and provide an additional way of maximizing large purchases when you have run out of higher value methods of collecting points.
- The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express – 2X Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases such as office supplies or client dinners (applies to first $50,000 spent each year, then 1X).
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express – 1.5X points per dollar on purchases of $5,000+, up to 1 million additional points per year.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited® – Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases with no limits. Pair with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card which allow you to transfer points to travel partners.
- Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card – Earn 1.5% cash rewards on purchases across the board. While not the best return from a standalone product, transfer those points to your Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card and you can redeem each point for 1.5¢ per point towards travel (1.75¢ per point if you spend $50K+ each year) which is a great return.
- The Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express – While this card only earns 1 points per dollar on non-bonus purchases, if you make 30 or more purchases in a billing period you'll earn 50% more points for 1.5x Membership Rewards.
- Capital One Spark Miles for Business – Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase
Maximizing Bonus Categories on Large Purchases
We’ve covered the best cards to use for each bonus category in detail in the posts below. The only caveat being that some of the cards listed in these posts feature spending caps. Before making a large purchase with the expectation you’ll earn lots of bonus points, check that the card in question will award bonus points on the entire purchase.
- Best Credit Cards for Everyday Purchases
- Best Rewards Credit Cards for Non-Bonus Category Spend
- Best Rewards Cards for Travel Purchases
- Best Credit Cards for Gas & Fuel
- Best Rewards Cards for Dining & Restaurants
- Best Credit Cards for Supermarkets & Groceries
- Best Credit Cards For Small Business
- Best Credit Cards for Office Supplies & Mobile Phone Services
- Best Credit Cards to Pay for Advertising and Shipping
If you need to spend $25,000+, either in a single transaction or spread over multiple purchases, why not use a credit card and fill your balance of rewards points in the process! Just make sure you take note of other factors like Purchase Protection and the value of any points or miles earned, and make sure you’re not carrying a balance on your cards from the large purchase or you’ll quickly wipe out the value of your rewards points.
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