Nurses have rewarding but challenging careers. Nurses need a credit card that is easy to use and offers nice rewards and benefits.
We researched hundreds of cards to determine what would be the best credit cards for RNs, LPNs, LVNs, CNAs, and travel nurses.
Below are my favorite credit cards for nurses depending on your lifestyle:
Best Cash Back Card: Citi® Double Cash Card
Best No Annual Fee Card: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Best Starter Travel Card: Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Best Overall Travel Card: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Best Hotel Card: IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer
Best Cash Back Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer boasts a strong 2% rewards rate on purchases, where you get 1% back when you buy and 1% when you pay.
This zero-annual-fee card offers a solid earning potential as long as you pay your balance on time, and it provides a simple way to rack up points with no bonus categories to track.
You can also boost your rewards by also holding the Citi Premier® Card (review), which allows you to transfer points to airline and hotel programs. This combination effectively allows you to earn 2 airline miles per dollar on all spending with the Citi Double Cash.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Best Starter Travel Card
- 5x Points on Travel Booked Via Chase
- 3x Points on Dining and Eligible Delivery Services
- 2x Points on All Other Travel Purchases
- 10% Anniversary Points Boost
- Trip Delay and Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Primary Rental Car Insurance
- $95 Annual Fee
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (review) is one of the best rewards cards for travelers who want solid earning rates for travel and dining expenses.
For only $95 per year, this card earns 5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, 3x points on dining, online groceries, and streaming services, and 2x on all other travel purchases.
Cardholders will also get a 10% anniversary points bonus, a 12-month DoorDash DashPass subscription when activated by December 31, 2024, and a $50 anniversary hotel statement credit.
Plus, it provides extensive travel protections, including trip delay, primary rental car, baggage, and purchase protection plans.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Best for 5% Cash Back in a Single Category
- 5% Cash Back on Purchases in Your Top Eligible Spend Category Each Billing Cycle up to $500 (1% after that)
- 0% Intro APR for 15 Months on Purchases and Balance Transfers ($5 or 5% fee). After that, reg_apr,reg_apr_type.
- No Annual Fee
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a no-annual-fee card that earns 5% cash back in your top spending category each billing cycle.
Eligible 5% cash back categories, among several others, include:
- Gas stations.
- Grocery stores.
- Select travel.
- Home improvement stores.
- Drug stores.
- Fitness clubs.
This allows you to turn the Custom Cash into your 5% cash back card for your favorite category.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Best Travel Card
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that’s perfect for travelers who want outstanding travel perks like annual travel credits, worldwide airport lounge access, and travel and purchase protections.
The Venture X earns 2x miles on all purchases helping you maximize every dollar of your spending. Plus, you can earn 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, and 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One.
The card has a $395 annual fee, completely offset by an easy-to-use travel credit of up to $300 back annually as statement credits for Bookings via Capital One Travel, and 10,000 points (worth at least $100) for each account anniversary.
Plus, you get airport lounge access via Priority Pass, Capital One, and Plaza Premium Lounges, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, Global Entry or TSA PreCheck credit, rental car insurance, trip and luggage insurance, cell phone insurance, and purchase protection.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Best for 5% Cash Back Quarterly Categories
- Earn $200 Bonus Cash Back After Spending $500 in the First 3 Months
- 5% Cash Back in Quarterly Bonus Categories (up to $1,500 in combined spending after activation)
- 5% Cash Back on Travel Purchased Via Chase
- 3% Cash Back at Restaurants, Eligible Food Delivery, and Drug Stores
- Cell Phone Insurance and Purchase Protection
- No Annual Fee
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ (review) is a great no-annual fee card that earns 5% cash back in quarterly categories (up to $1,500 in combined spending) and on travel purchased via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The Freedom Flex also earns 3% cash back at restaurants, eligible food delivery, and drug stores.
The card also comes with nice benefits such as cell phone insurance, extended warranty, purchase protection, secondary rental car insurance, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.
Best for Paying Rent and No Annual Fee
- Pay Rent Without Fees and Earn 1 Point Per Dollar on Rent (up to 50,000 Points Per Calendar Year)
- No Annual Fee
- 3x Points on Dining
- 2x Points on Travel
- Transfer Rewards to Airlines and Hotels
- Cell Phone, Primary Rental Car, and Trip Delay Insurance
Bilt Mastercard® is a no-annual-fee credit card that allows you to pay rent without a transaction fee and earn 1 point per dollar on rent (up to 50,000 points per calendar year).
You also earn 3x points on dining, 2x points on travel, and 1x points everywhere else.
The Bilt Rewards card also has great benefits for a no-annual fee card, including cell phone insurance, primary rental car insurance, 90-day purchase protection, trip delay insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and no foreign transaction fees.
Plus, you can transfer your points to airline and hotel partners such as United Airlines, American Airlines, and World of Hyatt. Or redeem the points for travel or at Amazon.
American Express® Gold Card
Best for Spending at Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets
The American Express® Gold Card is one of my favorite cards because it earns:
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery in the U.S.,
- 4x Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1x).
- 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com
Plus, card members get nice credits when you enroll your Gold Card to offset the annual fee:
- $120 Uber Cash: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account, and each month automatically get up to $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S.
- $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations.
IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card
Best for Free Annual Hotel Night
- 10x Points at IHG Hotels and Resorts
- 5x Points on Travel, Dining, and Gas
- 3x Points on All Other Purchases
- IHG Platinum Elite Status
- Anniversary Free Night
- 4th Night Free on Awards
- Baggage and Trip Interruption/Cancellation Insurance
- Purchase Protection for 120 Days
- $99 Annual Fee
The IHG® Rewards Premier Credit Card (review) is the easiest shortcut to obtaining IHG Platinum elite status, which is a higher tier that offers a 60% points bonus, complimentary suite upgrades, milestone rewards, and late check-out.
The $99 annual fee is easy to recoup for IHG loyalists, as the card comes with a free anniversary hotel night at hotels costing 40,000 points or at least $125 per night plus a fourth night free that you can use to maximize the 140,000 welcome bonus points earned after spending $3,000.
The IHG Premier offers solid returns on spending, earning 10x points at IHG properties plus 10x points for your IHG Rewards membership and 6x points for having the Platinum Elite status for a total of 26x points on hotel stays, and 5x points on travel, gas, and dining.
This card has a wide array of protections, including trip cancellation, travel accident, baggage delay, purchase, and secondary rental car insurance.
United℠ Explorer Card
Best for Benefits on United Airlines
- 2X Miles on United Purchases, Dining, and Hotel Stays
- 2 United Club One-Time Passes Per Year
- Free First Checked Bags for Two People
- Up to $100 Global Entry, TSA PreCheck, or Nexus Credit
- 25% Savings on United In-Flight Food and Drinks
- Priority Boarding
- Primary Rental Car and Trip Delay Insurance
- $0 Intro Annual Fee, Then $95 Per Year
The United℠ Explorer Card (review) is one of my favorite cards to keep long-term because of the great benefits when flying United, including:
- Free first checked bag when you pay using the Explorer card;
- Two free United Club passes each account anniversary;
- Priority boarding for you and companions on the same reservation;
- Extra award space when redeeming your United miles;
- 25% back as a statement credit on purchases of food, beverages, and Wi-Fi on United; and
- Premier upgrades on award tickets.
Even if you’re not a frequent United flyer, the money-saving perks and travel benefits of this card can still make it a worthwhile choice.
Besides the airline-specific benefits, the United Explorer card offers purchase protection, extended warranty, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance, providing peace of mind while traveling.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
Best for Airport Lounge Access
The The Platinum Card® from American Express (review) is a great premium travel rewards card for travelers who want airport lounge access, including Centurion Lounges, Delta Sky Clubs (when flying Delta), Escape Lounges, Priority Pass lounges.
The American Express Platinum has a $695 annual fee, but you receive many annual statement credits when you enroll your card to offset the fee, including:
- $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Card.
- $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
- $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Disney+, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
- $200 Uber Cash Credit: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Benefit renews annually.
- $155 Walmart+ Credit: Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership (subject to auto-renewal) and receive a statement credit that covers the full cost each month.
- $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: Breeze through security with CLEAR® Plus at 45+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per year on your membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Platinum Card®.
You also earn 5x Membership Rewards points when booking flights directly with airlines or with American Express Travel (up to $500,000 in purchases per calendar year) and 5x Membership Rewards points when booking prepaid hotels with American Express Travel.
On top of that, you automatically earn Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite and Hilton Honors Gold statuses, which offer points bonuses, room upgrades, late check-out, and other premier benefits.
Hilton Honors American Express
Best No-Annual Fee Hilton Card
- 7X Points at Hilton Hotels and Resorts
- 5X Points at U.S. Restaurants, U.S. Supermarkets, and U.S. Gas Stations
- Complimentary Hilton Honors Silver Status
- No Annual Fee (Rates and Fees)
The Hilton Honors American Express is a great no-annual-fee card that earns 7x Hilton Honors points at Hilton properties and 5x points at restaurants, supermarkets, and gas stations in the U.S.
This practical card also gets you complimentary Silver status, which comes with standard perks like a fifth night free on award stays and a 15% points bonus on Hilton stays.
Plus, you have the opportunity to reach Gold status by spending $20,000 per year.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
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The Chase Freedom Unlimited® (review) is a good no-annual fee credit card option that offers 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back at restaurants, takeout, eligible delivery services, and on drugstore purchases. Plus it offers 1.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
The card also offers nice benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and secondary rental car insurance.