Best credit cards for physicians

By Naveed Saleh, MD, MS, for MDLinx
Published September 16, 2019

Key Takeaways

With all the credit cards out there, it can quickly become overwhelming trying to choose the one that’s best for you. And as a physician, this process can become even more difficult. While your profession doesn’t necessarily have to define which credit card you choose, certain high-income jobs—like physicians—can qualify you for a range of attractive offers, making the possibilities seem endless.

Some credit cards may be great for travelers, such as those who frequently attend conferences; others may be better for business owners, including solo practice physicians; and some can provide appealing credit transfer terms that will help with other debt.

Let’s take a look at seven cards with enviable features curated by our editors specifically for the busy physician.

NIH Visa Signature Cash Rewards

The NIH Federal Credit Union was established in 1940. It caters to physicians and other healthcare professionals.

Here is a summary of the features of this card:

  • 3% cash back on gas, 2% cash back on groceries, and 1% on other purchases, with points redeemable for travel, cash, gift cards, merchandise, or donations to NIH charities
  • Credit limits ranging from $5,000 to $25,000
  • Visa travel concierge
  • Lost luggage and travel insurance
  • Extended warranty protection
  • 0% APR for first 12 months followed by an APR of 12.99% to 17.99% depending on credit score
  • No annual fees

Chase Ink Business Cash

Are you a private practitioner with your own professional corporation or professional LLC? If so, consider this card.

Here are the benefits:

  • No annual fees
  • 0% APR on purchases for the first 12 months; then variable APR of 15.24%-21.24%
  • $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 on the card in the first 3 months
  • A whopping 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent on office supplies, Internet, phone, and cable each account anniversary year
  • 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent at gas stations or restaurants each account anniversary year (and if you buy a Subway sandwich after filling up…)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limits on the amount of cash back earned
  • Business safeguards including fraud protection, purchase protection, and account alerts
  • Free cards for employees (so nobody has to borrow yours!)

NIH Visa Signature Travel Rewards

Traveling to lots of conferences? Have epicurean sensibilities? This card is for you!

The following are some features:

  • Unlimited double points for every $1 you spend on travel and dining, with points redeemable for further travel, merchandise, gift cards, and donations to NIH charities
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Visa concierge, and emergency and travel assistance
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Lost luggage and travel insurance
  • 0% APR for first 12 months followed by an APR of 14.99% to 16.99% based on credit score
  • No annual fees

Capital One Venture Rewards

Here’s another great card for frequent travelers, though this one doesn’t come with all the business perks of the aforementioned Chase card.

  • Unlimited 2X miles per dollar spent using the card, and a huge 10X miles on thousands of eligible hotels, through January 2020
  • 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases using the card during the first 3 months after opening the account
  • 99% to 25.24% variable APR
  • Up to $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck fee
  • No transfer fees
  • $0 intro fee for the first year, with $95 per year thereafter

Chase Sapphire Preferred

This card offers some novel perks to travelers.

Here are some features:

  • 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account (60,000 points convert to $750 for planes and hotels, or $600 cash)
  • Double points on air, taxi, train, hotels, and other travel expenses
  • Double points on dining
  • For other purchases, 1 point per $1 spent
  • 1 to 1 transfer of points from participating frequent travel programs
  • Collision damage for car rentals
  • Trip cancellation insurance
  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Round-the-clock customer service
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 99% to 24.99% variable APR
  • $95 annual fee

Capital One VentureOne Rewards

This card has similar perks to the Capital One Venture Rewards card, but with slight differences.

  • Unlimited 1.25X miles per dollar spent on every purchase using the card, plus a huge 10X miles on lots of eligible hotels, through January 2020
  • 20,000 bonus miles after spending $1,000 on purchases during the first 3 months after opening the account
  • 0% intro APR and 14.24% to 24.24% variable APR thereafter
  • No transfer fees
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR for first 12 months, with 14.24% to 24.24% variable APR thereafter

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard

If all you care about is cash back, this card is for you.

Here are some perks:

  • 3% cash back on up to $10,000 during the first year, and 1.5% unlimited cash back on every $1 spent on all new, net purchases thereafter
  • 10% anniversary bonus on all cash purchases each year
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers during the first 12 months after opening the account followed by a competitive variable APR of 14.99%, 18.99% or 24.99% thereafter
  • No annual fees
  • No foreign transaction fees

Finally, not all of the above information is iron-clad. As with all financial vehicles, terms and conditions apply. Before applying for any of these cards, take a closer look or reach out to card customer service. Also, keep in mind that some of these cards require excellent credit. After all, to the credit score victor go the credit card spoils!

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