The broad definition of “Wellness” encompasses all aspects of well-being. Because our spending decisions, our health, and our time are influenced by our choices, a large portion of the household budget is tied to wellness. You might also experience some financial wellness if you use the right credit card for this type of spending. It’s […]

The broad definition of “Wellness” encompasses all aspects of well-being. Because our spending decisions, our health, and our time are influenced by our choices, a large portion of the household budget is tied to wellness.

You might also experience some financial wellness if you use the right credit card for this type of spending.

It’s not surprising, however, that you won’t find any card offering “5% cashback on wellness spending” because of how holistic wellness is. You can start by identifying your needs and narrow down your options.

Health categories for credit cards

Each rewards credit card offers cash back or points. You may get the same rewards rate for every purchase, such as 1.5% cashback or 2 points per $1. Some offer higher rewards for specific categories of bonus.

The most common credit card bonuses categories that are related to wellness include

  • Health. This category can be used to cover medical expenses as well as some other categories.

  • Drugstores. Personal care products, medicine, and supplements.

  • It covers memberships to fitness clubs and gyms, but it could also include classes and purchases depending on which card you have.

  • Sports goods shops. Equipment, shoes, and clothing for the fitness minded.

  • Grocery shops. For those who prepare healthy meals at home.

  • Restaurants.

  • Entertainment. Find joy in activities that provide entertainment.

  • Streaming services. Online platforms offer a variety of services, including fitness instruction, videos on wellness, inspiration, meditations, and music. Different cards cover different services.

  • Take a trip.

A flat-rate card may be a better option if you are unable to find one that offers a variety of wellness categories. It might give you 2% cash back for every purchase.

Top credit cards to help you feel better:

We have some tips on how to choose the right credit card for major medical expenses, after our top cards for wellbeing.

Triple Cash Rewards Visa(r),

Best For: Lifestyle and medical spending

It’s good for your wellness: The Upgrade Triple cash Rewards Visa(r), is as close as you can get to an all-encompassing health card. You can earn unlimited 3% cashback on any purchases that it considers “health” related. This category covers both lifestyle and medical aspects of wellness. It is quite broad. This long list includes dentists, chiropractors and hospitals.

Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa(r) allows you to convert any remaining balances into a fixed-rate loan that has a set repayment plan. This is a great way to save money than traditional credit cards. You only need to make a minimum payment, which can leave you in debt for many years and not make any progress towards eliminating it. Although it is not ideal to carry medical debt on any credit cards — see below for more information — this card might be less harmful.

Merchants within the “health” category

The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa(r), “Health” includes purchases made in the following merchant category codes

  • Bicycle shop — Sales and Services.

  • Chiropractors.

  • Counseling services – debt, marriage, and personal.

  • Schools, dance studios, and halls of fame.

  • Orthodontists and dentists.

  • Not classified as doctors or physicians elsewhere.

  • Pharmacies and drugstores.

  • Beauty and health spas.

  • Hearing aids – Sales, Service and Supplies

  • Hospitals.

  • Dental and medical laboratories.

  • Health practitioners who provide medical services not otherwise classified.

  • Membership clubs for sports, recreation and athletic.

  • Country clubs, private golf courses.

  • Personal and nursing care facilities.

  • Optometrists, ophthalmologists.

  • Prosthetic and orthopedic products.

  • Osteopathic doctors.

  • Chiropodiatrists, chiropodists.

  • Public golf courses.

  • Not classified elsewhere.

  • Sports goods stores.

  • Sport and riding apparel shops

Additional benefits: Earn 3% cashback in the “auto”, and “home” categories. Each of these categories includes a wide range of expenses, just like the health category. Other purchases earn 1%

There are some drawbacks to be aware of: While this card is unique, most of your daily spending will earn less than 1%. Gas stations are not included in the auto category. Food purchases do not count. Reward points for purchases are only credited to your account after payment has been made.

U.S. Bank Cash+(r) Visa Signature(r) Card

Best: Get 5% Cash Back in Lifestyle Categories

It’s great for your health and wellbeing: The U.S. The Bank Cash+(r), Visa Signature(r), Card earns 5% cashback on your first $2,000 spent per quarter in the two categories you select from a 12. You can choose from a list of 12 categories to get 5% cash back, including gyms and fitness centers, sporting goods stores, internet TV and streaming, department stores, electronics stores and movie theaters.

You’d have a hard time maximising your rewards in these categories, but it’s true. Who is going to spend that much money on gym memberships in one quarter? Consolidating spending is one option. Consider paying for a year of gym membership ahead of time if you can. Pay for one year and then change to the next quarter. Make gyms a 5% membership category for quarter 1. You can do the same thing with streaming subscriptions. Are you looking for a piece exercise equipment? For one quarter, shop at sporting goods shops

5% categories

The U.S. The U.S. Bank Cash+ (r) Visa Signature(r), Card offered 12 categories with a 5% option:

  • Mobile phone providers.

  • Department stores.

  • Electronics stores.

  • Fast Food.

  • Furniture stores.

  • Ground transport.

  • Gyms/fitness centers.

  • Home utilities.

  • Movie theatres.

  • Choose clothing stores.

  • Sports goods stores.

  • TV, internet, and streaming services.

Additional benefits include 2% cashback in one category (everyday), which can be grocery stores, restaurants or gas stations. All other purchases earn you 1% cashback. New cardholders are eligible for a bonus offer.

There are some drawbacks to be aware of: You must activate your 5% or 2% categories each quarter. This card needs to be maintained. Solution: Create reminders for your calendar.

Citi Custom Money(sm), Card

Best for: Automatic, customized 5% rewards

It’s great for your wellness: The Citi Custom cash(sm) card automatically earns you 5% cashback in the eligible category where the highest amount of money is spent each billing cycle. This can be up to $500 in spending. The 5% list includes 10 categories that include big-spending options such as gas stations, grocery stores and restaurants, but also includes wellness-oriented categories like streaming services, drugstores, and select live entertainment.

Similar to the U.S. You can maximize your bonus rewards with the Bank Cash+(r), Visa Signature(r), Card by consolidating your spending and being more strategic about what you buy and when. But unlike the card, you don’t have to pick your category. The card will identify your top spending categories after the fact, and reward you accordingly.

5% categories

Eligible categories for the Citi Cash(sm), Card :

  • Drugstores.

  • Fitness clubs.

  • Gas stations.

  • Grocery shops.

  • Home improvement stores.

  • Live entertainment.

  • Restaurants.

  • Choose streaming services.

  • Select transit.

  • Choose your travel.

Additional benefits: This card earns 1% cashback on all other purchases, including those above $500 per cycle in the top category. The card comes with a strong bonus offer for cardholders.

There are some drawbacks. The $500 monthly spending cap that is eligible for 5% cashback is quite low. Comparable cards have a higher limit that applies on an annual or quarterly basis. There are also gaps in the bonus categories that could exclude certain wellness spending. Virtual services for fitness equipment, such as Peloton classes, are not included in streaming or fitness club services.

Paceline card

Best For: Rewards for physical activity

It’s great for your wellness: The Paceline Card gives 2.5% cash back on certain “health and well-being purchases” which include groceries, drugstores and sporting goods, gyms and fitness equipment, as well as apparel, shoes, and other items. If you reach a Paceline Streak, which is a high heart rate that exceeds 150 minutes per week, your rate will double to 5% cashback. This can be done using a Paceline app compatible device (certain iPhones, Apple Watches Fitbit wearables and Garmin watches).

What is “health and well-being”

Paceline’s marketing materials do not include a complete list of merchants and merchant code codes that are eligible for the 2.5% cash back rate on purchases related to “health and wellbeing”. This is how the company’s website identified eligible categories as of December 2022.

  • Sports apparel:

  • Classes, gyms, and studios: Eligible Merchants include “from Planet Fitness to CorePower Yoga and Orangetheory to your local pilates class.”

  • Sporting gear and goods: Dick’s Sporting Goods and Big 5 at your local bike shop and many more.

  • Fitness equipment ‘Equipment such as the Peloton Bike, Tonal, Mirror or iFit, iFit, and Echelon.

  • Groceries All grocery purchases from your favorite, including Whole Foods or Trader Joe’s.

  • Drugstores & Pharmacies: Purchases from CVS Walgreens Rite Aid, Rite Aid, and other pharmacies.

Additional benefits: Cardholders who make other purchases earn 1.5% cashback, which increases to 3% if they achieve a Paceline Streak. Cardholders who complete a Paceline Streak every month can earn $429 in statement credit over 12 months towards reimbursement for the purchase price of an Apple Watch.

There are some drawbacks to be aware of: The annual fee for the card is $60

Wells Fargo Active Cash(r) Card

The best for: Simplicity and a great price on all

It’s great for your wellness. The card is easy to use: Earn 2% cashback on all purchases, no matter where they are made or what they are. For those who spend all over the place, rather than in a few specific categories, a flat-rate card such as Wells Fargo Active cash(r) Card can be a great option.

Additional benefits: The card offers a great bonus offer to new cardholders. You can also get cell phone protection when you pay your wireless bill with this card.

There are some drawbacks. But what’s the downside? The downside? You get the same rate for everything. You earn the same rate on all categories. It may be worthwhile to consider a card that offers higher rewards for spending in certain areas. Some people even make a hobby of optimizing their credit cards rewards. This can also be a way to improve your overall health.

Blue Cash Prreferred(r) Card by American Express

Best For: Home cooks

The Blue Cash Preferred(r), American Express Card is a great option for your wellness. If you are a frequent spender on groceries and want to cook healthy meals at home, then the Blue Cash Privilege(r) Card should be a good fit in your wallet. The industry-leading 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in spending) is available. 1% follows. You can also get 6% cashback on selected U.S. streaming subscriptions. This means that you can earn rewards for watching cooking tutorials and everything else ad-free on YouTube Premium. These terms and conditions apply.

Additional benefits include 3% cashback at U.S. stations and transit stops, plus 1% cashback on all other purchases. New cardholders get a great welcome offer.

There are some drawbacks to be aware of: The card has a $0 annual fee, then it will cost you $95. The card is worth $31 per week if you shop at U.S. supermarkets.

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

Ideal for: Foodies — at home and on the town

It’s great for your wellness: There are some cards that pay high cash rewards on groceries and others that pay high restaurant rewards. The Capital One SavorOne cash rewards credit card is unique in that it covers both types of food spending. You get 3% cashback on all purchases, including at restaurants and grocery stores. This card is the perfect dinner-and-a movie card.

Additional benefits: All spending earns 1% cashback. It offers a great bonus and has an annual fee of $0

Drawbacks to be aware of: A card with higher rewards may be better for you if your food spending is more towards restaurants or grocery stores than it is toward restaurants.

AARP (r) Essential Rewards Mastercard(r), Barclays

Best For: Variable medical expenses

It’s great for your health and wellness. This card is one of very few that offers medical expenses as a bonus. Unlimited 2% cashback is available to doctors, dentists hospitals, ambulance services, and other providers. You can also get 3% cash back from gas stations and drugstores.

You don’t need to be an AARP member in order to get the card. The card is available to anyone who supports AARP, which promotes the interests of those 50 years and older. Barclays donates $10 per new account to the AARP foundation to support efforts to increase social connections. There is another aspect to wellness.

Medical expenses which are eligible for 2% cashback

Barclays, the card issuer, has defined eligible medical purchases on the card’s website as the items that were made under the following conditions


  • Orthodontists.

  • Osteopathic doctors.

  • Chiropractors.

  • Optometrists.

  • Ophthalmologists.

  • Opticians.

  • Eyeglasses & optical goods

  • Chiropodists.

  • Podiatrists.

  • Hospitals.

  • Dental and medical laboratories.

  • Hearing aids.

  • Ambulance services.

  • Orthopedic products.

  • Prosthetic devices.

  • Personal and nursing care facilities.

  • Health practitioners and medical services not otherwise classified (NEC).

  • Doctors not otherwise classified (NEC).

Additional benefits: All purchases earn 1% cashback New cardholders get a modest bonus. To be eligible for the card, you don’t have to be an AARP member.

There are some drawbacks. While the 2% reward rate for medical spending is attractive, it is not the same rate as many credit cards that offer all purchases. These cards would offer the same rewards for medical spending as the Barclays AARP(r), Essential Rewards Mastercard(r), and 2% on all other purchases.

Do you need a credit card to cover large medical bills?

Credit cards can be expensive and may not be the best option to pay for medical bills. The rule of thumb is that if you have to pay more than one year for a medical bill, it might be a good idea to talk to the billing department to devise a payment plan that doesn’t include the high interest credit cards can charge. A credit card may be the best option for those health care expenses that you can afford or will only take a year to pay off.


Your health is the most important thing! You shouldn’t feel guilty about taking out credit cards if you have to in order to get the medical care that you need. Although a credit card can’t be used as an emergency fund, it can serve as a safety net.

You can pay upfront for costs: A rewards card

You don’t have to pay your medical bills out of pocket. Instead, you could put the money on a rewards credit card and get a little back. One of the cards listed above could offer cash back for medical expenses. If you don’t feel like these cards are a good fit for you, you can use a flat rate card that offers good rewards on all purchases.

There are many flat-rate options available:

You should note that spending on a credit card to earn rewards is only possible if your balance is paid in full each month. You’ll pay interest if you have debt that you don’t pay off each month. This can quickly eat away at the value of any rewards earned.

A 0% card is a way to pay for your costs in a year.

You may be eligible for a card with a 0% APR period for purchases of one year or more if you have excellent credit. Two years at 0% is the best offer. Multiple rewards cards offer 0% for 12 to 15 months. This allows you to earn rewards or even sign-up bonuses with your spending, and still have plenty of time to pay it off.

Cards with a long 0% term:

  • BankAmericard(r), credit card 0% Intro APR for Purchases for 21 Billing Cycles and 0% Intro APR for Balance Transfers for 21 Billing Cycles for any balance transfers that were made within the first 60 Days. After that, the ongoing APR at 15.74%-25.74% Variable.

  • Wells Fargo Reflect(r), Card. 0% Intro APR on Purchases Up to 21 Months. 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers Up to 21 Months from Account Opening on Qualifying Balance Transfers. Then the ongoing APR of 16.74% – 28.74% Variable.

Rewards cards featuring a great 0% intro APR:

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash(r) Card. 0% intro rate on purchases for 15 months, 0% intro rate on balance transfers 15 months after account opening on qualified balance transfers. Then, the ongoing APRs of 18.74%-23.74% or 28.74% Variable. You will receive 2% cashback on medical expenses with this card.

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited(r). For purchases and balance transfers, 0% intro APR. Then the continuing APR of 18.74%-27.39% Variable APR. The card earns 1.5% cashback on medical expenses. You also get a bonus.