If you’re a parent, you probably know by now that you’ll be spending money on all sorts of things that you never did before having children. From diapers to formula to school supplies to soccer camps, kids can be expensive – so you might as well be rewarded for those purchases! In this guide, we will go over some of the best credit cards for families to help parents earn the most rewards and perks for their family-related spending.
To help all the busy parents get the information they need quickly, we have come up with the best credit cards for parents broken down into various categories. See below for details.
Best Credit Card for New Parents: Citi DoubleCash
If you’re a new parent, chances are you want to keep things as simple as possible: and the Citi DoubleCash is just that! This card has no annual fee, and earns a flat 2% back on all purchases – whether you’re buying diapers, groceries, gas or a date night dinner, you’ll earn 2% on every purchase.
2% on every purchase is an excellent rate, especially considering that there is no annual fee to worry about. You certainly could earn more cashback on certain categories with specific cards, but you’d have to put in more effort. For simplicity’s sake, go with the DoubleCash – it’s a great all-around option!
For Large Families: Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
If you have a large family, you will probably be better off with the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express. This is one of the best credit cards for families with large grocery bills, as it offers an impressive 6% cashback on grocery store purchases in the US. For big families, that can really add up to a LOT of cashback. It also offers 6% back on select streaming services (like Netflix, etc.), 3% cashback on transit, and 1% back on everything else.
The downside is that this card has a $95 annual fee. For families that spend a lot on groceries, the fee is well worth it – but it’s still something to pay attention to and do the math on. If you don’t want to pay the fee, there is a lower-tier version of this card that offers 3% cashback on groceries, and does not have an annual fee. You can do some math based on your spending habits to see which card makes the most sense.
For Online Shopping: Amazon Prime Rewards Card
If you and your family do a lot of online shopping, it’s worth picking up the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card. The card is excellent for Amazon shoppers, as it earns 5% cashback on qualifying Amazon.com purchases. The cashback comes in the form of credit that you can spend right at Amazon!
There is no annual fee on this card, which is another big perk. You can also use it abroad without a foreign transaction fee. It even comes with a signup bonus sometimes, usually of a $40-$70 Amazon.com gift card!
For Family Travel: Chase Sapphire Reserve
If you’re family likes to travel, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is an excellent option. This card offers a huge array of travel perks that make life on the go so much more pleasant, particularly for families. Here’s just a sampling of the perks of this card:
- $300 per year in travel credits to use on just about any travel purchase
- Free access to airport lounges at most major airports
- Rental car damage waivers to save you money on rentals
- Free roadside assistance/towing
- No foreign transaction fee
- Huge 50,000 point signup bonus
- Ability to redeem points for free flights, hotels, activities, cash, gift cards and more
The Chase Sapphire Reserve is one of the best travel credit cards overall, and one of the best credit cards for families who like to travel. The downside is that it has a $450 annual fee, which is mostly offset by the $300 annual travel credit. Even so, you’ll pay at least $150 out-of-pocket. Thus, we only really recommend this card for frequent travelers.
So there you have it – our list of the best credit cards for parents and families! Keep in mind that the best card for you will depend on a variety of factors. We recommend thinking about:
- Where you spend the most money (what type of store/merchant)
- How your spending patterns will change as your children grow
- Whether or not you’re willing to pay an annual fee
- How your credit rating is (this will affect the type of cards you’ll be able to get approved for)
- What specific perks you are looking for in a credit card
Consider these factors first before making your decision. And when you’re ready, apply and enjoy your new rewards credit card! For some other options, check out our mega-guide to the best credit cards overall.
For some further reading, check out this excellent round-up of financial tips for parents!