The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, July 7, 2020

18 Best Credit Cards for Families in 2020

18 Best Credit Cards for Families in 2020

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: March 16, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

Kids aren’t cheap. Ask any parent, and it will soon become obvious that those little bundles of joy come with great big price tags, ones that only seem to get larger as they age.

In fact, several studies peg the cost of raising a child from birth to age 18 is over $230,000 — or around $13,000 a year.

For a frugal family, those costs can certainly be decreased, and it doesn’t necessarily take a bare-bones budget, either. Smart credit card use can be an easy way to find a little extra savings on family expenses. The guide below will explore some of the best credit cards for families, including cards with a wide range of perks in the form of cash back rewards, travel, gas, groceries, dining, and 0% introductory APR.

Cash Back | Travel | Gas | Groceries | Dining | 0% Intro APR

Best “Cash Back” Cards for Families

Between work, school, activities, meals, and household chores — and trying to find a few hours of sleep in between — many families are likely short on the time (and energy) to wrangle with complicated credit card rewards.

Cash back rewards are the simplest to redeem, easily turned into a statement credit or deposited into a qualifying bank account — no muss, no fuss, no complex transfers required.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 15 Months
N/A
14.99%–23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good
Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Chase is not an affiliate partner with CardRates and does not review editorial content on our site
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A 12 months
13.24% - 19.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

If you want the hands-off method, it’s easy to put your savings on auto-pilot with an unlimited cash back rewards card that offers the same flat-rate rewards on every purchase.

For those who want to maximize their cash back, several cards that offer bonus rewards for specific category purchases can be combined to earn big rewards on many of your most frequent purchases.

Best “Travel Rewards” Cards for Families

As with most things involving children, traveling with your family can be a complicated exercise in logistics and budgeting. Flights, hotel rooms, meals — everything seems to get exponentially more expensive for each person you add to the adventure.

While a good travel rewards credit card won’t necessarily reduce the chaos of a family trip, it can help reduce the bill you’re stuck paying at the end by helping you earn points or miles on your everyday purchases all year long.

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5 points for every $1 you spend on all purchases everywhere, every time and no expiration on points
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees while earning points to use for a statement credit to pay for flights, hotels, vacation packages, cruises, rental cars or baggage fees
  • Introductory 0%† APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases.  After that, a Variable APR that's currently 14.99% to 22.99% will apply.
  • 25,000 online bonus points if you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening – which can be redeemed for a $250 statement credit toward travel purchases
  • Preferred Rewards members earn 25%-75% more points on every purchase
  • That means you could earn up to 2.62 points for every $1 you spend, everywhere, every time.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles
N/A
14.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New Offer! Earn 100k bonus points after you spend $15,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 20.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Unless you’re loyal to a specific airline, the best travel rewards cards for families are often those that provide the most flexible rewards, allowing you to redeem your points or miles without worrying about brand restrictions or blackout dates.

Even better are those travel cards that provide both flexible rewards and bonus rewards categories that can help you earn them quickly. Choose cards with bonus categories in which you spend the most to maximize your earnings.

Best “Gas Rewards” Cards for Families

Some of the best credit cards for gas rewards don’t actually have set categories, but instead offer rotating bonus categories that change each quarter.

While you won’t get year-round gas rewards with these cards, the high rate you’ll receive when you do can easily earn these cards a place in your wallet.

Cards with single, flat-rate rewards can also be a good choice for gas station purchases, particularly for those for whom the bulk of their spending generally doesn’t fit into common bonus categories.

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 15 Months
N/A
14.99%–23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
9

Discover it® chrome

This card is currently not available.

Gas Rebate Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Although the many stories of credit card “skimmers” and other theft devices can make it seem unsafe to use a credit card to purchase gas at the pump, the risk is lower than you think.

Most major credit card issuers have $0 liability policies that protect you against unauthorized purchases made with your credit card. In contrast, unauthorized debit card purchases could end up costing you quite a bit if they’re not caught right away.

Best “Grocery Rewards” Cards for Families

The average household spends almost $4,000 a year preparing food at home. With the right rewards credit card, however, you can cut that number down quite a bit — up to 6%, in fact.

10. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Offering a full 6% cash back on your first $6,000 in grocery store purchases each year, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express can be a lucrative tool for any family.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6k a year) & on select U.S. streaming services
  • Earn 3% cash back on U.S. gas station and transit purchases
  • Pay a $95 annual fee

Spending $32 a week in grocery purchases with your Blue Cash Preferred® card will let you break even on the $95 annual fee, so don’t let a high fee scare you off from potential rewards.

11

Discover it® Cash Back

This card is currently not available.

Best Overall Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

These two cards won’t give you year-round bonus rewards for grocery purchases, but both usually offer grocery stores as a bonus category at least one quarter each year. Cardholders of either card can only earn bonus rewards on up to $1,500 in qualifying category purchases each quarter.

Best “Dining Rewards” Cards for Families

While many chain restaurants have children’s specials that can make dining out with a family more affordable, it can still be a big expense to take the entire family out to a meal — particularly if you’re looking for something better than chicken nuggets and fries.

Credit cards with bonus rewards for dining purchases can give you enough wiggle room in the food budget to justify an extra meal out now and then (with — or without — the family in tow).

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

Both Chase Sapphire cards offer bonus Ultimate Rewards® points for dining purchases, and Chase’s definition of qualifying purchases is fairly broad. Chase’s dining category includes both sit-down and eat-in restaurants as well as fast-food places.

15. Uber Visa Card

A joint effort with Barclays bank, the Uber Visa Card not only provides a significant cash back rewards rate for dining, but it also offers three other useful bonus categories.

Uber Visa Card

  • Earn 4% cash back on dining purchases, including restaurants, takeout, bars, and UberEATS
  • Earn 3% cash back on hotel & airfare
  • Earn 2% cash back for online purchases

In addition to purchase rewards, the Uber Visa Card comes with perks and benefits like mobile phone protection, a subscription service credit, and no foreign transaction fees.

Best “0% Intro APR” Cards for Families

Whether it’s braces, broken bones, or a new bassoon, the extraneous family expenses that inevitably crop up can strain just about any budget. While credit cards are a convenient way to finance life’s little surprises, the high interest rates usually charged are less convenient.

One of the best ways to make credit card financing more affordable is to use a credit card with an introductory 0% APR offer that provides interest-free financing for 12 months or more. Choose a card without an annual fee to double down on savings.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% 15 Months
N/A
14.99%–23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
$0
Good/Excellent

While 0% APR offers are handy, they are usually promotional rates that have a set expiration date. Keep that date in mind when planning out your payments to ensure you don’t have a big balance left over when your low rate expires.

Additionally, make sure you know which types of transactions are covered by your offer. Some intro-APR offers apply to both new purchases and balance transfers, while other offers will only apply to a single type of transaction.

Turn Everyday Necessities into Valuable Rewards

Although few people keep track of every family-related expense, even a rough estimate of the total amount spent raising your kids will likely be an eye-opener for many families.

No matter if you’re right near the estimated $230,000 or have blown it well out of the water, most families can probably use a little extra savings. For those who can use them responsibly, credit cards can be a simple way to save on the everyday necessities that keep a family going.

But don’t forget to actually make use of your card’s benefits. Rewards that go un-redeemed or warranty protection that goes unclaimed can be essentially like walking right by free money (or paid-for money, in the case of cards with annual fees). Make notes of which cards have what benefits, as well as any potential rewards expiration dates, to help ensure you can make the most of your cards.

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