The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, October 18, 2021

18 Best Credit Cards for Families in 2021

Best Credit Cards For Families

credit card advice

Ashley Dull
By: Ashley Dull
Updated: September 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.

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
14.99%-24.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 14.99%-24.99% variable APR after that
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$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

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover gives you an unlimited match of all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 14 months
10.99% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

AIR MILES RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
14.99% - 24.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

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

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

0.0

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GAS REBATE RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

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.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • 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!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
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 after activation.

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

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 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. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 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
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
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

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • 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.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
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.

Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • 0% intro APR for 18 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. Intro APR extension of up to 3 months with on-time minimum payments during the intro and extension periods. 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min $5
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Get up to $600 of cell phone protection when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your eligible Wells Fargo card (subject to a $25 deductible).
  • Through My Wells Fargo Deals, you can earn cash back in the form of a statement credit while you shop, dine, or enjoy an experience simply by using your eligible Wells Fargo Credit Card
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening
0% intro APR for up to 21 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
12.99%-24.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent
Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers
14.99%-24.99% Variable APR
$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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