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Best credit cards for teachers

School supplies and snacks are just two of many expenses teachers make year-round. These cards can help teachers score A+ cash back savings


If you’re a schoolteacher looking for ways to save on school supplies, snacks and other expenses, we have you covered. These cards can help you score major cash back rewards not just around back-to-school season, but all year-round.

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Back to school shopping season isn’t just for parents and students. It’s also a great time for teachers to stock up on necessary supplies for the classroom. The downside? Spending out of pocket for those supplies can quickly add up.

Using a rewards credit card to prepare for the first day of the school year is a smart move. These rewards cards score an A+ for savings-minded teachers.

See related: Best rewards credit cards

Best credit cards for teachers

Best card for purchasing school supplies: Target REDcard

Retail store credit cards typically aren’t the best choice for earning rewards, especially when compared to a cash back or travel card. They also tend to carry higher APRs for purchases – but the Target Redcard may be worthwhile for teachers who make sure to avoid carrying a balance.

This could be a good pick for purchasing everything from notebooks, pencils and dry erase markers to tissues, hand sanitizer, electronics or even classroom furniture. Both online and in-store purchases earn 5 percent back automatically – including gift cards.

That’s a plus if you need to buy arts and crafts supplies for back to school. Target sells Michael’s gift cards in $25 increments, which you can buy with the Redcard to get 5 percent back.

Even better, you can get a 15 percent discount when you shop with your gift cards at Michael’s in-store and show your educator ID card.

Here’s a look at the other perks the Redcard offers:

  • Free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items at Target.com.
  • Extended returns for an extra 30 days, online or in-store.
  • Get a 5 percent discount when you use your card at any in-store Starbucks location.
  • Save 5 percent to 50 percent on purchases, plus get 5 percent back when you shop with your card through the Target Cartwheel app.

See related: 9 credit card tips for scoring better back-to-school deals

Alternative: Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi

If you like buying in bulk so you don’t have to restock on supplies halfway through the school year, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi is great for earning cash back.

Purchases made at Costco stores or Costco online earn 2 percent back. The only hitch is that rewards are issued as an annual certificate each year in February, so you have a little less flexibility in terms of when you can use them.

Other card benefits include:

  • 4 percent back on eligible gas, up to the first $7,000 in purchases each year and 1 percent back after that.
  • 3 percent back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases worldwide.
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership. Costco memberships start at $60 annually.

See related: Which is the best card to use on Costco purchases?

Best card for buying classroom snacks: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

If one of your back to school expenses is snacks or treats, then you need a card that delivers a stellar cash back rewards rate at the grocery store.

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers 3 percent back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to the first $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1 percent. This card gives you the flexibility to pay in full or carry a balance. It also comes with a range of other benefits, including:

  • 2 percent cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.
  • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • Reward dollars earned as statement credit.
  • Earn a $150 introductory cash bonus when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of card membership.
  • No annual fee.

See related: 4 smart reward card lessons from America’s teachers

Alternative: Citi Double Cash Card

The back to school shopping season is hectic as it is and when you’re getting your classroom in your order, simple may be better for earning rewards.

The Citi Double Cash Card is head of the class for that. This card offers 1 percent back on purchases when you make them and another 1 percent cash back when you pay them off.

It’s simple enough math; you’re getting double cash back on every purchase, with no caps and no tiers or bonus categories to keep up with.

Aside from that, there are a few other reasons to consider Citi Double Cash for back to school:

  • 0 percent introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers (then 13.99 – 23.99 percent variable).
  • No annual fee.

See related: Citi Double Cash Card to allow users to convert cash back to ThankYou points

Best card for online back to school shopping: Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card

A cash back card that gives you choices can be a help for saving on school-related purchases. If you prefer to shop online, you may like the options offered by the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card.

With this card, you can earn 3 percent cash back on the category of your choice, which includes online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, gas or home improvements/furnishings. You also get 2 percent cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.

Those rewards rates apply to the first $2,500 in combined purchases between the category of your choice and grocery stores or wholesale clubs each quarter. So, you can accumulate a decent amount of cash back all year round for online school shopping.

Here are a few other things to know about the card:

  • Unlimited 1 percent cash back on all other purchases.
  • 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers made in the first 60 days for the first 15 billing cycles (then 15.49 – 25.49 percent variable APR).
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus when making $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days.
  • Get even more rewards as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member.
  • No annual fee.

Alternative: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card

If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, you know what a money-saver free two-day shipping can be. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card can make online back to school shopping even more budget-friendly, with 5 percent back on Amazon.com purchases.

There’s no annual fee; you just need to pay your Amazon Prime membership fee each year. You can easily redeem rewards at checkout so whether you’re buying books, learning materials or anything else for school, you can trim a few dollars right off the top.

Along with that, you’ll also get:

  • 5 percent back when you shop at Whole Foods.
  • 2 percent back at drugstores, gas stations and restaurants.
  • 1 percent back on all other purchases.
  • $70 Amazon gift card when you sign up.

See related: Is Amazon Prime worth it?

The Bank of America content in this post was last updated on Dec. 2, 2019.

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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