Whether you’re hoping to save money on travel or looking for the best cash back rewards, these top family credit cards will help you handle the everyday tasks that keep your family going.
If you’ve got kids, you’ve probably spent a lot of time researching everything from the best brand of diapers to the best after-school activities – but you might not have asked yourself what the best credit card for families is and whether you should be carrying it now. There are numerous rewards credit cards that offer family-friendly benefits, from cash back on groceries and gas to rewards from your Amazon.com purchases.
Whether you’re hoping to save money on travel or looking for the best cash back rewards, these top family credit cards will help you handle the everyday tasks that keep your family going. Remember, every penny counts when you’re raising a family – and these credit cards can help you both save and earn money on nearly every purchase.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for new parents
Why we picked it: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* can help you save money on baby essentials – and buy a few treats for yourself as well. The Amazon Prime card offers 5% back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases, whether you’re grabbing cupcakes for the baby shower or signing up for a diaper subscription. (If you haven’t checked out all of the discounts available to new parents through Amazon Family, you should.)
You also earn 2% back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Plus, you’ll get a $150 Amazon.com gift card when your application is approved.
- 5% cash back on Amazon.com purchases
- Unlimited cash back
- Points redeemable for Amazon.com purchases or statement credit
- Must have Amazon Prime membership ($139 per year)
- Can only link card to one Amazon Prime account
Who should apply: Whether you’ve just welcomed another baby into your home or you’re preparing for the challenge of parenthood, the Amazon Prime card will earn a hefty amount of cash back with its Amazon Family discounts and Subscribe sand Save options. This card is also great for families with older kids who love Amazon Prime Video and frequently buy supplies for school or home.
Who should skip: If you don’t like shopping online for your household goods, you should skip this card. Families with teenagers who don’t need to buy so many school supplies might find another card more useful.
Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for family travel
Why we picked it: The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is one of the top travel credit cards on the market – and yes, it comes with a $550 annual fee. However, it’s still a good choice for families that travel on a regular basis because of all the points and perks that come with it.
ou’ll earn 10X points on hotels and rental cars booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3X points on travel and restaurants, 1X point on general purchases and 80,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months. These points also increase in value by 50% when you redeem them for travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. However, you can really boost the points’ value when you transfer them to a Chase travel partner, usually at a 1:1 ratio.
- $300 annual travel credit
- Priority Pass Select membership
- Up to $100 Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit every four years
- Flexible redemption options
- $550 annual fee
Who should apply: No matter the ages of your kids, family trips are always great for bonding and making memories – the Chase Sapphire Reserve will help make your next vacation with the children more affordable. Those with college-aged kids will also like this card if you often fly to visit them while they attend school.
Who should skip: Infrequent (once a year or less) travelers will find it difficult to justify the annual fee, so they should skip this one.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express: Best for groceries
Why we picked it: Raising young humans is an expensive endeavor, but the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is ready to reward your spending. With 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for up to $6,000 in purchases per year), 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit, you can put a significant amount of cash back in your pocket.
Yes, this card comes with an ongoing $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year), but you only need to spend $1,584 in groceries to earn that back in cash back rewards. Any rewards you earn after that will be gravy – or lunch meat, sandwich bread and cereal. We also consider it one of our favorite cash back credit cards in general.
- List of qualified U.S. streaming services longer than other issuers
- $250 statement credit if you spend $3,000 in first six months (Terms apply)
- No enrollment or rotating categories
- $95 annual fee ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)
- $6,000 spending cap on U.S. supermarkets category
Who should apply: If you spend a lot of money on groceries and gas – as most families do – this card will rake in rewards. Families with multiple streaming subscriptions (Netflix, Disney+, Hulu and more) for movie nights, you’ll also appreciate the Blue Cash Preferred.
Who should skip: Families that tend to spend more at restaurants than the grocery store should opt out of this card. Parents with babies, who need diapers more than fresh fruits and veggies, may also want to wait to get this card when their kids are older.
Citi Double Cash: Best for convenience
Why we picked it: Between work, school, piano lessons and baseball practice, parents are busy people. When your kids reach a certain age, you may find yourself too consumed with juggling a surplus of responsibilities to throw a complicated rewards card into the mix. That’s where the Citi Double Cash® Card comes in.
The Citi Double Cash is a great rewards card for busy families because it earns a high flat rate of cash back on all your spending: 1% cash back when you make a purchase and another 1% cash back if you pay off your purchases by the due date. This gives you an incentive to pay your bill on time, and you can use all those cash rewards to shave some dollars off your expenses.
- Up to 2% cash back on all purchases
- No category restrictions
- Flexible redemption options
- Transfer cash back to Citi ThankYou points ($1 to 100 points)
- 3% foreign transaction fee
- Awards expire if card inactive for over 12 months
Who should apply: Busy cardholders with equally busy children, who probably don’t plan to travel anytime soon (but want to keep that option open), will love the flexibility and ease of use the Citi Double Cash offers.
Who should skip: If you do have the energy to maximize a card with bonus categories and find a max of 2% cash back too low, consider another card.
The Platinum Card from American Express: Best for military families
Why we picked it: With a $695 annual fee, The Platinum Card® from American Express might seem like one of those travel cards that’s only for big spenders, but it’s also an excellent choice for military families. Why? Because American Express waives its annual fees for military members, which makes this high-rewards travel card a lot more affordable.
Once you’ve got the Platinum Card in your wallet, you’ll get 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or American Express Travel, 5X points on eligible hotels booked through amextravel.com and 1X point for general purchases. You’ll also get access to a mountain of valuable travel credits, including an up to $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 in Uber credits each year, which can help cut both the costs of traveling and getting around town.
- 80,000 points if you spend $6,000 in first six months (Terms apply)
- Statement credits for Global Entry, TSA PreCheck or Clear membership
- Points transferable to Amex travel partners
- Access to American Express Global Lounge collection
- $695 annual fee (waived for military members)
- Some statement credits difficult to maximize
Who should apply: Military families that do any kind of travel – whether you’re visiting the grandparents or taking the kids to Walt Disney World – this credit card is a must-have.
Who should skip: Cardholders who don’t travel much, either alone or with the tots, should skip this one.
Discover it Student Cash Back: Best for student families
Why we picked it: Parents who are also students probably need a student credit card to provide more leeway with missed payments, no annual fee and a 0% intro APR. Enter the Discover it® Student Cash Back. You’ll earns 5% cash back when you activate quarterly rotating categories like gas stations, grocery stores and Amazon.com, for up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter (then 1%). All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
At the end of your first year as a card member, Discover’s Cashback Match program will automatically match all of the cash you’ve earned over the course of the year. If you max out Discover’s 5% bonus category in the first year, you’ll earn $600 in bonus cash – $300 through the 5% bonus, plus $300 in matching cash.
- Relatively low regular APR (15.99% to 24.99% variable)
- No annual fee or penalty APR
- 0% intro APR on new purchases for six months
- Cashback Match at end of first year
- Must enroll in categories each quarter before earning 5% cash back
- $1,500 spending cap per quarter
Who should apply: The Discover it Student Cash Back can help student parents balance family, work and studies while earning serious rewards in the process.
Who should skip: Parents who are not students are not eligible for this card. If you also dislike rotating categories and prefer fixed bonus categories, you should opt for a different card.
Comparing the best credit cards for families
Points or cash back? Which one is good for babies, and which one is good for feeding three toddlers? If you can’t remember which card gives which benefits, here they are, all summarized in a table.
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0 (but $139 Prime membership required)|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||$550|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||$95 ($0 intro annual fee for the first year)|
|Citi Double Cash® Card||$0|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||$695 (waived for military members)|
|Discover it® Student Cash Back||$0|
How to choose a credit card for your family
First, you should ask yourself what you hope to get out of your credit card. Do you want to save money on Amazon purchases or would you rather earn points on travel? Look at your spending history to see where your money goes, then look for a card that rewards that type of spending. Keep the following in mind when shopping for your family credit card.
- Which spending categories are family friendly? Gas and grocery cards can be very lucrative for families. Other than spending categories that are great for families are streaming services, transit and dining.
- Which credit card suits your current stage of family life? Of course, you should invest in a travel card when your kids are old enough to enjoy family trips. When they get a little older, look for a card that will be good to add teens as authorized users.
- What perks do you value the most? When looking at travel credit cards, consider the perks as well as the rewards. For instance, an airline card with a free baggage benefit can save you hundreds of dollars in baggage fees if you travel often with your family.
- Does cash back make more sense? Some people are not into traveling. If you’re one of those people, compare the cash back cards and weigh the redemption options important to you. You can redeem your cash back for statement credits, Amazon.com purchases, gift cards, deposits into checking account and more.
There are many excellent credit cards for families, so take advantage of these high-reward credit card offers and start saving money on groceries, gas, Amazon.com and more. Whether you sign up for a diaper subscription or book holiday travel with points, there are plenty of ways to use credit cards to simplify your family’s shopping and spending.
Just make sure you use your new credit cards responsibly – and if you need a little extra incentive to sign up for one of these top cards and start incorporating it into your day-to-day life, remember that you’re setting a good financial example for your children.
*All information about the Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.