Affording your new dog or cat may take some maneuvering. Find out our top credit cards for paying off vet bills, buying new toys, and doing the best by your pet.
Whether you are adopting a new furry friend or caring for one (or two, or three or eight) that you already own, unexpected vet expenses can put a damper on time with your pet and hit your wallet hard.
A new puppy or kitten can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 in the first year alone – and that is just taking into account the average vet bills and supplies that pets typically need. If your new pet gets sick unexpectedly, the costs could skyrocket quickly.
With this fact in mind, it’s important for pet owners to consider their pet’s costs and create an emergency savings fund to cover the expenses. While nobody can see the future to know exactly how much money their pet may need, having money set aside in the case of an emergency can save you from unexpected debt.
But what about everyday pet expenses like food, treats, toys and training? These types of recurring costs will last the entirety of your pet’s life and using a credit card that offers rewards could earn you a little extra cash for purchases you already planned on making.
Best credit cards for pet expenses
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Best for new pet expenses
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is a great option if you plan to adopt a new pet. Cardholders can earn $200 cash rewards when they spend $1,000 in the first three months after opening the account. With all those new expenses that come with bringing home a new pet, including adoption costs, vet bills, food and toys, you could use this card to meet your sign-up bonus.
Plus, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card will benefit you throughout your pet’s life by offering a flat rate of 2% cash rewards on purchases. There are no pesky spending categories to keep straight with this card, which makes it a great option to cover a wide range of pet-related expenses.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: Best for earning a sign-up bonus
On par with the Wells Fargo Active Cash card, the Citi Custom Cash card offers new cardholders a $200 cash back sign-up bonus but with a lower minimum spend requirement of $750 in the first three months (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back).
This rewards card offers tiered rewards with your top spend category earning an impressive 5% back (up to the first $500 in spending, then 1%). The Citi Custom Cash card charges no annual fee and earns 1% back on all purchases regardless of the category, making it a good option for new pet owners and experienced pet parents alike.
Wells Fargo Reflect® Card : Best for unexpected vet bills
If a hefty vet bill catches you by surprise, the Wells Fargo Reflect credit card can give you time to pay down your balance without the burden of added interest charges. With an introductory offer of 0% APR for up to 21 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (15.24%-27.24% variable APR thereafter), this card has one of the longest 0% offers on the market. This card also charges no annual fee, making it a budget-friendly card if you’re under financial stress.
The Wells Fargo Reflect card doesn’t offer rewards so it won’t be as beneficial for everyday use but it could help you save money in the long run if you are hit with an unforeseen vet bill.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best rewards for those with less than perfect credit
Despite the lengthy name, you don’t need a lengthy (or perfect) credit score to get this rewards credit card. If you are new to the world of credit cards, this rewards card could be a good option for you.
With its relatively low annual fee of $39 and a simple flat-rate reward structure of 1.5% back on all purchases, this card is simple to use and offers competitive rewards comparable to cards that are more difficult to be approved for. This card also rewards you for your good payment history by reviewing your credit line every six months that you make consecutive on-time payments.
Citi Double Cash® Card: Best flat-rate cash back card
The Citi Double Cash Card is a great option for cardholders who prefer to be more hands-off with their cards while still earning rewards for their purchases. You can earn a flat rate of 1% back on all purchases when you buy and an additional 1% back when you pay off your balance at the end of every month.
The potential for 2% back on all purchases coupled with no annual fee makes this a great option for pet owners who know they will consistently pay off their balance. Cardholders can get even more value for their rewards by converting them to Citi ThankYou points at a rate of $1 to 100 ThankYou points.
Consider a credit card and pet insurance
While a rewards credit card is a great tool to use for everyday pet costs, pet insurance could go a long way when it comes to unexpected or emergency vet bills. Coverage options vary depending on what type of pet you have, their age, health and your state of residence.
As a rule of thumb, it’s easier and more affordable to get pet insurance for a young pet rather than an older one, so starting early could be a wise financial decision. Like human health insurance, different plans will offer different levels of coverage, so talk with your vet about the best option for your pet or pets.
Pets young and old bring us joy and companionship but can also cost a lot of money. If you’re thinking about adopting a pet, consider creating a savings fund for emergencies and picking a credit card that can reward you for everyday purchases. If you are a veteran pet parent, it’s never too late to start an emergency fund of your own or to take advantage of a generous sign-up bonus when stocking up on your furry friend’s favorite treats and toys.