Best Credit Cards for New Parents

Many of these cards earn high rewards in categories like groceries and gas; others earn a solid flat rate on all purchases.

Robin Saks FrankelOctober 8, 2020
On a similar note...
On a similar note...
Best Credit Card Offers for New Parents

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

Along with more sleep and less unsolicited advice, new parents can benefit from the pint-sized power of a credit card that offers rewards on all the baby-related purchases you'll be making for the days to come.

Here are several of our favorite cards for new parents:

Top credit cards for new parents

  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • Discover it® Cash Back

  • Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

  • Target REDcard™ Credit Card

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Everyday spending

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

card details

Rewards:

  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).

  • 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. (Full list here).

  • 3% back on transit including taxis, rideshare services, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations.

  • 1% back on everything else.

  • Terms apply.

Welcome offer: Get a Limited Time Offer: Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $0 intro for the first year, then $95.

APR: An intro 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

A delivery from the stork also means another family member to feed, clothe and transport. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns healthy rewards on your little one’s basic expenses (like diapers) at U.S. supermarkets, as well as your own needs (like a relaxing Netflix binge after baby goes to bed). You'll also earn boosted cash back on getting around, whether you're heading to day care or back from a playdate.

drawbacks

The annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95 might be an unappealing additional expense. And if your shopping habits after baby lean more toward dining out, discount superstores or other non-supermarket spending, you'd be better off with a card that earns rewards in those places.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Our pick for: Simplicity

Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

card details

Rewards:

  • 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay your bill.

Welcome offer: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: Get 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

Maybe you're not looking to expend even more energy juggling different cards for different purchases. For simple but above-average earnings on every purchase, check out the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer. It pays an easy-to-track 2% cash back on every purchase: 1% when you buy something and another 1% back when you pay the bill. You can redeem rewards starting at $25 for a check, statement credit or gift cards. There's also a potentially useful introductory APR of 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR.

drawbacks

If you know you're going to be spending a lot in certain categories (ahem, diapers and wipes), you may find that another card offers better rewards in those areas. You must have accrued at least $25 in rewards before you can cash out, which is equal to $1,250 in spending. Several other cash-back cards allow you to redeem rewards in any amount at any time. » MORE: Full review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Seasonal spending

Discover it® Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Card details

Rewards

  • 5% cash back at different places each quarter (past categories have included gas stations, grocery stores and Amazon.com, up to the quarterly maximum of $1,500, each time you activate.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: 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.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR.

why we like it

If your spending aligns with the Discover it® Cash Back's bonus categories, it could be a money saver for your growing family, letting you stockpile family essentials when your preferred purveyor is eligible to earn elevated rewards. Past 5% bonus categories have included family-friendly areas such as grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, home improvement stores, wholesale clubs and Amazon.com. And the unique sign-up bonus is potentially quite lucrative.

drawbacks

You have to remember to keep track of the rotating categories and opt in each quarter, which may be bothersome. And if you've already got a large family and often spend above and beyond the quarterly category cap, a card with a different rewards structure is probably a better fit.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our pick for: Gas and discount shopping

Citibank Costco-Anywhere Visa Card Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

card details

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases up to $7,000 per year, then 1% after that.

  • 3% cash back on eligible restaurants and eligible travel purchases.

  • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 15.24% Variable APR.

why we like it

You can use the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi anywhere Visa is accepted, so that stellar 4% cash-back rate applies at both Costco gas stations and other eligible pumps. Plus, you'll earn rich rewards of 3% on dining and travel and 1% on all other purchases, making it a solid all-around choice for spending. The card's 2% back on Costco purchases only sweetens the deal at a retailer known for its wholesale pricing.

Drawbacks

You have to be a Costco member to apply for the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi, which starts at $60 annually. Your earnings on the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi are redeemable only once a year, and you have to go to a physical Costco location to cash in.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Superstore loyalists

Target REDcard™ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

card details

Rewards:

  • 5% off at Target and Target.com on all qualifying purchases.

Welcome offer: None.

Annual fee $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 22.90% Variable.

why we like it

If you already do most of your household shopping at Target, then using the Target REDcard™ Credit Card to get a 5% discount off your purchases is a smart move. There's no annual fee, no worrying with traditional reward redemption, and you'll get a 10% discount coupon each year on your card anniversary. Plus, Target.com shoppers with the card can get additional discounts on diapers, wipes and formula with an eligible subscription, letting you further stack the savings.

Drawbacks

The Target REDcard™ Credit Card is a "closed-loop" card, meaning you can use it only for Target purchases. (You may eventually be upgraded to the Target REDcard Mastercard, which can be used anywhere Mastercard is accepted.) If you typically carry a balance, the high APR on the Target REDcard™ Credit Card will exceed the value of the card's 5% discount on purchases. You'd be better off with a card that offers a lower APR or comes with a 0% intro APR offer on purchases.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our pick for: Doorstep delivery fans

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

Card Details

Rewards: 

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership.

  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get a $70 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.

Annual fee: $0. But a paid Amazon Prime membership is a requirement.

APR: The ongoing APR is 14.24% - 22.24%, Variable.

Why we like it

If you have no desire or intention to haul your little one into a physical store with you, you can still get rewarded when you complete your shopping list online. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card will snag you 5% back on every purchase at both the online retailer, and also at Whole Foods Market, if that's where your family prefers to shop. And you'll snag solid rewards of 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

Drawbacks

Although technically the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card doesn't carry an annual fee, a Prime membership is required to apply for the card, which starts at $119 a year ($59 a year for eligible students). You'd have to spend about $2,400 at Amazon and/or Whole Foods annually to break even with the Prime membership fee.

Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card

Our pick for: Pick-me-ups

Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card
NerdWallet rating 
Learn More

card details

Rewards:

  • Earn 1 Star per $2 you spend at grocery stores, on local transit and commuting, and on internet, cable, and phone services.

  • Earn up to 3 Stars per $1 spent at Starbucks stores: 1 Star per $1 when digitally loading your Starbucks Card with your Starbucks Rewards Visa Card (excludes money added at the register), plus 2 Stars per $1 spent when that Starbucks Card is used to pay at Starbucks stores.

  • Earn 1 Star per $4 you spend outside of Starbucks stores.

Sign-up bonus: Earn 4,500 Bonus Stars after you spend $500 anywhere in the first 3 months from account opening.

Annual fee: $0 intro first year, then $49.

APR: The ongoing APR is 15.99% - 22.99% Variable APR

why we like it

Being a new parent and being sleep-deprived typically go hand in hand, making a caffeine boost practically a requirement. If you're a die-hard Starbucks fan, you'll likely spend enough on coffee runs to outearn the annual fee. And the card also comes with eight "Barista Picks" each year, which means you'll snag a free lunch or specialty drink.

drawbacks

The annual fee is steep, particularly when most store-branded credit cards don't charge one at all. Plus, you can redeem Stars only at Starbucks, so you might be better off with a card that earns rewards with more flexibility.

Information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

Information related to the Starbucks® Rewards Visa® Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.

To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this page.

We want to hear from you and encourage a lively discussion among our users. Please help us keep our site clean and safe by following our posting guidelines, and avoid disclosing personal or sensitive information such as bank account or phone numbers. Any comments posted under NerdWallet’s official account are not reviewed or endorsed by representatives of financial institutions affiliated with the reviewed products, unless explicitly stated otherwise.