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 Frankel
By Robin Saks Frankel 
Updated
Edited by Kenley Young
Best Credit Card Offers for New Parents

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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

Our pick for: Everyday spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
NerdWallet rating 

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 (see rates and fees).

Welcome offer: Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

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

APR: A 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.99% 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

In the long run, the annual fee (currently $0 intro annual fee 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.

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Your choice of retailers

U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card  - NerdWallet Exclusive
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 6% cash back on your first $1,500 in combined eligible purchases each quarter with two retailers you choose (see list of eligible retailers below).

  • 3% back on your first $1,500 in eligible purchases each quarter in your choice of one everyday category, including wholesale clubs, gas and EV charging stations, bills and utilities.

  • 1.5% back on all other purchases.

  • 5.5% back on prepaid hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center.

  • Ace Hardware.

  • Apple.

  • Amazon.com.

  • Anthropologie.

  • Bed, Bath, & Beyond.

  • Best Buy.

  • Chewy.com.

  • Crate & Barrel.

  • Disney.

  • Home Depot.

  • Ikea.

  • Kohl's.

  • Lowe's.

  • Lululemon.

  • Macy's.

  • Menards.

  • Nordstrom.

  • Pottery Barn.

  • QVC.

  • Restoration Hardware.

  • Target.

  • Walmart.

  • Wayfair.com.

  • Williams Sonoma.

Welcome offer: Get a $250 bonus after you spend $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

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

APR: The ongoing APR is 19.74%-29.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it

With the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card, there’s a solid list of useful retailers to choose from for 6% cash back — helpful for things like furnishing a nursery or stocking up on formula (especially if you tend to shop at superstores like Walmart instead of grocery stores). Plus, the 3% cash-back categories are practical for parents, offering you choices like gas, wholesale clubs and recurring bills. And since you can change your categories each quarter, it’s a card that can adapt to meet your ever-changing needs.

Drawbacks

Depending on your spending, those $1,500 quarterly caps on earning higher cash-back rates might be quite limiting, and that's before taking into account the card's annual fee after the first year. Plus, you’ll need to map out each quarter’s anticipated spending to decide which categories you’ll want to choose. That can be a tall order when you haven’t slept much in months.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Our pick for: Simplicity

Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

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

Welcome offer: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: Get 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.24% 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. 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 19.24%-29.24% 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.

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Seasonal spending

Discover it® Cash Back
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards

  • 5% cash back at different places each quarter (past categories have included gas stations, grocery stores and home improvement stores, 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 for all new cardmembers – 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.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%-28.24% 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 and wholesale clubs. 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 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV charging 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 20.49% 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.

Target Circle™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Superstore loyalists

Target Circle™ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

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

Welcome offer: N/A.

Annual fee $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 29.95% Variable.

Why we like it

If you already do most of your household shopping at Target, then using the Target Circle™ 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 Circle™ 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 Circle™ 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.

Prime Visa

Our pick for: Doorstep delivery fans

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

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

  • 2% back at restaurants and gas stations.

  • 2% back on local transit and commuting (including rideshare).

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members.

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

APR: The ongoing APR is 19.49%-27.49% Variable APR.

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 Prime Visa will snag you 5% back on every purchase at both Amazon and 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 Prime Visa doesn't carry an annual fee, a Prime membership is required to apply for the card, which starts at $139 a year ($69 a year for eligible students).

Instacart Mastercard®

Our pick for: Groceries at your door

Chase Instacart Mastercard
NerdWallet rating 

Card details

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on Instacart purchases.

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase.

  • 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and select streaming services.

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: Get a free year of Instacart+ and a $100 Instacart credit automatically upon approval. Membership auto-renews. Terms apply.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 20.24%-28.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

Heading to the grocery store for a big shop is last on the list of things many new parents feel like doing. The Instacart Mastercard® earns an impressive 5% cash back on your purchases while someone else does the shopping for you. Plus, it earns a solid 2% cash back on several everyday spending categories like restaurants and gas stations.

Drawbacks

If you're a sporadic Instacart user, you'll do better with a different card since in-person grocery hauls or after-work shopping runs that you make yourself won’t earn 5% cash back.


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

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