Best Credit Cards for Pet Owners

Ideally, a pet-friendly credit card will return some value in the form of savings or rewards.

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When you open your home to a pet, you commit to a never-ending price tag. But for many, the benefits of owning that scaly, furry or feathered family member outweigh the hard work and responsibilities involved.

Whether you’re budgeting for routine purchases like food and grooming, or preparing for an unexpected expense at the vet, pet care credit cards can return some value in the form of savings or rewards.

The best credit cards for pets aren’t necessarily the co-branded store credit cards that you’ll find at certain pet retailers. Depending on how you shop for your pet, a general purpose credit card may be a better match for your expenses. Here are a few pet-friendly options to consider.

🤓Nerdy Tip

Avoid using a credit card as an emergency fund to prevent debt from spiraling. A small fund of $500 is a great place to start. If your pet qualifies, pet insurance can also lessen the blow to your finances when faced with an unexpected vet bill.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Our pick for: General pet care and supplies

Card details

Rewards: Unlimited 2% cash back on purchases.

Welcome bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 18.74%, 23.74%, or 28.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has healthy introductory offers and a rewards rate to match. The 2% cash-back card is excellent for all your purchases, including vet bills, pet sitting services and everyday pet-related expenses. You don’t have to worry about maximizing rewards in certain categories or meeting any spending requirements. Additionally, if you need to finance a large purchase or several small ones, this card offers a lengthy interest-free window to pay down debt. It could come in handy for a procedure at the vet if you need to supplement an emergency fund. You can also use the card’s sign-up bonus to buy your pet — or yourself — some extra treats.

Drawbacks

Reward redemptions favor Wells Fargo banking customers. If you have a Wells Fargo bank account you can get rewards deposited into your account, withdraw rewards from an ATM or receive a paper check. Otherwise, you can redeem rewards for statement credit or non-cash-back options like merchandise or travel, to name a few.

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card
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Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Pet purchases at U.S. supermarkets

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year.

  • 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in spending per year.

  • 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 in spending per year.

  • 1% cash back on other purchases.

Note that the $6,000 limit is per spending category, not for all three of the 3% categories combined.

Welcome bonus: Earn up to $250 – Here’s How: Earn up to $150 back when you shop with PayPal. Earn 20% back as a statement credit on purchases when you use your new Card to check out with PayPal at merchants in the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back as a statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.74%-28.74% Variable APR (see rates and fees).

Why we like it

If you’re a one-stop shopper, picking up groceries and pet supplies at the supermarket can yield some value with a card like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. You’ll earn a high 3% rewards rate on purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year, plus a generous welcome bonus. Also, the introductory interest rate can save you money if you need to finance pet-related purchases.

For even higher rewards at U.S. supermarkets, consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. It earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year and rewards in other categories. It has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. annual fee. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

Drawbacks

If your grocery store, gas or retail budget exceeds $6,000 per year, you might get more value from a credit card with a higher spending cap or no cap at all.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
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Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Online shopping

Card details

Rewards:

  • 3% back on a category of your choice and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs for the first $2,500 of combined bonus category/ grocery store/ wholesale club spending per quarter; after hitting that threshold, you’ll earn 1% back on these purchases.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Welcome bonus: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 18 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.99%-26.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

If you often shop online for pet food and supplies, you can earn elevated rewards on those purchases with the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. The card earns a

higher rewards rate on the category of your choice each quarter, one of which is online shopping. The other options are gas, dining, travel, drugstores, and home improvement and furnishings. Plus, you get 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs if you ever decide to shop in person. There are also money-saving incentives for new cardholders and loyalty bonuses through the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program.

Drawbacks

With a rewards cap on combined cash-back categories, it’s more difficult to track your rewards based on spending. And, if you spend more than $2,500 per quarter in the elevated categories, you'll get more value with a credit card that offers unlimited rewards.

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

Our pick for: Strategic shopping

Card details

Rewards:

  • 6% cash back on your first $1,500 in combined eligible purchases each quarter at two retailers of your choice. (See the full list below.)

  • 5.5% cash back on prepaid car and hotel reservations booked directly in the rewards center.

  • 3% cash back on your first $1,500 spent each quarter on eligible purchases in an everyday category of your choice. (Categories include wholesale clubs like Sam’s and Costco, EV charging stations, or bills like cell phone, home utilities and TV/internet/streaming services.)

  • 1.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

  • 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 bonus: 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 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR.

Why we like it

With the U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive, the list of possible 6%-back merchants includes Chewy.com, Walmart, Target and Amazon.com, among many others. The 3% cash-back tier includes wholesale clubs like Sam’s and Costco, so you can also earn a solid rate if you shop for your pet in bulk. And for those purchases that don’t qualify for the elevated rewards rate, like a vet visit, you’ll still earn a decent 1.5% cash-back rate. It beats the standard 1% base rate offered by many cards that earn tiered rewards.

Drawbacks

The annual fee — $0 intro for the first year, then $95 — may not pass the sniff test for some pet owners. Plus, this card requires some effort to reap its benefits. For instance, you’ll have to choose your 6% and 3% categories every quarter. On top of that, you’ll have to monitor your spending caps to know when you’ve maxed out rewards.

Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards
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Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa®

Our pick for: Emergencies

Card details

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Welcome bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 14.99%-29.99%.

Why we like it

The Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® can be an excellent emergency pet care credit card when a rainy day fund is not enough to cover unexpected costs. It can offer you quick access to cash when you need it. It’s a unique and flexible hybrid product that you may use as a credit card or a personal loan. When used as a credit card, remaining balances are converted to installment loans. The personal loan option allows you to get funds sent directly to your bank account. You don’t need to apply, undergo a credit check or pay an origination fee. With either option, you can pay back the amount in equal monthly installments at a fixed interest rate over the allotted time frame. Even more useful, you can apply for the card and start using it instantly if approved. You’ll get a temporary virtual card to use (wherever it is accepted) while you wait for the physical card to arrive in the mail. Of course, if there’s enough time to apply and wait for a credit card with a 0% intro APR, then that’s even better. But, if you don’t have that time, this option can potentially save you money, especially if you qualify for the lower APR range it offers.

Drawbacks

This card doesn’t pack incentives for new cardholders like a sign-up bonus or 0% introductory offer. If you can’t qualify for the lower interest rate range, carrying a balance on this card will be even more expensive. And because rewards are automatically applied to your next month's balance, you can’t save up your cash back for future redemptions.

NASA Federal Credit Union Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card
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NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Ongoing balances

Card details

Rewards: 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases.

Welcome bonus: N/A.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 8.40%-17.99% APR on balance transfers made within 90 days of account opening, and then the ongoing APR of 12.40%-17.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

If you maintain an ongoing balance on your credit card, a low-interest credit card like the NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card can potentially save you money, assuming you qualify for the lower rate. Finding a credit card that offers a potentially low ongoing interest rate and rewards, even if modest, is a rarity. Usually, you’re limited to one of these options.

You’ll need to be a member of NASA Federal Credit Union to apply. If you can’t qualify through an employer, organization or a family member, it’s easy to join. The credit union provides you a complimentary one-year membership to the National Space Society which makes you eligible to join NASA Federal Credit Union.

Drawbacks

New cardholders shouldn’t expect a sign-up bonus or 0% introductory APR. If you don’t tend to carry an ongoing balance, the modest rewards and potentially low APR won’t eclipse the value you can get from credit cards that offer hefty rewards.

Citi® Double Cash Card
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Citi® Double Cash Card

Our pick for: Debt

Card details

Rewards: 2% cash back: 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay it off.

Welcome bonus: None

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 17.74%-27.74% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Citi® Double Cash Card is an excellent get-out-of-debt option. It offers a lengthy interest-free window to transfer and pay off a balance. There's an introductory fee of 3% (or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater) for each balance transfer completed within the first 4 months of account opening. The card earns a solid rewards rate of 2% on all purchases, so it will continue being valuable for pet-related purchases or any other expenses long after paying off the debt.

Drawbacks

This card doesn’t offer a 0% intro APR on purchases for new cardholders. The 2% rate is also conditional: You’ll only get the other 1% in cash back when you pay off your bill. Other credit cards that earn 2% back don’t have this requirement. (Note: It’s not ideal to add new purchases to a card when you’re trying to eliminate debt.)

Capital One QuicksilverOne Credit Card
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Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our pick for: Pet expenses with less-than-perfect credit

Card details

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

Welcome bonus: None.

Annual fee: $39.

APR: The ongoing APR is 28.49% Variable APR.

Why we like it

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card can offer a lot of value if you have fair credit (a credit score of 630 to 689). It’s rare to find a card that welcomes fair credit and also offers a decent rate on all purchases. There’s also an opportunity to earn a higher credit limit. With on-time payments, the issuer automatically considers you for a higher credit limit in as little as six months. Avoid keeping a balance on this card, though, as the APR is high. If you’re in the habit of maintaining an ongoing balance, consider the NASA Federal Platinum Advantage Rewards Credit Card mentioned above.

Drawbacks

The card packs a $39 annual fee. If you want to make up for the cost, you’ll have to spend at least $2,600 a year, or about $217 per month.

Discover it® Secured Credit Card
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Discover it® Secured Credit Card

Our pick for: Pet expenses with bad credit

Card details

Rewards: Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. All other purchases earn 1%.

Welcome bonus: 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: 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then the ongoing APR of 25.99% Variable APR.

Why we like it

Finding a pet credit card with bad credit is difficult given the limited options that exist. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is a rare secured card option that offers rewards and a path to an unsecured credit card if you make on-time payments. It does require a $200 minimum security deposit, but it also offers some incentives that may defray that cost. The base rewards rate can be applied to any pet-related purchases and there’s a sign-up bonus.

Drawbacks

The steep security deposit requirement may be a roadblock for some. When that’s the case, consider the $0-annual-fee Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card. It doesn’t offer incentives, but it’s possible to get a $200 credit line with an initial deposit of $49 or $99 if you qualify for those terms.


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

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