Best Credit Cards for Families

These cards make it easy to earn and redeem points across categories where families spend the most, including food and travel.
Kimberly Palmer
By Kimberly Palmer 
Edited by Kenley Young

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For parents juggling the costs of kids’ activities, grocery store visits, gas and countless other monthly expenses, a credit card that helps stretch your budget with cash back or rewards can be an essential tool. And since parents generally don’t have a lot of free time on their hands, it also helps if the rewards are easy to earn and redeem.

With those factors in mind, we picked the best credit cards for families, organized by the spending categories parents find themselves frequently using: everyday expenses, grocery stores and restaurant meals, travel, and shopping.

Top credit cards for families

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

For groceries and gas

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
NerdWallet rating 

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year in spending (then 1%). It also earns 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit, another category where families tend to drop a lot of dough each month. It also offers 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Non-bonus-category spending earns 1% back. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

The card has an annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95. If you spend more than $31 at the grocery store each week — an easy threshold for most families — then the rewards you'll earn will outweigh the annual fee.

New cardholders will be eligible for a 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. The card also offers an intro 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 19.24%-29.99% Variable APR.

🤓Nerdy Tip

American Express excludes wholesale clubs and superstores from its definition of supermarkets, so if you tend to shop at those locations, you might want to consider a different card.

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

For dining rewards

U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
NerdWallet rating 

If dining out is a way of life for you and your family, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card offers a tantalizing combo: massive rewards on dining purchases with an annual fee of $0. The card earns:

  • 4 points per $1 spent on dining, including takeout and delivery.

  • 2 points per $1 spent at grocery stores (including grocery delivery), gas stations, EV charging stations and streaming services.

  • 1 point per $1 spent on all other eligible purchases.

You simply can't find dining rewards that rich on other no-fee cards — although some of those other products do also feature bonus rewards on "entertainment spending," while the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card does not. It does, however, offer an annual $15 credit on popular streaming services such as Netflix, Spotify and more.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

For dining/grocery/entertainment rewards, no annual fee

Capital One® SavorOneSM Cash Rewards Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

Families who frequently enjoy restaurant meals along with a night out might want to consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns a well-rounded 3% back on dining, eligible streaming services, grocery stores and entertainment (and 1% back on other purchases).

That's an impressive (and hard-to-find) rewards combination — especially for an annual fee of $0. It can cover a wide swath of popular family spending categories.

The card comes with a sign-up bonus, too: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

Citi Double Cash® Card

For everyday spending

Citi® Double Cash Card
NerdWallet rating 

The Citi Double Cash® Card earns 1% back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% back when you pay it off, earning an effective rewards rate of 2% on all eligible purchases.

That rate is hard to beat, especially when you consider the annual fee is $0, and you don’t have to add to your to-do list by opting in to rotating categories every month or quarter. For busy families, that kind of simplicity can be appealing.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

For seasonal spending

Chase Freedom Flex
NerdWallet rating 

While the rewards structure of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is more complicated than what you'd find with a flat-rate cash-back card, the earnings potential might make it worthwhile.

The card earns 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly spending on bonus categories that rotate every three months (activation required); 5% on travel purchased through Chase; 3% on dining at restaurants and purchases at drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. Those rotating bonus categories tend to be popular with families and in the past have included things like gas stations and wholesale clubs. (Here's the list of current bonus categories.)

While you have to opt in to the bonus categories each quarter, parents organized enough to remember to do so will reap rich rewards.

The card's annual fee is $0, and it comes with an introductory APR: 0% intro APR on purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months, and then the ongoing APR of 20.49%-29.24%, Variable APR. There's also a sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

For general travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

If you’re looking for a general travel card that allows you to earn and redeem rewards across multiple airlines and hotel chains, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a solid choice. It earns:

  • 5 points per $1 spent on all travel booked through Chase.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on dining (including eligible delivery services and takeout).

  • 3 points per $1 spent on select streaming services.

  • 3 points per $1 spent on online grocery purchases (not including Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).

  • 2 points per $1 spent on travel not booked through Chase .

  • 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.

There's also a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's over $900 when you redeem through Chase Travel℠. The annual fee is $95.

If you’re a bigger spender with a bigger family travel budget, then you might want to consider the Chase Sapphire Reserve® instead, which has a higher annual fee but also larger rewards.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

For Hilton lovers

Hilton Honors American Express Card
NerdWallet rating 

For families that love staying at Hiltons, the Hilton Honors American Express Card can help stretch their travel budgets: Cardholders earn 7 Hilton Honors bonus points for purchases at Hilton hotels or resorts; 5 points for purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations; and 3 points for all other eligible purchases (see rates and fees). There is also a welcome offer: Earn 80,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Families who are bigger spenders might want to consider the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. It has a $150-annual fee, but it also offers more generous rewards, as well as automatic Hilton Honors™ Gold elite status that grants perks like daily food and beverage credit.

Prime Visa

For Amazon and Whole Foods devotees

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
NerdWallet rating 

Maybe your family already enjoys the convenience of Amazon Prime, with its two-day free shipping and access to Prime Video — which contains plenty of kids’ programming, among other benefits. If so, then applying for the Prime Visa can be a relatively easy decision. Cardholders enjoy:

  • 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.

  • 2% back at restaurants and gas stations.

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

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

The card's annual fee is $0, although you must be an Amazon Prime member, and standard membership costs $139 a year.

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

For devoted Walmart fans

If you shop frequently at Walmart online or through the app for your household items, the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® will help you save big: You earn 5% back on both and the app, which includes grocery pickup and delivery. You also earn 5% back on in-store purchases using Walmart Pay for the first 12 months (and 2% back for in-store purchases after that, which includes Walmart fuel stations), as well as 2% back on restaurants and travel. All other purchases earn 1% back.

You can redeem your rewards for statement credits, to put toward purchases (at Walmart or elsewhere), for gift cards, or for travel. That gives you a lot of family-friendly redemption options.

Target Circle™ Credit Card

For Target loyalists

Target Circle™ Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

If Target is your go-to store, the Target Circle™ Credit Card can help you save.

Cardholders get 5% off nearly all of their Target and purchases (some exclusions apply), along with free shipping. It also offers you extra time to make returns. The card's annual fee is $0.

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

For Costco customers

Citibank Costco-Anywhere Visa Card Credit Card
NerdWallet rating 

If you rely on wholesale clubs for your family’s household purchases, getting a card specific to your club of choice could pay off. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers 4% back on eligible gas and EV charging purchases (on up to $7,000 of spending a year, then 1% back); 3% back on travel and dining; 2% back on Costco purchases; and 1% back on everything else.

The annual fee is $0, but you must be a Costco member, and membership starts at $60 per year.

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

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