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Best Credit Cards for New Parents

Sept. 19, 2019
Cash Back Credit Cards, Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Everyday spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Leading cash-back rewards at U.S. supermarkets
    • Bonus offer for new cardholders
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Has annual fee — but if you spend more than $31 per week at U.S. supermarkets, the rewards offset the fee
    • American Express isn’t accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 14.74% - 25.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

    Intro APR

    • 0% intro APR on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
    • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
    • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
    • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
    • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.74% to 25.74%
    • $95 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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 $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $95.

APR: An intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.74% - 25.74% 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 $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.

» MORE: Full review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Our pick for: Simplicity

Citi<sup>®</sup> Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • No sign-up bonus
    • No 0% APR for purchases
    • $25 minimum redemption

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn cash back TWICE. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
    • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% – 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.
    • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.99% – 25.99% based on your creditworthiness.*

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% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.99% 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% on Balance Transfers for 18 months, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.99% 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

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now on Discover's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Cash back match at the end of your first year
    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
    • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months
  • Additional Information
    • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
    • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
    • No annual fee.
    • View Rates and Fees

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: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 24.99% 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Discover it® Cash Back

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Our pick for: Gas and discount shopping

Costco Anywhere Visa<sup>®</sup> Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Apply Now on Citibank's secure application
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 720
    850
    Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • High rewards rates in certain categories
    • Can use card as Costco membership ID

    Cons

    • Requires excellent credit
    • Needs Costco membership to qualify
    • Rewards redeemable once a year and only at Costco

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 17.24%* Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 27.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
    • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
    • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
    • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership*
    • No matter where life takes you, experience no foreign transaction fees on purchases*
    • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico

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: N/A, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24% 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Superstore loyalists

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Apply Now on TD Bank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • No rewards
    • High APR

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • Purchase: 25.15%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases
    • 10% discount coupon each year on your card anniversary
    • 30 extra days for returns
    • Free shipping on most items at Target.com
    • No annual fee

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 25.15% 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our pick for: Doorstep delivery fans

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: None.

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

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.24% - 24.24% 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 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

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.

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