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Best Credit Cards for Families of 2019

Dec. 10, 2019
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
At NerdWallet, we strive to help you make financial decisions with confidence. To do this, many or all of the products featured here are from our partners. However, this doesn’t influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

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.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

For groceries and gas

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: 14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.74%, 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 14.49% to 25.49%
    • $95 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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.

The card has an annual fee of $95. But 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: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. The card also offers an intro 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 14.49% - 25.49% Variable APR.

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

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

For dining and entertainment

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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

    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Has annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $0 intro for the first year, then $95

    APR

    • APR: 16.24% - 25.24% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.24%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
    • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that

Families who frequently enjoy restaurant meals might want to consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment spending, as well as 2% back at grocery stores (and 1% back on all other purchases).

The annual fee is $0 intro for the first year, then $95. The card comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

If you’re not sure about that annual fee but like the sound of the dining and entertainment rewards, take a look at the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which has an annual fee of $0. Cardholders earn 3% back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at the grocery store and 1% back on everything else. There’s also a signup bonus: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.

» MORE: Full review of the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

For dining and in-home entertainment with no annual fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

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

    • No annual fee
    • Sign-up bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and qualifying Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • American Express isn’t accepted at as many merchants as Visa or Mastercard
    • Requires good/excellent credit

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.49% - 27.49% Variable APR

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value

    Intro APR

    • 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value
    • $0 annual fee and no foreign currency conversion fee
    • Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in
    • Earn 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
    • Earn 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit
    • Earn 3X points on popular streaming services
    • Earn 1X points on other purchases
    • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions
    • View Rates and Fees

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card can be a great fit for moms or dads who see a lot of their dollars go toward restaurant meals or ordering in, but who don’t want to pay an annual fee. The card earns:

  • 3 points for both dining out at restaurants and ordering in.
  • 3 points for spending at gas stations, on rideshares and on other forms of transit.
  • 3 points for travel spending, which includes flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals.
  • 3 points for streaming services such as Netflix and Spotify Premium.
  • 1 point for all other purchases.

The annual fee is $0. The card has a generous welcome offer, which the issuer phrases this way: “Earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months - that's a $300 cash redemption value.”

» MORE: Full review of the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

For everyday spending

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: 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.74%, 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 15.49% – 25.49%, 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 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Chase Freedom®

For seasonal spending

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

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

    • No annual fee
    • 5% rewards on rotating categories
    • Access to Chase’s Ultimate Rewards site to earn more cash back

    Cons

    • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better
    • A foreign transaction fee

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months
  • Additional Information
    • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
    • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
    • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
    • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
    • No annual fee
    • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
    • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

While the Chase Freedom®’s rewards structure is a bit 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 purchases in bonus categories you activate each quarter (1% back on all else). Those rotating bonus categories tend to be popular with families and in the past have included things like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, drugstores 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% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR. There’s also a sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

» MORE: Full review of the Chase Freedom®

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

For general travel

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

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

    • A large bonus
    • No foreign transaction fee
    • Cool factor - metal card
    • Earn more points on travel and dining at restaurants
    • Premium travel protection benefits

    Cons

    • $95 annual fee

    Annual Fees

    $95

    APR

    • APR: 17.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.49%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
    • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
    • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel

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 2 points on travel and restaurant dining and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

There’s also a rich sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

For Hilton lovers

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Hilton Honors American Express Card

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

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Few premium travel perks

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 17.24% - 26.24% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.74%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton Honors portfolio of brands.
    • Earn 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations.
    • Earn 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees. Enjoy international travel without additional fees on purchases made abroad.
    • Enjoy complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with your Card. Plus, spend $20,000 on eligible purchases on your Card in a calendar year and you can earn an upgrade to Hilton Honors Gold status through the end of the next calendar year.
    • No Annual Fee.
    • Terms Apply.

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. There is also a welcome offer: Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. Terms Apply.

Families who are bigger spenders might want to consider the Hilton Honors American Express Surpass® Card. It has an annual fee of $95, but it also offers more generous rewards, as well as airport lounge access.

» MORE: Full review of the Hilton Honors American Express Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

For Amazon and Whole Foods devotees

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 Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card can be a relatively easy decision. Cardholders enjoy:

  • 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases.
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.
  • 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 $119 a year.

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

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

For devoted Walmart fans

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 630
    850
    Average - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Qualify with average credit
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • Limited rewards for in-store shopping
    • No intro APR period

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 17.99% - 26.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn unlimited rewards every day, everywhere on purchases in and out of Walmart
    • Earn unlimited 5% back on purchases online at Walmart, including Grocery Pickup and Deliver
    • Earn unlimited 2% back on purchases in Walmart stores, 2% back on restaurants and travel purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted
    • Introductory offer: Earn 5% back on purchases in Walmart stores when you use this card in Walmart Pay for the first 12 months after approval
    • Redeem rewards to cover recent purchases, or redeem for travel, gift cards, statement credits and more
    • $0 annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees

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 Walmart.com 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

For Target 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

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

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

» MORE: Before you get a retail credit card, consider your options

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

For Costco customers

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: 16.74% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.74%, 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 and enjoy 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
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 16.74%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

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 gas 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 $95, but you must be a Costco member, and membership starts at $60 per year.

» MORE: Compare the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi and the Sam's Club Mastercard

Summary of best credit cards for families of 2019

CREDIT CARDOUR PICK FORANNUAL FEE
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressGroceries and gas$95
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardDining/entertainment$0 intro for the first year, then $95
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® cardDining/in-home entertainment with no annual fee$0
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offerEveryday spending$0
Chase Freedom®Seasonal spending$0
Chase Sapphire Preferred® CardGeneral travel$95
Hilton Honors American Express CardHilton lovers$0
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature CardAmazon and Whole Foods devotees$0
Capital One Walmart Rewards MastercardWalmart fans$0
Target REDcard™ Credit CardFor Target loyalists$0
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by CitiFor Costco customers$0

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.
To view rates and fees of the Hilton Honors American Express Card, please visit this page.

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