Best Credit Cards for Families for 2021

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Budgeting is an important component in managing a family’s financial health. Finding creative ways to incorporate perks/rewards (including cash back) from simply using one of the best credit cards for rewards with no annual fee to appropriately manage a modern household is both prudent and rewarding.

And because most families (like people) have different interests and unique desires, many credit cards seek to capture the credit card market targeting families – providing benefits and rewards for families specifically aimed at what they would most need/want.

Expensivity’s Best Credit Cards for Families

  1. Citi® Double Cash Card
  2. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
  3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card
  4. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
  5. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  6. Discover-it® Cash Back
  7. Capital One Venture Rewards
  8. Chase Sapphire Preferred®
  9. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
  10. Blue Cash Everyday®

The financial decision-makers in each family should look for these types of credit cards – all of which can help families meet tight budgets –

  • The best credit cards for rewards – with or without an annual fee
  • The best credit cards for cash back
  • The best credit cards for groceries or the best credit cards for sign up bonus
  • The best credit cards for 0 APR offers
  • The best cash back credit card options
  • The best credit cards for balance transfers of existing debt
  • The best credit cards for gas or other auto repair maintenance costs

Families looking for help –

  • With the cost of vacations, should try to select the best credit cards for miles or the best credit cards for points that offer transferability.
  • With overall rewards, should choose from the best cash back credit card or the best credit cards for rewards in general.
  • With travel costs, should try to choose from the best credit cards for travel no annual fee, or the best cards for dining rewards.

Some of the best credit cards for rewards with no annual fee can help families pay for groceries, children’s activities, and even a car payment. The best credit cards for rewards offer simple redeemable options.

The Best Credit Cards for Families

Modern families require parents to juggle the cost and expenses for countless monthly (and one-time) purchases. The best credit cards for low interest (or the best credit cards for interest rates below average) will likely require the applicant to meet certain credit requirements through a formal underwriting process. 

1. Citi® Double Cash Card

Among the Best Credit Cards for Cash Back with No Limit on Cash Back Rewards

The Citi Double Cash Card® is among the best credit cards for cash back, offering a 1% cash back reward when spending and another 1% when the purchases have been paid in full. To obtain this cash back rewards credit card with no annual fee, consumers should have excellent credit standing. This reward credit card offers a simple, flat-rate cash back card without keeping track of rotating cash back categories. There are redeeming options of credit to outstanding bills, direct deposits, ThankYou points (redeemable through Citi/PayPal/Amazon, or a check but they do expire if the card is unused for a year or more – unlikely for busy families with never-ending expenses. With a generous 0% APR (for 18 months) balance-transfer option, the Citi Double Cash Card® helps reduce the interest owed and earns some extra funds – making it of the marketplace’s best cash back credit option.

2. Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

One of the Best Credit Cards for Balance Transfers – For the Longest Transfer Period

The Citi Diamond Preferred® Card is one of the marketplace’s most generous credit card transfer offers, with a whopping eighteen months of a 0% APR for balance transfers. This unusually extended balance transfer period is ideal for families with outstanding debt because this credit card from Citi helps save significant amounts of money if decision-makers strategically move the debt to this card. In addition, the Citi Diamond Preferred® Card offers a promotional introductory interest-free period for new purchases as well, with a variable rate (14.74%-24.74%) after the promotion expires. It is noted that the Citi Diamond Preferred Card has no annual fee and is designed for consumers and families with good to excellent credit as it offers a moderately low ongoing interest rate beyond promotion periods.

3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card Issued By American Express (AMEX)

One of the Best Credit Cards for Rewards with No Annual Fee

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card can help earn some hefty cash back rewards for families due to its remarkable 6% cash back for purchases at U.S. Supermarkets – up to $6,000 per year (and then 1% thereafter). This Blue Cash Preferred® Card is also one of the best credit cards for gas – giving 3% back for gas and transit purchases, additional big-ticket spending categories for families. Families with good to excellent credit will find the 0% APR introductory offer and no annual fee (for the first year – $95 thereafter) have everything to gain by giving this credit card from American Express. Note that the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is a tiered reward rate card, which requires the cardholder to understand how these multiple categories payoff.

4. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

Among the Best Credit Cards for Groceries with No Annual Fee

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards is a great flat-rate cash rewards card – across all categories- with new cardholders earning a bonus of $200 after spending $500 on any purchases during the first three months of usage – groceries included! In addition, this Quicksilver is simple to use with 1.5% cash back -with no limits on purchases (every day and all day) and no annual fee ever.  The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards offers a 0% Annual Percentage Rate for all family purchases for a generous fifteen months, which then moves to a variable rate (15.49%-25.49%). With no foreign transaction fees charges to cardholders, the Capital One quicksilver receives top marks for one of the best credit cards for low interest (or none for 1.25 years) and an all-around family-budget-friendly credit card option.

5. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

One of the Best Credit Cards for Sign Up Bonus      

The Chase Freedom Unlimited offers an impressive earning a bonus of $200 after a family has spent $500 during the first three months of usage. While the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has always been a family favorite -with 1.5% cash back earned for general purchases, the Chase Freedom now includes tiered cash back earned on drugstore and dining, plus travel when bought through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal (making it one of the best credit cards for miles). The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is also a preferred card for families. There is no annual fee, plus perks like a complimentary Dash Pass (from DoorDash) and insurance coverage for canceled or interrupted travel arrangements and plans. New purchases for the first 15 months will also be offered with a promotional 0% Annual Percentage Rate (APR).

6. Discover-it® Cash Back

One of the Best Credit Cards for Cash Back – With Rotating Categories

The Discover-It® Cash Back credit card offers families a viable financial tool that helps save money for everyday purchases. First, there is no annual fee for Discover-It® Cash and a welcome intro offer that matches the cash back earned by the cardholder during the first twelve months. The Discover-It® offers 5% cash back on rotating categories which are activated every quarter. (Note – each quarter offers up to $1,500 then 1%) However, all purchases earn 1%. Discover-It®’s Annual Percentage Rate (APR) remains at 0% on purchases and balance transfers for the first 14 months. Families can redeem their earned rewards for cash (by direct deposit) or applied against an outstanding statement balance. Discover-It® also offers families a freebie on their first late payment – but has a $40 fee thereafter.

7. Capital One Venture Rewards

Among the Best Credit Cards for Gas & Overall Travel

Families that love to travel will find the Capital One Venture Rewards a great financial tool in their fiscal arsenal. The Capital One Venture card offers 5X miles (each mile is equivalent to one cent of travel) for rental cars and hotel stays that are booked through Capital One Travel and offers unlimited 2X miles for all other family purchases. If families charge more than $3,000, they receive a bonus of 50,000 miles, with the possibility of a 100,000 bonus mile reward for families that spend $20,000+ during the first twelve months of usage. Travel perks include exclusive access to presale tickets and premium benefits while staying in more than 900 properties that are a part of the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel College and another 50+ wineries in Northern California.

8. Chase Sapphire Preferred®

One of the Best Credit Cards for Points in Terms of Flexibility

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card is a versatile and affordable credit card to use for families who wish to earn rewards points across various spending categories. Families who spend at least $4,000 during the first three months of card ownership will earn 100,000 bonus points (which translates to $1,250 that can be used with Chase Ultimate Rewards Travel). Dining, travel, and specific delivery services earn 2X miles, with one mile earned for all other purchases. While there is a relatively low annual fee ($95), families can earn 5X points for money spend on Lyft (bike/scooter rides) through 3/2022. Best of all points never expire as long as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® account remains open. While the points earned are valued at about 2 cents (purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards portal) but guarantees a one-to-one value transfer to other partner hotel and airline loyalty programs.

9. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

Among the Best Credit Cards for Dining & Restaurants

Families who frequently spend money dining out may find the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards card a great fit. In addition to the card’s no annual fee and its fifteen-month 0% APR for new purchases, Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards also offers a tiered cash back approach to cash back earnings. Entertainment (i.e., streaming services), dining and grocery store (omitting super-grocers like Target and Walmart purchases) earn 3% cash back. All other family spending will earn 1% cash back, with a bonus of 8% cash back for Vivid Seat purchases through 1/2023. New customers can enjoy a $200 cash bonus to families that spend, during the first three months the account is open, a minimum of $500. Earned cashback can be redeemed at any time via a check, a credit to the statement’s balance, or even a gift card.

10. Blue Cash Everyday® Card Issued By American Express

 One of the Best Credit Cards for Interest Rates & Cash Back for Families

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card is a great family option from American Express with a generous, easy to achieve welcome bonus offer that earns $100 after the cardholder spends a minimum of $2,000- plus a whopping 20% cash back on purchases through Amazon.com (maxed out at $150) during the first six months the account is open. An additional introductory perk is the 0% Annual Percentage Rate for 15 months. Additionally, cash back is earned in a tiered approach with 3% at U.S. supermarkets (maxed out at $6,000/year, 1% thereafter), 2% at U.S. department stores/gas stations, and 1% earned for all other family purchases. Cash can be redeemed as a gift card or statement credit – with a minimum redemption of $25.

What Kinds of Rewards are Most Useful for Families?

Most families find there are challenging moments in the modern financial landscape to meet their everyday household budgets.  Fortunately, families can now choose to use one of the best credit cards for rewards no annual fee for more than just convenience.

For most 21st century families, the best credit cards for rewards will likely depend on the family’s needs, composition, and preferences. It would be hard to find a family who would not benefit from rewards received by one of the marketplace’s best cash back credit card offers.

However, many families with existing debt will find the options available for the best credit cards for balance transfers can help lower the amount of interest owed/paid on outstanding credit card debt. Many of the best credit cards for balance transfers are offered from a pool of the best credit cards for 0 APR % as well.

Overall, families should focus on finding financial instruments that offer –

  • The most easy-to-use rewards.
  • The most flexible options.
  • Significant sign on bonuses
  • Rewards to be earned in everyday categories where families tend to spend

Families that love to travel and vacation together will find some great options with these possibilities –

  • The best credit cards for miles
  • The best credit cards for gas
  • The best credit cards for travel no annual fee

But even everyday expenses can help build rewards/points to help pay for family and household expenses.

Prudent family financial decision-makers should consider selecting from these options –

  • The best credit cards for sign up bonus offers
  • The best credit cards for groceries
  • The best credit cards for dining
  • The best credit cards for points that can be applied towards other purchases

Families that carry ongoing debt should focus on these financial options –

  • The best credit cards for balance transfers without fees
  • The best credit cards for sign up bonus for just using the card
  • The best credit cards for 0 APR on purchases or transfers
  • The best credit cards for interest rates that are below market rates
  • The best credit cards for low interest rates

Are Annual Fees Ever Worth It?

With age comes the wisdom that in life, the finest things typically have a price tag. And while one never wants to pay an annual fee for the use of a credit card, there are times when the benefits offered by the card – like one of the best credit cards for rewards for balance transfers with no interest, may make paying an annual fee not only palatable but well worth the money.

Some of the best credit cards for sign up bonus or the best credits for dining offer a viable way to build credit while receiving a perk simply for signing up or dining out. And while some of the best credit cards for reward no annual fee are available, their perks generally don’t add up to those best credit cards for rewards in general. In many instances, paying an annual fee for one of the best credit cards for groceries may put your family’s finances in a more advantageous position, despite the annual fee.

Does Transferring a Balance Hurt My Credit?

Many families are enticed by some of the best credit cards for rewards for balance transfers offered on the marketplace. But will transferring an existing balance to one of the best credit cards for points that offer balance transfers hurt my credit profile or score?

If a balance transfer moves funds to one of the best credit cards for low interest rates (or maybe no interest), the decision can help save hundreds – depending on the balance and the time required to pay down the balance. Balances transfers to even the best credit cards for travel with no annual fee will not impact your credit negatively per se – but applying for new credit might affect your current credit profile and resulting score.

The basis of a debt-reduction program is to make smart financial decisions that impact long-term consequences. At the very least, a balance transfer should save the borrower time or money -either their money payment is more amenable, or the borrower can pay down the debt quicker.

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