Financial Advice

5 Credit Cards for Families

Do families need different credit cards than households without children? They may, as families tend to spend more of their income on the basics rather than on recreation and entertainment. And when it comes to using their credit cards to earn travel rewards, most families tend to travel during school breaks when it can be very difficult to use traditional frequent flier miles to find scarce award seats.

What Families Need From Their Credit Cards

First, busy families may prefer cards with simple terms and conditions, so cards that offer rewards that vary widely based on many different bonus categories, or that change each quarter can be hard for everyone to keep track of. In addition, families tend to want to earn bonuses at the places that they shop the most, such as supermarkets, department stores and gas stations. And when it comes to earning travel rewards, families tend to prefer rewards that can be redeemed for travel statement credits, rather than frequent flier miles that are nearly impossible to redeem for a bunch of reasonably priced award seats on the same flight, especially during the holidays.

So here are five credit cards can be a good choice for family use:

1. American Express Blue Cash Preferred

This card is offering 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent each year, which can mean up to $360 in savings. In addition, you also get 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select department stores, with 1% cash back offered on all other purchases. New applicants also receive $150 cash back after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening, and 15 months of interest-free financing on new purchases. There is a $75 annual fee for this card. Applicants must have excellent credit to get this card. (You can check your credit with’s free credit report summary and use this credit card tool to find cards that are a better match for your needs.)

2. Target Credit Card

This discount retailer is a favorite for busy families who can often find everything from clothing to groceries at their SuperTarget locations. This card offers a 5% discount off of all purchases, as well as free shipping on purchases. Further, cardholders receive an extra 30 days to return their purchases. But since this card is a store credit card that is not part of a payment network, it can be used only at Target. There is no annual fee for this card.

3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus

This card offers double miles on all purchases, and miles are worth a penny each as statement credits toward travel expenses such as airfare, hotels, rental cars and more with a minimum redemption of $100. The flexibility to redeem rewards for any hotel or flight makes it ideal for families traveling at peak periods. In addition, cardholders receive a 5% bonus on miles redeemed toward travel. New applicants earn 40,000 miles, worth $400 in travel statement credits, after spending $3,000 within 90 days of account opening. There is an $89 annual fee for this card that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

4. Capital One VentureOne

This card offers 1.25 miles per dollar spent, and miles can be redeemed as statement credits toward travel reservations with no blackout dates or restrictions. New applicants also receive 20,000 bonus miles, worth $200, after spending $1,000 within three months of account opening. You also receive access to Capital One’s Credit Tracker app, which offers your credit score as well as a what-if simulator. There is no annual fee for this card and no foreign transaction fees. It requires good to excellent credit.

5. Kohl’s Credit Card  

This department store charge card features a 15% discount on your first purchase when you open an account, and another 15%-off coupon will also arrive in the mail with the new card. In addition, you will also receive at least 12 more discount coupons every year. And if you spend $600 a year or more at Kohl’s stores, you will earn Most Valued Customer (MVC) status and receive at least 18 discounts a year. Finally, these coupons can be combined with other offers, which is perfect for families who are trying to maximize their savings at this discount retailer. There is no annual fee for this card.

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

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This article by Jason Steele was distributed by the Personal Finance Syndication Network.