Raising children is expensive. According to the Department of Agriculture, the average annual cost per child in the United States is $13,000, with that number fluctuating based on the family's income and location.
However, no matter how much you spend on your kids, certain expenses are universal, like clothes, food, and transportation. Some cash back credit cards can help, giving you money back on family staples.
Here are five credit cards to help you afford your kids.
1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases; 3% cash back at US gas stations and eligible US department stores; 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus:$200 bonus statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $95
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: This well-rounded card provides extra cash back on staples, including food, gas, and clothes.
For Your Kids: You'll earn 6% cash back at supermarkets and 3% cash back at gas stations and select department stores. That's a great cash back rate whether you're cooking dinner, buying new school outfits, or driving your kids to soccer practice.
Drawbacks: There is a $95 annual fee.
2. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card
Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores for up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases; 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 cash bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You'll earn solid cash back rates on gas, groceries, and more.
For Your Kids:With 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores, feeding and transporting your kids is more affordable. And if you're a wholesale club member, you'll earn 2% cash back on all club purchases including food, clothes, cleaning supplies, and more.
Drawbacks:If you spend more than $2,500 per quarter on gas and groceries, you may want to keep looking.
3. Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi
Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year; 3% cash back at restaurants and on eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 with a paid Costco membership.
APR: 0% APR for seven months on purchases, then variable 16.24% APR; variable 16.24% APR on balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: There are several ways to earn cash back on child-rearing necessities.
For Your Kids:Whether you're shuttling kids around, dining out, traveling, or picking up supplies at Costco, there's a special cash back rate that applies. Costco stocks a huge variety of goods, so you'll never be at a loss for ways to earn cash back.
Drawbacks: If you don't shop at Costco, this card isn't for you.
4. US Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
Rewards: 5% cash back on two categories of your choosing; 2% cash back on one category of your choosing; 1% cash back on everything else.
Sign-Up Bonus: For the first year, all purchases can earn an additional 0.5% cash back.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:Variable 14.99% to 23.99% APR on purchases; 0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.99% to 23.99% APR.
Why We Picked It: You get the power to choose which expenses earn supercharged rewards.
For Your Kids:Each quarter, you get the option to pick one 2% cash back category (including gas, dining, or grocery stores) and two 5% cash back categories (including sporting goods stores, movie theaters, fast food, and more). Essentially, you customize your cash back rewards to reflect your family expenses. And you can adjust as your children get older or your priorities change.
Drawbacks: You have to activate your special cash back categories every quarter.
5. Chase Freedom Unlimited
Rewards: 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back if you spend $500 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.
Why We Picked It: Every purchase earns a solid cash back rate.
For Your Kids:Every purchase you make earns 1.5% cash back. You won't have to track any special categories, which can help when you're a busy parent.
Drawbacks: There are higher cash back rates available if you're willing to jump through more hoops.
How to Choose a Cash Back Card for Your Family Expenses
When it comes to cash back, you should pick a card that best rewards your family's expenses. If you drive around a family SUV, a gas rewards card could help with fuel costs. Cards with special cash back rates for groceries can help you afford school lunches or home meals. If your spending is random and chaotic, a credit card with a flat cash back rate on every purchase might be the best fit.
If you're a brand-new parent, you may also want to consider cards with 0% intro APR periods. These cards can help you avoid interest on purchases for a limited time, which is useful when you're setting up a nursery and stocking up on baby clothes.
What Credit Is Required for a Family Credit Card?
The best cash back credit cards require good or excellent credit. You should check your credit before applying, and submit an application only if you're confident you'll get approved. You can check your credit score free at Credit.com.
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.