There’s nothing that can compare to the joy you feel when you bring a new life into the world. When you’re starting a family, it puts everything into a different perspective, and you start to readjust your life’s priorities. When it comes to your finances, you may even wish to consider different credit cards that are more well suited to your new role as a parent.
When you become a parent, your needs change from those of just yourself and your spouse or partner, to those of your new family and household. For example, you might suddenly find rewards for dining and entertainment to be less valuable than gas and groceries. You might also be looking for a credit card that can help you save for your child’s college tuition. Other parents might seek a new credit card that can help them to pay off their debt or minimize the interest charges they incur on new baby purchases.
Best credit cards for earning rewards on household expenses
If your new baby means more nights spent at home than going out, you can adjust your credit card portfolio to reflect your new priorities.
A lot of new parents find themselves spending more time and money at Target stores, which has a large selection of baby supplies. For these parents, the Target REDcard store charge card offers 5% off of your Target purchases, which can range from formula to child car seats. It also includes benefits like free two day shipping and an extra 30 days to return items purchased from Target or at Target.com. There’s no annual fee for this card.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
This card starts you off with $150 cash back after spending $1,000 on the card within three months of account opening, perfect for the tight finances that new parents may have. You also earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 spent each year at grocery stores, 2% back at gas stations, and 1% back on all other purchases. There’s no annual fee for this card.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
New parents often have less time or energy to drive around town to purchase what they need, and ordering from Amazon.com can be a real time-saver. This card offers you 5% off of everything, and that’s on top of Amazon’s 15% discount on baby registry completion. Parents will also save the same 5% when buying groceries at Whole Foods Market, as well as 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drug stores, and 1% back elsewhere. There’s no annual fee for this card.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
Before you had kids, warehouse stores like Costco seemed like overkill, as couples don’t really need to buy food in bulk. But with each new mouth to feed, and child to clothe, shopping at Costco starts to make sense. The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi offers you 4% cash back at gas stations, 3% back on restaurants and travel, and 2% back from purchases made at Costco stores. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s no annual fee for this card with your paid Costco membership.
Best credit cards for new parents paying off debt
When couples start a family with a balance on one or more of their credit cards, it can be a huge drag on your finances. Here are some cards that offer 0% APR balance transfers so that new parents can avoid interest charges while paying down debt.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
With this card, new parents receive 18 months of 0% APR introductory financing on both new purchases and balance transfers completed within four months of account opening. This card doesn’t offer rewards, but it includes Citi’s Price Rewind service, which can automatically refund the difference when a lower price is found on your registered purchases. There’s no annual fee for this card, and it has a 5% balance transfer fee.
Wells Fargo Platinum Card
New parents can pay off their credit card balances without incurring interest charges with this card’s 18 month introductory financing offer. You receive a year and a half of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% fee for transfers completed within 120 days of account opening. After that, it goes up to a 5% balance transfer fee. This card doesn’t offer rewards, and it has no annual fee.
Best credit cards to save for college
When you’re expecting a child, college savings might not be the first thing on your mind. But maybe it should be, because the earlier you start saving, the more money you’ll have when your children go off to school. A few credit cards offer rewards deposited into a 529 education savings account.
The Upromise Mastercard from Barclays
This card offers you 1.25% cash back on all purchases, plus a 15% bonus when you link your account to an eligible 529 plan. The Upromise Round Up feature also lets you round up your purchases to the nearest dollar, based on the threshold you set (from $1 to $500). Also, the total Round Up amount is considered a purchase, so it also earns 1.25% cash back. There’s no annual fee for this card.
This is an easy way for new parents to save for their children’s future education. This card offers you two points per dollar spent on all purchases, and points are worth one cent each as cash back into your eligible Fidelity investments account. Eligible accounts include a Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings plan. There’s no annual fee for this card.
Congratulations on your growing family. It’s a new stage of life, and a good time to reevaluate what you want and need in a credit card. Walletjoy is here to provide you with advice, tools, and tips so you can make smart decisions for whatever you’re facing next. Read more information on topics that affect new families in our Starting a Family section!