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5 Best Travel Credit Cards for Parents Who Stay Home

5 Best Travel Credit Cards for Parents Who Stay Home

My family has used airline miles and elite status to fifteen countries over the last six years. New parents are always asking for advice about how to make flying with kids affordable. There are many factors to travel hacking but one of the best ways to accumulate points is through having the right credit card. This list will walk you through best credit card for a stay at home mom.

I never write a credit card article without stressing the importance of not going into debt. Just because you have a credit line doesn’t mean you should use it. It’s good practice to only swipe your credit card if you have enough money in your bank account to immediately pay it off.

Getting into debt will tank your credit rating and make travel hacking much more difficult. Credit card issuers like to see you only utilizing less than 10% of your credit limit which is a simple way to keep your credit score high. Before you apply for any new card off this list it’s a good idea to pull your credit report and get it in tip top shape for future credit card applications.

my personal credit card debt

The Best Credit Card for Stay at Home Mom: Why It Matters

Finding the best credit card for a stay at home mom can significantly impact your family’s financial wellbeing. Having a great card important for expenses, but it’s also a good option for smart financial management. As a stay-at-home parent, having the right credit card allows you to contribute to the household income through rewards and cash back on your purchases.

Selecting a credit card that aligns with your spending patterns maximizes benefits. Certain credit cards offer bonus miles on U.S. gas stations or 4x points at U.S. supermarkets, which means your expenses can effectively turn into free vacations. Especially for single parents, every bit of financial leverage counts.

When you choose a card that considers household income for eligibility, it means you’re more likely to be approved based on the total income, not just individual income. This is crucial because it acknowledges the value of managing a home and caring for children as part of the family’s financial structure. You can be added as an authorized user for most credit cards to build a positive credit history, increasing your financial independence.

The best credit cards for stay-at-home moms are those that work for you and your unique situation. They should support your role in the household and reward you for the spending you already do. Look for cards that offer useful perks and you’ll be on your way to smarter financial management.

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve can be an excellent addition to your wallet, boosting your family’s travel experiences while offering solid rewards. This card’s luxury perks and substantial point-earning potential might just make it the best credit card for stay at home moms looking to plan unforgettable family adventures.

I know a lot of young parents get nervous about credit cards with annual fees, but depending on your travel style the cost savings can actually be a big help. In my opinion it’s best to have at least one premium credit card if your goal is family travel hacking. A premium credit card would be one with a high annual fee such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the American Express Platinum.

stay at home moms need the right credit card for daily spend

Benefits and Rewards

For your family trips, the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a plethora of rewarding features:

  • Earn Points: Multiply 3 points per dollar on travel and dining purchases.
  • Bonus Points: After spending $4,000 in the first 3 months, you’ll usually receive 60,000 bonus points as a welcome offer, which equates to $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Redemption Choices: Transfer points to numerous hotel and airline partners, or redeem directly for flights.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: No fees for spending your money overseas.
  • Car Rental Perks: Get special privileges with National Car Rental, Avis, and Silvercar. Plus, auto rental insurance when you pay using your Chase Reserve card.
  • Insurance Included: Trip cancelation or interruption insurance, evacuation insurance, baggage delay insurance, accident insurance, and even roadside assistance.

These benefits are designed to maximize your family travel rewards, giving you the freedom to craft memories without missing out on earning points.

Understanding the Annual Fee

The annual fee for the Chase Sapphire Reserve is $550. While it is on the higher side, it accompanies:

  • Travel Protections: Premium travel insurance options for peace of mind.
  • Luxury Travel Perks: Access to over 1,300 airport lounges worldwide through Priority Pass Select. (approx. $329 value)
  • Expedited Airport Security: Free Global Entry which comes with TSA pre-check. (approx. $100 value)
  • Ride Share Perks: Free Lyft Pink Service for two years. (approx. $199 value per year)
  • Direct Reimbursement: Your first $300 of eligible purchases in the travel category get directly credited by a statement credit. ($300 value)
  • Subscription Fees Waived: Complimentary membership to DashPass and InstaCart+, (approx. $195 value per year)

When evaluating this fee, consider how much your family travels and how you plan to use the card’s benefits to offset the cost. For active families who love adventure, the Chase Sapphire Reserve could provide value that far exceeds the annual fee.

Pro Tip: Chase allows you to add authorized users of any age. You can add your children as authorized users which will greatly impact their future credit score.

American Express Gold

If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for the best credit card for your daily needs, the American Express Gold Card could be your perfect match. It offers ample rewards at U.S. supermarkets and when dining out or ordering in. Balancing family meals and budgets just got easier!

With an annual fee of just $250 the American Express Gold Card is like old trusty. For many families the monthly spend at restaurants and grocery stores are the biggest expense categories, making 4x points an ideal reward. But it doesn’t stop there, you will also get travel perks that make this card one of the best family credit cards.

spend with confidence on the right travel credit card

Maximizing Food Rewards

  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards points at restaurants, including takeout and delivery.
  • The first $25,000 in grocery purchases get 4 points per dollar spent!
  • Eat at participating restaurants* and get $10 back per month for a total of $120 in savings per year.

Current participating restaurants as of February 12, 2024: Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations.

Travel Perks

  • Link your Uber account and get $10 off per month totaling $120 back per year.
  • Reserve a 2-night stay at participating hotels through the travel portal and get $100 experience for free.
  • Baggage insurance and car rental insurance when you pay using your Gold card.
  • Flights booked directly with airlines earn 3 points per dollar spent.

Your daily expenses turn into future travel, shopping, or dining experiences with the American Express Gold Card. As the best credit card for stay at home mom, it ensures you’re rewarded for the spending you do every day. Enjoy these benefits and watch your reward points accumulate swiftly!

Citi Premier

For stay-at-home moms managing family finances, the Citi Premier Card offers a gateway to earning travel rewards on daily expenses. Not only can you accrue points on typical household purchases, but also on those valuable moments of family dining and vacations. It stands out as one of the best credit cards for stay-at-home moms, catering to both your routine expenditures and travel aspirations.

Travel Benefits Tailored for Your Family

  • Earning Points: With every swipe, you earn ThankYou® Points on various transactions:
    • 3x points on air travel, gas stations, supermarkets, hotels, and supermarkets
    • 1x points on all other purchases

Your regular grocery runs or refueling your car now bring you closer to your next family getaway. The modest $95 annual fee is quickly offset each year by giving you $100 a $500+ hotel booking through the travel portal. 

redeem miles and points for free vacations or cruises

Redeeming Points

Your accumulated points open up a world of travel options:

  • Airfare
  • Hotels
  • Cruises and more

Personally we keep a Citi Premier card on hand because Japan Costco’s only accept Mastercard’s and this card gives us a form of payment for stocking up on supplies. I know Costco in America only accepts Visa, so that’s not a reason to get a Citi Premier card if you live within the United States. However, Citi ThankYou® Points do have a few travel partners that differ from the Chase or Amex programs.

Unique Transfer Partners of Citi ThankYou® Points:

  • Accor Hotels – This includes luxury brands like the Fairmont, Sofitel, and Novotel if you want to save up for a bucket list trip.
  • Eva Air – While their hub is in Taiwan they fly to over 60 cities across Asia and Europe. Check to see if they have flights to and from your home airport.
  • Leaders Club – Luxury hotels including the famous Hays-Adams in Washington D.C. or the ultra posh suites only Ritz in Paris are part of this points program.
  • Royal Orchid Plus – If Thailand is the trip you’re saving for than Thai Airways may be a good option.
  • Miles&Smiles – The loyalty program for Turkish Airlines flys to over 340 destinations worldwide so look from your preferred airports.
  • Wyndham Resorts – From super budget brands like Travelodge to Days Inn all the way up to Wyndham Grand you’ll find hotels that fit your family’s needs.

Discover it Miles

If you’re a stay-at-home mom looking for the best credit card to support your family’s needs, the Discover it Miles card could grab your attention. Its notable absence of an annual fee makes managing family expenses more predictable. Every dollar saved on fees is a dollar that can go toward your family vacation or other household necessities.

With the Discover it Miles card, you earn 1.5 miles for every dollar spent on purchases. These miles can be redeemed to cover travel expenses, giving you greater flexibility when planning a trip. 

Your purchases are not only rewarding but also secure, the Discover it Miles card offers robust security features for your peace of mind. And if you ever need assistance, Discover’s praised customer service is there to help. This card aligns seamlessly with your role, ensuring you have one of the best credit cards for a stay-at-home mom.

credit cards for stay at home moms allow everyday purchases to turn into free travel

Capital One Venture Rewards

When planning family trips, you want a credit card that converts everyday expenses into travel opportunities. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card stands out as a best credit card for stay at home moms, providing a blend of flexibility and rewards that cater to family travel needs. With this card, you earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, no matter the category.

Earning Travel Miles on Daily Purchases

Essential spending on school supplies, utilities, or online shopping can help fund your next family getaway. Use your Venture Rewards card for all your regular purchases and watch the miles stack up quickly.

Maximizing Family Travel

When it’s time for holiday bookings, you get even more value:

  • 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Unlimited double miles on all other purchases

To make family travel more rewarding, these miles don’t expire for the life of the account and there are no blackout dates to worry about.

Simple Redemption for Busy Parents

Your miles can be redeemed easily for travel purchases. Whether it’s flights, accommodation, or car rentals, you have the freedom to choose. The simplicity of redeeming your miles makes managing travel plans less of a hassle, giving you more time to focus on your family.

The annual fee for the Venture Rewards card is easily offset by the value of miles earned—especially when you factor in how much a stay-at-home mom might spend monthly. With this card, your normal spending habits transform into travel adventures, giving your family priceless experiences without changing your budget.

pay off the balance monthly so that you don't pay interest fees

Making the Right Decision

Choosing the right card for your family’s needs can require thoughtful consideration. As a stay-at-home mom, you’re looking for a credit card that aligns with your family’s lifestyle and budget. Consider cards with rewards that match where you spend the most—like on groceries and gas, or for those rare moments of self-care.

It’s essential to stay clear of credit card debt, so don’t go opening an account if you feel you can’t control your spending. Some financial products offer additional perks like discounts at partner stores, which can help stretch your family’s budget further.

Hot Tip: The Chase Sapphire Preferred card offers 3X points on streaming services which most households pay for anyway

If your family wants to travel for free, the best travel credit cards can offer significant value. These cards often come with rewards like free hotel stays or airfare, making that family vacation more attainable. The best option isn’t always the card with the most account opening rewards, it’s the one that provides long term benefits you’ll actually use without tempting overspending.

By assessing your lifestyle and spending habits, you can find the best credit card for your stay at home mom. Balance the perks against the costs to ensure your financial health remains a top priority. Take your time, compare options, and pick a card that supports your family’s financial goals.

Financial Perks for Savvy Moms

  • Annual Fee: Look for offers that waive the annual fee for the first year or every few years try and call to see if there are offers available to waive the fee for accounts in good standing.
  • Welcome Bonus: A generous one-time welcome bonus propels your point balance, giving your travel fund a significant boost. Don’t forget to hit the initial spend requirement before the deadline!
  • Referral Offers: Once you have a travel rewards credit card look for a referral link that earns bonus points for suggesting the card to a friend or family member.

Your role as a budget-savvy parent becomes even more fulfilling when your regular spending habits fund your next vacation.

don't overspend just to earn credit card rewards points

What’s Best for Your Family?

When searching for the best credit card for a stay at home mom, consider cards that cater to your unique financial situation. Aim for a card with a rewards structure that aligns with your spending habits and future travel goals. It’s wise to look for cards with introductory offers like bonus miles after meeting initial spending requirements, which can translate to major cost savings on future vacations.

Maintaining a good credit score is essential for being approved for these travel reward credit cards. Your payment history, balance details, and frequency of new credit applications gets reported to all the major credit bureaus. For educational purposes, some financial institutions offer resources to help you understand credit better. By law you are entitled to one free credit report per year. And many companies give you access to free credit scores. It is important to manage your credit wisely, as a score above 700 often unlocks better rates and offers.

The right credit card for you is one issued by a reliable financial institution and offers benefits that match your family’s needs. Always read the terms carefully to ensure the card you choose is indeed a benefit to your financial health. Credit cards advertising access to money even with bad credit or bait and switch offers involving balance transfers are a hard pass. Do not get involved in sketchy or confusing credit card programs.

Quick Tips to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

As a stay-at-home mom, you want to ensure that you’re getting the most out of every dollar spent. Sign-up bonuses are one of the fastest ways to accumulate rewards, so look for the best credit card for stay at home mom that offers a substantial bonus after a minimum spend within the first few months.

Pick the Right Card

Choosing a card that aligns with your spending habits is crucial. Opt for cards that offer bonus rewards on categories where your expense is highest. Those categories could be groceries, online shopping, or utilities.

Understand the Rewards System

Know whether your card offers points, miles, or cash rewards. Points and miles can be perfect for travel plans, while cashback is versatile, directly reducing your credit card bill.

Use It for Everyday Purchases

To maximize rewards, use your credit card for day-to-day expenses. Always pay off the balance in full to avoid interest charges that can negate the benefits of any rewards earned.

Our Typical Credit Card Usage Breakdown:

  • Chase = Streaming Services and Miscellaneous Travel
  • Amex = Restaurants and Flights
  • Citi = Grocery, Costco, and non-Marriott Hotels

Keep Tabs on Bonus Categories

Many cards offer rotating bonus categories each quarter. Keep track and activate these offers to get higher rewards on different spending areas throughout the year.

Having a few points under one rewards program and a few more under another program doesn’t do you much good. Your goal while travel hacking is to diversify but also ensure you are spending on the right cards. You want to ensure you have enough points to actually book a vacation. It’s a balancing act, but one that has saved my family hundreds of thousands of dollars on travel expenses.

use travel rewards for free vacations

Did You Know? Little Known Credit Card Facts

Choosing the best credit card for a stay at home mom involves understanding not just the commonly advertised features but also the lesser-known facts that can impact your credit history and provide uncommon benefits. The details may surprise you and could help make managing family finances easier and more rewarding.

Credit Card Myths

Myth 1: Your interest rate is set in stone. Contrary to popular belief, the interest rate on your credit card can change. You should review your credit agreement to understand the circumstances under which this can happen.

Myth 2: You can’t refuse an interest rate increase. If your credit card issuer tries to increase your interest rate, you are not powerless. You have the option to say “no” to the change, however, this might affect your account status.

Myth 3: You should close unused credit card accounts. Your average length of account history is a factor that affects your credit score. Having very old accounts is a huge benefit for maintaining a high score. Instead of closing old unused accounts make sure they are downgraded to a card with no annual fee. Also, make a small purchase on the card at least once per year to avoid the card being closed by the issuer.

Uncommon Benefits

  • Purchase Protection: Your credit card may include benefits that protect your purchases from theft or damage for a specified time after the sale.
  • Travel Perks: Beyond rewards points, some credit cards offer travel-related benefits, such as coverage for trip cancellations, delays, and lost luggage. These benefits can save you significant money and stress during your travels.
  • Extended Warranties: Many credit card companies extend the manufacturer’s warranty on products you purchase using your card, which can be an added advantage for your household appliances and electronics.
  • Concierge Services: Many credit cards offer exclusive phone numbers that will book restaurant reservations or give you access to concert tickets before they go on sale.

Pay it Off on the Right Day

Most people understand that paying a credit card bill by the due date is essential. But what if I told you there was a better way? Credit cards report your usage to credit bureaus during the middle of your statement cycle. On your credit report you can see the date that company reported your balance to the reporting agency. Aim to pay off the card one week before the date that credit card reports to the credit bureaus.

For example, would it shock you to know that we actually put around $10,000 in purchases on our credit cards every single month? Yet the balances on the very first screenshot in this article show less than $4,000 owed. Sometimes it’s really hard to time your payments because most credit cards won’t let you pay while charges are still pending, but it’s a little known secret to improve your credit score significantly.

The best credit card for a stay at home mom is one that aligns with your needs and provides added value in your life. By keeping the myths and uncommon benefits in mind, you’re better equipped to make an informed choice.

FAQ: Best Credit Card for Stay at Home Mom

Author

  • Veronica Hanson

    Veronica Hanson blogs from whatever country she happens to be in at the time, currently she's hanging out in Japan. She's been living as a nomad remote entrepreneur with her family since 2020.

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