best credit cards for new parentsUpdated: April 3, 2020

No matter how many times the doctor might tell couples to stay calm, the hectic months leading up to becoming new parents can feel like mobilizing a small country. With the US cost of a child’s first year averaging $12,680 in 2015, first-time parents should take advantage of every resource they have — including their credit card. Cash back cards can earn parents some of their planned expenses back, but 5,000 pacifier runs aren’t the only unexpected costs. Did you know that the most expensive part of a baby’s first year is the delivery ($10,808 average in 2018)? You might even have to pay some medical expenses out of pocket. To keep hair on your head, we’ve collected the best cards for new parents. These cards will ease the financial shock of having a newborn by offering a number of perks and rewards to soften the blow.

Best card for convenience: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Whether it’d be losing a half-hour power nap or some hard-earned time with your partner, running to another store for “the best deal” might not be as valuable as the time you’d lose. Convenience is king, and a flat-rate cash back card that will earn the same amount on any purchase is worth its weight in gold. The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and its $150 intro bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months is within easy reach for parents. On top of that, there’s no annual fee and a 15-month 0% intro purchase and balance transfer APR (16.49% – 25.24% variable after that). A long 0% intro APR period is vital for new parents since you may need to hold a balance for unexpected purchases, or to hold ongoing costs like child care — especially if there’s an income drop if a parent is at home or on disability from giving birth. There is a 3% balance transfer fee for the first 60 days of the account ($5 minimum), which will then increase to either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. However, keep in mind that this one-time charge will probably be less than your current card’s ongoing interest.

Chase’s edge in a pool of competing cards with similar rewards is its flexible reward redemption. Freedom Unlimited rewards can be redeemed for options like a check, gift card or statement credit, however if your partner has a Chase card with Ultimate Rewards — like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — you can combine your points for diverse rewards like travel!

Information regarding the Chase Freedom Unlimited was prepared by NextAdvisor.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the writer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented on this page is accurate as of the date of the post.

 

Runner up: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

If you’re a Wells Fargo bank account holder, you may get a little more value with the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card since it has an identical rewards rate (unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases), intro bonus ($150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months) and 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (then it’s 13.99%-25.99% (Variable)). The Cash Wise card is worth considering since Wells Fargo members have more redemption options and cardholders also get cell phone coverage up to $600 if they pay their cell bill with their card.

If you’re a couple that’s more concerned about cash back than about an intro APR safety net, then check out the Citi® Double Cash Card‘s (a Next Advisor advertiser) unlimited 2% cash back — 1% when you put the purchase on your card and 1% when you pay.

Best card for groceries and baby clothes: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Since having your freshly-minted rugrat in tow means that you might not get to hit your favorite restaurants and theaters much. We totally agree their lil’ dimples should be a free pass (sorry, we don’t make the rules), but we think the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser) can make an exception for your elevated cost of living. Cardholders earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on all other purchases. Spending $1,000 on purchases within your first 3 months of account opening for the $150 intro bonus requires you to spend a bit more than a few other intro bonuses we’ve seen, but it’s definitely accessible. The 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (12.99%-23.99% Variable afterwards) is a fantastic deal for no annual fee, and the 3% or $5 balance transfer fee (whichever is greater) is also lower than what many other cards pose. A few bonuses worth noting if you’re looking for a long-term card is the ongoing APR (12.99%-23.99% Variable) is a bit lower than the other cards on the list, as well as its 2.7% foreign exchange fee (Freedom Unlimited charges 3%) in case you need to travel abroad with your baby.

These huge supermarket rewards can cover more than just groceries for new parents. Many supermarkets also carry baby supplies like diapers, formula and wet wipes, along with a pharmacy to pick up medicine for your child. The last thing you’d expect would be to earn rewards on baby clothes — a huge expense with fast-growing kids — but Everyday Cash’s 2% bonus on select U.S. department stores earns cash back at retailers like J.C. Penney’s, Macy’s and Belk!

Best for ordering take-out: Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

New parents don’t have a lot of time to do much of anything, including cooking. That’s why having a card that earns rewards on ordering in is essential. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the perfect card. You’ll earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment (ranging from theaters to sports and even amusement parks), 2% at grocery stores and 1% back on all other purchases. In addition to that, there’s a $150 cash back bonus that you’ll earn after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months! The SavorOne Cash Rewards card also has no annual fee and a 15-month 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (with a 3% balance transfer fee) — after the 0% intro APR expires, it’s it’s 15.49% – 25.49% (Variable). On top of that, the card has no foreign transaction fees, which you may not use when your child is a newborn, but this feature may come in handy for future family vacations.

Information regarding the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card was prepared by NextAdvisor.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the writer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented on this page is accurate as of the date of the post.

 

If you want to explore more credit card options so you know what to expect when you’re expecting, read our reviews of the best credit cards.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.