As a parent, I find that I spend a lot of money on my son. Most of what I buy is what I consider the basics, like formula, diapers, baby food, and clothes. But I also buy him a lot of things to help him learn, and things that are just for fun. As I was looking around at all of the stuff my wife and I have bought for him, I thought, “I really should be getting rewarded for all this spending I’m doing.” So I started looking into credit cards offering rewards that can benefit me as a parent.
After doing some research and asking around, I’ve learned about quite a few that, even if they aren’t designated as “new parent credit cards,” offer rewards that are beneficial to parents based on the type of spending the average parent does. I’ll run through them and let you know what kind of rewards they offer.
Joshua Heckathorn, lead blogger and president of Creditnet.com, recommends the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card. “Not only does it have no annual fee, but Citi is also running a special, 12-month promotion which offers cardholders the opportunity to earn five ThankYou points for every dollar spent at grocery stores, gas stations, and drugstores,” said Heckathorn. “This is the perfect deal for new parents, who will quickly realize that the addition of a tiny human being to the family will mean in increased monthly spending in all three of these categories.”
In addition, in a Creditnet.com article about the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card, the site explains that the promotion includes the opportunity to earn a $150 gift card as long as you spend at least $1,000 in the first three months of owning the card, and that once the promotion ends, you will earn one point for every dollar you spend.
Laurie Gray, attorney, author, and founder of Socratic Parenting, LLC, told me that before becoming parents, she and her husband would use their credit card points for vacation airfare and travel. “Our travel habits changed drastically as parents,” said Gray. “We switched to Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards MasterCard.” With this card, every dollar they spend puts two cents into a 529 college plan for their daughter. “We’ve accumulated several thousand dollars over the years, which is growing tax-free and will be there for her in 2020. It’s such an easy way to save for college.”
Zachary Dreyfuss, founder of The Travel Abstract told me about a card designed to let parents and kids have fun, the Chase Disney’s Premier Visa Card. “You can redeem your points for DVDs, books, games, hotel stays at Disney Resorts, and annual Disney park passes,” said Dreyfuss. “[The card offers] lots of benefits for the young couple who is preparing for the much desired, and often expensive, Disney trip with their child.” And my wife and I are planning to take our son to Disney World as soon as he’s tall enough to ride the rides.
In addition to this, the Disney card allows you to earn 2% rewards on purchases made at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, and Disney locations, 1% on all other purchases, and redeem points for airfare on any airline to any destination ó even if you aren’t flying to Disneyland or Disney World.
There are also numerous cash reward cards that allow you to earn money for spending money. The Capital One Cash Rewards Card offers 1% cash back on all purchases, 50% bonus on what you earn each year, a $100 bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months, and 0% APR through August 2013. The Chase Freedom Visa Card offers 5% cash back on select categories that change every three months, up to 10% cash back for purchases from select online stores,1% cash back on all other purchases, $100 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months, and 0% APR for the first 15 months. And there are plenty of others similar to these.
So now that I know about the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card, the Fidelity Investments 529 College Rewards MasterCard, the Chase Disney’s Premier Visa Card, and all the others, all I need to do is figure out which one(s) will be right for me.