7 Best Credit Cards for Stay at Home Parents

March 25, 2023

The best credit cards for stay at home parents are the ones that heavily reward you for the type of shopping your family does most. This could mean a specific retailer credit card for a place you frequently shop (like Costco), or a travel rewards card that gives you sweet discounts on family vacations!

Homemakers might even consider having a three or four credit card strategy. With multiple cards at your disposal it will allow you to capture a wider variety of rewards.

Can a homemaker get a credit card with no personal income?

Yes! Anyone over 21 years old can include “household income” on a credit card application. This means your spouse or partner’s income, investment or rental income, or any household income of “which you have reasonable access”.

So if you’re not working currently as a stay at home mom or dad, or even if you’re unmarried and living with a partner or other family members, don’t fret! The credit card act of 2009 was put in place to provide fair lending practices to people including those who do not have personal income.

Best Credit Cards for Stay at Home Parents:

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

First up is one of our personal favorites… The Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit card. This bad boy gives you the best cash back rate at grocery stores, a whopping 6%! There is a limit however, which is up to the first $6,000 each year (then it reverts down to 1% cash back).

AMEX Blue Cash for groceries

Given that food and groceries are most household’s biggest expense category (besides rent) this card can give you the biggest bang for your bucks. Spending $6k on groceries alone gets you $360 in cash back each year, without even tapping into the other benefits.

Here are all the main features at a glance:

  • 6% cash back on groceries** (up to first $6k each year)
  • 6% back on all streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash back at US gas stations
  • Low intro APR: 0% for first 12 months
  • 1% cash back on ALL other purchases

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred does have an annual fee, which is $95. But, it’s waived for the first year, and there’s also an awesome sign up promotion. Just spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months, and you’ll get a $250 statement credit! Given these promos, the annual fee is kind of covered for the first 3-4 years of ownership.

With killer grocery and gas discounts, this is easily one of the best credit cards for stay at home parents who do most of the family shopping. Matt and I both have this card in our wallet, too!

**Important note: People have reported that grocery purchases at Target and Walmart do not qualify for the 6% cash back. So if you do most of your grocery shopping there, consider other cards!**

Citi Custom Cash Card

The Citi Custom Cash Card is good for one thing and one thing only… And that is giving you a killer 5% cash back for your single biggest expense category each month.

Here’s how it works: You go about spending as normal, using the Custom Cash Card. At the end of the month, Citi will analyze your spending and identify which category you’ve spent most in. Then they’ll reward you with 5% back.

custom cash credit cards for parents

One important note – the 5% cash back is only eligible in these categories… Restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment. Also, the cash back is only up to the first $500 spent on that top category each month.

Pro tip: To maximize benefits, it’s best if you just choose a single category to use this card on. For example, you could keep it in your car and only use it for gas purchases. That way you’ll always get 5% back on gas, and you can use other credit cards for better rewards with other purchases.

The Citi Custom Cash Card has $0 annual fee to worry about. Better yet, there’s a sign-up bonus! You can earn $200 by spending $1,500 in purchases in the first 6 months.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards

We like the SavorOne Cash Rewards Card mostly because of the 3% you can earn for dining, entertainment, and at US grocery stores (except at Target/Walmart). 

There is no annual fee, and a generous $200 cash bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months after opening the card.

Savor credit cards for SAH moms

Here’s what the SavorOne card offers:

  • Unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores
  • Earn 10% cash back on Uber & Uber Eats purchases
  • Unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • No annual fee
  • Cash back never expires! (as long as you keep the account open)

If your family orders a fair amount of take-out (via UberEats), and also dines out at restaurants a lot, this is one of the best credit cards for stay at home parents.

Given that there’s no annual fee, this is also a credit card that you can keep open for as long as you want. Even if your lifestyle changes and your spending looks different a few years from now, there is no cost to you have the account.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is one of the best travel rewards cards available these days, with a $95 annual fee. But don’t let that scare you off, because the welcome offer alone is worth up to $750!

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Just spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, and you’ll nab 60,000 bonus points. We’ll explain more about the Chase point system in a bit, but for now think of every Ultimate Rewards point as being worth about 1 cent each.

Here are the Sapphire Preferred card features:

  • 5x Points on all travel purchased via the Chase portal
  • $50 annual Hotel credit
  • 3x points on all restaurants and online grocery shopping
  • Free trials for Instacart and DoorDash memberships
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • All points are worth 25% more when redeemed for travel purchases!

Here’s a full post on how Chase Ultimate Rewards Points work. It’s super easy, and Chase has one of the most flexible redemption systems out of all the credit card companies. You can even combined points with family members, or transfer them to travel partners.

All in all, this card is perfect for families that spend a decent amount on travel most years. Even if you’re booking just one big trip each year, you’ll easily earn enough reward points to offset the annual fee. Plus this card gives you access to other great discounts.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is cash back credit card with a $0 annual fee. You don’t have to worry about “points”, as they provide just straight cash back for purchases.

Just like the same says, this card offers an “unlimited” 1.5% cash back on all purchases. But the best part is higher percentages for other categories, specifically travel purchases.

Chase cash back credit cards

Here is an overview of the Freedom Unlimited benefits:

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • 5% cash back on travel booked via Chase portal
  • 3% cash back on dining
  • 3% cash back on drug stores
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 months

As you can see, if you and your family travel a lot, you’ll get great rewards with this credit card. It’s slightly less intimidating than the aforementioned Sapphire Preferred card, due to the $0 annual fee and offering straight cash back.

Citi Double Cash Card

Another one of the best credit cards for stay at home parents is a 2% cash back card for all of your miscellaneous spending. It’s the Citi Double Cash Card.

While most credit cards offer a paltry 1% cash back for “all other purchases”, this card gives you double the standard. And because there’s no annual fee, it’s perfect to have this in your arsenal for most of your other purchases.

Double cash credit cards for stay at home parents

The cash back you’ll earn comes in the form of a statement credit, check, or direct deposit after you pay your bill on time each month.

Another perk is the sign up bonus! The Citi Double Cash comes with an additional $200 cash back when you spend $1,500 in the first six months. That’s a very good deal, given the lack of an annual fee too.

Citi Costco Anywhere VISA

Personally, this is my favorite credit card. If you live near a Costco and shop there a fair amount, you NEED to take advantage of the Costco Anywhere Visa

Costco Anywhere VISA

For starters, there’s no annual fee for this card if you have a Costco membership. So right out of the gate there is little downside to getting one. Also, it’s not just for purchases at Costco, because this beautiful piece of plastic will reward you at ANY gas station, worldwide.

Here is a rundown of all the benefits:

  • Earn 4% cash back on fuel and EV charging at any gas station, worldwide.
  • Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel services
  • Get 2% cash back for Costco purchases
  • 1% cash back for everything else.

For most people, just using this card for Costco trips alone will cover your annual membership fee. It’s one of the best Costco perks that everyone should take advantage of.

Other Best Credit Cards by Spending Category:

There are hundreds of different credit cards available, and we realize every family has different spending profiles. We partner with CardRatings to maintain updated lists that rank the best cards and promotions at any given time. Here are some you might like:

Lastly, here’s a new credit card that lets you earn rewards for paying rent! 🏠

The Bottom Line

Homemakers in charge of family spending have an excellent opportunity to earn rewards and cash back just for using the right credit cards. While every family spends differently, we’ve tried to lay out the best credit cards for stay at home parents that have reliable and consistent offers.

There’s no harm in having 3-4 credit cards, using each one for different types of purchases. Just make sure to label them so you don’t get confused and can maximize the benefits.

**Photo by Jonathan Borba on Unsplash

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