The Perfect Credit Card Combo for Families

by Lyle Daly | Oct. 13, 2020

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A mom and dad preparing breakfast for their young daughter and son while they sit at the kitchen island.

Image source: Getty Images

Your family could earn hundreds of dollars every year with this lineup of high-value credit cards.

When you're in charge of your family's finances, finding the right combination of credit cards is a must. If you use cards that fit your family's spending habits -- and you're comfortable owning multiple credit cards -- you can save a huge amount of money. To make it easier, we've put together a credit card combo that will earn families as much back as possible.

These credit cards have high rewards rates in areas where families spend the most, such as groceries, entertainment, and online Amazon shopping. They won't break the bank, as most are no-annual-fee credit cards. And they all earn cash back, so it's easy to redeem everything you earn.

Groceries and gas: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has some of the highest cash back rates on the market for several popular everyday expenses. That includes groceries, gas, and streaming services. It earns:

  • 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year
  • 6% on select U.S. streaming services
  • 3% at U.S. gas stations
  • 3% on transit, such as rideshares, parking, and buses
  • 1% on all other purchases

You also get a $300 bonus when you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first three months. Offer Expires 12/10/2020

This card has a $95 annual fee, but all the cash back it earns makes up for that. If you want to avoid annual fees entirely, go with the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express instead.

Dining and entertainment: Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Family dinners, trips to the zoo, and theme park visits are all more rewarding with the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. This no-annual-fee card earns:

  • 3% on dining
  • 3% on entertainment
  • 2% at grocery stores (excluding Walmart, Target, and any other superstores)
  • 1% on all other purchases

Capital One's dining and entertainment categories are broad and cover quite a few different types of expenses. Dining includes bars, cafes, and bakeries; while entertainment includes movies, concerts, sporting events, and bowling alleys. You also get a $150 bonus for spending $500 on purchases within three months.

If you spend a large amount (at least $9,500) on dining and entertainment each year, then you should consider the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card instead. It offers 4% back on dining and entertainment for a $95 annual fee.

Amazon: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is ideal for families that use Amazon as a one-stop shop for school supplies, electronics, toys, and anything else they need. It's a cash back card with no annual fee, and it earns:

  • 5% at Amazon
  • 5% at Whole Foods
  • 2% at restaurants
  • 2% at gas stations
  • 2% at drug stores
  • 1% on all other purchases

You also receive a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.

This card's excellent rewards rate on Amazon purchases makes it a no-brainer if your family has an Amazon Prime membership.

Everything else: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

So far, we've covered credit cards that earn bonus cash back in popular spending categories. But what about all your other purchases? For that, there's the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

This Citi card earns an unlimited 2% back on every purchase. That 2% splits into 1% cash back when you make a purchase the other 1% when you make at least the minimum payment on time.

A rate of 2% back on everything makes this a leader among the top cash back credit cards. And it ensures that you'll always earn 2% or more on every $1 you spend.

This family credit card combo in action

To give you a better idea of just how much you can gain with the best credit cards, we've used some reasonable annual spending figures to calculate this combo's benefits:

Spending category Annual spending Cash back rate Cash back earned per year
Groceries $6,000 6% (Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express) $360
Streaming $300 6% (Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express) $18
Gas/transit $2,500 3% (Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express) $75
Dining $3,000 3% (Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card) $90
Entertainment $1,000 3% (Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card) $30
Amazon/Whole Foods $2,000 5% (Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card) $100
All other purchases $10,000 2% (Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer) $200
Source: Author's calculations.

That's a grand total of $873 in cash back per year on $24,800 in annual spending. After subtracting the $95 annual fee of the American Express card, you're still up $778. Keep in mind that you'd also earn an extra $500 from these cards' sign-up bonuses. If you know which credit cards to use and where to use them, you can get much more back on your regular expenses.

Our credit card expert uses the card we reveal below, and it could earn you $1,148 (seriously)

As long as you pay them off each month, credit cards are a no-brainer for savvy Americans. They protect against fraud far better than debit cards, help raise your credit score, and can put hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars in rewards back in your pocket each year.

But with so many cards out there, you need to choose wisely. This top-rated card offers the ability to pay 0% interest on purchases until late 2021, has some of the most generous cash back rewards we’ve ever seen (up to 5%!), and somehow still sports a $0 annual fee.

That’s why our expert – who has reviewed hundreds of cards – signed up for this one personally. Click here to get free access to our expert’s top pick.

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