Families come in all shapes and sizes, but the one thing they inevitably have in common is the long list of expenses associated with daily life. Whether it’s the many costs that come along with raising children or the expenses of caring for a shared home, the right credit card can help cover those costs while also providing valuable rewards.

With this in mind, we’ve gathered the top cards for families in a number of key spending categories. To choose our top picks, we considered each card’s primary features including rewards, bonus offers and introductory APRs. We also reviewed the fees charged, as well any “fine print” benefits. Equally important, we considered the common spending habits of families.

Best credit card for grocery shopping

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Alternative choice: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express offers a solid alternative if you’re wanting to avoid an annual fee. In addition to its $0 annual fee, the card offers a variety of additional benefits, including the same Disney bundle credit offered by Blue Cash Preferred.

  • Welcome offer: $200 statement credit when you spend $2,000 within the first six months of opening the card
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (then 19.24 percent to 29.99 percent variable ongoing APR)
  • Rewards: 3 percent cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. online retailers and U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 spent in each category each year (then 1 percent), and 1 percent back on other purchases.
  • Annual fee: $0

Best cash back credit card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Alternative choice: Citi Double Cash® Card

The Citi Double Cash Card is a compelling runner-up to the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card for families, offering no annual fee and flat-rate cash back. But you won’t get an introductory APR offer on purchases with Citi Double Cash. Still, it’s a good alternative, if you already have a premium Citi card, such as the Citi Premier® Card, and want an everyday card with rewards you can combine under Citi Premier for travel redemptions.

  • Welcome offer: $200 cash back — awarded as 20,000 ThankYou points — when you spend $1,500 on purchases within six months of opening the card
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months from account opening followed by a 19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable ongoing APR. Balance transfers must be made in the first four months to qualify.
  • Rewards: Up to 2 percent cash back with no limits — 1 percent cash back when you make purchases, and 1 percent back as you pay off those purchases. Limited-time offer earns you 5 percent cash back on travel-related expenses including car rentals and hotel rentals booked through Citi Travel through Dec. 31, 2024.
  • Annual fee: $0

Best travel rewards credit card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Alternative choice: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card

A card with no annual fee and noteworthy travel rewards, the Capital One VentureOne Card can be a good option for families that don’t want to pay for extra perks but do like the idea of building up travel rewards to offset a future getaway.

  • Welcome offer: 20,000 bonus miles for new cardmembers who spend $500 on purchases within three months of opening an account
  • Intro APR: 0 percent introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent variable ongoing APR (3 percent of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account during the first 15 months your account is open or at a promotional APR offered to you at any other time; no fee for amounts transferred at the transfer APR)
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1.25 miles per dollar for every purchase made with the card and unlimited 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars when booked with Capital One Travel
  • Annual fee: $0

Best 0% intro APR credit card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®*

Alternative choice: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards offers yet another valuable option for families looking to avoid an annual fee while taking advantage of a generous introductory APR offer and simple everyday rewards. If you already have a miles-earning Capital One card, such as the VentureOne card, you can convert your cash back earned with Quicksilver into Capital One miles. Quicksilver doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees, so it’s a better choice than Freedom Unlimited if you need a card for traveling overseas or shopping in foreign currency.

  • Welcome offer: One-time $200 cash bonus if you spend $500 within three months of opening the card
  • Intro APR: 0% introductory APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, with a variable APR of 19.99 percent to 29.99 percent after(3 percent of the amount of each transferred balance that posts to your account during the first 15 months your account is open or at a promotional APR offered to you at any other time; no fee for amounts transferred at the transfer APR)
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase, plus 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked with Capital One Travel
  • Annual fee: $0

Best credit card for online shopping

Prime Visa

Alternative choice: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

The no-annual-fee Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards offers strong rewards on your online purchases, expanding your earnings beyond a single retailer with additional flexibility for top rewards. You can choose the category in which you want to earn the highest rewards rate from among a list of six, including online shopping. Plus, if you bank with Bank of America and qualify for its Preferred Rewards program, you can earn 25 percent to 75 percent more rewards on every purchase.

  • Welcome offer: $200 online cash rewards bonus if you make at least $1,000 in purchases within the first 90 days of account opening
  • Intro APR: 0 percent intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers made within 60 days of opening the card as well as on purchases. Ongoing variable APR of 18.24 percent to 28.24 percent thereafter
  • Rewards: 3 percent cash back in one of six categories of your choice — gas and EV charging stations; online shopping, including cable, internet, phone plans and streaming; dining; travel; drugstores; or home improvement stores — and earn 2 percent back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (3 percent and 2 percent earning is on the first $2,500 in combined quarterly spending); earn 1 percent on other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0

How to choose the best credit card for your family

Choosing the right card for your family requires many of the same steps and considerations as choosing a card for yourself:

  • Know your credit score. Applying for a credit card often triggers a hard credit inquiry from the issuer, and you don’t want too many of those on your credit report. Only apply for cards for which you have a reasonable expectation of qualifying, starting with your credit score.
  • Understand issuer rules. Each issuer has its own rules on who it will and won’t approve for a card, and some of those rules have nothing to do with your credit score. The Chase 5/24 rule, for instance, means Chase is unlikely to approve you for a card if you’ve opened five or more accounts with any bank in the past 24 months.
  • Take stock of your budget. You want a card that slides easily into your regular spending habits and rewards goals. No credit card is worth manipulating your spending or budget to make it fit. Instead, choose the right type of credit card that rewards the spending you already do.
  • Consider the fees. Don’t ignore the not-fun parts of a card’s terms. An annual fee can be worth it, but you want rewards and perks to more than offset that upfront cost. If you expect you’ll carry a balance, make sure you understand the interest rate you’ll pay.
  • Make sure you can meet the welcome bonus. Many top rewards cards advertise lucrative welcome bonuses but require substantial spending to earn it. If meeting a spending requirement will be difficult, consider timing your application around a large single purchase — such as paying taxes or completing a major home improvement — to earn the bonus.

The bottom line

No matter who makes up your family, your expenses will be different from those of your single days. As your family grows and changes, make sure your personal finance choices keep up. Whether you’re combining households, getting married or adding a new child to the mix, there’s a credit card out there for you.

Still unsure of the right pick? Try Bankrate’s CardMatch tool for card suggestions tailored to your specific needs.

*Information about the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.