These are the best credit card reward programs for families

From travel points to getting your child ready for college.

best credit card reward programs

When we're young, credit cards seem like this magical object that you can use to purchase all of your heart's desires, no strings attached. Now that we're older—and a bit more realistic—we know this isn't the case. Everything has a price and an interest rate. However, some credit cards come with great benefits and serve as a wonderful addition to your family's financial life, if you know how to use them properly.

Before thinking about credit card perks, consider how opening and maintaining new lines of credit can affect your family's lifestyle. A few tips?

  • Pay all bills on time and in full
  • Know your credit utilization (the amount of debt assumed relative to the amount of debt available to use)
  • Keep old, healthy credit accounts open to increase credit age
  • Ensure credit report doesn't contain any errors

Here are the best credit cards for your family:

For families without great credit

If you're new to the credit journey, card options may be fewer and farther between, as creditors often look to credit scores to determine credit worthiness. That said, there are a few great options for those without a high credit score to back them up. It will be beneficial to begin boosting your credit score now, giving you more opportunity to apply for an array of cards, loans, and mortgages later on.

For cards that do not require previous credit histories or impressive credit scores, the Green Dot primor® Visa® Platinum Secured Credit Card and First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card are good places to start. Just note that both come with annual fees ($39 and $49 respectively) and don't offer any flashy perks or signup bonuses.

For the foodie family

For many families, the dinner table is the encapsulation of family time, but making sure that there's food on the table is an expense many families need to plan for. Luckily, many credit cards offer cashback or rewards for grocery hauls and restaurant outings to help carry the (grocery) load.

The SavorOne Rewards from Capital One is a great option, giving cardholders 3% cashback on all dining, grocery and entertainment purchases—restaurants, grocery stores, movie theaters, amusement parks—are included with no annual fee. It's very convenient if you're looking for a card that gives perks for all family purchases, from weekly dinners to special occasions. For a card more specific to grocery lists, check out American Express Blue Cash Everyday, which offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 in annual purchases.

For the world traveling family

Travel points are a highly sought after perk of credit cards, and with many companies offering their own suite of travel points through their individual means (from airlines to ride-sharing brands), it can be tough to navigate.

To get your feet wet with travel cards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is a great place to start. This card, which has a $95 annual fee, offers 2x points per dollar on travel and dining purchases, and new cardholders get a 60,000-point bonus after spending $4K in the first three months (approximating at least $750 in free travel!).

Another type of travel card worth considering is one that gives you points back on gas purchases—Bank of America Cash Rewards gives you 3% cashback on gas purchases if you choose the gas option among their 3% cash rewards categories.

For the fixer-upper family

Good news is the travel cards above are multi-purposeful for when you're back from your vacays and sprucing up the house. The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers purchase protection for 120 days against damage or theft up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, which is super helpful for any renovation project purchases, while the Bank of America Cash Rewards also has online shopping or home improvement categories as options for their 3% cash rewards.

For families with college-bound kids

There's no better time for your children to start understanding the depths of real life than in college. Many credit cards are specifically keen to those in their college years, helping students to begin making mindful contributions to their financial health without worrying about annual fees or credit history requirements. For instance, Capital One's Journey Student Rewards and Deserve EDU Mastercard are good options to consider and have the same perks. They offer 1% on all purchases with no annual fee and available to those with no credit history.

Tips for using credit cards

With all elements of your wallet, it's important to keep a close eye on your credit lines. To help you stay on top of it all, set a monthly spending budget and regularly check your bills to make sure you're spending within your means. Apps like Mint can be a useful tool in making sure you're staying on track. You can access all your accounts in one place, monitor your everyday spending and check on how your credit score is impacted.

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Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

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9 products that will help baby sleep better (and longer!)

For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

How do I get my baby to sleep? This is one of the most commonly asked questions among new parents, and it makes sense, given that babies are born with their days and nights mixed up. For many parents, attempting naps and bedtime can seem like a never-ending cycle of rocking, shushing and hoping for some kind of magic sleep solution.

And while that might not exist (yet), we have found some of the best products out there that can help baby fall asleep faster and for longer durations. Because when baby is sleeping, so are you!

Dreamland Baby weighted sleep sack and swaddle

Designed by a mama, parents swear by this weighted sleep sack. It mimics your hug to give your baby security and comfort that helps them get to sleep faster and stay asleep longer. The detachable swaddle wing makes it easy to transition as they grow.

It's also super easy to get on and off, and includes a bottom-up zipper for late night changes, so you don't have to wake your baby in the process.


Yogasleep Hushh portable sound machine

Yogasleep hushh sound machine

With three soothing options, this is a perfect solution to help your baby settle when naps are on the go and during travel! I love how compact this noise machine is and that it can run all night with one charge.


Bebe au Lait muslin crib sheets

Burt's Bees Organic Crib Sheets

With a variety of print options to choose from, these breathable sheets are *so* soft and smooth, even through multiple washes. The luxury fabric keeps little ones warm without overheating—a formula that helps ensure more sleep for everyone.


The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

The Simple Folk perfect pajamas

You know what's going to help baby have their best sleep ever? Some quality, super soft pajamas. The timeless (and aptly named!) Perfect Pajama from The Simple Folk are some of our favorites. They last forever and they're made from organic pima cotton that is safe on baby's precious skin. They come in a wide range of sizes so siblings can match and feature fold-over hand covers on sizes up to 12 months.


The Snoo bassinet


Designed by expert pediatrician and sleep guru Dr. Harvey Karp, the Snoo bassinet gently rocks your baby to sleep while snuggled up in the built-in swaddle. Not only does it come with sensors that adjust the white noise and movement based on your baby's needs, there is also an app that allows you to adjust the settings directly from your phone.

While this item is a bit on the expensive side, there is now an option to rent for $3.50 a day, which is a total game changer!


Hatch Baby Rest sound machine + nightlight

best baby sound machine

The Hatch Baby Rest is a dual sound machine and nightlight that will grow with your family. Many parents use this product with their infants as a white-noise machine and then as a "time to rise" solution for toddlers.

The thing I love most about this product is that the light it gives off isn't too bright, and you can even select different color preferences; giving your toddler choices at bedtime.


Crane humidifier

Crane Humidifier

The only thing worse than a sick baby is a baby who is sick and not sleeping well. The Crane humidifier helps take care of this by relieving congestion and helping your baby breathe better while sleeping.

Personally, I think the adorable design options alone are enough of a reason to purchase this product, and your child will love watching steam come out of the elephant's trunk!


Naturepedic organic crib mattress

Naturpedic Lightweight Organic Mattress

In the first few months of life, babies can spend up to 17 hours a day sleeping, so choosing a mattress that is safe (read: no chemicals!) and comfortable is incredibly important.

Naturepedic uses allergen-friendly and waterproof materials with babies and children in mind, making them easy to clean and giving you peace of mind.


Happiest Baby sleepea 5-second swaddle

best baby swaddle

There are baby swaddles and then there is Sleepea. Similar to the brand's swaddle that is built into the Snoo, the Sleepea is magic for multiple reasons. First, it's got mesh panels ensuring baby never overheats. Second, the zipper zips from the top or the bottom, so you can change the baby's diaper in the middle of the night without ever waking them. Third, it's hip safe. Fourth, the patterns are SO cute. And fifth, the interior swaddle wrap that keeps baby's ams down has a "quiet" velcro that won't wake baby if you need to readjust while they're asleep.


We independently select and share the products we love—and may receive a commission if you choose to buy. You've got this.


10 photos to take on baby’s first day that you'll cherish forever

You'll obsess over these newborn baby pictures.

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As you're preparing for baby's birth, we bet you're dreaming of all of the amazing photos you'll take of your precious new babe. As a professional photographer and mama, I have some tips for newborn photos you'll want to capture.

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