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Best Credit Cards for Parents

(Update as of July 29, 2013: The below offer is no longer available. For the latest details regarding this card, check out our expert review of the Citi ThankYou Preferred Rewards Card on Creditnet.com.)

Thailand, Grand Cayman, Cancun, New York City. What do they all have in common? They're all places I've flown to for free using credit card rewards, the most recent trip being our first sans-kid trip to Cancun. I'm a huge proponent of responsible use of credit cards and an even bigger proponent of racking up rewards along the way, preferably at no or little cost to you in terms of annual fees. Now that the Mr. and I are finishing up our second year of parenthood, it's interesting to see how much more of our budget is allocated to food and gas. Who knew a sub-3-foot-tall human being could eat as much as her mom (and I boast quite the eating capacity for someone my size)? So when I saw the 12-month promotion offered by the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card, I couldn't help but think that this is one of the best cards for parents. Here's why:

  • $150 gift card - When you redeem the 15,000 bonus ThankYou® Points received after $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening.
  • Earn 1 ThankYou Point for every $1 you spend on all purchases
  • No expiration and no limit on the points you can earn
  • Redeem ThankYou Points for merchandise, travel rewards, gift cards, cash and more
  • Earn extra points when you shop through the ThankYou® Bonus Center, a network of 600+ retailers you know and love
  • Travel with ease and enjoy global acceptance with Chip Technology
  • No annual fee*

Let's run some quick calcs here. We'll say an average family of 4 spends about $1,000 per month on groceries (USDA Cost of Food at Home Report). Multiply that by the promotional 5 points per $1, and you'll be earning 5,000 ThankYou® Points per month. At the end of the 1 year promotion, you'll have earned 60,000 ThankYou® Points from grocery shopping alone! You'll essentially earn the equivalent of a $600 airplane ticket just for putting your groceries on this card. And doesn't the no annual fee just make this promo so much sweeter? I've been a Citi ThankYou® member for years now, and I love their rewards network. It's easy to use and I'll often find better flights at thankyou.com than I do on other travel websites. Since the Citi ThankYou® Preferred Rewards Card charges no annual fee, you could easily use the card solely for gas, groceries, and at drugstores for a year to make the most of the promotion.  Even after the 5x points promo ends, you'll still earn 1 ThankYou® Points per $1 in purchases. No annual fee, one-time bonus, 5x points for 12 months... and ultimately enough points for free airline tickets (or gift cards or cash or pretty much whatever you want)?  Yes, please, thank you. Photo by Polycart

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Elisabeth Chan's picture

Elisabeth Chan is Creditnet's resident credit card expert. Elisabeth graduated Magna Cum Laude from Brigham Young University's Marriott School of Business.

When she's not rating and reviewing credit cards, Elisabeth enjoys gushing over her daughter (who is her exact clone), eating out (sushi and Chinese are favs), or attempting to conquer the pilates reformer machine (so far, all attempts have been futile).

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