Top 3 Credit Cards for Rewards on Family Trips

Gas can make summer road trips expensive, but the right credit card can earn some of that spending back.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Field trips are a great way to entertain or educate the entire family, both kids and adults alike. But parents know that food, entertainment, and transportation costs can quickly turn one afternoon trip into a money pit.

Credit cards can help, offering rewards that can help parents or chaperones recoup a bit of that investment in the form of cash back or other bonuses.
Here are three credit cards for family field trips.

1. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Rewards: 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual US supermarket purchases (and 1% cash back on supermarket purchases beyond that threshold); 3% cash back at US gas stations and participating US department stores; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
$150 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95.
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 13.99% to 24.99% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Loading kids into the car for a long drive is a little easier with this card.
For Your Field Trips: If you’re frequently driving to your family activities, 3% cash back at gas stations can save you a lot. Supermarket and select department store purchases earn special cash back rates as well.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee after the first year.

2. Citi ThankYou Preferred Card

 Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment; one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus:
None
Annual Fee:
$0
APR:
0% APR for 15 months on purchases, as well as on balance transfers made within the first four months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It:
You’ll earn points as you take your family out for food and entertainment.
For Your Field Trips:
Feeding and entertaining your family earns you two points on the dollar, while other purchases earn one point per dollar. The entertainment category includes museums, movie theaters, aquariums, carnivals, sporting events, and many other kid-friendly activities. Points can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, charitable donations, and more. The card also provides benefits through the Citi Private Pass program, which unlocks special access to tickets for hundreds of events.
Drawbacks: If your field trips are usually free or inexpensive, you won’t earn as many points.

3. Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards: 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back on groceries and wholesale club purchases for up to $2,500 in quarterly combined purchases; 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash rewards if you spend $500 in the first 90 days.
Annual Fee: $0
APR:
0% APR for 12 months on balance transfers completed in the first 60 days and all purchases, then variable 13.99% to 23.99% APR on transfers and purchases.
Why We Picked It: The card offers cash back rewards and a great program for museum lovers.
For Your Field Trips: 
Driving to destinations is a little easier with 3% cash back on gas purchases. Plus, with the Museums on Us program (which is available to all Bank of America debit and credit accountholders), cardholders get one free general admission ticket to over 175 museums and cultural institutions on the first full weekend of every month. This includes the Art Institute of Chicago, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City, and many more.
Drawbacks: 
There’s a quarterly cap on special cash back rates, so big spenders may want to keep looking.

How to Choose a Card for Family Field Trips

Choosing a card for your family field trips largely depends on the types of excursions you tend to take. If you frequently drive long distances, a gas rewards card would be a great fit. If you go to live shows and dine out with the family often, a card with dining and entertainment rewards might be more appropriate. Or, if your trips span a wide range of activities, you might prefer a card with a solid rewards rate for all purchases.

What Credit Is Required for a Family Field Trip Credit Card?  

Credit cards with spending rewards usually require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you should check your credit—you don’t want a hard inquiry to ding your credit score if you’ll be rejected. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.

Image: monkeybusinessimages 

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express and Citi ThankYou Preferred cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

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