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5 best credit cards for seniors and retirees

Be sure to meet eligibility requirements before you apply.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked

Our pick for everyday rewards for seniors: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express logo

Up to 6%

Cash back

  • Industry-leading cash back on everyday purchases
  • Huge limited-time welcome offer and $0 intro annual fee for the first year (then $95)
  • Limited-time offers expire December 10, 2020
Apply now
See rates & fees
Retirement can be a new adventure filled with travel, home improvements and learning new skills. But just because you’re living on a fixed income doesn’t mean you should cut up those credit cards. As long as you’re not accumulating debt, keeping a credit card around can help you earn rewards and benefits.

We’ve made a list of providers that accept retired applicants, as well as the documents you’ll need to improve your chances of approval.

Best credit cards for seniors

There are credit cards to help different lifestyles and phases of life. For seniors, there are many options out there, but we’ve narrowed down the best. Here are a few of our favorite credit cards for seniors.

Best for flat cash back
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)

Best for balance transfers
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
n/a
Rewards
n/a
Welcome offer
The Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card is Finder's go-to card for consolidating debt for those aiming to be debt-free before retirement. It's a simple card, but boasts one of the longest balance transfer periods on the market at 18 months. The card also has a $0 annual fee, so you can continue using it for everyday purchases without worrying about the additional fee.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards N/A

Best for everyday rewards
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 6%
Cash back
$300
Welcome offer
If you're still supporting your family during your retirement, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a great way to earn cash back on common, everyday purchases. It's big selling point is the outstanding rewards rates: you'll earn 6 back on groceries from U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 6% back on streaming services, 3% back on gas and transit purchases and 1% back on everything else. Max out the grocery cap each year and that's a cool $180 back in your wallet.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months (Offer expires 12/10/2020)
Rewards 6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
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Best for Dining and Gas
AARP® Credit Card from Chase

AARP® Credit Card from Chase logo
Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$100
Welcome offer
While the AARP® Credit Card from Chase might not be the first Chase rewards card most think of, it has plenty of earning power and is focused on simplicity over flexibility. You'll earn 3 cash back on purchases made at restaurants and gas stations, and 1 back on everything else. At 3, the dining rate is actually comparable to Chase's luxury travel card, the AARP® Credit Card from Chase. The trade off here is the AARP® Credit Card from Chase doesn't earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points. But at a $0 annual fee, this is a great deal if you plan to mainly spend on dining.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 16.24% to 22.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 16.24% to 22.99% variable
Welcome offer $100 cash back after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards 3% back at restaurants, 3% at gas stations and 1% on all other purchases
The information about AARP® Credit Card from Chase has been collected independently by Finder and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Methodology

We compared credit cards with perks and features that would benefit seniors and retirees, taking into account rewards, annual fee and other perks. We’ve selected the cards that had the optimal combination of these perks.

Why should seniors get a credit card?

There are two benefits to using a credit card as a senior: rewards and security. Even with a fixed income, you’ll be spending plenty on your day-to-day essentials, such as groceries, gas, dining or travel. The right rewards credit card can let you earn cash back, miles and rewards on purchases, often for free and with little extra effort on your part.

Credit cards are also one of the more secure payment methods available. In the event of a fraudulent event, credit card security protections ensure you won’t be on the hook for any charge made without your consent.

Application requirements

Applying for a senior’s card often requires the same information — including credit score and credit history — as a standard credit card application. Here are the detailed requirements from the most popular credit card providers.

ProviderWho can applyApplication requirements
AmexRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number
  • Address
  • Total annual income including pension
  • A prior American Express account
  • Credit history
  • Contact number

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

CitiRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number
  • Written application or invitation
  • Address
  • Total annual income including pension
  • Contact number
BarclaysRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Email
  • Total annual income including pension
  • Contact number

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

ChaseRetirees and pension holders
  • Name
  • Address
  • Social Security number
  • ID document
  • Date of birth
TD BankRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Address
  • Email
  • Total annual income including pension
  • Contact number
Wells FargoRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Address
  • Proof of permanent citizenship
  • Good credit score
  • Total annual income including pension

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

Bank of AmericaRetirees and pension holders
  • Address
  • Contact information
  • Date of birth
  • Total annual income
HSBCRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Address
  • Total annual income including pension

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

PNC BankRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Address
  • Total annual income including pension

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

Capital OneRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Address
  • Contact number
  • Total annual income including pension

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

Simmons BankRetirees and pension holders
  • Social Security number or ID
  • Application form
  • Address
  • Contact number
  • Total annual income including pension

The credit card department may reach out directly through email or phone for extra information.

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Mistakes to avoid when applying for your credit card

Before you apply for a seniors’ credit card, avoid the following:

  • Applying without researching
    Rejected applications can negatively affect your credit report. Confirm the information you’ll need to increase your chances of approval.
  • Applying for several cards quickly
    If you’re rejected for a credit card application, don’t immediately apply for another one. Instead, consider why your application was denied. If you didn’t submit the required documents, research and find which ones you’re missing. If you were rejected because of your credit history, take some time to improve your credit score before applying again.

Compare credit cards for seniors

To find the best credit card for seniors, consider whether you want an intro APR card, a rewards credit card or one with travel perks and benefits. Then, compare multiple options to find the right card for your needs.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Perfect for families: Get up to 6% on everyday purchases and a welcome offer worth $300. This heavy-hitter rewards card has uncontested value. Rates & fees
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
$0
Get 3% cash back on groceries on up to $6,000 annually (then 1%) with no annual fee. This is a simple and effective rewards card. Rates & fees
Chase Freedom Flex℠
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a huge signup bonus worth $1,000 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card
N/A
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 14.74% to 24.74% variable)
$0
An impressive 18 months intro APR on balance transfers and purchases, as well as no annual fee make this one of the top 0% APR cards available.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

There are many credit card options for seniors, and the application requirements are often the same as the standard credit cards. Always compare credit cards before you apply.

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