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Credit cards for single parents

Credit cards for single parents

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Explore credit cards that work as hard for your money as you do.

If you’re a single parent, a credit card could be a convenient way to free up cash flow between paydays or to help manage financial emergencies. There is a range of cards that offer low annual fees, up to 55 interest-free days and have a lower minimum income requirement. Use this guide to help you compare your options to find the most suitable one for you.

Our pick for everyday family spending: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. 1% cash back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms apply.
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Comparing credit cards for single parents

It is always important to consider your financial situation and needs before applying for a credit card. If you’re looking for a card to use in case of emergencies, for example, you might want to consider one with low or no annual fees. If you plan on using your card to make regular repayments while carrying an outstanding balance, one with a low interest rate could be more suitable. If you have debt to pay off, on the other hand, a low or 0% balance transfer offer could be a useful way to pay down your balance without incurring additional interest. Note that most of these cards have a minimum income requirement of at least $15,000 and require applicants to have a good credit history, so you’ll need to make sure you meet the eligibility criteria before you apply.

Compare credit cards

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual Fee
7x points on Hilton Honors purchases, 5x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 75,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 in purchases on the card within your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
N/A
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
N/A
0% for the first 18 months (then 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable)
$0
An 18 months 0% intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers, plus zero foreign transaction fees, makes this is a strong well-rounded card. See Rates and Fees
3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.24%, 19.24% or 25.24% variable)
$0
Earn 3% cash back on up to $10,000 in the first 12 months, then 1.5% on all purchases. See Rates and Fees.
2x miles at US restaurants and on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0
Earn 10,000 bonus miles after spending $500 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
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% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 bonus statement credit after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
See Rates & Fees
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $2,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
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% for the first 12 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$95
Earn $250 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
1.5% cash back on all purchases
0% for the first 15 months (then 15.24% to 26.24% variable)
$0
Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
16.24% to 25.74% variable
$0
When you spend $500 on your card within the first 90 days, you’ll receive a $150 cash back bonus. Rates & Fees
2x points on gas, groceries or airlines, whichever you spend the most on each month, 2x points on cell phone services and charities and 1x points on all other purchases
16.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($49 thereafter)
Earn 25,000 enrollment FlexPoints worth $375 in travel after spending $2,000 in the first 4 months. Rates & Fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
60,000 bonus miles after you use your new card to make $2,000 on purchases within the first 3 months and a $50 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
12x points on Hilton Portfolio spending, 6x at US restaurants, US supermarkets and US gas stations, 3x on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors™ Bonus Points after you spend $2,000 or more in purchases with your new card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5% back at US office supply stores and on US wireless telephone services on up to $50,000 annually (then 1%). 3% on a chosen category on up to $50,000 annually, then 1% after and on everything else
0% for the first 15 months (then 14.49% to 21.49% variable)
$0
Save on interest with a 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months. After that your APR will be variable. Rates & fees
2x points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 annually, then 1x points
0% for the first 12 months (then 15.49% to 21.49% variable)
$0
Earn 2x Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases on up to $50,000 with no category restrictions. Rates & fees
4x points on two categories on up to $150,000 combined annually, then 1x points after that and on all other purchases
16.49% to 24.49% variable
$295
Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on eligible purchases with the Business Gold Card within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
1.5% discount when you pay early
N/A
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($250 thereafter)
Get a 1.5% discount when you pay early, with no cap on what you can earn back. Rates & fees
2x points on purchases through Amex Travel and x points on all other purchases
N/A
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 5,000 Membership Rewards® points after your first purchase on the card within the first year of card membership. Rates & fees
6x points at Marriott Bonvoy, 4x points at US restaurants, US gas stations and on US wireless telephone and shipping services, 2x points on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$125
Earn 75,000 bonus points after you use your new card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
5x points on flights and prepaid hotels through Amex Travel, 1.5x points if you spend $5,000 on a single eligible purchase on up to 1 million additional points per year and 1x points on all other purchases
N/A
$595
Earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000 and an extra 25,000 points after spending an additional $10,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Rates & fees
2x miles on Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
0% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% to 26.99% variable)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 70,000 bonus miles after you make $4,000 in purchases on your new card within your first 3 months. Plus earn $50 after you make your first Delta purchase in the same timeframe. Rates & fees
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
0% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% to 26.99% variable)
$195
"Earn 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) plus 80,000 bonus miles after spending $6,000 in the first 3 months. In addition, earn a $100 statement credit after you make a Delta purchase with your new Card within your first 3 months. Rates & fees
2x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases
0% for the first 6 months (then 17.99% to 26.99% variable)
$450
Earn 80,000 bonus miles and 5,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $6,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months. Rates & fees
12x points at Hilton, 6x points on select business and travel and 3x points on all other purchases
17.99% to 26.99% variable
$95
Earn 125,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of card membership. Rates & fees
1% cash back to your choice of nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations
1.99% for the first 6 monthly billing cycles (then 16.24% to 22.24% variable)
$0
1% cash back to the nonprofits, K-12 schools, colleges and religious organizations of your choice.
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
17.24% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
17.24% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
17.24% variable
$995
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
3x points on travel or 4x points if you’re a PenFed Honors Advantage member and 1.5x points on all other purchases
12.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
25,000 bonus points when you spend $2,500 in the first 90 days from account opening.
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
2% cash back for all PenFed Honors Advantage members and 1.5% cash back on all purchases made with your card.
5x points on gas at the pump, 3x points on groceries and 1x points on all other purchases
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
Earn 5x points on gas at the pump and 3x points on groceries. Earn 1x points on all other purchases.
1% cash back right away, 1.25% after six on-time payments and 1.5% after 12 on-time payments
15.24% to 26.24% variable
$0
Build your credit with no fees: Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score.
3% back on travel and entertainment and 2% on dining up to $500 combined each billing cycle, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
18.24% to 25.24% variable
$0
Earn 3% cash back on travel and entertainment and 2% at restaurants on the first $1,000 spent on purchases each billing cycle (then 1%). Earn 1% on all other purchases.
N/A
See terms
See terms
Build or rebuild your credit with this Visa credit card.
N/A
9.24% to 17.99% variable
$0
Low APR on all purchases including cash advances.
N/A
11.99% to 17.99% variable
$0
Earn a $100 bonus after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 90 days from account opening.
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
20.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 to $99
Earn 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion
20.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 to $99
Get 1% cash back on all purchases or in categories based on Credit One Bank’s discretion.
Up to 1% cash back on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back at NASCAR.com
20.24% to 26.24% variable
$0 to $99
Get up to 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases determined by Credit One and double cash back rewards at the NASCAR.com Superstore.
N/A
24.9% fixed
$0 to $99
The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card is specifically designed for those with less than perfect credit.
N/A
9.99% fixed
$48
This secured card can help you rebuild your credit with an initial deposit of $200 to $1,000.
N/A
19.64% variable
$35
A secured Visa® credit card that helps you build your credit quickly.
1% cash back on all purchases
20.99% variable
$0
Designed for college students to build credit history and earn rewards.
N/A
25.24% variable
$0
Designed to help build credit history with no deposit required. Apply if you're new to credit or have a fair to good score over 650.
N/A
14.74% variable
$39
No minimum credit score and no credit history required.
N/A
10.74% variable
$49
Build or rebuild your credit with this secured card.

Compare up to 4 providers

How to increase my chances of credit card approval if I’m a single parent

1. Compare your options

Just as there are many types of credit cards to suit different types of needs, there are many credit cards on the market that could be suitable and useful for a single parent. It’s important to compare the features, costs, terms and conditions in relation to your spending habits and financial situation.

2. Check the eligibility requirements before applying

Make sure that you meet the card’s eligibility requirements, which usually include:

  • Age. You must usually be at least 18 years of age to apply.
  • Residency. You must typically be an U.S. citizen, permanent resident or hold a valid visa.
  • Income. Most cards have a minimum income requirement which usually starts from $15,000. Some cards, if you refer to the previous section’s table, recognize government assistance payments as an acceptable form of income.
  • Credit score. Most cards require that your credit score be very good or excellent.

3. Organise the necessary documents

Apart from the standard documents (e.g. proof of identity and address, etc.), you will need to provide proof of income. You may use payslips, bank statements and documents from Centrelink (refer to table in previous section), but make sure to contact your card provider directly to discuss your specific circumstances and confirm the exact documents you need.

4. Understand common reasons for rejection

  • Bad credit history. It’s good practice to request a copy of your free credit score to ensure it looks good and there are no mistakes on it, or so you can find ways to improve it if it’s not ideal. Bad credit history is one of the major reasons why applications are rejected.
  • Too many applications. Making too many credit card applications can backfire on you, because each application leaves a black mark on your credit report that future credit providers often frown upon.
  • Insufficient income. Credit providers will consider your personal situation in its entirety, i.e. do you have sufficient income to be able to pay these future credit card bills, and do you already have existing debt to service?

Your credit card application will always be assessed as a whole, and lenders will take all pertinent factors into consideration when deciding if you are a low-risk borrower. Having a good credit score and proven history of paying your bills on time will help greatly, along with proof of consistent income, whether it be from employment or government assistance.

Don’t want a credit card? Consider a loan for single parents

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