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Credit cards for single parents

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

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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.

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.

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Compare credit cards

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
20% at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months, 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
This everyday cashback card is ideal for Black Friday and holiday shopping with 20% back at Amazon.com up to $200 back in the first 6 months. 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 signup bonus worth $750 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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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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