Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Retired Person
|Name||Best for||Rewards Rate||Purchase APR||Apply|
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card |Car rental||10,000x 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary.10x Miles on hotels & rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.5x Miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on all other purchases.||21.74% - 28.74% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card |Travel, Daily use||5x Miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on all purchases.||20.74% - 28.74% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® |Walmart purchases||5% Cash Back at Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery.2% Cash Back in Walmart stores, at restaurants and on travel.1% Everywhere else Mastercard® is accepted.||17.99% - 29.49% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card |Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use||1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.||19.74% - 29.74% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
Upgrade Cash Rewards Visa® |Good credit score||1.5% Cash Back on payments.||14.99% - 29.99% Regular||Apply now|
On Upgrade‘s website
Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® |Low income||3% Cash Back on Home, Auto and Health categories.1% Cash Back on everything else.||14.99% - 29.99% Regular||Apply now|
On Upgrade‘s website
The Bank of Missouri First Access Visa® |Low income||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||34.99%||Apply now|
On the First Access Visa® Card secure website
Celtic Bank Reflex® Platinum Mastercard® |Unsecured||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||29.99% Variable||Apply now|
On Celtic Bank‘s site
Merrick Bank Double Your Line® Secured Credit Card |This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||22.45% Variable||Apply now|
On Merrick Bank‘s site
First Progress Platinum Elite Mastercard® Secured Credit Card |This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||24.99% Variable||Apply now|
On First Progress’s site
WebBank Petal® 1 "No Annual Fee" Visa® |For bad credit||2% - 10%:Cash Back at select merchants.||24.99% - 34.49% Variable||Apply now|
On WebBank‘s site
Merrick Bank Secured Credit Card |This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||22.45% Variable||Apply now|
On Merrick Bank‘s site
First Progress Platinum Select Mastercard® Secured Credit Card |1% Cash Back on payments made to your First Progress Secured credit card account.||18.99% Variable||Apply now|
On First Progress’s site
Sutton Bank Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards |1.5% Cash Back in bitcoin when you make payments.||14.99% - 29.99% Regular||Apply now|
On Sutton Bank‘s site
Celtic Bank The Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 |10% You’ll get up to 10% Cash Back with select brands you hold in an eligible portfolio.1.5% Cash Back on everything else.||17.99% - 27.99% Variable||Apply now|
On Celtic Bank‘s site
Capital One Spark Miles for Business |Walmart purchases||5x Miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.2x Miles on every purchase for your business with no blackouts or seat restrictions and no minimum to redeem.||25.74% Variable||Learn more|
on our partner’s site
|2x - 7x:Points on restaurants.2x - 5x:Points on hotels.1.5x - 2x:Points on recurring software subscriptions.1x - 1.5x:Points on everything else.||None||Apply now|
On Cross River Bank‘s site
American Express Blue Cash Preferred |Gas, Groceries, Streaming services, Daily use||6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).6% Cash Back on streaming (select U.S. streaming subscriptions).3% Cash Back on transit. Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more.3% Cash Back at U.S. Gas Stations.1% Cash Back on other purchases.||18.99% - 29.99% Variable||Learn more|
|Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use||5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.1% Cash Back on all other purchases.||19.24% - 27.99% Variable||Learn more|
|Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use||5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.||19.49% - 28.24% Variable||Learn more|
|Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use||2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.||18.99% - 28.99% Variable||Learn more|
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa® |Cash Back, Young couples||4% Cash Back on eligible gas, including gas at Costco for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter.3% Cash Back on restaurants and eligible travel purchase worldwide.2% Cash Back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.1% Cash Back on all other purchases.||20.24% Variable||Learn more|
Chase Sapphire Preferred® |Travel, Restaurants, Daily use||$50 Earn up to $50 in statement credits each account anniversary year for hotel stays purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.5x Points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit.3x Points on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out.3x Points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs).3x Points on select streaming services.2x Points on other travel purchases.1x Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.||20.49% - 27.49% Variable||Learn more|
|0 APR, No Annual Fee||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||17.99% - 28.74% Variable||Learn more|
Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit |Retired person||1% Cash Back rewards on gas and groceries as well as your monthly mobile phone, internet, cable, and satellite TV services.||28.49% Variable||Learn more|
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card |0 APR, No Annual Fee||This card doesn't offer cash back, miles or points.||19.49% - 29.49% Variable||Learn more|
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
If you’re planning to travel in your retirement years, you should consider this card. It will earn you unlimited 2 miles on all purchases, which you can apply toward travel. New cardholders can get 75,000 bonus miles if they spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening. The Capital One Venture Rewards will make your trips worry-free because it comes with travel accident insurance. You won't have to pay a foreign transaction fee with it. However, there's a $95 annual fee which, considering the rewards, is not too high anyway.
Read more about Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
American Express Blue Cash Preferred
This one is a star for grocery shopping with its outstanding 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 annually). The same rate applies to streaming services too. So, if you're eager to finally spend your days in bed watching movies and cooking, why not earn valuable rewards while doing that? Additionally, there's a 3% cash back on transit and gas purchases (at U.S. gas stations) and 1% on everything else. There is one offer for new cardholders at the moment: a $350 welcome bonus if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months. The card has a $0 intro annual fee in the first year , then $95 after that.
Read more about American Express Blue Cash Preferred
Chase Freedom Flex℠
With the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you're in for a rewards surprise each quarter, as this card offers 5% cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories. There's also 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% at drugstores and restaurants, and 1% on everything else. There's a welcome offer of $200 which you can get by spending $500 in the first 3 months after account opening. If you've been eyeing some expensive treat for yourself, take advantage of the card's 0% APR intro period (15 months) on purchases and transfers (19.24% - 27.99% Variable after). Great for a no-annual fee card!
Read more about Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the sister card of the Freedom Flex℠ card described above. The difference is that this one has no rotating quarterly categories and a 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases. So, if you haven't recognized yourself in some of the bonus rotating categories of the Flex, and your spending is all over the place, you might want to go with the Unlimited.
Read more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi Double Cash
The Citi Double Cash comes with the best 2% flat rate on all purchases, you’ll get 1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay. This card has a long 18-month intro offer on balance transfers (18.99% - 28.99% Variable after). It’s great to save money if you have some credit card debt left, and it has no annual fee.
Read more about Citi Double Cash
Citi Costco Anywhere Visa®
You’ve always dreamed of making a long road trip and feel like now is finally the right time. It is! And the Costco Anywhere Visa® will allow you to earn valuable rewards while driving around the country. It offers a 4% on gas purchases worldwide (up to $7,000 spent annually). Additionally, there’s 3% at restaurants and travel, 2% at Costco (physical stores and online), and 1% on everything else. This card has no annual fee, but you should only consider it if you’re a Costco fan as it requires a membership ($60 or $120).
Read more about Citi Costco Anywhere Visa®
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers valuable travel rewards. You will earn 2 points per dollar spent on dining and travel and 1 point for all other purchases. There's an 60,000 points sign-up bonus, and to get it, you'd have to spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening (that's $750 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®). Retirees planning an exotic trip can easily reach that spending requirement. Additionally, you can earn up to $50 grocery store credit. As for rewards redemption, you can do it through Chase Ultimate Rewards and get 25% more redemption value or through one of the many Chase airline partners. This card comes with a $95 annual fee, but we believe retirees who enjoy traveling will find the rewards worth it.
Read more about Chase Sapphire Preferred®
Citi Diamond Preferred®
This card is for all who need a bit more time to pay off their debts and expenses. You can do that interest-free with the Citi Diamond Preferred’s 21-month 0% APR offer on balance transfers and 12-month 0% APR purchases (17.99% - 28.74% Variable after). You can still enjoy yourself with the help of Citi Entertainment which gets you special access to many event tickets. The card has no annual fee. However, since it lacks rewards it doesn’t offer much reason to keep it after the introductory APR period ends.
Read more about Citi Diamond Preferred®
Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
You've struggled financially and are now entering retirement with poor credit? No need to worry you can use the Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa to rebuild your credit. It will earn you 1% cash back on all purchases, and its annual fee varies from $75 for the first year ($99 thereafter), based on your creditworthiness. You'll get a credit limit of at least $300 which will be regularly reviewed and potentially increased if you make timely payments. The card offers free access to the Experian credit score, and after you've improved your credit score, you can move on to better rewards cards.
Read more about Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
There’s nothing wrong if you have not yet settled all your debt. The no-annual-fee US bank Visa® Platinum has the longest introductory APR offer of even 18 billing cycles on both balance transfers and purchases. That should give you enough time to pay off your outstanding balances or even get yourself something pricey (you deserved it!).
Read more about U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
Should you get a credit card if you are retired?
We know you might be thinking why would you need a credit card if you've already paid off all your loans, saved enough to enjoy retirement, and aren't planning any big expenses now. However, a credit card's only use is not just for borrowing from it. You can also earn valuable rewards on every purchase and get great benefits.
For example, the US bank Visa® Platinum and the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® offer cell phone protection if you use your card to pay for your monthly mobile bills.
Another thing you'll get from credit cards is protection. Almost all of them come with zero fraud liability, many of them come with extended warranties and purchase protection, and travel insurance is a common perk with travel credit cards.
You'll also have breathing space between your payments as credit cards give you a certain period to pay off your balance without acquiring interest. You will avoid situations when you want to buy something but don't have enough money on your account at that moment.
Most retirees will probably have high credit scores assuming they’ve been financially responsible throughout the years and are going into retirement debt-free. Depending on your income in retirement years, you might have a good chance at some great rewards cards. But even if that’s not the case, you can still get a credit building card, like the Credit One® Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit. It will earn you rewards and enable you to apply for a better card once you improve your credit.
How to choose the right type of card?
Here are a few things you should consider when choosing a credit card:
- Annual fee – if retired, you probably live on a fixed income, unless you have some investments (good for you!). However, you should still make sure that an annual fee will be worth the rewards before you apply for a card. The potential rewards have to be higher than the annual fee, and this will depend on how much you spend in the bonus categories.
Let's take the Blue Cash Preferred® as an example. You'll need to spend around $1,600 on groceries annually to make up for the $95 annual fee.
- Rewards – some retirees will choose to spend their days traveling all around the world. They will benefit most from a travel rewards card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred®. There are many cash back cards to choose from, too, with bonus categories ranging from groceries to home improvement. And, if you don't have favorite spending categories, just go for a card with a flat rate, like the Citi Double Cash.
- Other features and benefits – Finally, consider things like no foreign transaction fee, extended warranties, travel or rental car insurance, and many others.
Mistakes seniors can avoid when applying for a credit card
Spending too much
Getting a credit card doesn’t mean you should go on a shopping spree right away and spend more than you can handle. Keep in mind that you’re not working anymore, so your income isn’t getting any higher. Make sure you can make all your payments on time.
Not taking the time to research
Maybe it seems like you’ve found your perfect card, but don’t act too fast. Read carefully the card’s fine print and be realistic about whether you can get approved for it. Rejected card applications will lower your credit score, and thus your chances for a good rewards card.
Applying for several cards
If you got rejected for one credit card, don’t immediately just apply for another one. Take the time to understand why you were rejected. If the reason was a poor credit score, work on it first before applying for another card.
Spending tips for your retirement
Make payments on time – don’t allow yourself to have to pay interests and hold debts at a life period when you should be free of those things.
Maximize your rewards – make sure you spend enough to get the sign-up bonus and swipe your card for every purchase you make.
Get a second card – because why not? If your credit score allows for that, get two credit cards to earn higher rewards in as many categories.
For example, you can have one card for common purchases (with a bonus category like groceries or dining out) and another one with travel rewards and no foreign transaction fee.
What is the best credit card for a retired person?
If there was a single best card for everyone, there wouldn’t have been that many options. The best credit card for you will be the one that best fits your lifestyle and spending habits.
What are other credit cards to consider?
Other great credit cards a senior citizen should consider are: Capital One Quicksilver, Discover it® Miles, and the Capital One SavorOne.
Can I get a credit card as a retired person?
Yes. If you meet the basic eligibility criteria you can apply for a credit card. Issuers take into account the applicant's income when considering an applicant. For you, this will be your pension, plus any additional investment income if you have some.