At a Glance

Learn which credit cards for back-to-school are best for your budget. Compare credit cards with the best introductory offers and low-interest rates alongside cards to keep families and students connected, credit-building cards, and credit cards with top rewards programs.

Back-to-school season means back-to-school shopping

Let’s face it. Kids are expensive. And educating them is quite expensive. In fact, 1,175% more is being spent on education for children today than it was 30 years ago. Here are some more staggering stats on the cost of raising children today if you are interested. However, let’s focus on how you can save money now and still give your child the best education possible. The best credit cards for back-to-school let you save with every swipe, earn rewards, and even help young adults start building credit. But how do you know which card is right for you and your family? Whether you’re shopping primarily online, setting your college student up with their first card, or want to keep annual fees to a minimum, each of these cards can optimize back-to-school shopping for you this year. Compare these six back-to-school credit cards to see how they work and which one fits your needs.

1. Best back-to-school credit card for online shopping

Card: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

The basics:

  • No annual fee
  • 15.74% to 23.74% variable APR
  • Prime membership required
  • 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, 1% on all other purchases
  • $100 Amazon gift card bonus when approved
  • Good-Excellent credit required

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

If you’re an Amazon Prime member with great credit who wants to offset some of your back-to-school spending, this is the card for you. With a high cash back percentage, this card is ideal for online shopping, but it also earns cash back for purchases you make regularly anyway throughout the school year like groceries and gas. Plus, you can use the $100 Amazon gift card reward immediately for back-to-school shopping.

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2. Best back-to-school credit card for teens

Card: Apple Card

The basics:

  • Unlimited daily cash back
  • 3% cash back on Apple purchases and select retailers and 2% when you use Apple pay
  • No fees
  • Interest charges vary based on payments made
  • Good credit required

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

Apple Card can be shared with a co-owner and up to four additional participants ages 13 and older can be added on the account, making it an ideal option for families with independent teens. The account is simple to manage from an iPhone and allows the account co-owners to set spending limits and receive notifications about participant spending. Plus, earn 3% cash back on Apple tech for back-to-school.

3. Best back-to-school credit card for large families

Card: Wells Fargo Reflect

The basics:

  • 0% APR for up to 21 months
  • No annual fee
  • Fair credit required

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

With guaranteed 0% APR for 18 months and an additional three months for on-time payments, this is a top choice if you’re shopping to outfit your large family for back-to-school or making major purchases on something like a laptop that you want to pay off over time. Paying a cell phone bill with this card can earn users up to $600 of cell phone protection, a plus for families with multiple phone lines. Cardholders can also take advantage of My Wells Fargo Deals to earn cash back at select retailers.

More: Wells Fargo Reflect® Card Review

4. Best back-to-school credit card for college students

Card: Discover It Student Chrome

The basics:

  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR on purchases for six months
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 per quarter at restaurants and on gas, 1% on everything else
  • No credit score required to apply

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

A great starter card for college students, an introductory offer of unlimited cash back match from Discover automatically matches all earnings dollar-for-dollar at the end of the first year, so students can earn on purchases they’re already making. Card payments are reported to the three major credit bureaus, which can help students build credit.

5. Best back-to-school credit card for travel rewards

Card: United Gateway MileagePlus

The basics:

  • No annual fee
  • 0% APR for 12 months
  • 2x miles on United purchases, gas, rideshares, tolls, and local transit, 1x on everything else
  • 20,000 bonus miles when you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • No blackout dates
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Good-Excellent credit required

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

Start saving points for your next family vacation or get a jump-start on holiday travel booking this back-to-school season. This card also comes with a free DoorDash DashPass membership with $0 delivery fees to help save your sanity on busy weeknights throughout the school year.

6. Best back-to-school credit card for cash back rewards

Card: American Express Blue Card Preferred

The basics:

  • 0% intro APR for 12 months
  • $0 Plan It fees for 12 months
  • $95 annual fee
  • 6% cash back at supermarkets and streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back on transit, 1% on everything else
  • $350 statement credit when you spend $3,000 in the first six months
  • Good credit required

Why it’s great for back-to-school:

Though some spending caps do apply, this card is the top choice for cash back on daily necessities like groceries and gas for back-to-school season. The annual fee is low and the Plan It feature lets you pay off major purchases over time with no fee for the first 12 months and a 1.33% fee after that.