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Best credit cards for retirees of October 2020

CardRatings editors reveal the best credit cards for seniors including cash-back, travel, and balance transfer offers.
Brooklyn Lowery, CardRatings Senior Manager Last Updated, October 8, 2020

Our credit card articles, reviews and ratings maintain strict editorial integrity; however we may be compensated when you click on or are approved for offers (terms apply) from our partners. How we make money.

best credit cards for retirees As a retiree, you have the world at your feet. Want to visit family? Perhaps you want to binge watch a new show and order in all day? Maybe it's time to embark on that epic road trip that the daily 9-to-5 always prevented? Or have you always dreamed of visiting some far-flung and exotic locale? What if you finally undertake that new hobby or home improvement project you've considered for years but have never found the time to tackle? Luckily the best credit cards for retirees from our partners can help you along with any of these dreams and more.

LIST OF WINNERS

Whether you're on the hunt for cash-back rewards, travel rewards, a balance transfer offer or just the security of having a credit card rather than cash or a debit card, one of the top cards below could be just right for you. Remember to consider your credit history and be honest about your lifestyle and spending habits before applying; that way you can find the best credit card for seniors that fits right into your life.

BEST CASH-BACK CREDIT CARDS FOR RETIREES

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card rewards your responsible credit card use by offering you rewards both when you make your purchase and then another bit of cash back when you pay off your purchase. Plus, if you're needing a little extra time to pay off an existing credit card balance, this card offers an introductory no interest period on balance transfers for 18 months (then, 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)). Citi is a CardRatings advertiser.

Bonus: There isn't an early spending bonus on this card, but if you need a few extra months to pay off an existing balance from another card, that introductory 18 months of no interest on balance transfers could certainly be considered a bonus for your wallet.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Rewards: Earn 1% cash back when you make your purchases and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases by paying your credit card bill. That effectively means you can earn a 2% cash back on all your purchases. Not too shabby for a no-annual-fee credit card.

PROS:

  • At 18 months the intro 0% APR period for balance transfers is one of the better offers on the market.
  • Being able to receive up to 2% cash back on all purchases makes this one of the best no-annual-fee flat-rate cash-back cards you can own.
  • There is no annual fee, and there is no charge for the first late payment.

CONS:

  • You won't get the 2% cash back all at once which could be considered a drawback. This card provides 1% cash back at the time of purchase and 1% cash back at the time of payment.
  • While this card is a great choice for balance transfers, the introductory 0% APR doesn't extend to purchases.

Read our full Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card earns 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus categories, a step up from the more common 1% earned on "other" purchases, so it could be quite lucrative if you use it regularly.

Bonus: Earn a $200 cash-back bonus after you spend just $500 in the first three months as a cardholder. Also, take advantage of an intro 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months (then, 14.99% - 23.74% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

The Rewards: Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) in your first year of card membership.

PROS:

  • You'll only need to spend $500 in three months to earn the $200 welcome bonus, making it accessible to even those with modest budgets.
  • Offering 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus category purchases, this card has a higher cash-back rate than what is offered by some other no-annual-fee flat-rate cash-back cards.
  • New cardholders receive intro 0% APR for purchases for 15 months (then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable).

CONS:

  • Although its 1.5% cash back is more than that offered by other cash back cards, you'll want to be strategic and take advantage of the bonus categories to make the most of this card.
  • The $200 welcome bonus is relatively easy to earn, but it's not as lucrative as offers from other cards.
  • There is a foreign transaction fee on this card, which is a drawback for anyone who travels internationally or makes purchases in a foreign currency regularly.

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited® review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: There's a ton of point-earning potential offered with this card thanks to its unique rotating-category/tiered-rewards design. Earn up to 5% cash back each month in rotating categories, plus earn in a number of static bonus categories all year long.

Bonus: Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months. Plus, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) for the first $12,000 spent during your first year as a cardholder.

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

The Rewards: Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases in quarterly bonus categories when you sign up (then 1%). Additionally, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, 3% at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1% on all other eligible purchases.

PROS:

  • Enjoy intro 0% APR on new purchases for 15 months (then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable).
  • Take advantage of up to $1,000 a year in cell phone insurance when paying your monthly cell phone bill with your Flex℠ card.
  • This card offers complimentary ShopRunner membership for free two-day shipping from more than a hundred online retailers and complimentary three-month DoorDash DashPass, followed by a 50% discount for the following nine months.

CONS:

  • You have to remember to activate quarterly categories to earn the bonus 5% cash back.
  • What's more, the 5% cash back for these categories is capped at $1,500 in combined purchases every quarter.
  • International travelers may want to use a different card when out of the country since this card charges foreign transaction fees.

Read our full Chase Freedom Flex℠ review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

Consider adding Chase Freedom Flex℠ as well as Chase Freedom Unlimited® to your wallet to make the most of your rewards. With Freedom Unlimited® you earn 1.5% cash back on all non-bonus category purchases, which means you could choose to use it for all of the purchases that don't earn bonus rewards with Freedom Flex℠. Yes, it takes a little thought and planning, but it could really pay off big in the long run.

If you want to get truly fancy with your rewards earning, you can combine one or both of these cards with the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card discussed in the travel rewards section below. Do that, and all the points you earn with your Freedom Flex℠ or Freedom Unlimited® cards could be worth 25% more value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards® if pooled under your Preferred® account.


4
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Now that you're retired you may be eating at home a lot more, or perhaps streaming a lot of Netflix, and that's okay; You deserve it! However, if this is the case, it's important that you're making the most of these experiences, and this card does just that with bonus rewards at U.S. supermarkets, on select streaming services, and more. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.

Bonus: For a limited time earn a $300 bonus statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first six months of account membership (offer expires 12/10/20).

Annual Fee: Limited time offer: $0 introductory annual fee for one year, then $95 (offer expires 12/10/20)

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

The Rewards: Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets annually, unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations, and 1% back on everything else. Users can also earn 6% back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% back on transit purchases.

PROS:

  • The earn rate that can be earned at U.S. supermarkets is huge. This is an excellent card for grocery shopping.
  • This card also rewards well for at U.S. gas stations. If you're spending a lot of time on the road, or perhaps are planning a big roadtrip, make sure to bring it along.
  • New cardholders receive intro 0% APR for purchases for 12 months (then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).

CONS:

  • If you don't spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets, the annual fee might not be worth it.
  • There is a foreign transaction fee on this card so it's not the best for international travel.

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review.

Discover it® Cash Back

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: There aren't many ways to get 5% cash back on some of your everyday purchases, but that's what this card offers you with it's bonus categories that rotate quarterly. Plus, Discover did us a favor and announced its full 2020 bonus categories calendar upfront so you can take a look at what's to come and decide whether this card fits into your lifestyle and spending habits. Check out the full bonus categories calendar.

Bonus: Discover will match, dollar-for-dollar, all the cash back new cardholders earn during their first year. That means that if you rack up $200 in cash back during your first year, you will have effectively earned $400 in cash back during that year.

Annual Fee: See Terms

Foreign Transaction Fees: See Terms

Rewards: Cardholders earn 5% cash back on the first $1,500 you spend in categories that rotate each quarter (you must activate the bonus categories quarterly). After you reach the spending cap, and on all your other purchases, you earn 1% cash back.

PROS:

  • After your first year as a cardholder Discover will match, without any limit, all the cash back you earned that year.
  • Cardholders get 5% cash back on a different spending category each quarter, and all other purchases receive 1% cash back.
  • Cash back can be redeemed as a direct deposit, statement credit or used to pay for purchases on Amazon or via PayPal.

CONS:

  • To get 5% cash back, you'll need to activate each quarterly bonus category. Cardholders who forget will only receive 1% cash back.
  • The 5% cash back rate offered is excellent, but it's capped at $1,500 of purchases each quarter.
  • Although Discover is now more widely accepted than ever, you may find some merchants aren't set up to take payments using this card.

Read our full Discover it® Cash Back review.

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: If you're looking for a truly simple cash-back rewards card, this Wells Fargo card could be it. This card features a simple-to-understand flat-rate rewards earning structure and offers you the added perk of cell phone protection against covered damage and theft as long as you pay your cellular bill on the card; that could save you $100 or more a year in insurance premiums alone.

Bonus: Receive a $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months as a cardholder. Plus, you'll earn 1.8% cash back (as compared to the standard 1.5%) on qualified digital wallet purchases during your first 12 months as a cardholder. Lastly, you can take advantage of an intro 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then, 13.99%-25.99% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Rewards: Earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all your purchases without having to worry about categories or spending caps. Read our full review of the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card. Remember, too, that you'll earn 1.8% cash back on qualifying digital wallet purchases during your first 12 months as a cardholder.

PROS:

  • In addition to earning 1.5% cash back on everyday purchases, cardholders receive 1.8% cash back when they use a qualified digital wallet, such as Apple Pay and Google Pay, during the first 12 months of opening an account.
  • New cardholders receive a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers (then 13.99%-25.99% Variable).
  • Rewards don't expire so long as your account is open.

CONS:

  • You'll need a Wells Fargo account for cash redemptions. However, the card does offer a number of redemption options including ATM withdrawals, direct deposits and the option to apply cash back to the principal on a mortgage.
  • There is a fee for balance transfers, but this is standard for cards offering a 0% intro APR period.
  • This card isn't ideal for international travel as it charges foreign transaction fees.

Read our full Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card review.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Every day is your own when you're retired, so it's good to have a credit card that can adjust to your life as you go. You get to CHOOSE where you'll earn the most cash back from a list of six categories and Preferred Rewards Bank of America clients will even earn a bonus on all their earning.

Bonus: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days of account opening. Furthermore, you can take advantage of an introductory 15 billing cycles no interest on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 60 days. (After the intro period the APRs jump to See Terms and balance transfers).

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

The Rewards: Earn 3% cash back on a category of your choosing from among the following list: gas, online shopping, travel, dining, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings. You'll also earn 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases for the first $2,500 spend in combined choice category/grocery/wholesale club purchases each quarter. Earn 1% cash back on all your other purchases and once you hit the spending cap. Furthermore, if you are a Preferred Rewards client with Bank of America, you can boost your rewards earning on every purchase by 25%-75% depending on your tier.

PROS:

  • With 3% cash back in a category of your choice and 2% cash back at grocery stores, this card offers plenty of opportunities to maximize rewards on the purchases you make most often. Plus, you get 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • You earn a welcome bonus of $200 online cash back when you spend $1,000 within the first 90 days after opening an account.
  • If you’re a Bank of America Premier Rewards member you could earn up to 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase made. That means the 3% choice category rewards could be worth as much as 5.25% and the 2% categories could be worth as much as 3.5% back!

CONS:

  • The higher reward levels of 3% and 2% cash back are capped at $2,500 of combined purchases each quarter.
  • You'll need a Bank of America or Merrill account if you want your cash rewards directly deposited.
  • This card charges foreign transaction fees so it's not best for international travel.

Read our full Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

Consider this: If you choose "online shopping" as your 3% choice category, everything from medical bills you pay online to plane tickets you book online could fall under that 3% heading (up to the quarterly cap, of course). Given the number of things and services you can purchase online today, that means that 3% cash back could apply to a wide, wide range of purchases and/or expenses.


5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Another tiered rewards card, but with a slightly different rewards structure than the Bank of America card above. Perhaps this one better fits into your regular spending habits or you prefer the ease of set categories rather than needing to choose one.

Welcome Offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. You can also enjoy an introductory 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

The Rewards: Cardholders earn 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $6,000 spent annually, then 1%), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% cash back on all your other purchases.

PROS:

  • By offering 3% cash back on up to $6,000 worth of U.S. supermarket purchases each year, this is an excellent option for grocery shopping.
  • There is no annual fee, and new cardholders receive a 0% APR for 15 months on purchases (then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable).
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership.

CONS:

  • American Express doesn't consider Walmart or Target to be supermarkets so grocery purchases there won't qualify for the 3% cash back rate.
  • This card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars. This is lower than the average 3% fee charged by other cards but can still add up if you travel overseas often.

Read our full Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.

BEST TRAVEL REWARDS CREDIT CARDS FOR RETIREES

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Retirement should be relaxing, right? Coscto membership allows for bulk grocery purchases, meaning less stressful trips to the grocery store. Plus, this card heavily rewards you for gas purchases, so it's perfect for road trips.

Bonus: NA

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 0%

The Rewards: Earn 4% cash back on gas purchases worldwide, including gas at Costco, for up to the first $7,000 per year in spending (1% after that). Additionally, earn 3% cash back on restaurant purchases and eligible travel purchases worldwide, including airfare, hotels, car rentals, travel agencies cruises, and Costco Travel; 2% cash back at Costco and Costco.com; and 1% on all other purchases.

PROS:

  • This card earns one of the best bonuses on gas out of all the gas credit cards on the market we've reviewed.
  • Rewards aren't limited to gas, or even just Costco purchases for that matter. Earn bonus rewards on travel and dining out as well.
  • Roadtripping abroad? Don't forget this card! It does not charge foreign transaction fees so it's great for all of your international travel needs.

CONS:

  • Rewards redemption is automatic and only occurs once a year.
  • You'll need to wait until February of each year to redeem your cash rewards from the previous year's purchases.

Read our full Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi review.

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Travel rewards cards don't have to be complicated – you can simply earn rewards, and then easily redeem rewards to cover travel purchases. And that's what this card offers you... along with a few other bells and whistles.

Bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles equal to $1,000 in travel after you spend $20,000 with your card in the first 12 months or earn 50,000 bonus miles – equal to $500 in travel – after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months. Additionally, save money with up to a $100 statement credit to cover your Global Entry or TSA Pre✓™ application fee.

Annual Fee: $95

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn two miles per $1 spent on every purchase. Those miles can be redeemed as statement credit to offset travel purchases on your card or you can transfer them to one of several travel loyalty programs for possibly even more value.

PROS:

  • The rewards program is super simple. You earn two miles for every $1 you spend on all purchases.
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔™.
  • This card does not charge foreign transaction fees so it's great for traveling both near or far.

CONS:

  • There is an ongoing annual fee to consider. An annual fee is pretty standard though for top travel rewards credit cards.
  • The Venture® rewards program has a limited number of transfer partners which means you may not be able to apply miles to your favorite loyalty program.

Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

If you like the sound of the Venture® card, but aren't keen on paying an annual fee, you should consider the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, its no-annual-fee little brother. With this card, you'll earn 1.25 miles per $1 spent on your purchases (again with no limit on the amount you can earn and the same reward redemption options) and the welcome bonus opportunity is 20,000 miles (worth $200 in travel) after you spend $1,000 within the first three months of card membership.


Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This is among the most popular travel rewards cards out there and for good reason. It offers solid rewards earning, excellent "fine print" perks and features, more value if you redeem your rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal and the ability to transfer your points to multiple popular airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Bonus: Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. Those points are worth $1,000 when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal or transfer them to one of Chase's airline or hotel loyalty partners for possibly even more value.

Annual Fee: $95

Foreign Transaction Fees: $0

The Rewards: Earn two points per $1 spent on dining and travel purchases and one point per $1 on your other purchases. Your rewards are worth 25% more when you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, meaning that each point is worth 1.25 cents instead of the standard $.01 each.

The information related to this credit card has been collected by CardRatings and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.

PROS:

  • The 80,000 bonus points offered to new cardholders is a valuable perk worth $1,000 in travel.
  • Spending on travel and dining earns two points per dollar which is double the amount earned on other purchases.
  • If you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, you get 25% more value.

CONS:

  • To earn the 80,000 bonus point welcome offer, you'll need to spend $4,000 within the first three months after opening an account which may be difficult for some users.
  • As with many other travel rewards cards, this card charges an annual fee.

Read our full Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card review.

Discover it® Miles

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This card features a simple, flat-rate way to rack up rewards toward your next trip and it comes with that bonus match that Discover is famous for.

Bonus: Discover will match all the miles you earn during your first year as a cardholder. Earn 30,000 miles (worth $300, by the way) and Discover will make that 60,000 miles (worth $600) at the end of your first year.

Annual Fee: See Terms

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn 1.5 miles per $1 spent on every purchase, every day. Remember that Discover will match all you miles earned at the end of your first year, which means you'll basically be earning three miles per $1 spent on all your purchases during year one.

PROS:

  • No annual fee and no foreign transaction fee.
  • Discover will match all the miles earned by new cardholders in their first year, and there is no minimum spending requirement and no limit on how much can be matched.
  • There are no minimum redemption amounts, and miles can be used as a statement credit against travel purchases or redeemed for cash.

CONS:

  • This card offers 1.5 miles per dollar spent. That isn't bad, but there are other travel cards with more lucrative rewards.
  • This card doesn't have some of the bells and whistles you'll find with other travel cards, such as trip interruption insurance or concierge service.

Read our full Discover it® Miles review.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This no-annual-fee card offers plenty of nice perks and rewards opportunities; plus, it features the cellular phone protection insurance benefit of other Wells Fargo cards – just pay your mobile bill with the card and you're protected against covered damage and theft of your phone.

Bonus: Earn 20,000 bonus points – that's worth $200 in cash value – after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months. There's also an introductory no-interest period of 12 months on purchases and balance transfers made within the first 120 days (after the intro, the APR jumps to 13.99%-25.99% Variable).

Annual Fee: $0

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn three points per $1 spent eating out and ordering in; for gas station, rideshare and transit purchases; on travel purchases, including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals' and on popular streaming services. Earn 1 point per $1 on your other purchases. Keep in mind that earning that level of points on travel purchases is usually reserved for travel rewards cards with annual fees. This is a special card, indeed.

PROS:

  • New cardholders receive 20,000 bonus points - worth $200 in cash redemptions - after spending $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
  • Purchases in popular spending categories, such as travel, transit and streaming services, earn three points per dollar spent, triple the base rate of one point per dollar spent.
  • Cardholders who pay their wireless bill using this card are eligible for cell phone protection should their phone be stolen or damaged.

CONS:

  • Cash redemption options are limited to $20 or $25 increments, depending on the withdrawal method chosen.
  • If you've opened another Wells Fargo credit card within the past 15 months, you may not be eligible for the Propel card's 0% introductory APR or bonus point offer.

Read our full Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card review.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: If luxury when you travel is your thing (And why not? You earned it with all those years of working toward retirement), then this card could be the perfect complement to your jet-setting retirement years.

Bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $5,000 on your card in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $550

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn five points per $1 spent on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com (starting Jan. 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year). You'll also earn five points per $1 on prepaid hotels booked through amextravel.com. Additional perks include access to the Global Lounge Collection of airport lounges across the globe, an airline fee credit of up to $200 per calendar year to cover baggage fees and more with one pre-selected airline, and credits with both Uber and Saks Fifth Avenue each year.

PROS:

  • This card makes it easy for travelers to earn rewards by awarding five points per dollar spent on some airfare and hotel bookings.
  • Free airport lounge access, and up to $200 airline fee credit.
  • The Membership Rewards points earned with the Platinum Card® are extremely valuable and the new cardmember bonus of 60,000 Membership Rewards points earned after spending $5,000 in the first three months can help to get you well on your way to your next redemption.

CONS:

  • If you are someone that prefers to have low or no annual fee cards the Amex Platinum may be a poor fit for you.
  • As a charge card, the Amex Platinum is not a card that you can carry a balance on. If you are looking to carry a balance from month to month this probably isn’t the card for you.
  • You'll only receive five points per dollar spent on airfare and hotels if you book through Amex or directly with an airline.

Read our full The Platinum Card® from American Express review.

BEST REWARDS CREDIT CARDS FOR RETIREES FOR DINING AND ENTERTAINMENT

5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: This no-annual-fee card has one of the longest introductory 0% APR periods on the market for balance transfers. If you need some extra time to pay off any outstanding expenses, this card should definitely be worth your consideration. What's more, cardholders get access to pre-sale tickets and VIP packages to concerts, entertainment and sporting events through Citi Entertainment®, making it great card for all of your entertainment needs.

Bonus: There is no traditional rewards bonus, but the intro APR periods are bonuses in and of themselves. New cardholders can enjoy 0% intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers (from the date of first transfer) and for 18 months on new purchases. After the promotional periods, regular 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR applies.

Annual Fee:$0

Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

The Rewards: This isn't a rewards card, so no traditional rewards are earned on purchases. The big reward with this card is the generous 0% APR period.

PROS:

  • The intro period on balance transfers is one of the longest we've seen.
  • This card has no annual fee.
  • If you have excellent credit, the standard interest rate of 14.74% - 24.74% Variable APR can be very competitive.
  • One of the best benefits of this card is access to Citi Entertainment®. Get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events annually, including presale tickets and exclusive experiences for the year's most anticipated concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.

CONS:

  • You need excellent credit to be approved for this card.
  • This card has no rewards program, so if cash back or accruing miles is important to you, you might want to look elsewhere.

Read our full Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card review.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

(This card is not currently available on CardRatings)
5
About Our Ratings

Why We Like It: Everybody has to eat so we are excited by a card that rewards you for doing just that whether you choose to dine out or buy the groceries to prepare dinner at home.

Bonus: Earn a $300 cash back bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $95

Foreign Transaction Fees: None

The Rewards: Earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on everything else.

PROS:

  • The rewards earning with the Savor® card is excellent for those that frequently dine out with 4% back on all your dining and entertainment purchases as well as 2% back at grocery stores. You'll earn 1% back on all your other purchases.
  • The current welcome offer of $300 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months is good.
  • With no foreign transaction fees, the Savor® card can be used without incurring additional fees while going on your next international foodie trip.

CONS:

  • The rewards earned with the card are quite high for certain purchases, however if you are not someone who frequently eats out there are cards with higher rewards earning on grocery purchases and other categories.
  • While the card has a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, there is a $95 annual fee after that.

Read our full Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card review.

 

EDITOR'S NOTE

Can't bring yourself to pay an annual fee? Consider the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card  instead. With this card, you'll earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on everything else. The welcome bonus is still lucrative at $150 cash back bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months.


CAN A SENIOR CITIZEN GET A CREDIT CARD?

Absolutely. Thanks to equal credit opportunity rights you can't be discriminated for a credit card due to your age.

That said, it isn't your age that can get a rejection notice from a credit card issuer, but some financial factors that senior citizens face could come back to haunt you when it comes to applying for a credit card.

For instance, have you paid off your home? That's awesome, and while you'd think a credit card company would love that, having a mortgage is one of those factors that lenders like to see. They like see a mix of evidence that you're borrowing money and paying it off, and a mortgage - or a car loan - looks really good to them. So when that car loan and mortgage is paid off, a lender is less than impressed (or rather, the algorithm that the lender has set up).

If you haven't had a credit card for awhile, that might also be held against you. That said, if you are a senior citizen who has a regular source of income (i.e., Social Security, pension), and especially if you use credit cards fairly regularly, you really shouldn't have a problem getting a credit card. At least in theory.

It's also easy to see why, if you're retired you would want a credit card, especially one that offers rewards. If you have somewhat of a limited income, or your revenue is tied to your investments and the whim of a sometimes shaky economy, well, clearly you have good reason to want to pay for groceries and gas and get cash back every month – why not spend less every month if you can? You also may want to redeem points for airline miles and eventually go on that epic vacation you've been dreaming of. Nobody can begrudge you that.

WHAT IS THE BEST CREDIT CARD FOR SENIORS?

Flexibility is a beautiful thing no matter what stage of life you're in, but especially so for retirees. Because it offers 1.5% cash back on every non-bonus category purchase made, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® tops our list for the best credit card for seniors. Additionally, it offers 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) in your first year of card membership. So whether you're shopping for household essentials or planning a cross-country road trip, this card will reward you for every purchase you make along the way.

Like with anything though, everyone's plans will look different, and so will credit card expectations. Maybe retirement for you means more traveling, or maybe it means more time at home with grandkids. If you plan to frequently fly, the best card for you may be an airline-rewards credit card, but if you plan to drive a lot, you would likely be better off with a card that rewards you for gas purchases. When it comes to deciding which card is best for you, evaluate your needs, and pick a card that meets them. It's easy to get distracted by lucrative welcome bonuses or other credit card perks, but the best credit card is the credit card you'll actually use, so pick something that you know fits with your retired lifestyle - no matter how relaxing or adventerous those plans may be!

WHY RETIREES SHOULD CONSIDER A NEW (OR ADDITIONAL) CREDIT CARD

As a retiree, you've likely spent a number of years by now building a credit history and credit score. In theory, you're in the best financial shape of your life after having spent your working years being financially responsible. That means banks and credit card issuers have every reason to offer you the best of their products and those products often come with money-saving or luxury-bestowing features and perks.

Additionally, you aren't working every day now, which means that the credit card you've been using for the past several years may not be right for you anymore. Your day-to-day has changed, and your credit card probably should too. 

Whether you've been a credit card user for years or are now considering diving into the credit card rewards world, here are some reasons to shop for a new credit card as a retiree:

1. Take advantage of an introductory 0% interest period. Did you notice that many of the cards above feature some length of a 0% intro APR on purchases and/or balance transfers? Those 0% interest periods could save you a bundle if you have a purchase, emergency, trip or some other expense that you need a few extra months to pay off.

2. Enjoy added security as you shop online or travel. Credit cards are simply more secure to carry, especially when you travel, than a wallet full of cash (or even a debit card, for that matter, thanks to how the laws are written). Lose a credit card or have someone steal your identity and your credit card company will protect you against fraud and federal laws will back that up. Lose your cash or debit card, and you could be out hundreds of dollars. Simply having a credit card for secure shopping is a solid reason to keep one around.

3. Rack up rewards. Let's be clear: we're in it for the rewards. Credit card reward options are vast these days and can be incredibly lucrative. You don't have to be a travel rewards expert to reap the benefits of travel rewards. You don't have to be an accountant to understand that getting cash back is always a nice perk. The level of focus you want to put on rewards is up to you, but you certainly will have everyday expenses; why not earn rewards on those at the very least?

One last note, if you do decide to jump into the world of travel rewards, take a look at our free online course, "Travel Rewards 101." It's designed to help beginners master traveling with rewards and could be just what you need to start planning that trip you now have time take.


For the rates and fees of American Express cards mentioned in this article, please see the following links: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees ); Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express (See Rates and Fees); The Platinum Card® from American Express (See Rates and Fees)

Disclaimer: The information in this article is believed to be accurate as of the date it was written. Please keep in mind that credit card offers change frequently. Therefore, we cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information in this article. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. See the online credit card application for full terms and conditions on offers and rewards. Please verify all terms and conditions of any credit card prior to applying.

This content is not provided by any company mentioned in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed here are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any such company. CardRatings.com does not review every company or every offer available on the market.

Comments
1 Comments

  1. Paula Dennis
    June 22, 2015 - 6:10 pm
    I am looking for a low interest credit card to transfer a high interest card. I need enough credit to cover 7,743. Thank you
      Reply »