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13 Credit Cards That Every 30-Something Should Consider

Karen Doyle

Your 30s are an exciting time. You’re getting settled in your career, you may own a home and you may be married with a family or heading down that path. You’ve outgrown a lot of the things you did in your 20s, like that tiny apartment with three roommates and the late-night bar crawls. But what about your credit cards? Due to things like the annual percentage rate, rewards and other perks, the best credit card for you in your 30s may not be the one you got as a college freshman.

 

PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature Card

  • Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months (with a 3% balance transfer fee)
  • Sign-up bonus: $100 statement credit when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days
  • APR: 11.99% to 17.99% variable APR
  • Rewards: Five points per dollar on gas, three points per dollar on groceries, one point per dollar on everything else
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: No foreign transaction fees, easily add your card to your digital wallet

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

This card offers high rewards points on things you buy every day, like gas and groceries. If you have a balance on a higher-interest card, you can transfer it to this one and take a year to pay it off with no interest. There’s no annual fee, so your rewards won’t get eaten up by that cost. If you have good credit, the 11.99% interest rate is very attractive.

Discover it Cash Back Card

  • Intro APR: 0% for 14 months
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • APR: 14.25% to 25.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: 5% cash back in different categories each quarter, 1% on everything else
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: Discover matches all the cash back you earn in your first year, free monitoring of your Social Security number

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

Discover offers 5% cash back on rotating categories of purchases that change each quarter, making it worth it to opt-in, even for busy 30-somethings. The company also matches all the cash back you earn in your first year. No interest for over a year plus no annual fee makes this a good choice for everyday use.

Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

  • Intro APR: None
  • Sign-up bonus: 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles when you spend $2,500 in the first three months
  • APR: 24% to 26.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: 2 miles per dollar spent on American Airlines purchases, gas stations and restaurants
  • Annual fee: $99 after the first year
  • Other perks: $125 American Airlines flight discount after you spend $20,000 in your first year and renew your card, free first checked bag, preferred boarding and 25% off in-flight food and beverages on American Airlines flights

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

This is a good travel card for 30-somethings who fly for business. The annual fee and interest rate are steep, but if you fly on American Airlines frequently, you may still come out ahead.

Blue Cash Preferred From American Express

  • Intro APR: 0% for 12 months
  • Sign-up bonus: $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in the first three months
  • APR: 14.99% to 25.99% variable APR
  • Rewards: 6% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year and on select streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit, 1% cash back on everything else — cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Other perks: ShopRunner free 2-day shipping, purchase protection, extended warranty

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

For 30-somethings looking for a credit card to use for everyday purchases, this is one to look at. The 6% cash back at supermarkets is a big perk, as is the 0% interest rate for the first year. These could offset the annual fee, which is not insignificant, especially for a nontravel card.

Chase Freedom

  • Intro APR: 0% APR for 15 months
  • Sign-up bonus: 3% cash back on all purchases in the first year up to $20,000
  • APR: 17.24% to 25.99% variable APR
  • Rewards: After the first-year bonus, 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: Redeem cash back for statement credit, direct deposit to checking or savings, shopping at Amazon, travel or gift cards; purchase protection and fraud protection

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

For busy 30-somethings, this card offers bonus cash back without having to opt in or switch up the categories. It also has one of the longest intro APR periods at 15 months. That said, you’ll want to avoid this card if you think you’ll carry a balance after the first 15 months since the interest rate is pretty steep.

Bank of America Cash Rewards

  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 billing cycles
  • Sign-up bonus: $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • APR: 16.24% to 26.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: 3% cash back in one chosen category, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, 1% on all other purchases
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: Preferred Rewards — based on your combined account balances at Bank of America and Merrill — can boost your rewards by 25% to 75%.

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

Your financial life can change a lot during your 30s. You may buy a home, change jobs and be trying to increase your savings and investment accounts. If you want to consolidate your accounts with one provider, Bank of America and Merrill can do that for you, and you’ll boost your rewards based on your combined balances in all your accounts.

HSBC Gold Mastercard

  • Intro APR: 0% for 18 months
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • APR: 13.24%, 17.24% or 21.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: Waived late fee once every 12 months, no penalty APR

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

This is a good card for 30-somethings who have a balance on a higher-interest card and are getting serious about getting out of debt. You have 1 1/2 years to pay off that balance with no interest. Even after that, the interest rate is good if you have great credit. And if you do have a late payment every so often, you won’t get hit with a late fee unless it’s more than once a year, and your rate won’t go up.

Navy Federal Credit Union Platinum Card

  • Intro APR: 0% on balance transfers for 12 months
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • APR: 8.24% to 18.00% variable APR
  • Rewards: None
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: No balance transfer or cash advance fees

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

This is a no-frills card with the best interest rate of any card on this list. If you have higher-interest cards, transfer their balances here and pay no interest for the first year. If getting out of debt is a goal for you in your 30s, this is the card for you. Note that you or someone in your family must be active or retired military in order to join Navy Federal Credit Union and qualify for this card.

TD First Class Visa Signature Credit Card

  • Intro APR: 0% for 12 billing cycles
  • Sign-up bonus: 25,000 bonus miles when you spend $3,000 in six billing cycles
  • APR: 15.49% variable APR
  • Rewards: 3 miles per dollar on travel and dining, 1 mile per dollar on everything else
  • Annual fee: $89 after the first year
  • Other perks: Redeem miles for cash, travel, entertainment and more

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

This is a good card for 30-something travelers who don’t have an airline preference. You get three times the miles on every dollar you spend on travel and dining, but you don’t have to fly a particular carrier or stay in a certain hotel. The interest rate is reasonable, and the annual fee is waived for the first year. Some travel cards only let you redeem your miles for more travel, but with this one, you can also redeem them for cash.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

  • Intro APR: None
  • Sign-up bonus: $300 cash back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months
  • APR: 16.74% to 25.74% variable APR
  • Rewards: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores, 1% on everything else
  • Annual fee: $95 after the first year
  • Other perks: Periodic special offers on dining and entertainment, like 8% cash back at Vivid Seats until May 2020

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

Your 30s can be a time when you spend a lot on entertainment and dining out. You are established in your career, and you may not have children, so going to concerts and sporting events and going out to eat may be your preferred pastimes. If this sounds like you, take a look at the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards card, which gives you 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. It does have an annual fee, though, so make sure you’re earning enough cash back to offset that.

Chase United Explorer MileagePlus Card

  • Intro APR: None
  • Sign-up bonus: 40,000 bonus miles when you spend $2,000 in the first three months
  • APR: 18.24% to 25.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: 2 miles per dollar on United purchases and at restaurants and hotel, 1 mile per dollar on everything else
  • Annual fee: $95 after the first year
  • Other perks: Free first checked bag on United flights, $100 statement credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

For 30-somethings who like to fly the friendly skies, the Chase United Explorer MileagePlus card is worth a look. Perks for frequent travelers include a $100 statement credit every four years to reimburse you for the cost of Global Entry or TSA Precheck, which helps you get through airport security faster — a big plus if you fly often.

Discover it Secured

  • Intro APR: None
  • Sign-up bonus: None
  • APR: 25.24% variable APR
  • Rewards: 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases and gas stations and restaurants each quarter, 1% cash back on everything else
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Other perks: Discover matches all the cash back you earn in the first year

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

If you are in your 30s and you still have no credit, or you have bad credit, now is the time to get a handle on that. The Discover it Secured card can help you build or repair your credit. It’s a secured card, so you have to send a security deposit equal to your credit line. But after eight months of good credit habits (including other accounts you have), they may refund some of your deposit. And the whole thing is refundable if you close the account.

First Bankcard Sun Country Airlines Visa Signature Card

  • Intro APR: None
  • Sign-up bonus: 35,000 points when you spend $1,500 in the first three billing cycles
  • APR: 18.99% to 26.99% variable APR
  • Rewards: Three points per dollar on Sun Country purchases, two points per dollar on gas and groceries, one point per dollar on everything else
  • Annual fee: $69 after the first year and you must be a Sun Country Rewards member to apply
  • Other perks: One free premium drink per flight, 50% off seat selection and first bag fees for you and companions, priority boarding

Why 30-Somethings Should Consider This Card

If you’re a frequent flier on Sun Country Airlines, consider this card. For a travel card, the annual fee is reasonable and is waived for the first year. You get special treatment on flights like a free drink and reduced add-on costs for you and your traveling companions.

Picking the Right Credit Card

A lot changes in your 30s. If you want one of the changes to be having better control of your money, choosing the right credit card is a good place to start. If you’ve outgrown the credit card you used in your 20s, maybe it’s time to consider one of these cards that offers travel rewards, cash back and low APRs.

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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: 13 Credit Cards That Every 30-Something Should Consider