Best Credit Cards for Seniors in 2024

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Are you a senior citizen looking for a new rewards credit card?

For many senior citizens, simplicity and ease-of-use should be the guiding light when it comes to adding a new credit card to your wallet.

That’s why Team Clark recommends considering a cash back credit card that gives you 2% back on all purchases with no categorical restrictions or spending limits. This is like receiving a 2% discount on everything you buy.

If you don’t have one of these in your wallet, we recommend applying for one. If you have an existing credit card that doesn’t offer cash back rewards, you should inquire with your issuing bank about being moved to a card with a cash back program. Even if you don’t get a full 2% back from their program, earning something is better than nothing.

After hours of research and careful consideration, we have assembled a list of the best credit cards for seniors.

We assessed rewards programs to find the best choices for popular senior spending categories. So, if you already have a 2% cash back card, you may be able to enhance your rewards earning potential by picking a card that gives bonus rewards for the type of purchases you make most often.

In addition to rewards programs, we considered factors like welcome offers, introductory APR and bonus categories when assembling the list. You can read our full methodology here.

The Best Credit Cards for Seniors to Apply for Right Now

What Seniors Should Consider Before Applying for a Credit Card

Before we get deeper into the details on each of these cards, here are a few things seniors should consider before applying:

  • Seek the simplicity of cash back. For this season of your life, you may find that a simple, easy-to-understand rewards program is best. Clark often recommends 2% cash back cards with no categorical restrictions to accomplish this. Many of these have no annual fee, and they’ll give you the option to use your cash back as statement credits to help cover your bill.
  • It may be wise to consider a card with no annual fee. Everyone’s retirement budget is different, but committing to an annual fee on a credit card is at least something to consider. Our lists include cards that have annual fees, but we also make sure to include several no-annual-fee options.
  • Check with a credit union if you need to carry a balance. If you’re going to carry a balance on your credit card, you’ll want to worry less about rewards and more about getting the lowest APR possible. Credit unions often offer lower interest rates on credit cards than banks.
  • You’ll need to thaw your credit to apply. Most credit card issuers require a “hard” credit inquiry to assess whether they want to accept your application. That means seniors who have wisely decided to freeze their credit will have to temporarily thaw it during this process. Clark recently addressed how to best do this on an episode of The Clark Howard Podcast.
  • You may be asked to provide household income information. This is another standard part of the application process. If you’re a recent retiree, this may be a little more complicated than simply looking at your latest paystub. Be prepared to accurately calculate this number.

Best for Everyday Purchases: Citi Double Cash® Card

Why We Like It for Seniors

Money expert Clark Howard has long recommended carrying a no-annual-fee credit card that pays 2% back on all purchases without any spending category requirements. And this card, which he carries in his wallet, checks both of those boxes.

Think of it this way: Using this card on your everyday purchases is like getting a 2% discount on everything you buy, provided that you pay your bill in full each month to avoid interest charges. Just redeem your Thank You rewards points as a statement credit to have your earnings applied directly to your bill.


Best for Introductory APR Period: Wells Fargo Active Cash Card

Why We Like It for Seniors

This card offers unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, which is what we mentioned earlier as the main goal for most seniors.

But if you find yourself making a major purchase that will require that you temporarily carry a balance on your credit card, you’ll love that this card has an introductory APR period in addition to its rewards program.

Once you’ve paid your balance in full on the purchase, you’ll be able to enjoy the perks of a 2% cash back card.

Why We Like It for Seniors

Note: If you’re not a frequent traveler, we recommend that seniors instead consider using a no-annual-fee 2% cash back card for travel purchases. This will help you earn rewards while avoiding a credit card with annual fees.

If you’re a travel nut like Clark, you may want to consider adding the travel credit card that he loves the most. This card is the latest addition to his wallet and is used often during his frequent excursions. And since it’s not tied to a particular airline or hotel chain, you can shop for the best deal and still earn rewards from this card.

You may see the $395 annual fee and think that seems awfully high for a Clark-recommended card, but it’s worth noting that most travelers will easily claim $300 of that fee back each year thanks to an annual credit for bookings through Capital One Travel.

If you find yourself flying to your destinations often, this may be your “cheapest” way to enjoy lounge access at select airports.

Best for Retirement Savings and Investing: Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Why We Like It for Seniors

Are you looking to supplement your retirement investing or savings with credit card rewards?

You may find that this card can help you do that without much effort. If you have a qualified Fidelity investment account, you will be able to receive 2% cash back on every purchase you make as a deposit into that account.

That matches the earnings from the Citi Double Cash Card mentioned earlier — and gives you a chance to supplement your nest egg, potentially growing the value of your credit card rewards with smart investments along the way.


Best for Drugstore Prescriptions and Dining: Chase Freedom Flex®

Why We Like It for Seniors

If you are a senior who makes regular prescription medication purchases, you may find that this card is useful at your drugstore. And it can double as the card you use at your favorite restaurants. It rewards 3% cash back on both drugstore and dining purchases.

But, wait, there’s more. This credit card also has a rotating cash back category that allows you to earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending during each quarter. These categories rotate every three months. This can be useful for things like buying gas or groceries when those categories take their turns as the bonus reward earner.

If you’re willing to book your travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, there’s a chance to earn 5% cash back with this card in that category, too.

Why We Like It for Seniors

If you do your regular grocery shopping at a supermarket, like Kroger or Publix, this card could be a great choice for you. You’ll earn 6% back on purchases at many U.S. supermarkets. That’s one of the best cash back rates available for any spending category! Terms apply. Note: This does not include groceries purchased at wholesale clubs, Target or Walmart.

If you’ve cut the cord from the cable company and rely on a live TV streaming service like YouTube TV for your entertainment, you’ll be able to enjoy 6% cash back on that spending as well. This also includes most video streaming services, like Netflix or Peacock.

Best for Gasoline and Bulk Shopping: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Why We Like It for Seniors

If you’ve followed Clark for any period of time, you likely know that he’s a huge fan of Costco. His love for “everything Costco” extends to the wholesale club’s credit card as well.

He carries this one in his wallet so that he can enjoy 2% cash back on all his purchases in-store and on the Costco website, but it also gives him 4% back on gas and EV charging purchases.

If you’re the kind of person who likes to stock up for the month at Costco and fill up the tank while you’re there, you may find that this card fits nicely into your wallet as well.

If you’re a Sam’s Club fan, you may find that the Sam’s Club Mastercard is a better choice. Clark has that one in his wallet, too.

Oh, and if you’re having a hard time choosing between the two wholesale clubs, Team Clark’s Anthony has a great breakdown here.


Methodology for Credit Card Analysis

For the purposes of determining which credit cards are “best,” we got input from Clark Howard and sought to find cards that fit his credit card strategy best.

Team Clark spent many hours reviewing the rewards credit cards on the market, assessing them for several factors including:

  • Annual fees
  • Rewards programs
  • Welcome offers
  • Length of introductory APR periods
  • Balance transfer introductory periods
  • Additional fees (transaction or otherwise)
  • Perks offered to cardholders
  • Reputation of financial institution issuing the card

We did not factor in non-introductory APR as a part of the evaluation, because interest rates are going to vary based on your financial circumstances. Clark recommends never carrying a balance on credit cards, so the non-introductory interest rate shouldn’t matter for your card anyway.

We also did not include offerings from local or regional banks or credit unions because they’re not available to everyone. Often, local institutions will have desirable cards, so we recommend that you compare your local bank or credit union’s cash back credit cards to the ones that made this list.

Are you a senior who has recently applied for a new credit card? Which one did you pick? Do you like it? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the community.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: See Rates and Fees

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