5 Ways Parents Can Make the Most of Cash Back Credit Cards


As a parent of two, I always look for ways to save money on kid activities and expenses. At the beginning of this summer, I researched pool memberships and was shocked by how much the prices had increased. So, instead of shelling out hundreds of dollars for just two months of swimming, I signed my family up for a YMCA membership. We’ll stay cool this summer and save more than $500.

If you’re also looking for ways to save money right now, here are some suggestions for using cash back credit cards to make your money go further.

1. Earn cash when shuttling the kids around

So far this summer, I’ve driven my kids up the East Coast to visit my parents and taken them on two trips to the mountains to go camping. There’s also one beach trip next month and the normal shuttling around town for everyday activities.

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If you’re driving a similar amount this summer, you can rack up some serious cash back rewards with a gas credit card. Some offer cash back between 2% to 6% at the pump, making those trips to baseball practice, art camp, and the pool a little easier on your wallet.

2. Make the grocery bill sting a little less

My kids are growing very fast, which means my grocery bills are growing fast, too. Inflation has made this problem even worse, with food prices up 5.8% last year. If you have a credit card that pays you cash back on groceries, you can ease the pain of grocery bill sticker shock.

I have a cash back card that gives me 2% cash back at grocery stores, and some give you up to 6% back.

3. Make buying new clothes and shoes a little cheaper

I don’t know about you, but my kids seem to grow out of their shoes and clothes every other week. When they’ve found a style they like (a near-miracle these days), they grow right out of them, and we’re back online shopping for something new again.

My credit card earns 5% cash back on anything I buy on Amazon, making the next wardrobe purchase a little less painful. To save even more, check out your credit card’s shopping portal for more deals. Some offer retail discounts of up to 10%.

4. Use cash back for sporting events and entertainment

Last month, I went to a baseball game with my kids and extended family. We made a great memory together and had a blast seeing one of our favorite teams up close. But like everything else, sports and other live events are more expensive than ever.

Thankfully, some credit cards offer special perks and discounts for entertainment. Certain cards offer up to 8% cash back on entertainment purchases, and some even offer special VIP experiences.

I have yet to use a card to get special experiences, but even a standard cash back card could help offset the rising cost of a ballpark hot dog.

5. Use the cash back for a weekly allowance

I’ve tried to teach my kids the value of money, and one way our family does this is through distributing a weekly allowance. My kids have set chores they need to do each week and slowly accumulate their spending money — which usually gets spent on Minecraft and Lego.

One way to make setting aside a small allowance easier is to use cash back rewards. If you use your credit card’s shopping portal to find deals, your kids may be able to stretch their spending cash even further.

While a cash back card won’t reduce the price of kids’ clothes and weekly grocery hauls, it can take some of the sting out of everyday expenses. Some of them even have welcome offers — one example is $200 cash rewards when you make your first $1,000 in purchases in the first three months with the card.

Just let me know if you come across any cards that can get me a good deal on a pool membership.

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