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How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

How LendingTree Gets Paid

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

Best Credit Cards for Seniors and Retirees in 2021

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

When you reach your retirement years, credit cards can become an important tool for maintaining your credit health and can actually help put some extra cash in your pocket. The key is to make sure that once you’re on a fixed income, that you don’t overextend yourself.

Those first couple of years as a retiree can be a dramatic financial transition for some people, says Tiffany Welka, wealth management adviser and vice president of VFG Associates in Livonia, Mich.

“There are income changes, expense changes, and a lot of times we see retirees using credit cards more because their income is not what it used to be,” she says.

In fact, senior credit card debt is on the rise. While in 2001 about a quarter of senior households held credit card balances, by 2016, that number rose to 34%, according to the National Council on Aging.

“Older consumers are turning to credit cards to finance basic necessities such as food, prescriptions or other needs when they have no other means to pay for these items,” says Lori Trawinski, director, banking & finance, with the AARP Public Policy Institute.

If you find yourself using credit to compensate for your lack of wages, it probably makes the most sense to limit credit card use. “To the extent possible, consumers should try to build an emergency savings fund to help finance unexpected expenses so they do not have to turn to credit cards,” says Trawinski.

However, for the other two-thirds of older Americans who are not carrying credit card debt, using plastic responsibly in your golden years is actually a smart financial move.

Why it’s important to keep an active credit profile

First and foremost, using credit cards is an easy way to keep your credit file active and to maintain a good credit score, which Trawinski says is important even in retirement.

“That doesn’t mean you have to carry debt,” adds Rod Griffin, director of consumer education and awareness at Experian, one of the three major credit bureaus. Instead, he recommends using your cards periodically and paying those balances right away to keep your credit score strong.

The reason it matters, he explains, is because life situations may arise for which you’ll want to have credit available to you. Those can include an unexpected and expensive health emergency, or having to maintain or upgrade an older home that has aged along with you. Just think about trying to come up with heating and air conditioning unit replacement costs on the spot, says Griffin. “Credit can be a tool to help you manage that, and it remains a ubiquitous part of your life.”

Of course, it’s not all about doom and gloom – retirees can also leverage credit to help fuel their post-career passions, or offset travel costs or put some cash back in your wallet by charging everyday expenses that are paid off at the end of the month.

Credit card features important for seniors and retirees

When used responsibly (and paid off promptly), credit cards can open up a world of benefits for consumers of all ages. Depending on your financial situation and spending style, some features to think about as you age include rewards value, ease of use and favorable terms that fit your goals.

As long as you have the money to pay your bill at the end of the month, using credit cards for the things you would normally buy anyway can be a great way to earn rewards and save money, says Griffin. “As a retiree, you’re living on a fixed income, so the more you can save, the better,” he adds.

This is especially true if you like to travel. According to an AARP survey, boomers (born between 1946 and 1964, per the Census Bureau) said they planned to take a total of four to five leisure trips in 2019, spending over $6,600. And with 75% of boomers saying they book most of their travel via airline loyalty programs, and 65% enrolled in hotel programs – rewards credit cards that work in tandem with such programs can amplify savings.

As for comparing credit card interest rates, when you consider that the average APR on all credit card accounts jumped to 15.91% in the first quarter of 2021, even low interest cards can keep you in debt. The best strategy is to try avoiding interest charges by not revolving a balance at all, or putting necessary purchases beyond your budget on cards that offer lengthy 0% introductory periods.

How we selected the best credit cards for seniors

To select the best cards for retired seniors, we focused on features that tend to be the most relevant to that age group. Of course, everyone’s financial situation and personal goals are different, which is why we divided our picks into three different card categories to appeal to a variety of senior lifestyles.

That said, each card below provides a combination of benefits that align well with an active but budgeted retirement lifestyle – such as simplicity and flexibility for rewards earning, consumer protections and favorable terms and conditions regarding fees. If you choose wisely, says Welka, “credit cards can help you can live the retirement lifestyle and not spend as much doing it.”

Best travel credit cards for seniors and retirees

Travel cards run the gamut, but for seniors, it makes sense to stick with ones that have solid rewards, easy redemption and annual fees under $100 (or none at all). We also selected cards with no foreign transaction fee for jet-setting seniors who want to enjoy some international travel, or even live abroad for part of the year.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Disclosures |
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
on Capital One's secure site
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Rewards rate: Earn 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day.
  • Welcome offer: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Why it’s good: This card comes with a generous sign-up bonus, as well as offers a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® fee and ability to transfer your rewards miles to 19 airline and hotel partners. If you’re OK with the $95 annual fee, the unlimited rewards potential is an attractive perk.

Discover it® Miles

Disclosures |
Discover it® Miles
Discover it® Miles
on Discover's secure site
0% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase -
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Discover Match® details & other information.
670 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Welcome offer: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Foreign transaction fee: None

Why it’s good: For retirees who don’t feel like crunching numbers or paying attention to rotating categories, the flat rate earnings and easy redemption provide seamless travel savings. Just book your trips, and redeem your miles as a statement credit towards those purchases. Plus, there is no expiration on miles or blackout dates to worry about. There is a 0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases (after, an 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR applies). The card also gives you extra time to pay off that bucket list trip.

Read our review of the Discover it Miles

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Disclosures |
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
on Chase's secure site
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.
750 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $95
  • Rewards rate: Earn 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
  • Welcome offer: Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Foreign transaction fee: $0

Why it’s good: Though maximizing rewards earned on this card does take a little finesse, if you redeem travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, you can generally squeeze out more value. For instance, the points you earn via the sign-up bonus can be a redemption value of $1,250 through the portal. Or, if you are loyal to specific airlines and hotel chains, you might find a good deal by transferring points.

Read our review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Best 0% intro APR credit cards for seniors and retirees

When you’re on a budget, you sometimes don’t have extra cash on hand to make a large purchase, whether it’s to replace outdated appliances or finance an expensive car repair. Rather than deplete your savings, opening a 0% intro APR card can give you time to pay off the amount gradually without added interest payments. If you can plan ahead and apply for one of these cards, you can save a bundle on interest charges.

U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Disclosures |
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card
on U.S. Bank's secure site
0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases*
14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
$0*
None
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 20 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 14.49% - 24.49%.
  • Great offer from U.S. Bank, a 2020 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2021.
  • No Annual Fee*
  • Flexibility to choose a payment due date that fits your schedule.
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your U.S.Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card. Certain terms, conditions, and exclusions apply.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0*
  • Intro purchase APR: 0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Purchases*
  • Regular purchase APR: 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)

Why it’s good: As one of the longest 0% purchase APR offers on the market, this card gives you close to two years to pay off a purchase. Plus, you’ll also get  0% intro APR for 20 billing cycles on Balance Transfers* made within 60 days from account opening, which can be helpful if you are interested in paying off some other high-interest debt within a set period of time. After which, an APR of 14.49% - 24.49%* (variable) will apply. The downside is there are no rewards.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Disclosures |
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
0% on purchases for 15 months
13.99%-23.99% Variable
$0
3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year
  • Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back.
  • Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases from the date of account opening, then a variable rate, 13.99% to 23.99%.
  • Plan It® gives the option to select purchases of $100 or more to split up into monthly payments with a fixed fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro purchase APR: 0% on purchases for 15 months
  • Regular purchase APR: 13.99%-23.99% variable

Why it’s good: With this card, you get more than a year of 0% interest on purchases. Plus, the card has long-term cashback benefits: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. Terms apply. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Disclosures |
Capital One® Quicksilver® Card
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
on Capital One's secure site
0% intro on purchases for 15 months
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
  • One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49%-25.49% variable APR after that
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Intro purchase APR: 0% intro on purchases for 15 months
  • Regular purchase APR: 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Why it’s good: Along with the generous 0% APR introductory period, you’ll also earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day. And, the One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening is like a built-in discount on that big-ticket item you’re buying.

Read our review of the Capital One Quicksilver Card

Best cashback credit cards for seniors and retirees

It’s always nice to get a discount on everyday purchases after retirement, and if you leverage cashback credit cards in the right way, you can put a few more dollars in your pocket. The key is to pay your bill in full each month to avoid paying interest. Here are three popular cashback cards to consider:

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Disclosures |
Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
on Citibank's secure site
N/A
13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
$0
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
660 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Welcome offer: No bonus

Why it’s good: We like this card because it not only rewards you a flat-rate 1% on your spending, but it incentivizes you with another 1% back when you pay your bill. With no limit on earnings, or spending categories to track, you can sit back, relax, and collect your cash. Plus, there’s a generous intro APR on balance transfers: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers, after which the APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% (variable)

Read our review of the Citi Double Cash Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Disclosures |
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠
on Chase's secure site
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Welcome offer: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Why it’s good: If you have the time and patience to opt into certain spending categories each quarter to get the maximum cash back, you can really amplify your savings with this card. Luckily, the redemption end is simple – you can do it any time, and for any amount.

Read our review of the Chase Freedom Flex

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Disclosures |
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
on Bank of America's secure site
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
$0
3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back
  • No annual fee 
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening 
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases 
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers 
  • No expiration on rewards 
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn up to 5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category. 
  • Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap 
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.
680 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appear on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

  • Annual fee:$0
  • Rewards rate: Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Why it’s good: The beauty of this card is that it lets you choose the spending category you’d like to earn 3% cash back, with options like online shopping and drugstores – perfect for seniors who shop from home or purchase a lot of over-the-counter items at the pharmacy. And you can change the category once per month.

Bottom line

“Credit is a financial tool; debt is a financial problem – and that’s true regardless of your age,” says Griffin. If you can make credit cards work for you as a senior, rather than rely on them as an income replacement, they can help you live your best retirement life.

To see the rates and fees for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.