Best Credit Cards for Teachers

Posted on August 9, 2021 in Credit Cards

Do you want to find the best credit cards for teachers? Check out our expert guide to the top ten best credit cards for teachers, which provide excellent rewards, cash back, balance transfer options, purchase APR rates, low interest rates, and more!

Teachers are the salt of the earth and the pillars of their communities.  They stand in front of the children of the world and teach them everything from sitting upright to multiplication tables and essay composition.  The average teacher performs these miracles with low pay and little reward.  It’s a time-consuming job that takes dedication, patience, and resilience. 

Every teacher knows that their job comes with the reward of educating young minds.  Unfortunately, it also comes without an expense account.  Classroom supplies, field trip accessories and special snacks are out-of-pocket expenses teachers are expected to bear.  Teachers spend from five hundred to a thousand dollars a year on these unreimbursed costs.  Most teachers would benefit from having a way to pay these costs, while earning credit card rewards with their purchases.  They need help getting some of their money back.  There are several great credit cards on the market that do just the trick.  A lot of the cards are tailor-made for the kind of spending teachers do on an annual basis.  We’ll look at some of the top categories and best credit card offers that help teachers provide a better way to enrich the lives of their students. 

What Are the Best Credit Cards for Teachers?

There are several fine credit cards that can help teachers with their yearly costs. Cards that offer cash rewards, limited and unlimited, can be the right fit for a teacher in need.  Let’s look at a list of ten of the best credit cards available for teachers that offer some of the greatest rewards rate options.  Some have features that are best for buying food.  Some are great for travel, while others have better deals on annual percentage rates. Teachers should match the card to their particular circumstances.  The kinds of purchases they’ll make should guide teachers to the card that works for them.  An added bonus for teachers would be to utilize their shopping receipts and upload them to a site like Ibotta vs Fetch Rewards, where they could earn extra cash rewards.

  1. Amazon – Ordering school supplies and books from Amazon can be easier with this card.  It provides a fifty-dollar Amazon gift card at sign-up (one hundred dollars for Amazon Prime members), 3 points/$1 at Amazon and Whole Foods (5/$1 for Prime members), 2 points at gas stations, restaurants and drugstores and a single point at all other purchase locations. The card has zero annual fees and requires good or excellent credit.
  2. NEA – The NEA credit card is offered by the National Education Association, making it a great credit card for teachers.  It gives applicants a two-hundred-dollar Amazon gift card at sign-up.  The card allows free entry into museums.  You earn 3% cash back in one of several bonus categories of your choice (choose from gas, online shopping, drug stores, home improvement, dining, or travel).  An automatic 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs is provided on the first twenty-five hundred dollar per quarter.  1% unlimited cash back is provided on all other purchases.   
  3. Target Red Card – This card provides 5% off Target purchases, free 2-day shipping from and no annual fee. If you plan to do a lot of supply shopping at target, the rewards rate makes this another top credit card for teachers.
  4. Citi Double Cash Card – The card offers 2% cash back on all purchases, 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay down the balance. It has 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months with a 3% fee. The card has zero annual fees.
  5. Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – This card offers a two-hundred-dollar bonus after you spend five hundred dollars in your first 3 months.  The applicant earns 5% cash back on grocery purchases (excluding Target or Walmart), up to twelve thousand dollars for the first year. You earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.  You also earn 5% on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.  There is no annual fee. There is 0% intro APR for 15 months, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.
  6. Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card – The card is great for travel rewards. Applicants gain sixty thousand miles for spending three thousand dollars in the first three months.  They get five miles per dollar for purchases (hotel and car rental only) made through Capital One Travel and two miles per one dollar on all other purchases. There is a ninety-five-dollar annual fee.
  7. Discover It Secured Credit Card – This card gets 2% cash back on one thousand dollars spent per quarter at restaurants and gas stations, and 1% on everything else.  The first year’s cash back is matched on your account anniversary. There are zero annual fees.
  8. Capitol One Savor Cash Rewards Card – The card let’s you earn up to 4% cash back, and your rewards never expire while you have an account. The annual fee is waived for the first year.
  9. Staples More Account – Earn 5% back on in-store and online Staples purchases, putting this card up there among the best store credit cards for teachers. Receive free next-day delivery on orders over $49.99.  There is no annual fee.
  10. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express – Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and streaming services.  Get 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases.  Spend $1,584 at grocery stores each year to offset the annual fee. 

What Are the Best Credit Cards for New Teachers?

New teachers have minimal salaries and often carry student debt from their college years.  A zero percent annual rate credit card, with zero annual fees is the best choice for new teachers.  Here are three of the better choices. 

  1. Wells Fargo Platinum Card – The card has 0% intro APR for eighteen months.  It gives up to six hundred dollars protection on your cell phone against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly bill with the card.  It has zero annual fees.    
  2. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card – Earn a two-hundred-dollar cash rewards bonus after spending one thousand dollars on purchases in the first 3 months.  There is 0% intro APR for 15 months.  There are zero annual fees.    
  3. Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – The applicant gets a two-hundred-dollar bonus after spending five hundred dollars in the first 3 months.  The cardholder gets 5% cash back on grocery purchases (excluding Target or Walmart) at up to twelve thousand dollars for the first year. Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.  There is no annual fee. There is 0% intro APR for 15 months, then a variable APR of 14.99 – 23.74%.

Are There Any Special Credit Cards That Help Teachers?

From the lists we’ve seen so far, it’s probably obvious there is no one size fits all when it comes to teachers and credit cards.  A teacher’s circumstances can be as varied as that of any other individual.  Despite those diverse demographics there are occasions, however, when certain credit cards are the best fit for a targeted set of circumstances.  Most teachers need a good low-interest card, for example.  With their limited salaries and frequent purchases, the last thing a teacher needs is a credit card that picks up interest too quickly or has an unfavorable rate and fee associated with it.  In a similar fashion, teachers should be aware that several credit card companies create specials with teachers in mind.  The most extreme version of this is the card offered by the teacher’s union itself, the NEA (National Education Association).  Their card has good terms and is designed to work in concert with teachers’ lifestyles.  It’s just one of the many cards available that has teachers very much in mind. 

What Cards Provide Good Credit Card Debt Relief for Teachers?

Credit card debt relief is a broad term that includes credit card debt settlement and credit card debt consolidation.  Forgoing any discussion of debt settlement (an overly complex process), if we concentrate on debt consolidation there are some choices for teachers to reduce debt. 

It’s not unusual for people with smaller salaries to have a handful of credit cards with high interest rates and bad annual fees.  With credit card debt consolidation, they may be able to transfer all the debts from the smaller cards and bring them to a single card with better interest rates and annual fees.  Such a move usually requires very good credit.  If the applicant has been paying on time and has a good income to debt ratio, there are cards for teachers on our list that may help with consolidating debt.  Three likely candidates are:

  • Wells Fargo Platinum Card – 0% intro APR.  Zero annual fees.
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited Card – 0% intro APR for 15 months.  Zero annual fees.
  • NEA Credit Card – Introductory 0% APR on purchases for 15 months and 0% for 15 months intro APR for balance transfers.  Zero annual fees.  

The amounts of the applicant’s debt, their credit score and other financial factors weigh heavily upon whether or not credit card debt consolidation can happen.  It can be an excellent way for teachers to pay down bills and have better finances overall. 

FAQ‘s About The Best Credit Cards for Teachers

What is the best credit card for teachers? 

  • There is no one card that’s best for all teachers.  Like anyone else, different teachers have different financial circumstances and different needs.  There are many credit cards, however, that fit with the daily routine and requirements of the teaching profession such as store credit cards.  Teachers should look at a credit card’s features and apply for the proper card accordingly. 

Is there a special credit card for teachers?

  •  The NEA (National Education Association) sponsors a card that has its members in mind.  That’s probably the closest to a ‘special’ teachers’ card on the market. 

Can credit cards help teachers get out of debt? 

  •  If the teacher’s credit is good and the teacher can see a way forward using credit card consolidation that may be a way for a teacher to streamline their debt liabilities. 

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