The 5 best credit cards for seniors of 2020

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In a Nutshell

The best credit cards for seniors offer straightforward rewards with low interest rates and fees to help keep your finances on track. Read on for our choices for the best credit cards for seniors for travel rewards, cash back, retirement savings, 0% intro APR and low ongoing APR.

Jennifer Brozic is a personal finance writer and has written for Citi. Editorial Note: Credit Karma receives compensation from third-party advertisers, but that doesn’t affect our editors' opinions. Our marketing partners don’t review, approve or endorse our editorial content. It’s accurate to the best of our knowledge when posted. Read our Editorial Guidelines to learn more about our team.
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The best credit cards for seniors can help you maintain your financial well-being and make the most of your golden years.

Here’s our take on some of the best cards available in several key categories.

Best for travel: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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Here’s why: The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card makes it simple to earn and redeem your travel rewards. With flexible redemption options that don’t tie you down to a specific airline, cruise line or hotel chain, you can travel on your terms.

You’ll earn an unlimited two miles for every $1 you spend on all purchases.

Capital One’s Purchase Eraser feature then lets you easily redeem those points for statement credits after you pay for travel expenses with your card. Or, if you prefer, you can use your miles to “pay” for purchases when you book your travel through Capital One. Plus, miles can be transferred to one of Capital One’s airline travel partners for even greater flexibility.

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card offers a generous sign-up bonus of 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months of opening your account, which translates into $500 when redeemed for travel.

The card has an annual fee of $0 intro, $95 after first year. It also offers travel accident insurance, travel assistance services, no foreign transaction fee and a credit of up to a $100 for a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application to help you move through airport security lines.

For more information about how you can maximize your rewards, read our full review of the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card.

Best for simple cash back: Citi® Double Cash Card

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Citi® Double Cash Card

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Here’s why: The Citi® Double Cash Card offers a low-hassle way for you to earn cash back on all of your purchases. If you want to earn rewards on items you buy every day but don’t want to worry about keeping track of rewards categories, this card could be a good place to start.

With the Citi® Double Cash Card, you’ll earn unlimited 2% cash back on everything you buy — 1% when you buy it and 1% when you pay your bill. Plus, there’s no annual fee to cut into your rewards, which you can redeem for either a check or statement credit.

Although this card has a straightforward rewards structure and is easy to use, you may be able to earn more with a different type of cash back credit card with higher rates in certain categories. And unlike some other cash back credit cards, this one doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus.

Check out our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card to see if it’s right for you.

Best for boosting retirement savings: Fidelity® Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Here’s why: With the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature Card, seniors with an eligible Fidelity account can earn unlimited 2% cash back on qualifying purchases when they sign up for direct-deposit rewards into their account.

You’ll earn two points for every $1 you spend on purchases that count — earnings that equate to a $1 reward for every $50 you spend. Your rewards can be deposited in up to five eligible Fidelity accounts, including certain retirement accounts, HSAs and college savings accounts.

This gives you the flexibility to not only boost your retirement savings, but also to help meet healthcare costs or contribute to your children’s or grandchildren’s education. The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature card also has no annual fee, so you don’t have to deal with that added cost offsetting your rewards.

If you don’t have a Fidelity account but like the idea of this credit card, it might be worth contacting your retirement account provider to find out if they offer a similar option.

For additional details, check out our complete review of the Fidelity® Rewards Visa® Signature Card.

Best for low ongoing APR: Simmons Visa®

Here’s why: Unlike the other cards we’ve covered so far, the Simmons Visa® won’t earn you rewards or cash back when you use it, but it does offer a low ongoing APR. This feature can help seniors who may need to carry a credit card balance keep interest charges under control.

With the average APR on credit cards hovering in the mid-teens, the variable purchase and balance transfer APR of 9.75% on the Simmons Visa® card comes in well below the average. And this card doesn’t have an annual fee.

Need more info on how your credit card APR works? Take a look at our explanation of what APR is and why it’s important.

Best for 0% intro APR: U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card

Here’s why: The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card gives seniors an opportunity to make a large purchase or transfer a high-interest balance and pay it off without accruing interest charges for a lengthy period of time. You also won’t have to pay an annual fee.

For the first 18 billing cycles, you can take advantage of an introductory 0% APR on purchases. The same 0% APR offer also extends to balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening.

Note that if you do transfer a balance to this card, you’ll need to pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the transferred amount or $5, whichever is higher. And when the promotional period ends, the variable APR on purchases and balance transfers increases to 13.99% to 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness.

If you need to pay for an unplanned expense, make a large purchase or pay down high-interest debt, this card gives you plenty of time to do it interest-free. Just try to make sure you can pay off your balance by the end of the intro period to avoid having to carrying a balance while the card has that higher variable APR.

This card also offers free access to your TransUnion credit score, up to $600 in coverage if your cellphone is damaged or stolen, and no penalty APR if your payment’s late (although you will pay a late fee).

To find out more, read our review of the U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Card.

How we picked the best credit cards for seniors

To choose the best cards for seniors, we reviewed dozens of options from a variety of credit card issuers and chose the cards we thought would appeal to the broadest audience of seniors.

We looked at cards marketed specifically to seniors, but didn’t end up choosing any of them for this list. While these cards claim to be tailored to seniors’ needs, we found alternatives that better meet the needs of this demographic. Ultimately, card features mean much more than marketing when it comes to meeting the needs of any audience.

When making our picks, we wanted to choose cards that can help seniors make the most of retirement by providing rewards with simple structures, including straightforward redemption systems and options that offer flexibility based on the cardholder’s preferences.

At the same time, we were mindful that many senior citizens live on a fixed income, so we also tried to select cards with low interest rates and minimal fees — features that may help you keep your finances under control.

How to make the most of these credit cards

To make the most of your credit card, choose the type that’s right for you based on your lifestyle, financial situation and how you plan to use it.

For example, if you don’t like to travel, it probably doesn’t make sense to get a credit card that offers travel rewards. But getting one that offers cash back may be a good option. At the same time, securing a card with a low APR may not be a priority for you if you don’t carry a balance.

Regardless of what type of card you choose, be sure to read the fine print in your card’s terms and conditions. Understanding how rewards systems and payment schedules work can be the difference between a stress-free credit card and one that leads to confusion and fees.