[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired and/or are no longer available on our site. You can view the current offers from our partners in our credit card marketplace. DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
You’ve put your time in at work, and now you’re ready to retire and relax. Nevertheless, you may still need the security and convenience of a credit card, as well as the rewards and benefits that you’ve grown accustomed to.
Thankfully, you can still qualify for a credit card, even if you’re no longer employed full time, because you can report your Social Security income and retirement fund distributions as a source of income on a credit card application.
Here are five credit cards that may be appealing to you now that you’re retired.
1. AARP Credit Card From Chase
The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan membership organization for people age 50 and over. One of the many benefits it offers is access to the AARP Credit Card, which features outstanding rewards including 3% cash back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s no limit to how much cash back you can earn, and rewards never expire (as long as your account remains open). Rewards can be redeemed as a deposit into your checking or savings account, as gift cards or as travel reservations. There is no annual fee for this card.
2. Amtrak Guest Rewards World MasterCard
Train travel on Amtrak is very popular with retirees and other seniors, and Bank of America offers its Amtrak Guest Rewards card that allows older Americans to earn free train travel. Cardholders receive 3x points in Amtrak’s Guest Rewards program for each dollar spent on Amtrak travel, including purchases made onboard. Double points are offered for other eligible travel purchases, and one point per dollar is earned elsewhere. New applicants receive 20,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on their card within 90 days of account opening as well as three additional perks: a complimentary Companion Coupon, a one-class upgrade and a single-day ClubAcela pass. There is a $79 annual fee for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
3. Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
With this card, retirees can earn travel rewards miles with all their purchases. It offers double miles on all purchases, and miles are worth one cent each as statement credits towards any flight, hotel, rental car or cruise. New applicants receive 70,000 bonus miles after spending $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Cardholders also receive 5% of their miles back each time they make a redemption. There is an annual fee of for this card, and no foreign transaction fees.
Whether it’s the world travels you’ve always wanted to take but just haven’t been able to, or trips home to see the kids and grandkids, travel is important for many retirees. The Capital One Venture card (read a full review of this card here) also offers 2X miles that can be redeemed for one cent each as statement credits towards any travel reservations. New applicants earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 within three months of account opening, worth $500 in travel statement credits. There is a $95 annual fee for this card that’s waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.
5. Citi Simplicity
When some people retire, the last thing that they want to worry about is maintaining a complex relationship with their credit card issuer. The Citi Simplicity card (read our review here) offers a streamlined terms and conditions with no late fees, no penalty interest rate and no annual fee. It also offers 21 months of interest-free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5, whichever is greater). Other benefits include Citi Identity Theft Solutions, Travel and Emergency Assistance and Citi’s Price Rewind service. (Full Disclosure: Citibank, as well as MasterCard and Capital One, advertise on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
Before signing up for any credit card, it is a good idea to look at the terms and conditions so you understand what you’re agreeing to. Once you find the right card for you, it’s a good idea to track your credit score so you don’t harm the work you’ve done over the years. You can view two of your credit scores every 14 days, for free, on Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Barclaycard Arrival Plus, Capital One Venture Rewards and Citi Simplicity cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment.
Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.