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Comparing Credit Cards: A Guide for Singles

The single life is a double-edged sword.

You enjoy the freedom of taking on the world solo, but you also don't have the security and support of a partner when the going gets tough.

An emergency like a car accident is terrible any way you look at it.

But if you're single with no immediate companion to help pick up the slack, the burden falls on your shoulders alone.

Unexpected emergencies can quickly snowball out of control.

On the other hand, single-hood can be the best years of your life — whether you're young or old.

Drinking and eating out, traveling, and shopping whenever you want.

These are the years to live it up.

Either way, that's why among other things, having the right credit card in your wallet that fits your specific needs as a single is crucial.

But simply choosing the cheapest card or the one with the shiniest rewards isn't a great strategy.

Like Cinderella's shoe, there's a card out there that fits your needs — it's just a matter of finding it.

If you choose poorly, you may end up losing out on important rewards or worse, affecting your credit.

But if you choose correctly, you'll set yourself up for free travel, cash back, improved credit scores, and more.

With this guide to compare credit cards for singles, we've analyzed the top cards that fit single person's needs — whether you're a single parent, traveling bachelor, or independent settling down.

Comparison Guide for Singles

  1. Single parent or roaming bachelor, the right card can give you security
  2. 4 things for singles to know before applying for a credit card
  3. Why the perfect credit card can pay off so well for a single person
  4. 4 things to keep in mind when comparing credit cards
  5. The Citi Simplicity is ideal for the independent and responsible person who lives alone
  6. The Discover it secured card is a credit builder for those with little or bad credit history
  7. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card will help single parents manage work and the kids by keeping food on the table and gas in the car
  8. The US Bank Cash+ card is great for the active out-on-the-town bachelor
  9. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is for the loyal traveler

1. Single parent or roaming bachelor, the right card can bring you security

The single life has many varieties— the hectic single parent, the just-out-of-college millennial, the independent entrepreneur, the roaming bachelor.

Each has different financial needs and wants, which the right credit card can satisfy.

American SinglesFigure out which type of single person you are

The first step to finding the perfect card is determining what sort of lifestyle you live. Are you...

The bachelor or bachelorette out-on-the-town

You might want a card that rewards life on the town. Being single can mean more time doing what you love.

Perhaps you find yourself 'churning,' as Robert Harrow describes on Forbes, always on the hunt for the better rewards card to suit your on-the-go life.

Having a card that rewards you for living life the way you want to can help you keep some extra change in your pocket and perhaps even pay for your next vacation.

And while it depends on how much money you spend on the card and how well you take advantage of the rewards categories, the right rewards credit card can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

In fact, according to Jessica Dickler writing for CNBC's personal finance vertical, "the best rewards card can yield over $1,000 more than the worst rewards card over the first two years."

The single parent juggling work and kids

Everyone knows raising a child — children even — is hard with two parents. Going at it solo is another level of difficulty. Childrearing is not only expensive but time-intensive as well — from lunch making to ballet practice.

In fact, the median income of a single mother in the US is less than half that of a two-parent families. Juggling work and family can get expensive quick, and just keeping everyone off your back can make it hard to take a breath to assess your situation.

Buying groceries and putting gas in the car weekly is hard to manage on one income alone, but with education costs rising as well, you ought to have a credit card that can help out when and where you need it to.

Some cards offer cash back on purchases at the pump and supermarket; if your card is giving you 5% cash-back on groceries and you're spending $200 on food a week, you're saving $10 dollars each week, or $520 a year.

That's almost 2.5 weeks of groceries for free that you earned just by using the right card.

The unhitched looking to settled down

If you're hoping to settle down into a neighborhood or need a car to get you to your office, a mortgage or car loan might be on the horizon.

But if you're single, you might find the road ahead steep – two incomes are larger than one after all, and lenders know that. Picking the right credit card now will likely be crucial to landing a low and healthy loan with rates and fees you can afford.

If you're taking home $5,000 a month, and the total mortgage is $400,000, lenders are going to be worried you might start missing payments. That doesn't mean you shouldn't go for it.

But it does mean your credit score is more important than ever. With good credit, lenders will feel more at ease giving you the money you need to start living the way you want to – they've seen your history, they know you're good for it.

In fact, according to a Fox Business analysis of recent mortgage rates, someone with poor credit (620 - 639) may be able to get a 30-year fixed rate loan at 5.481% APR, while someone with excellent credit (740 and above) could be quoted a rate as low as 4.025%.

(Mortgage rates change often and differ by location, so make sure you get a personalized quote if you're shopping for a loan.)

The differences between those rates may seem small, but the money saved adds up.

That means that on $200,000 mortgage loan, a high credit score will save you over $100 a month, and tens of thousands of dollars over the lifetime of the loan!

The emergency-conscious single

When you're single and things fall apart, you're the only one left to pick up the pieces no matter how you live your life.

How Americans Would Pay For Emergency

For the accident-prone or extra-cautious independent, a card with better late fee forgiveness can be a blessing when life has you behind payments.

Asking for late fee forgiveness is not always a sure deal, as Matt Schulz writes for usnews.com, but finding a card that skirts the late fee altogether (or at least the first few) will work as a surefire safety pillow when you make a mistake.

4 Things To Know

So you're single and ready to dive into the rewarding but complex world of credit cards.

Here are a few things you ought to know ahead of time to make sure you end up with the perfect card for your unique situation.

There is no such thing as a credit card specifically for singles. Creditors can't discriminate against you based on whether or not you're married, according to the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC's) Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA).

There aren't cards made specifically for bachelors and single parents, the same way there aren't cards made specifically for married couples. That doesn't mean the rewards or perks won't fit your specific needs though.

As a single, you're probably hunting for benefits the married couple down the block isn't – which is where this list comes in.

Find the card that matches your income

Cards can't discriminate against you because you're single, but if you're only relying on your own paycheck, you should choose a card that matches it.

Credit card companies are looking to put you in a situation where you can pay off your balance, as Christopher Murray points out over at Moneyunder30.

After all, they're taking a risk in extending you a credit line so they don't want to tempt you to spend over your means.

For example, if you and your spouse have a combined income of $100,000 a year, a minimum credit line of $10,000 would make sense.

While you alone are dependent on an income of $30,000 a year, a $1,000 line of credit might be more appropriate.

Figuring out how large a credit limit you need really comes down to calculating your credit utilization ratio — basically, your balance divided by your credit limit — because it influences 30% of your credit score.

The rule of thumb is you never want to use more than 30% of your credit line; so if you have a $1,000 credit limit, you shouldn't have a balance of over $300 on your card.

At the end of the day, the card you get goes with the life you lead.

That's not a bad thing.

Cards with lower lines of credit can often be used to help keep your shopping itch in check or rebuild your credit.

There are cards for bad credit. Single parenting can sometimes be accompanied with poor credit, as Kevin Haney makes note at Savvy on Credit.

This can lead to all sorts of complications in life if you don't jump on the problem.

Luckily, there are companies that want to see that your score improves. After all, what kind of credit company doesn't want people to use its services?

Secured cards, which require an upfront deposit and usually have lower lines of credit to ensure you pay your monthly bill, can help you rebuild your credit history and show future creditors you're responsible when it comes to making payments on time.

Secured Cards

For the fresh college grad, the millennial bachelor, and those who don't have a credit score, a secured credit card might be the way to go.

Secured cards require a security deposit and then typically offer a line of credit equal to that initial deposit.

Over time, as you improve or develop a history of good credit, your limit (and deposit) may increase – essentially a foolproof crash course in building a good credit score.

So, if a secured card offers a line of credit of up to $200, you'll likely need to make a deposit of $200 when you apply.

For the credit issuer, that deposit is insurance they can use in case you run into trouble paying off your balance.

In other words, the security deposit acts as a safety net, helping you build good credit even when you're in a bind, as The College Investor's Robert Farrington advises those new to credit.

And that good credit is what will help you get the loan or killer rewards card you're looking for later on, even when you're depending on a single income.

Why the perfect credit card can pay off so well for a single person

If all credit cards were the same, you wouldn't need a guide to help you choose one.

Instead, rewards programs can be what separate your wallet's average piece of plastic from its life-saver.

It's important to keep all the ways you can benefit from rewards in mind when choosing what card you'll apply for.

Let your card help out with the necessities

Everyone has to eat, and if you're a parent, groceries can get expensive.

There are lots of ways to save money buying groceries according to Marcela De Vivo, writing for The Successful Single Mom.

But it doesn't hurt to have a card that carries some of the burden as well.

Even on the low end, a one-person household ought to spend roughly $200 on groceries a month, according to Shannon Clark of Affording Motherhood.

And that number nearly doubles with the addition of another person.

Average Weekly Cost of Food for Children

If that additional mouth is a dependent and not a companion earning income, those added expenses are coming from your paycheck.

But luckily, some cards offer programs that give cash back on purchases at the grocery and pump, which can ease the burden.

So, if you have a card that's giving you 3% cash-back on gas and pay $3.00 per gallon to take the kids to football practice, you're saving 9 cents a gallon.

That might not seem like a ton off the bat, but if it costs you $50 dollars to fill a tank, you've just saved $4.50.

If you're a single parent constantly between school, baseball practice, and work, and hitting empty once a week, that could be $18 of savings per month — or $216 in the year.

And all because you picked the right piece of plastic.

Get rewards for going out

If you're young, single, and out on the town, why not have a card that rewards you for doing just that?

Whether you're spending your free time at the bar, going out to a show with friends, or pursuing your hobbies, credit cards can offer rewards that treat you while you treat yourself.

For example, if a card offers even 2% cash back on purchases at bars and restaurants, that can be a quarter dollar for a $12 meal.

Not much, but again, it depends on how you think of it. For us, that's great tip change in your pocket for drinks later.

The same goes for hobbies. If you spend your free time buried in a book, why not have a card that pays you for doing what you love?

Some cards can offer up to 5% back just for shopping at your local bookstore (more below).

That's $1.25 back in your wallet for buying your next $25 hardcover.

Don't travel alone, even when you're traveling alone

You're single, you're free, and that could lead to a lot of traveling if that's your thing.

But traveling solo can drain your wallet quicker than jet fuel, as explained at SmarterTravel by Ed Hewitt.

So why not use a card that keeps you flying?

Some cards give miles or points based on money spent and that math can work in your favor.

If your card offers 60,000 bonus points for $2,000 spent within 3 months, and a point has a value of 1-2 cents, that can add up to over $1,200 in savings when you purchase a plane ticket – more than half of what you spent on the card!

Building Credit

Having good or bad credit can have a big impact on your life, affecting your ability to take out loans or make large purchases like a house or car.

When you're single, you build your credit alone – and while that means no one is holding you back, it also means no one is helping you along.

When it comes to credit cards, a poor FICO score will ultimately mean you qualify for a less-than-stellar card.

Practically, that means higher fees and interest rates, which if you're not careful, can add up to hundreds of dollars over the lifetime of the card.

On the other hand, a healthy credit score can score you a card loaded with perks, low fees, and minimal rates.

Four things to keep in mind when comparing cards

Not everyone is the same, and with different lifestyles come different needs.

Similarly, not every card is created equal — some have lower APRs and higher fees, some are easier to apply for and manage than others, and some have better rewards.

These are all factors you should consider when choosing a new card.

The card's APR should reflect your lifestyle

APR (Annual Percentage Rate) is the set interest rate you'll pay on your credit card balance.

The higher the APR the higher the interest, so the higher your balance the more you'll owe in interest at the end of each billing cycle.

Of course, if you're paying your bills off in full every month–which everyone should!!!–a high APR is nothing to worry about.

That said if you're less confident about your ability to keep up on payments, or making a huge purchase that would land you into a lengthy payment plan, keep the card's APR in mind.

On the other hand, cards that carry rewards like cash-back or miles tend to have higher APRs.

If you're able to keep up with payments and not too worried about an APR, focusing on rewards incentives can make your card a very useful tool.

Don't pay fees if you don't have to

The ideal card helps you save money.

If you're paying fees before or on top of paying interest, the credit card can quickly become more of a financial burden than boost.

While annual fees are common in credit cards, not every card has them. In fact, many might come with introductory offers that offer no annual fee for the first year.

Other common fees to look out for include late fees, balance transfer fees, foreign transaction fees, and cash advance fees.

If your hands are full with children and bills, your card should be simple

Not every creditor is easy to work with, even after you're all signed up.

Marital Status by Age

A credit card is as much about convenience as it is about security.

If it's hard to sign up for or hard to monitor, it defeats the purpose. Be wary of cards that have you feeling exhausted shortly after you start applying.

This is less an issue now with the help of the internet, but even still, user-friendly is a hard-earned title that doesn't apply to every service you'll meet.

Some cards simply have easier to navigate websites and more accessible resources than others.

Some will also make sure to notify you early when you have payments due, while others might not be so transparent.

And now in the age of the smartphone, it can be an extra blessing to use a card that comes with its own app for payment and tracking.

Pre-qualification is probably the most underrated perk out there

Any card you decide on will have an approval process.

There are different kinds of approval processes and some are better than others.

Pre-qualification, if available, is a no-harm way to see where you stand in the eyes of credit card issuers.

The process is a lot like how it sounds — when you go to apply for a card, the creditor will perform a 'soft pull' rather than a' hard pull'.

A hard pull or hard inquiry is when a credit company contacts any of the three major credit bureaus and requests your credit report.

A hard pull will ding your credit score, especially if you do it more than once over a short span of time.

The opposite then would be a soft pull — also known as pre-qualification — in which the inquiry doesn't affect your credit score at all.

Most credit companies websites will have a page you can go to and see whether or not you are pre-qualified.

The single parent needs a different card than the single millennial

Responsible people can have fun, and the adventurous types can stay secure, but some cards ultimately lean more to one type of lifestyle or the other.

A secured card with a low limit is a great way to prepare to get a house, but if you aren't as rooted in one location, something that helps with airfare is going to take you farther – literally.

You should keep in mind what it is you want out of your credit card when you go to pick your plastic.

Best Cards

Citi Simplicity is great for anyone living alone and responsible

When you're single, life can knock you down hard and there might not be anyone to come and pick you up afterward.

That's why a card with no late fees and no annual fees can be flexible enough to let you catch your breath, but sturdy enough to depend on when you're in a pinch.

Notable fine print

Annual fee. $0

APR. 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 21 months; then 14.99-21.99%

Perks

  • No late fees or annual fees
  • 0% APR on purchases and transfer for the first 21 months
  • Low transfer fee of $5 or 3% of amount transferred, whichever amount is larger

Pitfalls

  • Average to high APR depending on credit score; 14.99-21.99%
  • No rewards
  • Multiple online reviews (see below) suggest the credit limit tends to be lower ($1,000-3,000)

What experts say

5 years ago Beverly Herzog felt that despite the possibility of forgetting to pay your monthly balance due to lack of fees, Citi Simplicity offered a "great intro rate for purchases."

Starting with a 0% APR can help some people strategically plan their finances for the year. Since then, the introduction period had been lengthened by 3 months!

What consumers say

Some consumers aren't happy with the card's credit limit.

Steve at Consumer Affairs complains that he received an email from Citi stating "your credit limit on your Citi Simplicity account has been lowered."

Steve isn't alone in this complaint, and many other customers are wary of Citi's service as well.

How it stacks up to the Discover it Secured Card

While it's pretty straightforward, with no late fees, no annual fee, and a lengthy 0% APR intro period, these can be deceiving for those new to the world of credit cards.

In a sense it's almost like Discover it's older brother — both offer a safety net but in very different ways.

For Citi Simplicity, the card's security comes from the fact that if you miss a payment, you aren't hit with a fee.

With Discover it, the security comes from the fact that your security deposit kicks in when you can't.

Lower APR, Higher Limit

Even though Citi Simplicity will probably offer you a lower limit than some of the other cards on this list, it will likely be a few hundred more than what you'll get with the Discover it card.

That's what makes the Citi Simplicity great for day-to-day expenses and the Discover it great for building up credit.

With a lower APR and no late fee, even though it's not advisable, if you should miss a payment there is some forgiveness.

For the unmarried and responsible

The lack of fees and nice intro period could actually work against those struggling to build good credit, which might not be an issue since it is more difficult to apply to.

Why Aren't You Married

The card's lack of fees might also make a less cautious user forget that late payments still affect your FICO score, and once that APR is in effect, the interest will build fast.

But in responsible hands, the lack of a late fee could offer a nice safety net when an emergency strikes.

This can help give you something to lean for a moment while you get things back together.

The Question Everyone is Asking

Issues with credit line limits seem to be a popular issue with this card.

gpc0321 on Reddit wanted to make this card his main go-to for day-to-day purchases, which in a month probably won't exceed his limit ($2,900), but with possible big purchases in the future, could make the card a harder sell.

How To Apply

Head over to Citi's website and sign up!

Discover it Secured Card is a Credit Builder

While marital status can't legally affect your credit score, having only one source of income can.

This can make building and maintaining good credit a bit of a battle, but with the Discover it Secured Card, that battle just got easier!

Notable fine print

Annual fee. $0

APR. 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and transfers, then 23.99% (V)

Perks

  • 0% APR on purchases and transfer for the first 14 months
  • 2% cash-back bonus for first $1,000 in purchases on gas and at restaurants per calendar quarter; 1% cash back on everything else
  • View your FICO credit score for free
  • Freeze/unfreeze your account in seconds through the app and website

Pitfalls

  • High APR of 23.99%
  • Wide credit limit range, from $200-$2,500

What experts say

Alexandria White at Magnify Money agrees that this is "an excellent secured card that lets you build credit while also earning cash back."

Most people seem to say the same.

What consumers say

Over at beverlyharzog.com, Jeff has found the Discover it Secured Card has already helped him race along his path to good credit, saying that "after only one payment made on time it has risen to 591."

How it stacks up to US Bank Cash+

Depending on your credit score you may be paying a similar APR between the Discover it and US Bank Cash+, but you're much less likely to see that APR come into effect with the Discover it Secured Card.

It lives up to its name with the security it promises.

And that's the main difference between these two cards – one is secured, the other unsecured.

Feel more secure with fewer rewards. The clear disadvantage the Discover it Secure Card has to most of the cards on this list, especially US Bank Cash+, is the lack of rewards.

The card wasn't designed for the millennial churner who just moved to the big city.

Rather, it was made for the responsible grad looking to afford a home on good credit one day.

2% cash-back in preselected categories can't hold a candle to 5% in up to two categories of your choosing and 2% in one additional category.

But bigger rewards come with bigger risks.

With the security deposit backing up your cash limit, you have nothing to worry about.

In fact, despite the fact that it has an APR similar to most rewards cards, this may be the most risk-free card you can put in your wallet.

Build good credit safely. Being single isn't easy and having bad credit doesn't help.

There are lots of ways to clear up bad credit and this card is one of them.

Singe-Person Households

With no annual fees, it allows you to focus on improving that score.

With the ability to freely view your FICO credit score, freeze and unfreeze your card, and rely on a security deposit to pay your monthly bill if need be, this card will help you do just that.

The Question Everyone Is Asking

Since this is a secured card, eventually once you savvy up to the credit game, you might want to reap more rewards and graduate to an unsecured card.

How to Apply

Make sure to have banking routing number, account number, and Social Security number ready and head over to the Discover website to learn more and apply.

For the single parent, the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card will help keep food on the table

What if you could get money back by buying the things you need to keep your family going: food and gas?

What if you could get as much as 6% back when you're at the supermarket?

The Blue Cash Preferred by AMEX is for the single parent who's looking to keep the kids fed and get them where they need to go, with a little bonus thrown in.

Notable fine print

Annual fee. $95

APR. 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and transfers, then 13.99-24.99%

Perks

  • Cash-back – 6% at supermarkets up to $6,000, 3% at gas stations unlimited, 1% anywhere else
  • $250 signup bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balances for the first 12 months

Pitfalls

  • $95 annual fee
  • Average-high APR depending on your credit score; 13.99-24.99%
  • Not every merchant excepts Amex

What Experts Say

David R. of CreditDonkey thinks the card can offer some users great savings on things they'd be buying even without the card.

He mentioned that "families who spend a lot on purchases at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations should consider the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card."

What consumers say

On wallethub.com the majority of users have given the card a rating of a full 5 stars, with one user trishk seeing almost instant cashback rewards for her daily shopping.

She said: "I love this card. I just got my first statement and I was surprised to see I already got almost 30 dollars back in cash rewards mostly from the 6 percent back on grocery store purchases."

How it stacks up to US Bank Cash+

Even though US Bank Cash+ and American Express Blue Cash Preferred are both rewards cards, each plays the rewards game differently.

Ultimately it comes down to categories and percentages, with American Express Blue Cash focusing more on necessities.

It's not all about fun and games

Whereas US Bank Cash+ offers 5% in two different categories of your choosing and 2% in one other, American Express Blue Preferred offers 6% back on groceries and 3% on gas.

To be specific about categories, US Bank Cash+ offers 2% in either groceries or gas, not both.

If you're focusing on keeping food on the table and getting kids to and from school, American Express Blue Preferred is going to get you further.

Also, even though you have to spend twice as much to get it, the $250 sign-up bonus with AMEX beats out US Bank Cash+'s $100 bonus for spending a grand that you probably would be spending in a 3 month period without the card!

The only downside to this is the $95 annual fee, which the US Bank Cash+ skirts altogether.

Depending on what you put your money to monthly, you still might be saving more with American Express, but it really depends person-to-person.

It's also worth mentioning that there's less legwork in collecting your rewards with this card, unlike US Bank Cash+.

If you forget to choose which categories you want cash back in when using US Bank, you will only receive 1% for that month, so you have to put in a little more effort to make sure you get those benefits.

Get paid to pay

You're a parent, you're single, and the only paycheck getting spent in your house is yours.

Even one more mouth to feed can get pricey, and that's where this card can step in.

Average Household Budget in the U.S.

Assuming you spend a reasonable amount on groceries in a year, then it's unlikely you'll break your $6,000 dollar supermarket rewards cap, so you can reap those rewards year-round.

If you buy groceries and have a car, the annual fee for the card may still well be worth it.

As for the high APR, make sure you're up on your payments.

You don't want to trade cash-back rewards now for bad credit down the road.

The Question Everyone is Asking

Given that American Express also offers the American Express Blue Cash Everyday card, which has no yearly fee, one anonymous poster on Quora asks if it's worth it.

The question's important given that the Cash Preferred comes with a $95 annual fee, but sports the benefits to match.

How to Apply

Make your way over to American Express' website and get to clicking.

The US Bank Cash+ card is great for the active bachelor

Let's say you're living in the city alone.

You might be taking the bus or subway instead of riding in a car, and you might be eating out more than in.

If that's the case, the rewards above aren't going to do it for you.

You need something to fit the free and independent lifestyle you lead as a bachelor!

And with 5% and 2% cash-back on 3 categories of your choosing, US Bank Cash+ is the rewards card meant for you.

Notable fine print

Annual fee. $0

APR. 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and transfers; 14.99-23.99% after that

Perks

  • Cash-back – 5% on two categories up to $2000, 2% on one category
  • $0 annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balances for the first 12 months
  • $100 bonus after you spend $500 in the first 90 days having the card

Pitfalls

  • Mid-high APR depending on your credit score; 14.99-23.99%
  • If you forget to select your categories each quarter, all purchases only make 1% cash-back
  • $2000 cap on the %5 categories might be low for some

What Experts Say

Dustin at Running with Miles thinks the card is "underrated," and can be an excellent card to keep in rotation for those looking for cash-back bonuses.

And while the foreign transaction fee is a reason to leave this one at home when you go abroad, this card offers plenty of flexibility and cash-back options for the domestic traveler and homebodies alike.

What Consumers Say

While there are a few complaints about the difficulty of applying for the card, customers that have it seem to be happy with it for the most part.

RonDawg on ficoforums.myfico.com called it "one of the best on the market for cash back," comparing it favorably with the two other cards he uses.

How it stacks up to City Simplicity

With zero rewards, City Simplicity seems to fall short compared to US Bank Cash+.

But with a lower cash limit, no late fees, and a longer 0% APR period, there are advantages and disadvantages to both.

Treat yourself for treating yourself

5% cash-back in two categories, plus 2% in one more is a lot more than no rewards with any purchases, and it's those high numbers and flexibility that makes this card one of the more impressive rewards cards to have.

Weigh the risk and reward carefully

Often times reward cards can look riskier on paper.

If you are confident you can pay your monthly balance on time, then there is little to worry about.

If not, you might want to wait before graduating to this card.

City Simplicity offers something between the Discover it and US Bank Cash+: no fees but high credit line limits.

Depending on your relationship with the bank and your own credit history, US Bank Cash+ will likely offer you a higher limit than what you can expect with City, and more rewards to go with it.

But, while there's no annual fee, late fees are $27 the first time, and $38 after that, compared to $0 with City Simplicity.

And with a 0% APR period shorter by 9 months, there is some risk that the new-to-credit bachelor may not be ready.

Make Your Own Rewards

For a lot of people, being single is about freedom, and your credit card should go along with that thinking.

By allowing you to pick the categories you get cash-back on, this card does just that.

Chose 5% in 2 different categories from either electronics, fast food, movie theaters, cell phones, bookstores, furniture, select clothing, gyms, department stores, ground transport, car rentals, or sporting goods.

Plus get 2% cash-back at gas stations, groceries, and restaurants.

Just make sure when the quarter changes, you re-pick your categories, otherwise you'll miss out on all the benefits this card has to offer!

The Question Everyone is Asking

One Redditor, meatwad819 wonders how hard it is to apply for this card.

Instead of US Bank Cash+, the Redditor ended up with US Bank Cash Visa, which lacks the benefits he was looking for.

So now he's wondering how long he will have to wait before being able to upgrade to Cash+.

How To Apply

Head over to US Bank Cash+'s website and start picking out your categories.

The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card will keep you traveling

Some people aren't meant to stay home, and that's okay because you can take your card with you.

Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card, while a bit pricier than the others on this list, will keep you flying affordably, and that could mean getting away for the week or visiting family.

The number of singles who travel is on the rise – if you're going to be one of them, save some money doing it!

Solo Travel Worldwide 1Solo Travel Worldwide 2

Notable fine print

Annual fee. $99

APR. 16.99-23.99%

Perks

  • Earn 2 points per dollar spent with Southwest and all Rapid Rewards partners, and 1 point spent on other all purchases.
  • Anniversary bonus of 6,000 points yearly
  • Intro bonus of 60,000 points after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months
  • Points don't expire

Pitfalls

  • $99 annual fee
  • Average-high APR; 16.99-23.99%; no intro period
  • Rewards are only with Southwest

What Experts Say

Gabi Logan at rewardexpert.com thinks flying with Southwest is already a great experience, and the Rapid Rewards card "can make the experience even better!"

What Consumers Say

On Trip Advisor's Las Vegas forum, some frequent Southwest flyers were giving the Rapid Rewards card love.

HitchHikker55 thought the card was "not a bad deal for a $75 annual fee" – so long as you keep up with monthly payments (the annual fee was lower at that time).

Echoing that sentiment, txmimi says she loves her card and uses it for everything.

The general consensus seems to be that the rewards are well worth it if you use the card responsibly.

How it stacks up to American Express Blue Preferred

Southwest Rapid Rewards card has the highest APR of any card on this list, but if used responsibly, includes rewards the others don't.

None of the other cards offer rewards for airfare, not even US Bank Cash+ with all of its options, despite flying often being a necessary part of our global lives.

When compared with American Express Blue Preferred, the question is, where do you want your rewards to show up?

And that's important because the rewards remain the main attraction to this card and are well worth it for someone who travels often.

Earn when you travel, or when you stay home

Southwest Rapid Rewards is made for those looking to save money on travel.

Assuming you use both cards to their fullest extent — racking up 60,000 points on a Southwest Rapid Rewards Card Premium, with points valued around 2 cents per point, and getting 6% back on $6,000 worth of groceries — your savings are ultimately greater with Southwest.

You'd be saving a total of $1,2000 with Southwest versus $360 on groceries.

Similarly, the Southwest Rapid Rewards Card's rewards have no cap – so long as you use the card, you get points on certain purchases.

The annual fee is only $4 more, $99 instead of $95, but for someone that travels Southwest often, that might be negligible.

The benefits are very different if you don't find yourself flying often

Or, even if you only fly internationally, this card's incentives are very specific.

But in terms of dollars saved, even if you fly as much as you buy groceries, it makes more dollar sense to use Southwest's Rapid Rewards Card.

That might be something worth considering for the single parent that makes frequent trips out to see relatives and wants to bring the kids along!

The solo adventurer will enjoy this card most

The Rapid Rewards card is designed for those who travel often enough in a year to make the most out of their points.

And for some singles, traveling is life.

Unfortunately, Southwest is limited compared to international airlines like Delta and United when it comes to the locations they fly to — though as a minor concession, they do allow free bags and excellent service domestically.

On top of all of this, the sign-up bonus alone could get you at least one round-trip ticket, maybe two, depending on the flight.

So long as you don't get bogged down by the high APR, and put the points to use, this card can be a boon to the roaming bachelor's life.

The Question Everyone is Asking

tigereye on Southwest Air Community, Southwest's forum for discussion and questions, wonders whether or not the card will count towards him reaching Southwest's A-List status.

For the unseasoned traveling, this is part of Southwest's tiered benefits program, which can offer more points per flight booked and priority boarding.

How to Apply

Southwest's Rapid Rewards card is handled through Chase, so to save you the time navigating, follow the link here and get to applying and flying!

Cheatsheet for finding the best credit card for your single lifestyle

  1. There is no such thing as a credit card specifically for singles.
  2. Find the card that matches your income.
  3. There are cards for bad credit.
  4. Let your card help out with the necessities.
  5. Get rewards for going out.
  6. Don't travel alone, even when you're traveling alone.
  7. Building excellent credit is a secret saver itself.
  8. The card's APR should reflect your lifestyle.
  9. Don't pay fees if you don't have to.
  10. If your hands are full with children and bills, your card should be simple.
  11. Pre-qualification is probably the most underrated perk out there.
  12. The single parent needs a different card than the single millennial.
  13. The Citi Simplicity is ideal for the independent and responsible person who lives alone
  14. The Discover it secured card is a credit builder for those with little or bad credit history
  15. The American Express Blue Cash Preferred card will help single parents manage work and the kids by keeping food on the table and gas in the car
  16. The US Bank Cash+ card is great for the active out-on-the-town bachelor
  17. The Southwest Rapid Rewards Premier card is for the loyal traveler

Single parent, fresh grad, traveling bachelor, the right card save you money

More often than ever it seems there are more credit cards available than the types of people to use them.

Whether you have bad or no credit score, you're looking to make big purchases in the future, you're hoping to make one of your weekend pastimes a bit more affordable, or just put healthy meals on the table, there's probably a card just for you.

Have you had experience with one of these cards in the past?

Maybe you've got a different one in mind that might help out your fellow bachelor or single parent.

Or you saw something we didn't, or have a question about one of the cards we listed. Just let us know in the comments below!


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