3 Best Credit Cards For Back-to-School Shopping

The U.S. Census Bureau reported that American shoppers spent over $7 billion at family clothing stores getting ready for the 2010 back-to-school season, and spent more than $2 billion at bookstores for back-to-school 2010.

American Express estimates that a typical family of four spends about $800 getting kids ready for school.

It’s not always easy coming up with the cash necessary to pay for all the supplies and clothing needed for a new school year, so a lot of that spending goes on credit cards. If you’re in that situation, the right credit card can help you get the most for your back-to-school dollar with cash rebates & bonuses, 0% introductory APRs, and special discounts.

Here are two good choices for your back-to-school spending:

1. Chase Freedom Visa – $200 Bonus Cash Back

Relative to other cash back credit cards, it’s hard to top this card. You get rebates of up to 5% on rotating categories of spending and 1% cash back on everything regardless. Right now they’re offering a $200 sign-up bonus as well. If you shop at Chase selected merchants online, you can earn 10% cash back.

If you have good enough credit, you’ll get an APR as low as 11.99%. There is no annual fee, and no earning caps, and cash rebates don’t expire.

2. Target REDcard

Target shoppers love the Target REDcard because you automatically save 5% on purchases both in-store and online. Target also has a donation program for schools. You can choose your kids’ school or any other eligible K-12 school and 1% of your REDcard purchases at Target and on Target.com will be donated to that school.

Since this is a store credit card, it’s only good at Target, and the interest rate is steep at 22.9%, but if you are able to pay off your balance each month and you love to shop at Target, it’s a great way to get discounts at your favorite store.

If you never carry a balance on your credit cards, then you should look for the card that gives you the most generous bonuses on the type of shopping you do. If you do carry a balance, look for the lowest interest rate, or a card with a low introductory rate that will allow you to pay off your balance at a low rate before the introductory period is up.