[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]
As a teacher, you often go the extra mile to make your classes effective. You might stay up late grading papers, spend extra time with a struggling student, and even buy supplies and materials out of pocket for your classrooms.
If you’re spending your own dough to stock your classroom, the right credit card can help you earn cash back on supplies throughout the year—or save up for an exciting summer break.
Here are our top four credit cards picks for teachers.
1. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Rewards: 5% back on Amazon.com purchases with a Prime membership (3% without Prime); 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1% back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: $50 Amazon.com gift card upon approval.
Annual Fee: $0
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 15.24% to 23.24% APR on purchases and balance transfers.
Why We Picked It: Amazon.com purchases earn a fantastic cash back rate.
For Educators: If you frequently find yourself ordering books and classroom supplies from Amazon, you can use this card to earn 5% back on all orders (with a Prime membership). You can redeem your rewards for future Amazon.com purchases, cash back, gift cards, and travel.
Drawbacks: You’ll need an Amazon Prime membership, which costs $99 a year, to get the best value.
Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter for bonus categories and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year.
Annual Fee: $0
APR: 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, then 13.74% - 24.74% Variable on purchases & balance transfersAPR.
Why We Picked It: The upcoming bonus category can help you stockpile books and school supplies.
For Educators: This card earns 5% cash back on bonus spending categories that rotate every quarter. From October through December 2017, the bonus category includes Amazon.com and Target purchases. During that time, you can stock up on supplies from these retailers and put a lot of cash back in your pocket.
Drawbacks: Not all bonus categories will help you get cash back on school supplies.
Rewards: 4% cash back on up to $7,000 in eligible gas purchases per year; 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases; 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases; and 1% cash back on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $0 (a paid Costco membership is required)
APR: 16.99%* (Variable)
Why We Picked It: Costco is a one-stop shop for bulk classroom supplies.
For Educators: You’ll earn 2% cash back on Costco and Costco.com purchases, which helps when you’re buying school supplies in bulk. Plus, eligible gas, dining, and travel purchases earn special cash back rates.
Drawbacks: You’ll need a Costco membership, which costs $60–$120 a year, to access this card.
Rewards: Two points per dollar spent on travel and dining and one point per dollar spent on other purchases.
Sign-Up Bonus: 50,000 bonus points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months, and 5,000 bonus points after your first purchase and the addition of an authorized user within the first three months.
Annual Fee: $0 the first year, then $95.
APR: 17.74% - 24.74% Variable.
Why We Picked It: This card helps you save for an epic summer trip.
For Educators: If you spend all year dreaming about summer break, this card can help you fund your vacation. All purchases, including classroom supplies, earn points that can be redeemed for travel, including airfare, hotels, cruises, and more. Points redeemed for travel are worth 25% more than points redeemed for cash, plus there are no foreign transaction fees.
Drawbacks: There’s a $95 annual fee starting in the second year.
Choosing a Card for the Teacher Lifestyle
Teaching is a tough job, but your credit card can help make it just a little easier if you choose the right one. If you want to save on classroom supplies, you should look for a card that earns good cash back rates at your merchants of choice. If your focus is a well-earned summer vacation, you may want a card with travel rewards.
You should evaluate the fees and APR associated with any card you’re considering. These costs can offset the value of your rewards, so pick a card that doesn’t overcharge you if you spend your own money on classroom supplies.
What Credit Is Required for a Teacher Credit Card?
Credit cards with rewards often require good to excellent credit. You should check your credit before you apply, and submit an application only if you have a good shot at approval. You can check your credit report for free at Credit.com.
At publishing time, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi, Chase Sapphire Preferred, and Discover it Cash Back cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).
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