Edited by: Juan Ruiz
& Kellie Jez
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Teaching is one of the noblest professions, as teachers are entrusted with educating the next generation. And while teachers are often underpaid, they are also expected to foot the bill for common school supplies like pencils, markers, and notebooks. Over time, these expenses add up.
So how can teachers deflect as much of the bill as possible? By using the right credit cards, of course.
Let’s get right into it!
If you’re a teacher, chances are you aren’t getting reimbursed for the supplies you have to buy for your classroom.
But what you can do is consider your shopping habits and use your credit card portfolio to get the most rewards back from your spending as possible.
The most significant expenses teachers have are usually from office supply stores, so finding a card that has office supply stores as a bonus category will be instrumental to your rewards optimization.
Beyond that, the next best thing to do is get the best credit cards for general, non-bonused spending.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Teachers|
|Citi Double Cash® Card
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
|Chase Freedom Flex℠
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
Our best credit card for teachers is the Double Cash card. A flat-rate cash-back card, you’ll earn the same rate wherever you shop for school supplies. This tremendous credit card is surprisingly rewarding when used properly.
What we mean by that is if you use the Double Cash card to earn flat cash-back, you’ll be missing out on the most value. Let us explain.
Normally, your Double Cash card earns 2% cash back — 1% when you purchase and 1% when you pay off your bill — with no caps. However, this cash-back is earned in the form of Citi ThankYou Points. That means you can effectively earn 2x transferable points on all purchases with absolutely no caps!
You’ll get an introductory flexible pay date, fraud protection, zero liability for unauthorized purchases, a late fee pass, and Citi Private Pass event ticket access.
We consider Citi ThankYou Rewards Points to be among the most valuable available. Offering the ability to transfer points to airline miles, this flexible rewards program is one that we frequently recommend and watch.
You can redeem your points for a cash-back statement credit, direct deposit, check, gift cards, charity, and travel booked through the ThankYou Rewards travel portal. While the Double Cash card can access limited transfer partners on its own, interestingly, if you have a ThankYou Rewards credit card, such as the Citi Premier® Card or Citi Prestige® Card (no longer open to new applicants), you can access all of Citi’s transfer partners.
We value each ThankYou Point at around 1.6 cents, and you can achieve the best value by redeeming them via transfer partners. In some cases, if you book flights like ANA business class or Lufthansa first class, you can achieve excellent value.
Hot Tip: Take advantage of cash-back rebate sites like Rakuten to earn even more on your online purchases!
This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.
When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.
The Freedom Unlimited card offers hefty cash-back rewards with an easy path to transferable rewards.
To start off this card earns up to 5% cash-back:
The most useful aspect of this card, at least for teachers, is the 1.5% cash-back, though drugstores may sell gift cards to office supply stores.
When you pair the Freedom Unlimited card with an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can convert your 1.5% cash-back to 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points, worth a 3% return on spend!
This card also comes with a 0% introductory APR perk as detailed in the table above, purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, secondary auto rental collision damage insurance, fraud protection, and other benefits.
With the Freedom Unlimited card alone, your rewards are worth a flat 1 cent per point, redeemable as a statement credit, for travel, at Amazon via Shop with Points, and more.
But if you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, your cash-back can easily be converted to Ultimate Rewards points, doubling your return on spend.
The card offers unlimited miles at 1.25x per $1 and no annual fee. When you consider the flexible rewards, frequent travelers come out on top.
Interested in a travel rewards credit card without one of those pesky annual fees? Then say hello to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, the no-annual-fee version of the more popular Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
In addition to no annual fee, the Capital One VentureOne card offers no foreign transaction fees.
But is this card worth its salt, or is it merely a shell of the more popular Capital One Venture card?
The Capital One VentureOne card is a simple credit card that boasts transferable rewards as its bread-and-butter selling point.
This card comes with the ability to earn 1.25x Capital One miles on all purchases with no caps. And thankfully most of Capital One’s transfer partnerships are 1:1 now.
This product comes with car rental insurance, lost luggage coverage, travel accident insurance, roadside dispatch, and no foreign transaction fees (rates & fees).
There’s also purchase security, zero fraud liability, and extended warranty coverage.
The Capital One VentureOne card earns Capital One Miles, which is one of the major flexible rewards currencies.
We value Capital One miles at around 1.8 cents each, but it’s easy to get better value through transfer partners, especially when booking premium cabin airfare.
It’s also possible to get lower value when redeeming for statement credits, travel booked via Capital One Travel, gift cards, experiences, and more.
The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.
The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.
The next personal card we will talk about is the Freedom Flex card. To start off, there’s a 0% introductory APR, as well as a welcome bonus.
It’s one of the most powerful cash-back credit cards out there, and it has no annual fee! It boasts:
This special credit card is known for its rotating bonus categories, which have included useful categories for teachers like Amazon.com, Costco, grocery stores, and Walmart. An easy way to max out up to 5% cash-back is to purchase office supply store gift cards at a bonus category retailer or drugstore.
Also, the Freedom Flex card has some decent travel insurance, cell phone protection, purchase protection, extended warranty, and no additional annual fees for authorized users.
This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?
This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.
The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is a great option for teachers because it earns 3% cash-back at U.S. online retailers (up to $6,000 in purchases each year). This category is broad and can include numerous stores that sell items a teacher might need (think stores like Target.com, Staples.com, or Walmart.com).
In addition, this card also earns:
The Blue Cash Everyday card is living up to its name by offering statement credits for everyday household purchases:
Hot Tip: While we’ve recommended personal cards that offer great cash-back or points on everyday purchases, regardless of the retailer, several store-specific cards offer options with up to 5% cash-back. If you frequently shop at Target, you could consider the Target RedCard™ with its 5% discount on most Target purchases. Frequent shoppers at Walmart could consider the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® for 5% cash-back at Walmart.com and in the Walmart app. Amazon also offers 5% cash-back on Amazon purchases with its Prime Visa Card.
If you’re a teacher and can qualify for a small business credit card, you’ll open up a whole new world of possibilities.
Let’s take a look at our best business credit cards for teachers.
|Card||Welcome Bonus and Annual Fee||Benefits for Teachers|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
|Capital One Spark Miles for Business
|Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card
This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a lot going for it that makes it a compelling choice for small business owners. The card features a very lucrative 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.
When you factor in that the card has no annual fee, and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter, you could be adding big value back into your business for no cost out of pocket.
The Ink Business Cash card is our favorite business credit card for teachers, thanks to excellent ongoing bonus categories.
First of all, this card’s rewards can be converted entirely to Ultimate Rewards points if you have an Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred card. The ratio is 1% to 1x points.
Also, the credit card boasts a generous 0% introductory APR benefit as detailed in the table above.
Then, maximize your rewards by earning as follows:
So if you frequently make office supply runs as a teacher, then you can potentially earn 5% cash-back, which is convertible to 5x Ultimate Rewards points and worth a 10% return on spending!
Also, enjoy primary rental car insurance when renting on business, roadside dispatch, purchase protection, extended warranty protection, and employee cards at no additional cost.
Earn Membership Rewards for your business spending the easy way: get 2x points for the first $50,000 in purchases per year.
As a business owner, getting a credit card that maximizes each dollar you spend does not have to be complicated or expensive. Especially when you opt for The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express.
With the Amex Blue Business Plus card, you’ll earn 2x Membership Rewards points on everyday business purchases throughout the year (up to $50,000; 1x thereafter) and receive purchase protections and no-additional-charge employee cards all for no annual fee (see rates and fees).
The simple and straightforward earning structure makes it a great fit for those looking to earn flexible rewards, without having to fixate on which purchases earn the most points.
Let’s take look at all that the Amex Blue Business Plus card has to offer.
Our favorite Amex business card for teachers is the Amex Blue Business Plus card which earns 2x Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar spent on everyday business purchases with no bonus categories, up to $50,000 per calendar year.
The Amex Blue Business Plus card welcome bonus also includes a 0% introductory APR benefit (as detailed in the table above), as well as employee cards at no additional cost (see rates & fees), extended warranty, purchase protection, and access to Amex Offers.
Lastly, this is one of the only no-annual-fee cards that offers direct access to a transferable rewards program without needing a different credit card.
The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.
As a business owner, you likely keep pretty busy and probably prefer a credit card that just keeps things simple.
If so, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might be just the card for you. From zero annual fee to a flat cash-back rate, the card is a no-frills option that you don’t have to think twice about.
Don’t forget too, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
The Ink Business Unlimited card allows you to earn elevated rewards without bonus categories.
You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash-back on all your purchases with no caps or bonus categories needed.
Also, there’s a 0% introductory APR benefit, as detailed in the table above, to help you deflect interest fees on any carried balances for a while.
After that, enjoy purchase protection, extended warranty, primary car rental insurance when renting on business, employee cards at no additional cost, and more.
Your 1.5% cash-back can be transformed into 1.5x Ultimate Rewards points with a premium Ultimate Rewards-earning credit card, such as the Ink Business Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Preferred card.
The Capital One Spark Miles card is a low-annual-fee business card that earns 2x transferable miles on every $1 you spend. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
The Capital One Spark Miles for Business is a great option for business owners looking for an uncomplicated rewards card that earns double miles on every purchase they make and offers access to transfer partners, all for a low annual fee.
It offers unlimited 2x Capital One miles on all purchases, and more.
Uniquely, you’ll get 5x miles on hotel and rental car bookings made via Capital One Travel, too.
You’ll get a Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit of up to $100, roadside assistance, zero liability fraud protection, extended warranty, purchase protection, employee cards at no additional cost, and no foreign transaction fees.
The Ink Business Preferred card is hard to beat, with a huge welcome bonus offer and 3x points per $1 on the first $150,000 in so many business categories.
The Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card is a powerhouse for earning lots of points from your business purchases, especially for business owners that spend regularly on ads.
Plus the card offers flexible redemption options, including access to Chase airline and hotel transfer partners where you can achieve outsized value.
Business owners will also love the protections the card provides like excellent cell phone insurance, rental car insurance, purchase protection, and more.
The Ink Business Preferred card is one of our favorite business credit cards. Known as the king of business credit cards, this card earns according to this structure:
You’ll enjoy the ability to redeem Ultimate Rewards points for 1.25 cents per point (25% more value) on travel booked through the Chase travel portal, as well as cell phone protection insurance, fantastic travel insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, no foreign transaction fees, and employee cards for no annual fee.
Teachers’ best personal credit cards will generally be limited to cards that offer the best rewards on everyday purchases.
However, if you can apply for a business credit card, holding the Ink Business Cash card is your absolute best bet, thanks to the potential to earn 5x Ultimate Rewards points on office supply stores.
The information regarding the Target RedCard™ and Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information for the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected independently by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.
The best personal credit cards for teachers are the Double Cash card, Freedom Unlimited card, Capital One VentureOne card (rates & fees), Freedom Flex card, and Amex Blue Cash Everyday card.
These cards offer the best non-bonused spending rewards with no annual fee.
There are plenty of credit cards offered by credit unions and other institutions. However, the best credit cards for teachers are those that offer the same rewards and are generally industry-agnostic.
The best business credit cards for teachers are the Ink Business Cash card, Amex Blue Business Plus card, Ink Business Unlimited card, Capital One Spark Miles card, and Ink Business Preferred card.
Teachers who offer tutoring services, private lessons, coaching, or online lessons, for example, could possibly qualify for a small business credit card.
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