The Best Credit Cards for Pet Expenses

Jan 20, 2019

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According to Business Insider, Americans spend upwards of $126.19 per month on pet expenses, which adds up to a hefty $1,514.28 per year. The good news is you can use these purchases to your advantage by choosing credit cards that maximize your return on spending. With this in mind, here are the best credit cards to use for pet expenses to ensure at least a 2% return:

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Card earns 2x on all non-bonus spending, and you can now transfer miles to 10+ airline partners. Based on TPG’s valuations, 2x miles are worth 2.8% — not a bad return on pet purchases you’d be making anyway. The card’s currently offering 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

 

Cats rule Rome. Get used to it. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.
The Citi Double Cash Card, with its 2% return on spending makes an excellent addition to the wallet of any pet owner. Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card

The Citi Double Cash Card offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an additional 1% cash back when you pay. So this card provides a 2% return on pet expenses as long as you pay your balance on time. There’s also a 0% APR for the first 18 months of card ownership on balance transfers made within the first four months of account opening (then, a variable APR rate of 13.99% – 23.99% applies)  Combine these perks with the no annual fee and this card is a solid option for pet care.

Chase Freedom

While the Chase Freedom Card will normally only offer a return of 1%, this no annual fee card can be an excellent option if you can purchase pet items at one of the merchants that fall within a quarterly rotating bonus category, which offers 5% cash back on purchases up to $1,500 per quarter. While pet expenses are unlikely to be an actual rotating category, you can often find categories at stores offering pet supplies. For example, the current bonus categories include drugstores — and you may be able to find pet food and other supplies at these retailers. Plus, the Chase Freedom is another good option for large pet expenses as it offers 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months from account opening (then, a variable rate of 14.99% – 23.74%).

If you want to truly maximize your spend and your earnings, you can pair your Freedom card with a card that earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points and transfer your Freedom points to that card. Based off of TPG’s current valuation of Ultimate Rewards points, which is 2 cents per point, making this transfer could provide a return of at least 2% and up to 10% if pet purchases are made via a rotating category.

In addition, the Chase family of cards offer portal bonuses from certain stores specializing in pet-related purchases. For example, you can earn 3% in additional cash back (or 3 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) for portal purchases at Petco and 8% cash back (or 8 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar) for portal purchases at 1-800-PetMeds.

The Chase Freedom is no longer open to new applicants.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

As one of the best everyday spending cards on the market, the Chase Freedom Unlimited provides 1.5% cash back on eligible purchases, including pet supplies. Further, like with the Chase Freedom you can pair this no annual fee card with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points to increase the value of your return.

The Discover it Cash Back provides 1% on all spending with 5% cash back on rotating categories up to $1,500 on purchases per quarter upon enrollment. The category for January 2019 to March 2019 is grocery stores, so you could have some luck making pet-related purchases and earning 5% back (on rotating categories up to $1,500 on purchases per quarter upon enrollment). Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first year of card membership, so this could definitely be a card to consider using in the coming months.

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

Welcome offer: Earn 15,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months of account opening.

If you’re able to apply for a business card, the Blue Business Plus is a top contender for everyday spending. This no annual fee card (See Rates & Fees) offers 2x Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 of eligible spending per calendar year; then 1 point thereafter, which includes pet expenses. As TPG values Membership Rewards points at 2 cents apiece, this amounts to a return of 4%.

In addition, as an American Express member, you have access to a variety of Amex Offers, which can further increase your savings. For example, I was able to find the following pet-related Amex Offers associated with my Blue Business Plus card:

  • Spend $75 or more at Rover.com (pet sitting and pet walking) and get $20 back.
  • Spend $100 or more at 1-800-PetMeds and get $30 back.
  • Spend $20 or more at Barkbox.com (pet supplies and toys) and get $5 back.

 

 

 

Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express

While the EveryDay Preferred Card comes with an annual fee of $95, it packs quite a punch for pet supplies as it provides 3x Membership Rewards points for US supermarket purchases up to $6,000 per year, and you get 50% extra points after 30 purchases on the card per billing cycle.

If you prefer a no annual fee option, the Amex EveryDay® Credit Card from American Express offers 2x points for US supermarket purchases up to $6,000 per year and 20% extra points after you make 20 purchases in a billing cycle.

The information for the Amex EveryDay Preferred Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

American Kennel Club Visa Card

For those who want a card designed specifically for pet expenses, theAmerican Kennel Club Visa Card offers 3 points per dollar spent at pet stores, veterinary offices and on American Kennel Club purchases as well as 2x points spent on gas and grocery purchases. While it’s not a true cash-back card, these points can be spent on gift cards, travel and merchandise online. In addition, a portion of every purchase goes directly to the AKC to support its efforts. Finally, the AKC Visa allows you to personalize your card with a photo of your favorite pet.

Bottom Line

It’s no secret that owning a pet is an expensive endeavor. From toys and food to vet visits and medication, the costs can really add up. However, with a little ingenuity and by using the credit card options above, you can achieve a return of at least 2% on these purchases (and usually much more) and even obtain favorable payment options (via introductory 0% APR) to help alleviate these unavoidable costs.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business Plus, please click here.  

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Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

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