Best Credit Card Bonuses for Families with Low Expenses

Small budget? No problem. Some of the top credit card offers require large amounts of spending to get your bonus points. Here are my favorite options for families with monthly expenses of $500 a month or less.

Earn Travel Points without spending loads of Money: My favorite credit card bonuses if you spend $500 a month or less

As with all offers, I generally recommend starting with Chase cards first. Chase has some of the most restrictive rules for card approval. Check out my post on Picking Your First Card for more on the Chase 5/24 rule.

Table of Contents

    Chase Cards

    With the Chase Freedom cards, you earn cash back that is given as “Ultimate Rewards” points. Basically 20,000 Ultimate Rewards points can be redeemed for $200 cash back when you hold a Freedom card. If you want to access even more options for your Ultimate Rewards, you could upgrade to a Sapphire Preferred card eventually. Your points will migrate to the new card and you will also have the ability to transfer them to hotel and airline partners. More on the Sapphire Preferred in my complete guide.

    Chase Freedom Flex

    Chase Freedom Flex – see current offers
    • $0 annual fee
    • Includes cell phone protection if you pay your bill with the card
    • Rotating categories earn 5x points each quarter
    • If you have a Sapphire card, you can transfer the Freedom points to the Sapphire card to get all the airline and hotel transfer benefits!

    Chase Freedom Unlimited

    Chase Freedom Unlimited – see current offers

    • $0 annual fee
    • Earn 1.5% cash back on all spend
    • If you have a Sapphire card, you can transfer the Freedom points to the Sapphire card to get all the airline and hotel transfer benefits!

    Southwest Plus Card

    Southwest credit cards vary their offers throughout the year. While higher offers are better for earning the Southwest Companion Pass, you’re better off with a lower offer if you’re looking for a lower minimum spend amount. Look for an offer of 40,000 points after spending $1,000.

    Southwest Plus Card – 75,000 point bonus through 7/11/22
    • $69 annual fee
    • 2 Early Bird Check-ins per year
    • 3000 points per year on your card member anniversary
    • 2x earning on Southwest flights, local transit, internet, cable, phone services, and select streaming

    Barclay Cards

    After Chase, Barclay is one of the next most restrictive banks. Generally you will not get approved if you are over 6/24. Barclay also generally will only issue you 1 card every 6 months. I like to space out my applications with them by at least 9 months. One great perk of the cards issued by Barclay is that they generally have fairly low spend requirements.

    AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite MasterCard

    This card often has an offer where you can earn points after you FIRST purchase! It doesn’t get much better than that as far as a low spend!

    JetBlue Plus Card

    Check offers throughout the year, but often has a bonus with $1,000 of spending or less.

    Wyndham Rewards Earner??or Earner+

    Wyndham points offer some great options when booking vacation homes through Vacasa. These cards offer a tiered bonus — you will receive part of it after spending $1,000 usually and then sometimes an additional amount if you spend more.

    Barclays Choice Privileges Visa Signature?

    Choice points don’t have great redemptions in the United States but do have some amazing value in Europe! This card has no annual fee. Spending is usually $1,000 to earn the bonus.

    American Express

    American Express offers can be highly targeted at vary the bonuses in both their spend and their bonus. Be sure to check current offers from a variety of sources. Here are three cards that seem to often require $1000 spend or less in the first 3 months.

    American Express Hilton Honors?

    This no annual fee card often has lower spending requirements than other Hilton cards from American Express.

    American Express Delta Gold SkyMiles?

    Look for an offer that has a lower minimum spend. Sometimes it will show 40,000 miles after spending $1,000.

    American Express Blue Cash Everyday?

    Typical offer would be $150-$200 cash back after spending $1,000. This card has no annual fee.


    Citi Custom Cash?

    This is a new card from Citi. The standard offer seems to be $200 cash back after spending $750 is 3 months. Some people have been targeted for offers up to $300 cash back.

    Citi Custom Cash – See Current Offers
    • No annual fee
    • Earn 5% cash back on your top spending category each month (up to $500)
    • Cash back is given as Thank You Points and if you have a Citi Premier card, you can combine points from the cards and these points will have all the transfer partners of the Premier as well.

    Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

    The offer on this card varies and sometimes it will have a higher spend requirement. But sometimes when it is offering 40,000 points you only need to spend $1,000 to earn that bonus.

    Bank of America

    Bank of America doesn’t like to approve new cards if you’ve opened more than 2 in the past 12 months — unless you have bank accounts with them. It is one of the reasons my husband and I both have checking accounts open with them! All of these cards usually offer at least $200 back after spending $1000.

    Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards?

    Bank of America Cash Rewards

    Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards?

    Bank of America Travel Rewards?

    This card functions differently than the cash rewards cards. You earn points that you can redeem to erase travel purchases. The typical offer is 25,000 points (worth $250) after spending $1,000. I like it because it allows me to directly offset travel purchases like train tickets!??

    What other cards do you like with low spending requirements? Let me know in the comments and I’m happy to add them to this list!

    Leave a Comment

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    You're on your way to saving
    big money on Travel!

    Check your inbox for your Quick Start Guide to Miles & Points!