5 ways parents can make the most of credit card cash back

As a parent of two young children, I am always looking for ways to save money on my children’s activities and expenses. Earlier this summer, I researched pool memberships and was shocked at the price increases. So instead of spending hundreds of dollars to swim for two months, I got my family a YMCA membership. We'll stay cool and save over $500 this summer.

If you're looking for ways to save money right now, here are some ideas for using a cash back credit card to make your money go further.

1. Make money by picking up and dropping off children

So far this summer I've driven the kids to the East Coast to visit my parents and taken them camping in the mountains twice. There’s also a trip to the beach next month and a normal run around town for daily activities.

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If you drive a similar amount this summer, you can get some serious cash back rewards with a gas credit card. Some offer 2% to 6% cash back, allowing you to save money on trips to baseball practices, art camps, and pools.

2. Make grocery bills less painful

My kids are growing fast, which means my grocery bill is growing fast too. Inflation has made the problem worse, with food prices rising 5.8% last year. You can take the pain out of your grocery bill if you have a credit card that offers cash back on groceries.

I have a cash back card that gives me 2% cash back at grocery stores, and some give me 6% back.

3. Make buying new clothes and shoes cheaper

I don’t know about you, but my kids seem to be taking off their shoes and clothes every other week. When they find a style they like (which is almost a miracle these days), they grow from it and we go back to buying new stuff online.

I get 5% cash back on my credit card when I buy anything on Amazon, which makes my next wardrobe purchase a little less painful. To save even more, check out your credit card's shopping portal for more deals. Some offer retail discounts of up to 10%.

4. Spend cash back on sporting events and entertainment

Last month, I went to a baseball game with my kids and extended family. We made great memories together, had a great time watching one of our favorite teams up close. But like everything else, sporting events and other live events are more expensive than ever.

Thankfully, some credit cards offer special benefits and entertainment discounts. Some cards offer up to 8% cash back on entertainment purchases, and some even offer special VIP experiences.

I haven't used the card to get a special experience, but even a standard cash back card can help offset the rising cost of ballpark hot dogs.

5. Use cash back as a weekly allowance

I try to teach my children the value of money, and one way our family does this is by giving out a weekly allowance. My kids have set chores they need to do each week and slowly build up their pocket money – which is usually spent on my world and Lego.

One way to make it easier to set aside a small perk is to use cash back rewards. Your child may be able to save further if you use your credit card's shopping portal to look for deals.

While a cash back card won't lower the price of children's clothing and weekly grocery purchases, it can take some of the burden off everyday expenses. Some of them even offer welcome offers—for example, you can get a $200 cash bonus if you spend $1,000 on the card in the first three months.

If you come across any cards that would allow me to get a pool membership at a discount, please let me know.

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