Why Isn’t There a Credit Card for Women?

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From dry cleaning to haircuts, women like us often pay more due to gender pricing. Although paying more, we are undoubtedly receiving less. So while you wait for your local representative to ban gender pricing, get a credit card that can get you more money back. The best credit cards for women will be cards that offer more cash back and rewards on those everyday necessities that are priced noticeably higher.

woman having her hair shampooed at a salon

It’s more expensive to be a woman.

Shampoo, moisturizer, razors, soap and other daily essentials are marketed dramatically different to men and women. The difference in marketing, which includes the packaging, product naming and colors, results in a difference in pricing, with a significantly higher price for woman’s essentials. This is called “gender pricing.” In fact, studies have concluded that women will pay significantly more for almost all of the same items compared to men – mortgages, car repairs, health insurance, and yes, daily essentials.

In an article “Why Women Pay More”, Marie Claire magazine took a look at women across the country and found that on average women pay $151 billion in extra fees and markups that men don’t have to pay. The staggering discrepancy between women, who reportedly spend over $426 billion a year on beauty products, and men are enough to make us reexamine our wallets.

In 1996, after finding that women were being forced to pay $1,300 per year more for the same everyday items as men, California became the first state in the nation to ban gender pricing.

Even though California banned the practice, the everyday reality is the difference still exists in almost every shopping isle in the nation. Gender pricing still is prevalent because it is understood that women are not going to change their preference for products or change regimens.

lower half of a woman putting on pink high heels

Make up piled on a tableAnd while the spending habits and lifestyles of women obviously differ from woman to woman, there are some purchases that are essential to practically all women – feminine products among them. This is a dollar we have to spend and are charged a fortune no matter how it’s packaged. Make-up and other beauty products are no different. Women are held hostage and must pay the premium. Make-up is a social norm for many women and such an intrinsic part of our lives that we tend to forget how much time we take to put it on and how much money we spend on it.

Best credit cards for women offer more back on a daily basis.

I have been working on credit card products for decades. Chase, Barclays, American Express, Capital One, and Discover have designed cards that earn cash back and points or miles for travel, gas, groceries, dining, sporting events, hotel stays and entertainment. But there has yet to be a credit card designed specifically for 50.8% of the population in our country – WOMEN. Not one of the credit card issuers has designed a rewards card to account for gender pricing, or for the incremental spend. While we wait for this rewards card to be developed, here are some of the best credit cards for women that offer more back on everyday essentials:

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

A great value for your everyday spending is a travel rewards card. The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® earns 2X miles on every single purchase. This card makes earning miles easy and redeeming even easier for free travel on any airline or hotel. Combine your bonus miles valued at $500 along with the monthly spend of an average woman – this card will have you planning your next vacation in no time. An extra value is you’ll get 5% of your miles back to use for your next redemption.

Here’s what we like about the card:

  • Enjoy 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days – that’s enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit toward an eligible travel purchase.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Miles don’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • No foreign transaction fees on purchases made while traveling abroad
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on Balance Transfers made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, 16.99%, 20.99% or 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. There is a fee for balance transfers.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card earns you TWICE on every purchase. Make your purchases and earn 1% cash back. Then pay off the balances and earn another 1% cash back. Use it for cosmetics, clothing, shoes, personal hygiene products, and every single other purchase you make each and every day. You’re not limited to any type of category making this a very simple solution to earning more cash back. By carrying this card you will be making a simple lifestyle change for the better.

Here’s what we like about the card:

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the APR will be a variable 13.24% – 23.24% based upon your creditworthiness
  • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
    • 1% cash back when you buy
    • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full over time*
    • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories

Barclaycard CashForwardTM World Mastercard®


The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® rewards users slightly above 1.5% cash rewards on all purchase thanks to a 5% redemption bonus. If you redeemed $100 in rewards, for example, you’d get an additional $5 added to your rewards balance for your next redemption. That effectively raises the earn rate on this card to 1.575%. In the long-term, this credit card will be the better choice on purchases than cards that earn you 3% and 2% in specific categories such as grocery stores. The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® also has a much better bonus than most cash back cards.

Here’s what we like about the card:

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
  • Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $5
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases. Plus, you’ll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on balance transfers for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers.
  • No annual fee

Arm yourself with the right card to fight the war on gender pricing.

No matter what we try to project, the reality is women are price-gouged because they are women. From dealing with stereotyping to needing special products, marketers create environments that are designed to prey on those of us affected by gender pricing. Hopefully, the credit card issuers are not too far behind in finding a way to reward women for the higher costs they’re often forced to pay.

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Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.