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As you gear up for holiday shopping, Black Friday and Cyber Monday are among the best times to find deals. If you're looking to make the most of your holiday shopping on these days, there are credit cards that can help you maximize your savings, earn bonuses and get rewards and other perks along the way.
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Best for Fair Credit: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Most of the top credit cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are targeted to shoppers with good or excellent credit, which means you'll need a credit score of 670 or higher to have a good chance of approval.
If your credit falls into the fair FICO® Score☉ range (580 to 669), consider the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. You'll earn cash back and have the chance to build your credit with responsible card use.
The card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, which matches some of the top cash back credit cards out there. That said, it does charge a modest $39 annual fee, and its APR is 26.99% variable, so it's best to use it only if you don't plan to carry a balance.
If your credit is below the fair range, or if you're new to credit and want to start building a credit history, consider a card like the Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card.
Best for General Spending: Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
While some holiday shoppers are looking to maximize their rewards with certain retailers or spending categories, consumers with good credit who want simplicity might consider the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card.
The card offers a flat 2% cash rewards on every purchase you make, so you don't have to keep track of bonus categories or meet other requirements to maximize your rewards every time you shop. You'll also get an introductory cash rewards bonus of $200 when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
If you're looking for interest savings, you'll also get that with this card. It offers an introductory 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening, after which the variable APR will be 14.99% - 24.99%. Balance transfers made within 120 days of account opening qualify for this card's intro APR and carry a balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum). Balance transfers made after the first 120 days have a 5% fee ($5 minimum).
Of course, if you prefer a card with bonus rewards on certain categories, this one isn't for you. But if you want excellent value on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and beyond, this one stands out.
Best for a Long Intro 0% APR Period: Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card
If you're looking to make some significant purchases on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, you may want to prioritize a card with a long introductory APR promotion. For that, turn to the Wells Fargo Reflect℠ Card.
This card offers a lengthy 18-month (from account opening) intro 0% APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, with the chance to extend that up to three additional months to 21 months total. To qualify for the extra three months, just pay at least your minimum monthly payment on time throughout the promotional period and during the extension.
Once the 0% intro APR promotional period ends, your interest rate for purchases and balance transfers will increase to a 12.99% to 24.99% variable APR. Balance transfers made during the first 120 days you have the card will incur a 3% fee ($5 minimum) and qualify for the intro APR; transfers made after the first 120 days incur a 5% fee ($5 minimum).
If maximizing interest savings is your top priority and you have good credit, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better option. But if you want a mix of an intro 0% APR and rewards, this one only does one of those.
Best for Rotating Bonus Categories: Chase Freedom Flex℠
For holiday shoppers who have good credit and are looking to squeeze as much cash back out of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases as possible, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ should be on your radar.
The card offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in rotating bonus categories that change every quarter when you activate. From October 2021 to December 2021, those categories are purchases made via PayPal—which is accepted by millions of retailers—and at Walmart. After you meet the quarterly maximum, you'll earn just 1% back on non-bonus spending. Other ongoing bonus rewards rates include 5% on travel booked through Chase and 3% back on dining and drugstores.
On top of the card's big bonus rewards, you'll also get a few incentives as a new cardholder. For starters, you'll earn a $200 bonus when you spend $500 in the first 3 months from account opening. You'll also get 5% back on up to $12,000 in grocery store purchases (excluding Walmart and Target) during the first 12 months.
Finally, you'll get an introductory 0% APR promotion on purchases for 15 months. After that, the APR jumps to 14.99% to 24.74% variable, depending on creditworthiness.
This card is excellent for maximizing rewards in certain categories, and you'll find it easy to do that during the holidays. But because most of your purchases will likely earn just 1% back, it's best to use it alongside a card with a high rewards rate on everything.
Best for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
If you're looking to rack up travel rewards with your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a top choice to consider.
The card offers 5 points per dollar on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3 points per dollar on dining, including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out; 3 points per dollar on online grocery purchases (excluding Target, Walmart and wholesale clubs); 3 points per dollar on select streaming services; 2 points per dollar on other travel; and 1 point per dollar on everything else.
When you first open the card, you won't get an introductory 0% APR promotion. But you can earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. That's worth $750 in travel when booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
The card does charge a $95 annual fee, but the welcome offer is worth more than enough to make it worth your while for several years. Consider the card if you have good credit, want travel rewards over cash back and you spend a lot in the card's bonus categories. But if most of your purchases fall in non-bonus territory, shop around and consider other top travel credit cards.
How to Save Money While Holiday Shopping
As you prepare your finances for holiday spending, it's important to plan to maximize your savings. While credit cards can help, here are some other tips to save you money on Black Friday, Cyber Monday and throughout the rest of the holidays:
- Set a budget for yourself and track your spending to stay on track.
- Consider DIY gifts like baked goods, hand-crafted jewelry and the like when possible.
- Price check gifts to see if you can find a lower price elsewhere.
- Avoid retail credit cards that may offer a discount but also charge high APRs and restrict where you can use them.
- Sign up for cash back websites like TopCashback and Rakuten, so you can earn rewards on top of what your credit card offers.
- Cut down impulse buys, especially if you're using a credit card.
Prepare Your Credit for Next Year
Most of the best credit cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday are reserved for people with good or excellent credit. If you're not quite there yet, it may be too late for this holiday season. But it's still a good idea to work on improving your credit for the holidays next year and beyond.
Start by checking your credit score and reviewing your credit report to see where you stand and which areas you can improve on. Then take proactive steps to address those issues and monitor your credit regularly to stay on track.