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Rewards Credit Cards

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Holiday Spending

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The end of 2020 is in sight, which means the holidays are on the horizon. Holiday celebrating and shopping are bound to be a bit different this year, but one thing remains the same: Using rewards credit cards can help you recoup some of the money you spend on friends and family.

Putting holiday gifts and other purchases on a well-chosen rewards credit card can earn benefits that pay off long after the New Year arrives. Whether you'd rather earn travel rewards for future adventures or something more practical for today's needs, such as cash back, the following cards offer plenty of perks for the holidays and beyond.

Best Holiday Credit Cards if You Have Great Credit

If your credit score is on the higher end, you should explore the following cards. These cards will help you maximize your savings on holiday spending, whether it's on gifts, travel or other purchases.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply

on Capital One's website

Good - Exceptional

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

APR

15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

0% on Purchases for 15 months

Rewards

3% cash back on Dining

2% cash back on Groceries

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Would you like to earn rewards you can use right now, get help saving on your holiday shopping, and pay no interest on purchases for over a year? Then check out the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which has plenty of rewards, perks and tools to stretch your holiday budget.

For starters, the introductory offer of 0% APR on purchases for 15 months gives you lots of time to pay off your holiday gifts without accruing interest on those purchases. When the 15 months are over, your APR will be 15.49% to 25.49% variable, depending on your credit.

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card keeps on giving, with unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% cash back on grocery store purchases (excluding Target and Walmart) and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Some of the perks that come with this card can help squeeze every penny out of your holiday budget. For example, you get access to Capital One Shopping, an online shopping tool that helps you find the best prices, and Paribus, which finds savings on previous online purchases and helps you get a refund. Redeem your cash back anytime as a statement credit or a check, or use it to pay for Amazon.com purchases.

When the holidays get hectic, it can be hard to keep tabs on spending and security. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card can send you a push notification whenever a new purchase is approved on your account. You also have the option to make online purchases using virtual card numbers, so you don't have to share your actual credit card number.

A concierge service is available to help with dining, entertainment and travel purchases. And while you may not use it much now, you'll appreciate the access to premier experiences, like concerts, sporting events and unique dining events, when the pandemic is over.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply

on Chase's website

Good - Exceptional

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Intro APR

N/A

Rewards

2X points on Dining & Travel

1X points on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.

Annual Fee

$95

Card Details
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

Yes, travel options are limited right now—but at some point, we'll be free to roam the world again. When that happens, wouldn't it be nice to have thousands of rewards points squirreled away to use on travel? Use the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card for your holiday spending and earn 2 points per $1 spent on travel and dining (including takeout and eligible deliveries) and 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.

This card is especially rewarding for new cardholders with big holiday budgets: Spend $4,000 on the card within the first 3 months of opening your account and you'll rack up 80,000 bonus points. Your purchases are protected too: Get purchase protection of up to $500 per claim (and 50,000 per account) if an item you buy with the card is damaged or stolen within 120 days. Eligible products bought with the card that have a U.S. manufacturer's warranty of three years or less are eligible for an extra one-year warranty.

You have many options for redeeming your points, including travel, cash, gift cards, and products or services from third-party merchants. However, redeeming points for travel purchases, such as airfare, car rentals and hotels, through Chase Ultimate Rewards earns you 25% more value. So those 80,000 bonus points are worth $600 in cash but $1,000 toward travel with Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can also transfer your points to Chase's partner loyalty programs on a one-to-one basis and book travel that way.

When you do travel, you'll be happy to know that travel purchased with Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card includes trip cancellation or interruption insurance, reimbursement for delays or lost baggage, primary rental car coverage and 24/7 emergency travel assistance worldwide. Heading outside the U.S.? Put this card in your wallet: It charges no foreign transaction fees.

When you're not traveling, Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card can make your life easier with a complimentary 12-month subscription to DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Just activate your subscription with the card by December 21, 2021, to pay a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on qualifying orders. You'll also earn a total of 5 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides through March 2022.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Apply

on Capital One's website

Good - Exceptional

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

APR

17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

N/A

Rewards

2x miles on All Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$95

Card Details
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers another way to rack up miles if you'd prefer that over getting cash back. You'll earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months after opening your account.

Earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase. Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, so even if you can't travel for quite a while, your miles will still be waiting for you. Use them to book your flight, car rental or hotel through CapitalOne.com, or transfer them to any one of more than 10 airline and hotel loyalty programs.

Want more flexibility in your travel arrangements? You can use your favorite travel website or other resource to book travel with your Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, and then visit CapitalOne.com or call the Rewards Center within 90 days and use the Purchase Eraser feature to redeem your miles and get an account credit for the cost of your travel purchase. You can also access Capital One's concierge service for help with travel, dining and entertainment purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees, making this card a good option for travel outside the U.S. You'll also receive an application fee credit of up to $100 every four years when you use the card to apply for Global Entry or TSA Precheck.

Like the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card gives you access to online shopping tool Capital One Shopping, which can help you find online bargains, and Paribus, which finds savings on your previous online purchases and helps you get a refund. The card also offers useful security features, including the option to get push notifications when a new purchase is approved and to pay online with a virtual card number to protect your credit card number.

Citi Rewards+® Card

Apply

on Citi Credit Cards's website

Good - Exceptional

APR

13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

0% for 15 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Rewards

2X points on Supermarkets & Gas Stations

1X points on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • The Citi Rewards+® Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from date of first transfer and on purchases from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X ThankYou® Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Rates and Fees

If you're planning to buy a lot of stocking stuffers this holiday season, don't have the budget for big gifts or tend to make frequent small purchases, you'll appreciate the Citi Rewards+® Card's unique "round up" feature. The card from our partner automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase. For example, a $2.30 coffee earns not 2 points, but 10; a $22 dinner out earns 30 points. Gas station and supermarket purchases earn even bigger rewards. Fill up your tank for $31, and you'll receive 2 points per $1 (62 points, which then rounds up to 70 points) up to $6,000. After that, you'll earn 1 point per dollar spent.

In addition to the rewards, this card offers a 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date you open your account. Balance transfers must be completed within four months, and there is a balance transfer fee of 3% ($5 minimum) of the amount transferred. Once the intro period ends, the interest rate will be 13.49% to 23.49% variable depending on your credit.

As an introductory bonus, you'll earn 15,000 points if you spend $1,000 on the card within 3 months of account opening. You also get 10% points back on the first 100,000 in points you redeem each year. Points are redeemable at ThankYou.com, which offers gift cards from major retailers, restaurants and even cruise lines. You can also use rewards points to pay at Amazon.com or BestBuy.com, or redeem them for travel purchases such as flights and hotels.

Points can't be redeemed for cash, however, and the value of points can vary depending on which redemption option you choose. While there's no annual fee for the Citi Rewards+® Card, if you're late with a payment or have a payment returned, you could face a penalty APR of up to 29.99% variable and a late payment fee.

As a Citi cardholder, you can use Citi Entertainment to buy presale tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more. Use the contactless payment feature or add the card to your digital wallet to pay for purchases faster and more hygienically than touching a keypad.

Best Holiday Credit Cards if Your Credit Needs Work

If your credit scores are on the lower range, whether because you have negative information in your credit history or because you're new to credit, you might explore the following card.

How to Use Rewards Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

Rewards credit cards can make holiday shopping more enjoyable by helping you earn points, cash back and travel rewards just for checking off your gift list. Some of the cards here also offer introductory 0% APRs on purchases, giving you extra time to pay off your holiday bill without accruing interest.

To get the most from a rewards credit card, choose a card that offers rewards you can use for the kinds of purchases you frequently make. Read the card's terms and conditions so you understand exactly how to earn and redeem rewards. If there are bonus categories or introductory bonuses for a certain amount of spending, stay on top of what they are so you can plan your spending to maximize rewards.

Carrying a high balance on a rewards credit card can end up costing you more in interest than the rewards are worth, so be sure to use your rewards card responsibly. Paying your bill on time and in full every month will help improve your good credit score and prevent you from overspending.

To qualify for a rewards credit card, you typically need good to exceptional credit. Using Experian CreditMatch™, you can see credit card offers matched to your credit profile. If you don't see any rewards cards, it could be that your credit score needs a little help. Signing up for Experian Boost , a free service that gives you credit for your on-time utility, telecom and certain streaming payments, can help improve your credit score instantly.