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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

Recommended FICO® Score*
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. Until January 31, 2021, you also get 5% cash back on Uber Eats.

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.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply

on Discover's website

Recommended FICO® Score*
Good - Exceptional

Discover it® Cash Back

APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable

Intro APR

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Rotating Categories

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Unlimited Cashback Match. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 to $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.

Rates and Fees

With a 0% introductory APR on purchases and generous cash back on bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back card has a lot to offer. From now through December 2020, you'll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases from Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com when you activate—in other words, likely the places you're already planning to shop for the holidays. (The rest of the year, you'll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in rotating quarterly categories including gas, groceries and restaurants, when you activate.) You'll earn 1% cash back on non-bonus categories. Even better, Discover will match all the cashback you earn as a new cardholder at the end of your first year with the card.

The 14-month 0% introductory APR on purchases lets you use the card for holiday shopping and get more than a year to pay off the balance before accruing interest. After the introductory period ends, you'll pay a variable rate of 11.99% to 22.99% based on your creditworthiness. This card does not have an annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply

on Chase's website

Recommended FICO® Score*
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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Annual Fee

$95

Card Details
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide, eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on orders over $12 for a minimum of one year on qualifying food purchases with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Earn 2x total points on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month from November 1, 2020 to April 30, 2021. Includes eligible pick-up and delivery services.

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 60,000 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 60,000 bonus points are worth $600 in cash but $750 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

Recommended FICO® Score*
Good - Exceptional

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

APR

17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

N/A

Rewards

2x miles on All Purchases

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. If your holiday budget isn't quite that big, you can still earn 50,000 miles for spending $3,000 on the card within the first 3 months.

Earn an unlimited 2 miles per $1 spent on every purchase; through January 31, 2021, you'll also get 5 miles per $1 spent on Uber Eats. 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

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

Apply

on Citi Credit Cards's website

Recommended FICO® Score*
Good - Exceptional

Citi Rewards+℠ Card

APR

13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)

Intro APR

0% for 15 months on Purchases and Balance Transfers

Rewards

2X points on Groceries & Gas

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 and purchases for 15 months. 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.

Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured

Apply

on Discover's website

Recommended FICO® Score*
Poor, New to Credit, Rebuilding

Discover it® Secured

APR

22.99% Variable

Intro APR

10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Rewards

2% cash back on Gas Stations & Dining

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus

Unlimited Cashback Match. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

Rates and Fees

A secured credit card that offers rewards can be hard to find, which is why the Discover it® Secured card makes our list. If you have poor credit, are rebuilding your credit or are new to credit, this card could be your holiday shopping secret weapon. Because the card is secured, you'll need to put down a refundable deposit of at least $200 upon approval. Typically, your credit limit is determined by your deposit, which secured credit card issuers use as collateral.

The Discover it® Secured card earns 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases per quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically, with no limit on the amount you can earn. At the end of the first year, new cardholders get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back earned. Rewards can be redeemed at any time and in any amount and can even be used for purchases on Amazon.com.

This card reports to the three major consumer credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion and Equifax), so if you display responsible credit behavior such as paying your bills on time, it can help to build your credit history and improve your credit score. Discover automatically reviews your account, starting at 8 months, to see if you're eligible to transition to an unsecured credit card; if so, you'll get your deposit back. On the downside, the 22.99% Variable variable APR is higher than that of many secured credit cards—but if you pay your balance off each month, you'll never have to worry about paying interest (and it can help your credit).

The Discover it® Secured card offers many tools that can be especially useful if you're trying to rebuild credit. You get free access to your FICO® Score , your credit report is monitored daily, and you can get alerts if a new inquiry or account appears or if your Social Security number is found on the Dark Web. There's no penalty APR, so a late payment won't boost your interest rate; however, it could lower the credit score you're trying to improve.

Of course, if you're trying to rebuild your credit or improve a poor credit score, you'll need to avoid the temptation to spend more than you can afford just to earn rewards. But for those new to credit, earning cash back on day-to-day purchases is a nice bonus.

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 (Discover it® Secured is a notable exception). 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.