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Rewards Credit Cards

Best Rewards Credit Cards for Holiday Spending

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The holidays are just around the corner, and you're getting ready to tackle your gift list—which means some serious spending is on the horizon. Wouldn't it be nice if you could recoup some of that cash? Whether you want to limit your holiday debt or simply crave a reward for your shopping efforts, a rewards credit card can help.

By choosing the right rewards card and using it responsibly, savvy shoppers can maximize their rewards without blowing their budgets. To give you a head start, we've culled through current offers to pick six cards that offer excellent rewards for holiday shoppers. Choose wisely, and your rewards credit card could be the gift that keeps on giving long after the holidays end.

Best Cash Back Rewards Cards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Everyone needs to eat, put gas in the car and binge-watch Netflix. (OK, two out of three.) The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express rewards you for buying life's essentials with Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in purchases at U.S. supermarkets (then 1%), 3% on U.S. gas stations and public transit, 6% cash back on participating streaming services and 1% back on everything else. We're not suggesting you buy your holiday gifts at the supermarket or gas station, but if you spend $1,000 on the card within the first 3 months, you'll get a $250 statement credit, putting a sizable dent in your holiday debt.

Have a really big gift in mind for someone special? The card's Plan It feature lets you set up a monthly plan for select big purchases of over $100 and pay a fixed fee that is known upfront instead of interest. Shopping benefits that are especially useful this time of year include damage and theft protection for products purchased with the card, a ShopRunner membership that provides free two-day shipping, and an industry-leading one-year extended warranty on items purchased with the card.

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply

on Discover's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable

Intro APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Rotating Categories

5% Cash back in categories that change each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you sign up. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus: Dollar-for-dollar match of all cash back earned the 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. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • 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 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.

Rates and Fees

With 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR), cash back matching and no penalty fee, the Discover it® Cash Back card has a lot of good things going for it. From November 2019 through December 2019, you'll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on purchases from Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com—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.

The 14-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers 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, the interest rate becomes a variable 11.99% - 22.99%. You may be eligible for the lower end of the range if you have excellent credit. The card's lowest available rates are significantly lower than the national average of around 17%. Speaking of interest rates, there's no penalty APR on this card, so your ongoing APR won't skyrocket if you miss a payment. Discover also protects you with identity monitoring that alerts you if your Experian credit report shows a new account opened or if your Social Security number is found on the dark web.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Apply

on Chase's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

APR

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Intro APR: N/A

Rewards

2X points on Dining & Travel

2X points on travel and dining

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 & 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, 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 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022. That's 3X points in addition to the 2X points you already earn on travel.

Because rewards points can have different values depending on what you redeem them for, it's often hard to tell exactly how much points are worth. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card spells it out for you and offers the biggest sign-up bonus around. Spend $4,000 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months from account opening and get 60,000 bonus points. If you redeem those points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards (which gives you 25% more value for rewards points), they're worth $750. Redeem them for cash, and they're worth $600—still a nice chunk of change to offset your holiday spending. This card is best for those who travel and eat out often; you'll earn 2 points per dollar on travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on all other spending.

Points can be transferred to Chase's frequent travel program partners at 1-to-1 value, and the card offers some useful travel benefits too. In addition to auto rental collision damage waiver coverage, travel and emergency assistance services, and baggage delay insurance—all services that many cards offer—the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card also offers trip cancellation and interruption insurance of up to $20,000 per trip and trip delay reimbursement for meals and lodging up to $500 per ticket. On the shopping side, eligible items bought with the card are covered against damage or theft up to $500 per item, and enjoy up to one year of extended warranty protection.

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