Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping
The holiday season is almost here, which means it’s just about time to get started on your holiday shopping. But before you head to the stores or get online, make sure you have the right credit card to maximize each purchase that you make. No matter if it’s a cash back card or a card that will earn travel rewards, there is something out there to help with each purchase.
Here are our five favorite credit cards to make all your upcoming holiday purchases:
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
You might want to consider the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, a Credit Cards House advertiser.
- Welcome Bonus - You will earn $200 cash back after spending $1,000 within the first three months of being a cardholder.
- Rewards - You can earn 6% cash back at supermarkets on up to $6,000 each year. You will also receive 3% cash back at select department stores and gas stations. For all other purchases you will receive 1% back.
- Added Benefits - Because the Blue Cash Preferred® Card is from American Express, you will have access to Amex Offers. This program will allow you to add different offers onto your card and save when shopping at specific merchants. Past offers from popular stores include spending $250 at Best Buy and getting $25 back, as well as spending $15 at Walmart and getting $5 back.
- APR - For the first 12 months you will receive an introductory 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period is over the APR will move to a variable 18.49%-29.49% depending on your creditworthiness.
- Fees - There is a $95 annual fee for this card. If you are planning to transfer a balance there is a fee of either $5 or 3%, whichever is greater. To use your card outside of the United States you will be charged a 2.7% foreign transaction fee on any purchase made.
Chase Freedom® Card
Another card that earns 5% cash back on rotating categories is the Chase Freedom® Card. One of the categories this quarter is at wholesale clubs. Stores like Costco and Sam’s Club are the perfect place to get a lot of your shopping done. With great prices on everything from toys to electronics to clothes, shopping clubs online gives you the ability to knock out a lot of shopping in one place.
- Signup Bonus - You will receive $150 cash back when you spend $500 within the first three months of becoming a cardmember.
- Rewards - Each quarter the Chase Freedom® card will have rotating categories where you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 combined. Through December 31, 2016 those categories are wholesale clubs, gas stations, and restaurants. For every other purchase you will receive 1% cash back.
- Added Benefits - You will receive a few benefits that can be helpful with your holiday shopping. The card comes with purchase protection, which means if the items you buy are damaged or stolen within the first 120 days you will be covered up to $500 per claim. It also has price protection, so if you see a lower price on something you purchased within the first 90 days, you can be reimbursed for the difference, up to $500.
- Fees - There is no annual fee with this card. If you are planning to transfer a balance, there is a fee of either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. If you will be traveling outside of the United States, there is a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases.
Citi® Double Cash Card
If earning cash back is your objective for your holiday shopping then a solid option is the Citi® Double Cash Card from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser. While this card doesn’t have rotating categories that can earn 5% cash back, it does offer a very solid 2% cash back: 1% back on all purchases that you make, plus another 1% when you pay for those purchases. There are no limits on how much you can earn.
- Signup Bonus - There is no signup bonus with this card.
- Rewards - Earn 2% cach back. Each time you make a purchase you will earn 1% cash back. Then when you pay your statement balance each month, you will earn an additional 1% back on the all purchases. While this might be a fairly unique way of earning cash back, it can be the better option if you are not planning to shop at any of the bonus categories on the Discover it® card.
- Extra Benefits - When you use the Citi® Double Cash card to purchase your gifts this year, you don’t need to worry about a price drop. You will have access to Citi Price Rewind, which will automatically look for a lower price for the first 60 days on any item you purchase. The holidays can also be a popular time for criminals and identity theft. Citi® Identity Theft Solutions will help to keep you safe and protect your information from getting in the wrong hands.
- APR - There is an introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months. Once that is complete the rate will change to 18.49% - 28.49% (Variable) depending on your creditworthiness. There is not a promotional rate on purchases made with this card.
- Fees - You will not pay an annual fee on the Citi® Double Cash card, however there is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.
Citi Simplicity® Card
If you are planning to make a large holiday purchase and want to have a little extra time to pay it off, then you might be interested in the Citi Simplicity® Card from Citi, a Credit Cards House advertiser. There are not as many features to this card as the others, but it will give you the ability to pay off your purchase over 12 months before interest is charged.
- Signup Bonus - There is no signup bonus with this card
- Rewards - You will not earn rewards on the purchases that you make with this card.
- Added Benefits - As a Citi Simplicity® cardholder, you will have access to Citi Price Rewind as well as extended warranty protection, which will extend the manufacturer's warranty on purchased items.
- APR - You will receive an introductory 0% APR for the first 21 months on balance transfers and the first 12 months on purchases. Once the introductory period is over, the rate will move to 18.24% - 28.99% (Variable) depending on creditworthiness.
- Fees - With the Citi Simplicity® Card, there will never be an annual fee or late fee. If you choose to transfer a balance onto the card there will be a fee of 5% or $5, whichever is greater. For any purchases made outside of the United States, a 3% foreign transaction fee will be added.
The Bottom Line
Before you get started on your online holiday shopping, make sure you have the right credit card in your wallet. Any cash back or rewards that you earn could help reduce the overall cost of this year’s shopping.
Editorial Note: The information related to Chase Freedom® Card has been collected by Credit Cards House and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.
First published , last updated
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.