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Are you making a shopping list and checking it twice? The best credit cards for holiday shopping make it easy to earn cash or travel rewards at the most popular stores. Plus, as this time of year can be more expensive than other months, these last few weeks of the year can be one of the best times to earn a nice signup/welcome bonus (like one of the many 100k bonus offers available!).

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Target is one of the stores that cardholders can earn rewards with one of the best credit cards for holiday shopping. Credit: Target

Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back on the first $1,500 spent on combined purchases (once activated) that rotate quarterly. For example, once activated, purchases at grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target) and on select streaming services earn 5% cash back, on the first $1,500 (then 1% back) from July through September 30, 2021. Cardholders must activate by September 14, 2021, to earn the bonus rewards.

Travel purchases made on Chase Ultimate Rewards earn unlimited 5% back.

Purchases at restaurants (including takeout and delivery services) and drugstores earn 3% back. All non-bonus spending makes 1% back. You can redeem your points for cash, travel, and gift cards. Another option is pooling your points with a Chase Sapphire card.

There isn’t an annual fee.

New Chase Freedom Flex℠ cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus, they can earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Related: Why You Should Get The Chase Freedom Flex: $200 Bonus, Cashback

The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express can be a good option for holiday shopping and nearby road trips. You can earn up to 3% back on purchases:

  • 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $6,000 per year, then 1%)
  • 2% back at U.S. gas stations
  • 2% back at select U.S. department stores
  • 1% back on everything else.
  • Terms apply

Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

This card doesn’t have an annual fee (See Rates & Fees).

New cardholders can earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card in the first 6 months of Card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months of card membership. You will receive cash back in the form of statement credits.

Terms apply.

Learn more: Cash Back Credit Cards

Citi Double Cash Card

Instead of spending time figuring out which card is best for the stores you plan on patronizing, the Citi® Double Cash Card makes earning bonus points easy. You can earn unlimited 2% back on all purchases (1% back at the time of purchase and 1% back when you make a balance payment).

Cash redemption options include a statement credit, bank account deposit, and a paper check. There is no annual fee.

Related: Citi Double Cash Review: 2% Back, No Annual Fee, & More

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of the best flat-rate travel rewards credit cards. You earn 2 Venture miles per $1 spent on any purchase.

Each mile can be most valuable when redeemed for travel statement credits, upcoming travel, or transferring to an airline or hotel partner. One additional perk is a fee credit of up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.

The annual fee is $95.

New Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card cardholders can earn 60,000 miles after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

Learn more: Travel Rewards Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card earns up to 6 Marriott Bonvoy points on these ongoing rewards categories:

  • 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program
  • 3 points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2 points on all other eligible purchases

As the Bonvoy Brilliant is a premium hotel credit card, it comes with a few extra benefits. Some key benefits include up to $300 in statement credits each year of Card Membership for eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, up to $100 on-property credit (on qualifying stays), and one free anniversary night valid at a property requiring up to 50,000 points.

The Annual Fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees).

New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Plus, earn up to $200 in Statement Credits for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Terms apply.

Learn more: Hotel Rewards Credit Cards

Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® earns some of the most valuable credit card points for travel rewards.

Plus, earn 5x total points on air travel and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

Cardholders earn 10x points on Lyft rides, including bikes and scooters. Complimentary Lyft Pink Membership is also available when activated by March 21, 2022. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.

Each Ultimate Rewards is worth 50% more (1.5 cents each) when you book award travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also transfer them at a 1:1 ratio to airlines and hotels, including Southwest Airlines, United, World of Hyatt, and Marriott Bonvoy.

Valuable holiday shopping benefits include:

  • Up to $120 back in Peloton Digital purchase credits (through 12/31/2021)
  • Purchase protection up to $10,000 per claim ($50,000 per year)
  • Return protection up to $500 per item ($1,000 per year)
  • Extended warranty protection of up to one year

Premium travel features include a $300 annual travel credit (also valid at gas stations and grocery stores through Dec. 31, 2021), Priority Pass Select lounge access, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.

Points are also worth 50% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.

The annual fee is $550.

Related: Chase Sapphire Reserve Benefits and Perks & 5 Reasons I’m Hooked

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

If you don’t want a premium credit card, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. You earn 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x points on dining, and 2x points on all other travel purchases, plus more. Lyft rides earn 5x points through March 2022. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.

Cardholders can also enjoy new Chase Sapphire benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit.

Each point is worth 1.25 cents each (25% more) when booking award travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to airlines and hotels or redeem for cash and gift cards.

Additionally, cardholders can earn up to $60 in statement credits on Peloton Digital and All-Access Memberships through December 31, 2021. Points are worth 25% more now through Sept. 30, 2021, when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature. Points are also worth 25% more when redeemed through the new Chase Dining hub in Ultimate Rewards, now through Sept. 30, 2021.

The annual fee is $95.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a tiered cash reward credit card that lets you pick the 3% bonus category. Gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvements and furnishings are the categories that can earn 3% cash back.

In addition to getting 3% back on one category of choice, you also get 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. You earn 3% and 2% back in the first $2,500 in combined quarterly spend. All non-bonus purchases earn 1% back. Bank of America Preferred Rewards members can earn between 25% and 75% more on each purchase.

This is a great cash back credit card to consider.

There is no annual fee. New cardmembers can earn a $200 cash bonus by spending at least $1,000 in the first 90 days.

Learn more: Cash Back Credit Cards

Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

As you cross items off your holiday shopping list and check it twice to not overlook any person, these best credit cards for holiday shopping give you the confidence you’re earning the most rewards possible. In addition to the ongoing rewards, look for limited-time promotions that can boost your spending power.

Related Articles:

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please click here.

For rates and fees of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card, please click here.

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