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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.
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.
- 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate (then 1% back)
- 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
- 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
- 1% on all other purchases
You can redeem your points for cash, travel, and gift cards.
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.
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).
Cardholders can also enjoy $0 plan fees when using Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 plan fees on plans created during the first 15 months after account opening. Plans created after that will have a plan fee up to 1.33% of each purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
The welcome bonus is the ability to earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
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.
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.
However, if you are wanting to earn a few more miles on travel, good news—earn 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel. Plus, Venture cardholders will earn 5x miles when booking through the Turo app or on Turo.com (through May 16, 2023).
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 75,000 miles after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. This is equal to $750 in travel.
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 $100 on-property credit (on qualifying stays).
Each Card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits for purchases on the Card at hotels participating in Marriott Bonvoy™. Effective 9/22/22, the $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit benefit will no longer be available. It will be replaced with a new benefit of up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide.
The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is one of the most valuable options as cardholders can receive 1 Free Night Award every year after their Card renewal month. The Award can be used for one night (redemption level at or under 50,000 Marriott Bonvoy Points) at a participating hotel. Note that certain hotels have resort fees.
New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after using their new Card to make $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months.
The Annual Fee is $450 (See Rates & Fees).
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.
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:
- 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, Priority Pass Select lounge access, and a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit.
Points are also worth 50% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
New Chase Sapphire Reserve® cardholders can earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That’s $900 toward travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
The annual fee is $550.
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. All remaining purchases earn 1 point per $1.
Cardholders can also enjoy 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.
Points are worth 25% more when redeemed for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories with the Chase Pay Yourself Back feature.
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.
- Stay On Top Of Expiring Airline Miles During COVID-19
- Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping
- Best Credit Cards for Eating at Home
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.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
- Enjoy benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3x on dining and 2x on all other travel purchases, plus more.
- 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.
- 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
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get complimentary access to DashPass which unlocks $0 delivery fees and lower service fees for a minimum of one year when you activate by December 31, 2024.
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- 1 Chase Freedom Flex
- 2 The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
- 3 Citi Double Cash Card
- 4 Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
- 5 Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
- 6 Chase Sapphire Reserve
- 7 Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
- 8 Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
- 9 Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping