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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.

Cardholders earn:

  • 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.

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% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • Plus, 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%)
  • 1% cash back on general purchases

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).

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 an 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.

For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

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.

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.

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.

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:

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

As the Bonvoy Brilliant is a premium hotel credit card, it comes with a few extra benefits. For instance, each card renewal year, get up to $300 in statement credits per calendar year (up to $25 per month) for eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide. 

Other featured benefits include 1 Free Night Award (redemption level at or under 85,000 points) annually after your card renewal month at participating Marriott Bonvoy properties (some hotels have resort fees), up to $100 property credit for qualifying charges at The Ritz-Carlton® or St. Regis® when you book direct using a special rate for a two-night minimum stay using your Card, and complimentary Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.

Additionally, cardholders can enjoy a fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, up to $800 in cellphone protection, and 25 Elite Night Credits toward the next level of Marriott Bonvoy Elite status (terms apply).

Marriott Bonvoy Platinum Elite members earn 50% more points on eligible purchases at participating hotels for each U.S. dollar (or the currency equivalent) that is incurred and paid for by the member.

Additionally, after spending $60,000 on eligible purchases each calendar year, cardholders are eligible to select an Earned Choice Award benefit, which includes 5 Suite Night Awards, an 85k Free Night Award, and a mattress and box spring $750 discount from Marriott Bonvoy Boutiques.

Although this card has a $650 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees (See Rates & Fees), it has plenty of benefits that are worth a lot more.

New Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card cardholders can earn 150,000 bonus points after using their new Card to make $5,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 3 months. 

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.

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. 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.

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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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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