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With the holiday season comes loads of holiday shopping. If you’re going to be spending the cash, why not get some value out of it — particularly travel rewards? Whether you’re looking to earn some miles or you want to redeem some valuable points for travel through a card-specific booking portal, these are the best credit cards for earning miles on holiday shopping.
Earning miles on holiday shopping is easy. For instance, the Chase Freedom card gives you 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 per quarter. The caveat is that this only applies to purchases made within particular categories. The categories change each quarter.
Luckily, during the last quarter of the year, the categories include purchases made at department stores, wholesale clubs, and anywhere that accepts Chase Pay. You can easily make most, if not all, of your holiday spending fall within these three categories!
In order to take advantage of this quarter’s 5 percent earning categories, you do have to indicate that you want to earn the 5 percent cash back in those categories via your Chase Freedom account by the designated date (this year it was December 14th). So, if you’re already a cardholder with the Chase Freedom card in your wallet, you’ll want to tick that box asap and begin spending within the designated categories.
But why would you want cash back if you came here to find out how to earn miles on your holiday shopping? If you’re not familiar with the Chase family of cards, do note that you can transfer your cash back earned from the card to Chase Ultimate Rewards points, perfect for booking travel or transferring to a slew of airline partners.
Chase Ink Business Preferred
If you’re a business owner of any kind (and you can get a business credit card with just about any type of eligible independent income, whether you have a photography gig on the side or just opened up a brick and mortar storefront), make all of your holiday purchases on the Chase Ink Business Preferred.
Whether you’re buying your clients a fruit basket to show them they matter, funding the open bar at the holiday party or just taking care of your normal gift purchases, you can earn a huge amount of Chase Ultimate Rewards points if you put all this spending on the card as a new cardholder.
All you have to do is spend $5,000 within three months of opening, an extremely easy task during the holiday season, and you receive 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points on your Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card. This is worth more than $1,000 in free travel both when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal or you transfer the points to your favorite airline loyalty program.
The Platinum Card from American Express
This premium travel card is another great one to sign up for during the holiday season, just to get the welcome bonus on all that holiday spending.
Right now, the card offers new cardholders 60,000 American Express Membership Rewards points if you spend $5,000 on purchases within the first three months. That equals out to a lot of miles if you transfer your points to some of the more lucrative loyalty programs among airlines, such as those international programs that allow you to book with a domestic carrier partner, saving miles when you fly to coveted destinations like Hawaii.
Do note that the Platinum Card® from American Express does have a pretty hefty annual fee of $550 and it isn’t waived the first year. You’re also required to pay your balance in full each billing cycle. However, a lot of travelers find that the fee is more than worth it with all of the perks and benefits you receive throughout the year, particularly if you’re a frequent luxury traveler.
You’ll receive access to luxury airport lounges around the world, credits for your Global Entry and TSA Precheck applications, help with travel planning via a 24/7 Platinum Club concierge, and more.
Capital One Venture Rewards
What if you’re a cardholder that doesn’t want to worry about meeting large spending thresholds in order to receive a bonus, or if you don’t want to worry about spending categories at all? What if you just want to earn the miles by going about your normal, everyday spending?
If that’s the case, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card might be a good choice for you. The welcome offer of 50,000 miles is nice, as you only have to spend $3,000 within 3 months of account opening. It’s worth $500 in travel, making it easy to travel with earning miles on holiday shopping.
But the ease of earning is the stand-out feature on this card. You receive 2X miles on every purchase, any time, anywhere, uncapped forever. Additionally, you earn 10 miles per $1 spent when you book a hotel through the hotels.com Venture portal. The annual fee is tiny, too, at only $95. Plus, it’s waived the first year.
Bottom Line When Earning Miles on Holiday Shopping
As with anything, use your best judgment. Do your research, look at your budget, and consider the things you have in the coming months. Choose the card that will best likely work for you.
Earning miles on holiday shopping doesn’t have to be difficult. With a few clicks of a button, you can easily be on your way!
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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.