Rewards Credit Cards to Score Before the Holidays Hit
September 13, 2017
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With summer behind us and fall on its way, it’s just a matter of time until the festive season hits. Once Halloween comes and goes, an explosion of twinkling lights and non-stop sales will last for months. Holiday shopping season will kick in, culminating on Black Friday followed by weeks of last-minute rushing to find the perfect gifts. It will be here before we know it, which is why you should really start planning now.
If you haven’t started your holiday shopping list already, you’re likely not the only one. But, you can still hatch a plan to score all the gifts you’ll need and earn some rewards along the way.
With the right rewards credit card, you can earn tons of cash back or travel rewards that can make saving on holiday shopping a breeze. But, which card should you get?
Here are five rewards cards ideal for holiday shopping and saving:
If you’re looking for a rewards card that will serve you before, during, and after the holidays, the Discover it® is a smart option to consider. This card comes with no annual fee, zero fraud liability, no foreign transaction fees, a free FICO score on your monthly statement, and plenty of other perks.
Where it really shines, however, is in how it doles out rewards – especially for the holidays. The Discover it® hands out 1 percent cash-back on every purchase you make plus 5 percent cash-back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter. For the upcoming holiday shopping season (October – December 2017), the quarterly bonus category includes both Amazon.com and Target, making this card an absolute no-brainer whether you prefer to shop in-person or online.
- Holiday Perks: Earn 5 percent back this holiday season on your first $1,500 spent at Amazon.com or Target.
- Signup Bonus: None
If you’re gearing up to shop for the holidays and want another way to earn rewards, the Chase Freedom® is another solid bet. This card offers a generous rewards program plus valuable perks that can make keeping it for the long-term a smart idea.
Despite the fact that Chase Freedom® comes without an annual fee, it offers a slew of perks and benefits that are completely free to cardholders. Benefits that can make holiday shopping safer include purchase protection and extended warranty protection, but the card also offers special travel benefits like trip cancellation/interruption protection and roadside assistance.
On the earning front, the Chase Freedom® offers 1 percent cash-back on every dollar you spend along with 5 percent cash back on your first $1,500 spent in categories that rotate every quarter. Fortunately, the Chase Freedom® has already listed their October – December category as “holiday shopping” with more details to come.
- Holiday Perks: Earn 5 percent back on “holiday shopping” this October through December with more details to come.
- Signup Bonus: Earn $150 bonus after using your card for $500 in purchases within the first three months.
Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
If you do a lot of your shopping at grocery stores or department stores, the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express is another tool to add to your arsenal of rewards cards. This card offers a valuable combination of tiered rewards along with the opportunity to pay down holiday shopping bills with zero interest.
In terms of 0 percent APR, the offer extends no interest on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. A balance transfer fee does apply, however. On the rewards side of the equation, you’ll earn 6 percent cash-back on your first $6,000 spent at grocery stores each quarter, 3 percent cash-back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, and 1 percent cash-back on all other purchases. Obviously, these rewards can go far if you pick up gift cards or presents at grocery stores or shop at included department stores year-round. A $95 annual fee applies, and you can redeem your cash-back as statement credits on your account.
- Holiday Perks: Earn 6 percent back on your first $6,000 spent at grocery stores each year, 3 percent back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases
- Signup Bonus: Earn $150 bonus after using your card for $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express
If you’re looking for a no-fee cash-back credit card with similar rewards to the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express, the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express is a smart alternative. This card comes with no annual fee and the same 0 percent APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months. However, it offers a slightly lower earning structure in terms of rewards.
Currently, you’ll earn 3 percent back on your first $6,000 spent at U.S. grocery stores each year and 1 percent back on all other purchases. Once again, these rewards can add up substantially if you pick up gift cards or other presents at grocery stores like Kroger, Publix, Whole Foods, or Safeway.
- Holiday Perks: Earn 3 percent cash-back on your first $6,000 spent at grocery stores each year plus 1 percent back on all other purchases
- Signup Bonus: Earn $100 bonus after using your card for $1,000 in purchases within the first three months.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Card
If you’re an Amazon Prime addict who does most of their shopping online, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa card could be the best deal of them all. Currently, this card doles out 5 percent cash-back on all Amazon.com purchases for Prime members, 2 percent cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and 1 percent cash-back on all other purchases. The fact it doesn’t charge an annual fee makes it an especially good deal as well.
Non-prime members can even sign up for the card, albeit at a lower rate of rewards. If you don’t belong to Amazon Prime, you’ll still earn 3 percent cash-back on Amazon.com, 2 percent cash-back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases – all without an annual fee.
Lastly, Amazon also offers an Amazon Prime store credit card that can only be used on Amazon.com. This card extends consumers a flat 5 percent cash back on all Amazon.com purchases without charging an annual fee. It also offers access to 6, 12 and 24-month special financing or 0 percent APR for 12 months with equal payments.
- Holiday Perks: Earn up to 5 percent back on Amazon.com, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations, and drug stores, and 1 percent back on all other purchases.
- Signup Bonus: None