The best credit cards for Christmas shopping

Editor’s Note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


During the holiday shopping season, you may have a long list of gifts to buy for your family and friends. Since you’re reading The Points Guy, I certainly hope you’re carefully considering which credit cards give you the best rewards and protections for these purchases.

Today, I want to go over my list of the best cards to use when shopping for gifts during the holiday season.

It is important to note that this list is not exhaustive, but rather looks at a variety of cards that may appeal to a large readership. Everyone has their own criteria for deciding which card is best for holiday shopping, so be sure to calculate the numbers based on your unique situation.

With that said, here are our top picks for your holiday gift shopping.

The best credit cards for Christmas shopping

Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card information has been compiled independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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the Capital One Venture Rewards is a great option for those who want flexible rewards without worrying about different spending category bonuses. Venture Rewards earns 2 miles per dollar spent on all eligible purchases, ensuring you earn bonus points whether you’re shopping for stocking stuffers or browsing Cyber ​​Monday deals.

There’s also flexibility in how you redeem the miles you earn. You can use your miles to “pay” yourself for travel booked in the last 90 days. Or, you can transfer your miles to more than 15 airline and hotel loyalty programs to book new travel. You can also redeem miles for gift cards or statement credits toward eligible purchases, though your best bet is to transfer them to partner airlines or hotels.

Related: How to use your Capital One miles for maximum value

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Chase Freedom Flex

Whether you’re more of a traditional brick-and-mortar shopper or prefer to shop online, you’ll enjoy 5% back on up to $1,500 on purchases at Walmart or PayPal with the Chase Freedom Flex in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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While the 5% cash back sounds great, seasoned points and miles aficionados know that the Chase Freedom Flex isn’t just a cash back card. When combined with a premium Chase card that earns full Ultimate Rewards points, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Reserve Chase Sapphire — that cash back can be converted into much more valuable Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to partners like United Airlines and Hyatt.

TPG values ​​Ultimate Rewards points for travel at 2 cents each, which is why combining Freedom Flex (or Pursue unlimited freedom) with the Reserve Sapphire and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card Create a formidable point-earning machine.

If you don’t already have this card, Chase Freedom Flex offers new cardholders a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first three months with the card.

Related: 5 Ways To Max Out The New Chase Freedom Flex Promotion To Earn Up To 19,500 Bonus Points This Quarter

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is the card for you, with no annual fee (although it does require an Amazon Prime membership at $139 a year).

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With Black Friday and Cyber ​​Monday coming up, you want a card that gives you the most bang for your buck on holiday shopping. Amazon Prime Visa offers 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and pharmacies, and 1% back on everything else.

If you don’t already have the card, new applicants will get a $150 Amazon gift card instantly once approved, helping you cut the cost of your holiday shopping right out of the box.

Related: The best credit cards for purchases on Amazon

Gold American Express® Card

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Without a question, he amex gold it is one of the best cards for food lovers. Earning rate of 4 points per dollar at US grocery stores (up to $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and restaurants worldwide, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly or through Amex Travel and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases, this card can provide some lucrative earnings for everyday purchases.

While the earn rate for non-reward purchases only generates 1 point per dollar, you may want to consider paying with Amex Gold this holiday season for their strong purchase protection policy. Eligible items will come with coverage of up to $10,000 for theft, damage or loss within the first 90 days of purchase.* That’s big, especially if you’re shopping for big-ticket items this holiday season, like electronics or furniture.

The Amex Gold also comes with an extended warranty, which extends a US manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.*

You’ll never know when you’ll need to rely on these protections, but they can be quite valuable and may be worth sacrificing the bonus points you’d earn with the other cards on this list.

Related: Use these cards to maximize big purchases

*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card

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If you have the ability to park a significant amount of your investments and savings at Bank of America or Merrill, the Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Credit Card It is a great choice for Christmas shopping.

While the card comes with reasonable (though not impressive) earning rates of 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar spent on all purchases (redeemable at a rate of 1 cent per point), the card The real value of this card comes when you can reach the Platinum or Platinum Honors award levels in Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards independent banking program. By doing so, this card’s daily win rate can add up to 2,625 points for every dollar spent, making it a great choice for holiday gifts.

The Bank of America Premium Rewards Card currently offers a 50,000 point sign-up bonus if you make at least $3,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Plus, the card comes with up to a $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck, Global Entry, and up to a $100 annual statement credit for airline incidentals, all for an annual fee of $95.

Related: 5 Reasons to Get the Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

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The final card on my list earns a spot in part for its simplicity. the Citi Double Cash Card offers a flat 1% rebate on every purchase plus another 1% rebate when you pay your bill (up to a total return of 2%).

While this rate of return on everyday purchases is not compared to the potential returns highlighted above, this is automatic and results in cold cash in your account. For many shoppers, a card with no annual fee like this one fits the bill.

Important considerations

Holiday shopping can also be a great way to meet the minimum spend requirement on a new credit card, as long as you do so responsibly. There are plenty of great welcome offers to consider. We’ve curated a list of the latest bonuses here, so check it out to see if there’s one you want to work on this holiday season.

Also, some of your current credit cards may offer a calendar year bonus or extra perks for spending a certain amount of money on the card, so if you’re getting close to either of those, it might make sense to focus your vacation spending. in them.

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In addition to making sure that you are using the correct credit cards, it is essential that you visit an online shopping portal to maximize your earnings. The best thing about online shopping portals is that you don’t have to use a specific card for purchases.

My favorite site for deciding which portal to use is CashBackMonitor, as it will compare a given merchant’s win rates across a variety of different shopping portals. I also like to download the browser extension for my favorite shopping portal so I never forget to activate the extra earnings.

CASHBACKMONITOR.COM

Bottom line

There are many ways to make the most of your shopping during the holiday season. However, every points and miles enthusiast has their own way of figuring out the best card to swipe at checkout, so you may have a card that earns you more desirable rewards or helps you reach a bonus limit per calendar year.

Remember that many online purchases can be made even more lucrative by going through an online shopping portal, which will earn you extra points or miles (or cash back) just for clicking through the site.

Official link of the application: capital a company.
Official link of the application: Chase Freedom Flex.
Official link of the application: american express gold.
Official link of the application: Bank of America Premium Rewards Card.
Official link of the application: Citi Double Cash Card.

Additional reporting by Ryan Wilcox, Stella Shon, and Benét J. Wilson.

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