The most wonderful time of the year doesn’t come cheap. Americans spend an average of $942 on Christmas gifts, with 25% of parents still repaying holiday debts a year later.
While there isn’t a specific holiday credit card, the right rewards can significantly ease the impact of seasonal spending. Features such as 0% interest, cashback, and sign-up bonuses can all put a dent in your shopping bill, without cutting back on Christmas.
With that in mind, we’ve pulled together the best credit cards for holiday shopping. Think of it as our contribution to your holiday cheer.
In This Article:
- Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping
- 1. Chase Freedom Flex℠ – Best All-Round All-Year
- 2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – Best Cash Back for Groceries
- 3. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards – Best for Big Spenders
- 4. TD Cash Credit Card – For East Coast Service
- 5. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card – Get Paid to Order In
- What to Look for in the Best Credit Card for Holiday Shopping
- Bottom line
Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping
1. Chase Freedom Flex℠ – Best All-Round All-Year
When it comes to rewards, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ is top of the best holiday credit card deals. $200 cashback after your first $500 of spending. 5% cashback in rotating bonus categories (up to $1,500 in combined quarterly purchases), and on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. 3% on dining, takeout, and drugstores, and 1% on everything else. Plus, 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months (ongoing APR of 17.24% – 25.99% Variable after) and no annual fee. Simply put, you can use it as your holiday spending card, worry about it in January, and pay for a good chunk of it with Chase’s own money.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ also comes with a lot of protection. All purchases are protected against damage and theft for 120 days, up to $500 per claim. Manufacturers’ warranties are extended for a year. They even cover your cellphone, provided you pay your bill on your card. It’s a great Christmas credit card – and may even answer the question: What is the best credit card for shopping?
Why we like it:
- 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months (ongoing APR of 17.24% – 25.99% Variable after)
- 5% cashback on groceries (up to $12,000 in your first year)
- Comprehensive payment protection
Sign up for Chase Freedom Flex℠
2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express – Best Cash Back for Groceries
The headline feature of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, and 1% after), making it one of the best holiday credit card deals for making your turkey pay for itself. And when we’re all stuck at home for the holidays, the 6% cashback on select U.S. streaming subscriptions is a welcome reward. These rates alone make the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express a contender for the best credit card for Christmas shopping.
But the Plan It® feature is what makes this card worth holding on to even after the intro APR period is up (0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening, Variable APR of 16.24%-27.24% after). Any purchase over $100 can be split into monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest. The fixed monthly plan fee is 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. Right now, pay $0 Plan It® fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. If you go big on gifts, it’s a great way of using a credit card for Christmas to spread the cost. Just be aware there is a $95 annual fee after the first year. Terms apply.
Why we like it:
- 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets on your first $6,000 (1% after)
- 6% cashback on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
- Plan It® feature
- Terms apply
Sign up for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
3. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards – Best for Big Spenders
The [wp_shortcode56] comes with the same 15-month 0% APR period as the Chase Freedom Flex℠ , as well as the same $200 cash bonus after your first $500 on spending – with no annual fee. These features make it one of the best credit cards for holiday shopping.
At first glance, SavorOne’s reward rates don’t seem so generous. 3% on dining and entertainment, 2% for groceries and 1% on everything else. The big difference is that there’s no limit on how much you can earn in rewards. Granted, you’ll get less back for your high holiday spending, but uncapped rewards could add up to more over the course of the year – helping to pay for next year’s festivities.
Why we like it:
- Unlimited earnings on rewards
- 0% APR for 15 months
- $200 cash bonus on your first $500 of spending
Sign up for Capital One Savior One Cash Rewards
4. TD Cash Credit Card – For East Coast Service
The great thing about the TD Cash Credit Card is that you can walk into a TD Bank branch if you need to speak to someone. For anyone who’s spent hours on hold to their credit card company, that’s reason alone to use this as their holiday spending card – especially when you’re already dealing with holiday stress.
Along with the customer service bonus, you get $150 if you spend $500 in your first 90 days. 0% APR on purchases for 6 months, and balance transfers for 15 months. 3% cashback on dining, takeout, and delivery. 2% on groceries, and 1% on everything else – with no limits or caps. But be warned, you can only apply for the TD Cash Credit Card if you live on the east coast.
Why we like it:
- Bank branch customer service
- 3% cash back on dining, takeout, and delivery
- No limits or caps on rewards
Sign up for a TD Cash Credit Card
5. U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card – Get Paid to Order In
If you prefer takeout to turkey – let’s face it, 2020 has made us all order in a little more – the U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card could be for you. Why? Because the card gives you 4% on takeout, delivery, and dining, easily making it one of the best credit cards for the holidays.
The 0% purchase period is 12 months. You get $250 back on your first $1,000 of purchases. You get 2% cash back on groceries, gas stations, and streaming, with 1% on everything else. It may not be the best credit card for Christmas shopping. But it’s amongst the best holiday credit card deals for people who prefer ordering in than cooking.
Why we like it:
- 4% cashback on take-out, delivery, and dining
- 0% APR on purchase for 12 months
- $15 credit for annual streaming subscriptions
Sign up for the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
What to Look for in the Best Credit Card for Holiday Shopping
What is the best credit card for shopping? The key things that make a great Christmas credit card are:
- 0% APR purchase period
- Introductory cash bonuses
- Rewards that suit your spending style
If you’ve got outstanding debt, it’s also worth looking at 0% APR balance transfer periods, using a credit card for Christmas this way can give you a bit of breathing space.
Otherwise, choose the rewards that will give you the biggest boost. If you’re hosting the holidays, cashback on groceries should be your priority. If you can’t stand the kitchen, shoot for rewards on takeout and delivery. If you go overboard on presents, pick the card with the largest cash bonus – almost like a credit card Christmas spending promotion.
Just remember to take any limits into account, and how they factor in with your finances. For instance, the Amex Blue may deliver the best bang for your buck on groceries up-front, but the Capital SavorOne might save you more in the long run. The best credit cards for the holidays work for you all year.
The holidays are expensive for everyone. While there may not be a credit card Christmas spending promotion, the right rewards and interest-free periods can help you spread the cost of holiday spending – and soften the sting of the January Blues.