The Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping
Santa and his elves are hard at work these days, double checking their lists and trying to make sure that every child who’s been nice this year has a merry holiday season. But times have been tough for a lot of us, including Mr. Claus, and we could all benefit from savings during such an expensive time of the year. Luckily, credit card companies are following in the tradition of retailers offering their best promotions and sales during the holidays. So, as long as credit cards haven’t left lumps of coal in your stocking in the past, you should consider the following list of the Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping because they truly have the potential to spread holiday cheer.
There are two groups of credit cards that can help you this holiday season: those that you already have in your wallet and those that you can apply for. You see, not only are there a number of attractive new rewards and 0% interest credit cards currently on the market, but certain credit card companies are also sweetening the deal for existing customers as the holidays roll around.
When it comes to finding the right credit card to apply for this holiday season, it is important that you determine which of the following five primary consumer needs you’re trying to address: A) Lowering your holiday spending tab by getting the card with the highest initial rewards bonus; B) Earning the best ongoing rewards in order to benefit throughout the entire year and beyond; C) Performing a balance transfer in order to minimize the cost of existing credit card debt and create some breathing room for holiday shopping; D) Buying time to pay down holiday purchases without interest by opening a 0% credit card; or E) Garnering an initial discount at a major retailer. For your convenience, we have listed the best credit cards for each purpose below:
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Initial Rewards Bonus) Offers 40,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 during the first three months the card is open, which means you could get a big payoff for using the card to handle holiday shopping. The bonus points can be redeemed for either $500 in travel booked through Chase or a $400 statement credit. This card does not have a first-year annual fee, but a $95 fee will be charged beginning in the second year.
- Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express (Ongoing Rewards) Offers 6% cash back at supermarkets (up to a $6,000 annual limit), 3% at gas stations and department stores, and 1% on everything else. It also offers a $150 initial bonus for spending $1,000 in the first three months, which will cover the $75 annual fee for first two years. Therefore, not only could this card help you save during the holidays – from cooking holiday meals and buying gifts to driving to visit loved ones, but it obviously brings a lot of value to the table throughout the rest of the year as well.
- SlateSM From Chase (Balance Transfer) Offers 0% on balance transfers for 15 months and doesn’t charge a balance transfer fee or an annual fee. A credit card calculator will show you that the Slate Card could save the average household – which has roughly $6,700 in credit card debt – more than $1,000 in interest in becoming debt free.
- Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card (0% on Purchases) Has a 0% introductory interest rate on new purchases for 18 months and an 11.99 - 21.99% regular rate, based on creditworthiness. It does not charge an annual fee. This card could therefore save you from a lot of interest on gift purchases that you won’t be able to pay off in full within in single billing period.
- JCPenney Store Card Gives new cardholders up to 20% off purchases made the day they’re approved. More specifically, it offers 20% off apparel, shoes, handbags, and fashion jewelry and 10% off fine jewelry, watches, and home merchandise. In light of the variety of goods that JCPenney offers, the store’s nationwide presence, and the fact that store cards are easier to get than traditional credit cards, the JCPenney Store Card could certainly help a lot of folks save this holiday season.