Best Rewards Credit Cards for 2013 Holiday Shopping
Rachel McMahon | On 27, Oct 2013
The holidays are on our doorstep, and you know what that mean: holiday shopping time. This year, it’s time to shop smarter, which means picking your credit cards strategically based on what rewards they have to offer. Here are some tips:
- Rewards where you shop: Look for cards that give you the best rewards for purchases you are already going to make, like for online purchases or at major department stores.
- No interest until next year: Find a card that has an extended 0% intro APR period so you have plenty of time to pay off those big ticket purchases before they start charging you interest.
- Big intro bonus: Get a card with a hefty intro bonus so you have a little extra spending cash for the holidays. If you are buying a TV for $1,000, but can get a $400 bonus from your card for spending $1,000, that TV is only $600.
- Traveling for the holidays? Find a card that offer no blackout dates so you can use miles to pay for expensive holiday travel.
So which credit cards are the best at combining these rewards? Here are our picks:
Best Credit Card for Online Shopping and No Interest until 2015: Discover it® Card
- Fair. No annual fee. No overlimit fee. No foreign transaction fee. Pay up to midnight ET online or by phone on your due date without a fee. Plus, paying late won’t raise your APR.*
- Generous. 5% cash back at Home Improvement Stores, Furniture Stores and Bed Bath & Beyond® on up to $1,500 in purchases from April through June 2014.*
- Human. 100% U.S.-based customer service available any time.
- Safe. Because you’re never responsible for unauthorized charges with our $0 Fraud Liability Guarantee.
- Plus, free FICO® Credit Score on your monthly statement to help you stay on top of your credit.*
- 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
- *Click “Apply” to see rates, rewards, and free FICO® Credit Score terms and other information.
Best Intro Perk with $400 Bonus: Barclaycard® Arrival World MasterCard®
- Earn 40,000 bonus miles if you make $1,000 or more in purchases in the first 90 days from account opening. 40,000 bonus miles equates to $400 off your next trip!
- 0% introductory APR on purchases for the first 12 months after account opening. After that, variable APR, currently 14.99% or 18.99%, based upon your creditworthiness.
- Earn 2X miles on all purchases
- No mileage caps or foreign transaction fees
- Get 10% miles back when you redeem for travel (i.e. redeem 25,000 miles for travel and get 2,500 miles back)
- Use miles for a statement credit toward any airline purchase to any destination with no seat restrictions and no blackout dates
- Easily redeem your miles for statement credits toward flights, cruises, car rentals, hotels and more
- Complimentary subscription to TripIt Pro mobile travel organizer – a $49 annual value!
- Complimentary FICO® Scores as a benefit to active cardmembers. Opt-in to have instant and convenient access to FICO® Scores from your Barclaycard online account.
- Apply for the card here
Best Credit Card for Holiday Travel: US Airways Premier World MasterCard®
- Earn up to 40,000 bonus miles with qualifying transactions
- Exclusive: Book award flights for 5,000 fewer miles – award travel starts at just 20,000 miles for cardmembers
- Zone 2 boarding on all US Airways flights
- Earn 2 miles per $1 on US Airways purchases
- Earn 1 mile per $1 on purchases everywhere else
- Annual companion certificate good for up to 2 companion tickets at $99 each, plus taxes and fees
- First Class check-in
- Please see terms and conditions for complete details
- Apply for the card here
Best Prepaid Card with Intro Rewards: American Express Serve®
- Get American Express Serve and you could get $50 when you use Direct Deposit. Must enroll in Direct Deposit by 10/30/13.*
- No credit check. No minimum balance. No activation fee.
- Manage your money with the prepaid card, online account, and mobile app.
- Shop online or off and get access to membership benefits like Purchase Protection.*
- Enroll in Direct Deposit to get your paycheck in your American Express Serve Account on payday.
- No need to use a check. Email money to anyone no matter where they have a bank account.
- The safety and security of American Express.
- The 24/7 customer service you expect from American Express.
- *Terms, conditions and exclusions apply.
- Apply for card here.