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 offers 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
- 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months – then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% – 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
- Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover “Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie” by J.D. Power*.
- 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 – October through December 2014 when you sign up*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
- No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment – APR won’t go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
- Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it’s unusual, you’re alerted by e-mail, phone or text – and are never responsible for unauthorized Discover card purchases.
- 100% U.S.- based customer service – anytime, day and night.
- *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms and other info by clicking “Apply.”
Best Cash Back with Average Credit: Barclaycard Rewards Mastercard® – Average Credit
- No annual fee
- Earn 2 points per $1 on gas, grocery, and utility purchases and 1 point per $1 everywhere else
- Use the points you earn like cash to pay for almost any purchases you’ve made.
- No blackout date, no redemption fees, no limit on the points you can earn and no complicated set up.
- Reports to all 3 major credit bureaus monthly providing you the opportunity to rebuild your credit score
- 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.
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