Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching. Last holiday season, the majority of shoppers (85%) used a credit card or store card to buy their holiday items. Thatâ€™s an 8% increase from 2016, and if the trend continues, credit card use will increase again this holiday season.
Folks who are trying to decide which credit card to take with them on their holiday shopping spree would do well to choose â€” and spend â€”Â wisely.
Some 44% of shoppers accrued over $1,000 in holiday debt in 2017, according to a MagnifyMoney survey, â€” and the majority of debt sufferers didnâ€™t plan on it. Falling into unexpected debt can damper your holiday season and it may take you a long time to finally dig yourself out of debt.
But, if you use the right credit card along with responsible credit behavior, you can have a successful, debt-free holiday shopping season.
There are credit cards tailored to various holiday expenses such as supermarket purchases, online shopping at Amazon.com, purchases at department stores and much more. By using the right card, you can earn rewards to reduce the cost of your bills and even finance your holiday shopping so you avoid falling into debt.
In this roundup, we found the best credit cards that you can use on Black Friday and Cyber Monday, so you can maximize rewards regardless of where you plan to shop. Weâ€™ve also included several cards that offer 0% intro periods that can help you finance big-ticket purchases and even several smaller purchases.
The online shopping giant offers pretty much anything you can ask for, from electronics, to clothes, to food â€” perfect for a one-stop destination to get all your holiday shopping needs. You can use one of their Amazon-branded credit cards or a cashback card that rewards you for Amazon.com purchases. Rewards can be redeemed for a statement credit that helps to reduce your bill, and may be redeemable for future Amazon.com purchases.
The information related to Amazon Prime Rewards VisaÂ® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
The Amazon Prime Rewards VisaÂ® Signature Card offers the most rewards for your Amazon.com spending of any card around â€” Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. This is a fantastic rate thatâ€™s great for people looking to do the majority of their Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping on Amazon.com. Plus, if youâ€™re already a Prime member, this card is a no-brainer since thereâ€™s a $0 annual fee. However, if youâ€™re not currently a Prime member, the cost is currently $119 for an annual membership. There is a new cardmember offer that helps offset the annual fee â€” Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.
The information related to Amazon Rewards VisaÂ® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
If you donâ€™t want to become a Prime member, there is a version of this card that doesnâ€™t require a Prime membership â€” the Amazon Rewards VisaÂ® Signature Card. However, youâ€™ll earn a lower rewards rate at Amazon.com and receive a lower new cardmember offer. Earn 3% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Get a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.
An alternative to an Amazon-branded store card is a cashback card that offers Amazon.com as a bonus category. The Discover itÂ® Cash Back has Amazon.com and wholesale clubs as a bonus category from October to December 2018 â€” which is perfect for your holiday shopping. Youâ€™ll earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. One percent unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.
There is a $1,500 quarterly maximum for the bonus categories, which comes out to $75 cash back at the 5% rate before it drops to 1%. Depending on how much you plan to spend at Amazon.com and wholesale clubs, this may not be an issue. But, if you think youâ€™ll spend over $1,500 in these two categories this October to December, you should consider the Amazon Prime Rewards VisaÂ® Signature Card since it doesnâ€™t have a quarterly maximum.
If you do the majority of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping at department stores like Macyâ€™s and Bloomingdaleâ€™s, a card that offers a competitive rewards rate on these purchases can come in handy. Department stores typically offer their own store cards, but you can only use them at their store. Therefore, if you plan on shopping at multiple department stores, youâ€™d need a store card for each store. This can be a hassle, so weâ€™ve recommended credit cards that can be used anywhere and still earn above average rewards at eligible department stores.
The two cards we recommend offer high rewards rates at select department stores including Macyâ€™s and Bloomingdaleâ€™s, plus tons of other stores. We do want to point out that the Chase FreedomÂ® has more qualifying department stores than the Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express â€” providing more flexibility.
The Chase FreedomÂ® is a rotating cashback card that allows cardholders to Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. From October to December 2018, department stores, wholesale clubs and Chase PayÂ® are 5% bonus categories. You can earn a great rate on those purchases, but take note that spending at the 5% cashback rate is limited to $1,500 a quarter before it drops down to 1% cash back. If you want a wide selection of department stores to earn 5% cash back (up to a quarterly max of $1,500, then 1%) and donâ€™t mind activating the bonus categories, the Chase FreedomÂ® can be a good choice for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday department store shopping.
Eligible department stores include:
*Not an eligible department store with the Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express.
The Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express doesnâ€™t offer as high a rewards rate at select U.S. department stores compared with the Chase FreedomÂ®, but it has the advantage of no quarterly limits or activation. Cardholders earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. This card does have a $95 annual fee, but if you spend $3,167 a year at select U.S. department stores, youâ€™ll earn enough cash back to cover the annual fee.
Eligible department stores include:
*Not an eligible department store with the Chase FreedomÂ®.
During the holidays you most likely will be traveling to visit family and friends or entertaining guests at your home. Shopping at wholesale clubs can be a great way to stock up on needed items for entertaining, cooking and gift-giving. Wholesale clubs like BJâ€™s, Costco, and Samâ€™s Club offer their own co-branded credit cards that members can use to earn rewards. There are also some cards from major issuers that offer wholesale clubs as a bonus category during the holiday months. Just remember that if you plan on shopping regularly at wholesale clubs, youâ€™ll need an active membership. However, many clubs offer free one-day passes where you can shop around without a membership, and you can also piggyback off a friend or family memberâ€™s membership.
From October to December 2018, two cards are offering wholesale clubs as a bonus category â€” the Chase FreedomÂ® and the Discover itÂ® Cash Back. Keep in mind you need to activate the bonus categories for the 5% cash back to take effect. And, the amount of cash back you can earn at the 5% cashback rate has a $1,500 quarterly maximum before the cashback rate drops to 1%. So, thatâ€™s up to $75 cash back at the 5% rate. You can use these cards for your wholesale club shopping this holiday season and reap the rewards. If youâ€™re a member of multiple wholesale clubs or donâ€™t want a club-specific credit card, these cards are a good choice.
While shopping at your local supermarket on Black Friday wonâ€™t likely be on the top of your list, getting a good supermarket rewards card can help ease the sting of holiday grocery bills. TheÂ Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express has a rewards program tailored to U.S. supermarket spending with 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. However, this card comes with a $95 annual fee that isnâ€™t worthwhile for everyone.
There is a $0 annual fee version of this card, the Blue Cash EverydayÂ® Card from American Express. But, that card offers half as much cash back with 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. If you donâ€™t want to pay an annual fee, then it can be a better choice.
You should consider how much you spend each month at U.S. supermarkets before you settle on a card. If you spend over $264 a month ($61 a week) at U.S. supermarkets, youâ€™ll see more benefit from the Blue Cash PreferredÂ® Card from American Express. But, if you spend less than $264 a month at U.S. supermarkets, then you should stick with the $95 annual fee Blue Cash EverydayÂ® Card from American Express.
Take note that superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs like BJâ€™s, Target and Walmart arenâ€™t considered U.S. supermarkets and will earn 1% cash back.
Shopping for everyone on your list this holiday season can cost you a lot of money. With the average holiday shopper incurring $1,054 in debt last year, youâ€™ll want to think about taking preventative measures so you donâ€™t fall into debt. You should consider credit cards offering 0% intro periods for new purchases that help you avoid interest charges when you carry a balance during the intro period. There are cards that offer as long as 20 months interest-free.
Here are our top picks for cards with 0% intro periods:
on US Bankâ€™s secure website
on TruWest Credit Unionâ€™s secure website
If you chose to use a 0% intro APR card, you should check in on your debt two months before your intro period ends. Check to see if youâ€™re on track to pay off your balance before the intro period ends. If youâ€™re behind schedule and donâ€™t think your debt will be paid off in time, consider a balance transfer credit card. You can transfer debt from your existing card to a new card offering a 0% intro period for balance transfers.Â This saves you from interest charges compared with leaving your balance on your current card post intro period, and also gives you more time to pay off your debt. Just take note that balances canâ€™t be transferred between cards from the same bank and you will typically incur a balance transfer fee â€” however this fee is often outweighed by the amount you save on interest â€” though there are cards with no balance transfer fees.
Here are our top picks for balance transfer credit cards:
This article contains links to CompareCards, which like MagnifyMoney, is a subsidiary of LendingTree.
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