The holiday shopping season is already in full swing, and budget-minded spenders are always looking for ways to stretch every dollar. One way to get the most bang for your buck is to choose the best credit card for the situation. Here’s a look at some of the most popular credit cards and how they could fit well into your holiday spending plans.
Online shopping: Chase Freedom
Chase Freedom offers 5.0% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter. This quarter, purchases made on Amazon, the online holiday shopping epicenter, qualify for the higher rate. In addition, customers get 1.0% cash back on all other purchases.
The best way to start this process? Know your credit score by heart with Quizzle.
In-store shopping: American Express Blue Cash Preferred
The Blue Cash Preferred card from American Express offers 3.0% cash back at department stores. However, when it comes to holiday food shopping, the 6.0% cash back at grocery stores is hard to beat.
Cash Back: Discover It/Citi Double Cash
If you use Apple Pay, Discover It is offering an incredible cash back deal through the end of the year. Discover is offering 10% cash back on up to $10,000 in in-store Apple Pay purchases through the end of 2015. New card holders also get double cash back for their first 12 billing cycles, which means that they could earn up to $2,000 cash back on $10,000 in December purchases.
While Discover It may be the best short-term cash back option, the Citi Double Cash card offers the highest flat cash back rate among consumer cards: 2.0% across all purchases. In addition, the card charges no annual fee.
Initial rewards: Citi ThankYou Premier/Ink Plus Business
Possibly the best deal going for new users is the ThankYou Premier card offer: a 50,000-point bonus for signing up. In dollar terms, those points are equivalent to $625 in airfare or $500 in gift cards. There is no fee for the first year, but the $95 annual fee thereafter is one downside.
For small business owners, the Ink Plus Business card offers a 60,000-point bonus for new customers after they spend $5,000 in the first three months. That bonus is equivalent to $600 in cash or $750 in airfare. If you are self-employed, your business doesn’t need to be a corporation or an LLC to qualify if you are a sole proprietor.
Less-than-ideal credit: Capital One QuicksilverOne
If your credit history is less than perfect, getting approved for a card can be a challenge. While approval is not guaranteed, QuicksilverOne approval is a bit easier to come by than some of the other cards mentioned. The card does charge a $39 annual fee, but it also offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases.
Here’s how else to use your credit, according to Quizzle.
Avoiding interest: Citi Diamond Preferred
If you don’t plan on paying off your full holiday balance for a while, the Citi Diamond Preferred card could allow you to save big on interest. Assuming you make your minimum monthly payments, new holders can avoid accumulating interest on balances for the first 21 months.
Managing debt: Chase Slate
If you end up overspending this holiday season and want some breathing room on existing debt, Slate charges 0% interest on balance transfers for the first 15 months and charges no annual fee. The average household now holds $15,355 in credit card debt, and avoiding interest for 15 months could save thousands of dollars.
Whether you find yourself in a financial bind this holiday season or you are just looking for the best way to make your credit card work for you, there are a range of solutions available that offer compelling benefits. However, there is no card available that fixes irresponsible spending, so remember to enjoy the holidays regret-free by setting and maintaining an appropriate budget.
All reviews are prepared by the Quizzle Wire writing staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the credit card terms and conditions link on the issuing bank’s website for the most current information.