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When Black Friday is right around the corner and if you find yourself gearing up to shop, having the right credit card for you can pay off. Some cards offer great rewards on holiday purchases; others may save you money when you shop via the card’s online mall, if available.
We’ve chosen a few credit cards that we think are suited for Black Friday and holiday shopping in general.
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1.Chase Freedom® credit card
With the Chase Freedom® credit card earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. There are new 5% categories each quarter. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
If you’d rather do your shopping from home, Shop through Chase® is another way to step up the amount of cash rewards you earn. When you shop through the online portal, you have an opportunity to earn extra cash back on purchases made with your card with participating merchants. Shop through Chase®, offers you plenty of ways to find gifts for everyone on your list. Keep in mind that the participating merchants and offers are subject to change.
2. Discover it® Cash Back
With the Discover it® Cash Back offer you earn 5% cashback on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, select rideshares and online shopping, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. We love that you can use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout. That’s a boon for holiday shoppers with almost any kind of gift on their list.
If you don’t activate the bonus categories, you’ll earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically. All purchases outside the bonus categories earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
If you’re new to Discover, with their introductory offer the cash back you earn on holiday shopping could be worth more in the first year of cardmembership. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year – for new cardmembers only. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much is matched.
3. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
We think it’s best for shoppers who want to land a large new Cardmember bonus and get more value from their rewards when redeeming for travel.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® card is a Chase offering with great appeal for holiday shoppers who are hoping to earn a significant amount of points relatively quickly. A bonus of 50,000 points is available to eligible new Cardmembers after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
There is an Annual Travel Credit – up to $300 in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Earn 3X points on travel worldwide immediately after earning your $300 annual travel credit. Earn 3X points on dining at restaurants worldwide. Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. There are no foreign transaction fees. We think that makes this card a good choice for earning points for your holiday travel, holiday meals at your favorite restaurants or just picking up last-minute gifts.
Points earned with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are worth more when you redeem them through Chase Ultimate Rewards® for travel, you get 50% more value. For instance, if you were to earn the 50,000 point bonus, those points would be worth $750 toward travel when you redeem your points through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
This card has a $550 annual fee but it also has some valuable perks that can offset the cost if you use them. Those include the up to $300 Annual Travel Credit in statement credits as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year that we already mentioned. After a one-time enrollment for membership in Priority Pass™ Select you have access to 1,000+ VIP airport lounges in over 500 cities worldwide. You also get a statement credit of up to $100 every four years as reimbursement for the application fee charged to your card for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
How to Use Credit Wisely During the Holidays
The cards listed here can be useful all year-round but as we mentioned they can be potentially valuable for earning rewards or scoring discounts on holiday shopping. Here are a few pointers to help you get maximum value and avoid a post-holiday debt hangover.
Set your budget before you buy
The easiest way to send your finances skidding off the tracks is to charge gifts or other holiday purchases without a budget in place. Before you whip out your credit card, figure out how much you can reasonably afford to spend this year. Resist the temptation to spend more.
Target your rewards
Shopping smart with credit cards over the holidays always means being choosy about where you use them. Review the bonus categories and, if available, shopping portal specials available for each purchase on your list. Remember, you’re not limited to buying merchandise. In some cases, gift cards purchased from retailers in the bonus categories may also qualify for the bonus reward rate. The bottom line is that when you give some thought to where to make each purchase and with which card, you can put the most value back into your pocket. And as a side note, keep in mind that the card issuer’s that offer bonus categories may have a cut off date as to when you can activate those bonus categories.
Compare each card’s rewards mall
If there is an online shopping portal available, keep in mind that each online shopping portal is a little different from the others, so although some bonus rates are repeated from site to site, don’t assume you’ve found the best deal before you check your options. If you notice that online portals feature some of the same merchants, take a closer look to see how the deals stack up. You may find that you can get more cash back by choosing one over another.
Pay attention to promotional financing details
If you don’t think you’ll be able to pay off what you charged in full after the holidays, promotional financing may help. The problem is that in some cases if you don’t pay the balance off before the promotional period expires, you will have to pay interest on the full amount of the purchase, including the portion that you’ve already paid off.
If you’ve got multiple cards with 0% introductory promotional rates for purchases, read over the details. Know the regular Annual Percentage Rate (APR), when the promotional period ends and whether the offer for 0% introductory APR for purchases is with no strings attached, or if it’s with deferred interest.
Take your time to review your options to find a card that is a fit for you.
Independent Review Disclosure: All the information about the Chase Freedom® credit card, Discover it® Cash Back, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® have been collected independently by CreditSesame.com and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuers of these cards. The Chase Freedom® credit card, Discover it® Cash Back, and Chase Sapphire Reserve® are not available through CreditSesame.com.
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