Rewards Cards for Holiday Shopping

The holiday season is fast approaching and everyone knows what that means. So when purchasing those perfect gifts, we like to max out our rewards at the same time. The following credit cards deliver particularly strong rewards value and a few even come with introductory APRs (for big purchases or balance transfers).

1) Citi Double Cash

This card not only rewards you for spending, it also rewards you when you pay your balance. Card members earn 1% cash back on every purchase. Plus, when you pay for that purchase you earn an additional 1% cash back. So effectively you earn 2% cash back on purchases. There are no rotating categories and reward amounts are not capped. The Citi Double Cash card also offers new account holders a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 billing cycles that your account is open. (Balance transfers are subject to a fee of $5 or 3% of the total amount of the transfer – whichever is greater.) This feature makes it a solid choice for big-ticket purchases or transferring existing high-interest credit card debt (no interest charges for 15 months). Plus, there is no annual fee.

2) Barclay Arrival Plus MasterCard

For people who want to earn travel rewards, this card hits the mark. Members earn 2X miles on all purchases (which is the equivalent of 2% cash back to spend on travel). New account holders have the opportunity to earn 40,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $3,000 on the card within the first 90 days that your account is active. The signup bonus alone is worth $400 when redeemed for a travel statement credit. Also, when you redeem miles for a statement credit you receive 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption. The Barclay Arrival Plus MasterCard currently offers new card members a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers (good for 12 months). Note: Balance transfers must be completed within 45 days of account opening. This card charges no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee of $89 is waived for the first year.

3) Blue Cash American Express

Blue Cash American Express offers card members great rewards especially on everyday purchases such as groceries and gas. Here’s what you can earn:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (capped at $6,000 annually – then 1%)
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores (no cap)
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. Additionally, new cardholders can now earn $150 back in the form of a statement credit. To qualify, you must make at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months that your account is open. This card is currently offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers which is good for the first 15 billing cycles. There is an annual fee of $75 (waived for the first year).