As you prepare for the holiday season, expect your wallet to take a hit no matter how frugal you are. Whether you’re planning to shop ‘til you drop, travel, or simply want to get the most bang for your buck, we have credit cards that can help you achieve your goal.
To help you decide which is best for you, here are the five best credit cards for this holiday season.
If you’re looking to maximize your cash-back rewards, a card with bonus rewards on everyday spending is worth considering.
With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn 3% cash back on gas, 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back everywhere else. Keep in mind, however, that the 3% and 2% categories apply only to the first $2,500 spent in combined purchases between these three categories each quarter.
The card also offers a $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 in the first 90 days. Other card goodies include:
A 0% APR promotion for purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles, if the transfers are made within 60 days of opening the account. There is, however, a balance transfer fee of 3% with a minimum of $10.
A 10% customer bonus if you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account. That bonus can go as high as 75% if you’re a Preferred Rewards member.
Access to your FICO credit score for free.
No annual fee.
One smart way to get extra cash for the holidays it is to transfer some high-interest debt to a balance transfer credit card. The right card will give you time to carry a balance and pay it down interest-free.
Most balance transfer cards charge a balance transfer fee, but the BankAmericard® Credit Card skips that fee if you make your transfer in the first 60 days (after that, there is a fee of 3%, or a minimum of $10).
When you do, you’ll get a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. As long as you pay off the balance in that period, you’ll do it with absolutely no extra costs. No rewards program is offered, but the card does feature:
If you don’t have high-interest credit card debt, but need some time to pay off a large purchase — perhaps a trip to visit family or a sleighful of gifts — a card with a 0% APR promotion on new purchases can meet your needs.
Regardless of how big your purchases are, the Citi® Simplicity Card gives you more time than any other card to pay them off. You’ll get a 0% APR promotion on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months. No rewards program is offered, but the card does feature:
Whether you’re planning a holiday getaway or you want to start saving for future flights, a travel credit card can help you pay for some of your trip… or the whole journey!
With a big sign-up bonus and an impressive rewards rate, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card is a must-have for frequent travelers.
You’ll earn 50,000 miles when you spend $3,000 in the first three months. That’s worth $500 in free travel. You’ll also get 2 miles per every dollar you spend on anything.
Redemption is easy, too. Simply use your card to pay for travel on any website or app, and then redeem your miles for a full or partial statement credit against the purchase. Credit lines start at $5,000, and there are no foreign transaction fees. Best of all, there’s no annual fee for the first year! After that, it’s only $95, so the card could easily pay for itself.
Best for bad credit: Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®
If you have credit issues, you might not qualify for one of the above cards. But not to worry. The Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® is designed to help you build credit so that you can have a better chance of getting approved for a better card in the future.
The card doesn’t require a security deposit, which is often required with credit cards for bad credit.
You can get pre-qualified with a soft credit check, saving you the hard inquiry (which can lower your credit score) if you are denied. If you’ve gone through bankruptcy, that’s not a deal-breaker like it is for other cards. You may be able to get the card for no annual fee, which is based on your credit-worthiness. Some people will be asked for $55, while others will have to pay $99.
Which card should you choose?
The right card for your situation depends on your credit score, spending habits and personal preferences. The best rewards and 0% APR cards generally require good to excellent credit; if you qualify, they will make your holidays brighter and January easier when the statements arrive.
If you don’t qualify yet, you could get there with the Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®.
As you’re considering which card to choose, think about your immediate and long-term needs. Then compare several top credit cards to determine which has the features you need, whether it’s travel or cash-back rewards, a 0% APR promotion or simply building credit. There’s no right answer for everyone, but as you investigate, you’ll find the best card for you.