Advice

Best Credit Cards for the 2017 Holiday Season

Our favorite cards from our partners this holiday season.

Editorial Disclosure: Editorial content, including card comparisons and card reviews are not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. Creditcards.org may be compensated through Affiliate Programs for referrals.

November 14, 2018
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.

Best for cash back: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

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    • No annual fee
    • NEW OFFER: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
    • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
    • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
    • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 15.24% - 25.24% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
    • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%
    • Easily add your Mastercard® credit card to any digital wallet for a simple, secure, and convenient way to pay online, in-app, and in-store
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 $200 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.

Best for balance transfers: BankAmericard® credit card

BankAmericard® credit card

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    • NEW OFFER: 0% Introductory APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 14.99% - 24.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
    • No annual fee
    • No penalty APR. Paying late won't automatically raise your interest rate (APR). Other account pricing and terms apply.
    • Access your FICO® Score for free within Online Banking or your Mobile Banking app
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, some as high as 5%, but the BankAmericard® Credit Card has a reasonable 3% fee or a minimum of $10, whichever is greater. 

 You’ll also get a 0% APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 18 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:

  • No penalty APR if you’re late on a payment.
  • Access to your FICO credit score for free.
  • No annual fee.

Best for 0% APR: Citi® Simplicity Card

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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    • The ONLY card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
    • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness
    • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 15.99% - 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness
    • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
    • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
    • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month
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 12 month 0% APR promotion on purchases and 21 months of 0% APR on balance transfers. No rewards program is offered, but the card does feature:
  • No late fees or penalty APR.
  • Free access to your FICO credit score.
  • No annual fee.

Best for travel: Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card

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    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
    • Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels; learn more at hotels.com/venture
    • Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
    • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates
    • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
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: Total VISA® Credit Card

Total VISA® Credit Card

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    • Checking Account Required
    • Fast and easy application process; response provided in seconds
    • A genuine VISA card accepted by merchants nationwide across the USA and online
    • Manageable monthly payments
    • If approved, simply pay a Processing Fee to open your account and access your available credit
    • Reports monthly to all three major credit bureaus
If you have credit issues, you might not qualify for one of the above cards. But not to worry. The Total VISA® Credit Card 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. If you’ve gone through bankruptcy, that’s not a deal-breaker like it is for other cards. They report to all three major credit bureaus and a fast application process with a response in seconds. You can also choose between multiple designs for you card.

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 Total VISA® Credit Card.

 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.

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