In 2021, the holiday season takes on a whole new meaning. The credit card industry has made it easy for consumers to find the perfect gift with their own unique spending habits. This will be your guide to finding the best cards in 2021 that are worth your money and time!
The “instant credit approval stores” are the best credit cards for holiday shopping in 2021. The instant approval process makes it easy to get a card with no waiting time.
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The Christmas season is almost approaching, which means fantastic deals on all of your shopping requirements, particularly on Black Friday and Cyber Monday. While shopping for clothing and electronics for friends and family may be a lot of fun, it’s also crucial to utilize a credit card that delivers the most rewards while you’re out and about. Some individuals choose a card that provides cash back rather than travel benefits, while others want a card that protects their purchase in the event it is stolen or damaged, or if it has to be returned and the business refuses to accept it.
Now is the moment to consider if you can use a credit card you currently have in your purse or wallet, or whether you’ll need to get a new card to guarantee you’re utilizing the best option for your planned transactions. So we combed through all of the most popular credit cards and selected seven that would make your wallet happy on every Christmas buy.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is the best way to get cash back. Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the most flexible option. American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card: Best for department retailers in the United States The American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card is ideal for gift cards. Chase Freedom FlexSM is ideal for a variety of categories. Best for purchase protection is the Chase Sapphire Reserve®. It’s a fact® Amazon, Target, and Walmart are the best places to receive cash back.
Why did we choose these credit cards as the best for your next Christmas shopping trip? Let’s take a closer look at each card to see how it might brighten your day on Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and throughout the Christmas season.
The Citi Double Cash Card is the way to choose if you want to keep things simple. You’ll get 2% cash back on anything you buy — 1% when you buy something and another 1% when you pay your bill — so you won’t have to worry about bonus categories or digging through your wallet for the proper card every time you step into a shop.
The Citi Double Cash’s sole drawback is that it doesn’t come with many shopping rewards. While some other credit cards may cover you if an item you buy is lost, stolen, or damaged within a specific amount of time, the Double Cash does not.
Despite the Double Cash’s simplicity, if you’re making a purchase that requires protection, such as a brand new Kindle for a family member, you may want to look at another card on our list.
To apply for the Citi Double Cash Card, go here.
When combined with the correct Chase travel credit card, rewards earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited on vacation spending may be versatile.
Because of its various redemption choices, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of those credit cards that genuinely appeals to the public. You’ll get 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, 3% on dining and pharmacy purchases, and 5% on travel booked via Chase Ultimate Rewards.
While the Freedom Unlimited gives a smaller rewards rate of 1.5 percent than the Citi Double Cash Card, it may provide more flexibility in the future. Because when you combine the card with a premium Chase Ultimate Earnings card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you may pool your rewards from all of your cards and redeem them for travel at a better rate than if you only accepted your rewards as cash back.
Whether you combine the Chase Freedom Unlimited with the Sapphire Preferred, for example, you’ll gain 25% greater value for your points when redeeming them for travel or using Chase’s Pay Yourself Back service. When you combine the Freedom Unlimited with a Chase Sapphire Reserve, you may receive up to 50% more. You may also transfer your earnings to any of Chase’s 14 airline and hotel loyalty partners with any Sapphire card.
Even while the Chase Freedom Unlimited earns a somewhat lower cash back rewards rate to begin with, by combining it with the correct card, you might potentially wind up with a bigger return on your Christmas shopping.
When you shop with the Freedom Unlimited, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your purchases are guaranteed for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account. The card also extends three-year or less manufacturer warranties in the United States for an extra year.
To apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited, go here.
With the Blue Cash Everyday credit card, you may earn extra cash back during holiday deals at U.S. department shops.
If you’re searching for the ideal present but don’t want to pay an annual fee, American Express’s no-annual-fee Blue Cash Everyday card could be the best choice (see rates and fees).
To begin with, this card offers 2% cash back as a statement credit at certain U.S. department shops, with no limit on how much you may earn. While this is the same as cards like the Citi Double Cash, there are some additional benefits to using the Blue Cash Everyday while making purchases.
Because the Blue Cash Everyday is an American Express card, you’ll have access to the Amex Offers program, which may save you money. At certain retailers, Amex Offers give immediate discounts or additional benefits. The deals vary often, but you’ll see a slew of new clothes boutiques springing up throughout the year, particularly at department stores like Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, and Neiman Marcus.
Not only can you receive 2% cash back with your Blue Cash Everyday card at these department shops, but there’s also a possibility you may “double dip” and save money with an Amex Offer. Keep in mind that Amex Offers are occasionally targeted, so check your American Express account to see what deals are available to you.
If you use this Blue Cash Everyday to make a purchase, you won’t receive the advantages of an extended warranty or return protection, but you can access those benefits with the Everyday’s sister card, the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express (which we cover in depth next).
However, purchase protection is included with the Blue Cash Everyday, which protects you if your item is destroyed or stolen within 90 days of purchase. The insurance covers up to $1,000 per item and $50,000 per year.
To learn more about the Blue Cash Everyday card, go here.
With the Blue Cash Preferred card, you may get additional cash back when you buy a gift card at a U.S. supermarket.
If you’re stumped on what to offer your friends and family for the holidays, a gift card may be the way to go so they may obtain that must-have Christmas item that Santa forgot to place beneath the tree. While you can always buy a gift card straight from a company, it’s quicker to simply buy one from your local supermarket. There’s no need to go out of your way when gift card carousels in many supermarkets provide a variety of selections, including Amazon, Target, Best Buy, Nordstrom, The Gap, and many more.
But here is also where the American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card comes in useful, since it shines at your local grocer. You’ll get 6% cash back as a statement credit at U.S. supermarkets on purchases up to $6,000 every year (then 1 percent ). That means you may get up to $360 in additional cash back on all of your grocery shopping in the United States each year, including any gift card purchases.
Just keep in mind that if you use gift cards to make purchases, you’ll lose any credit card perks you may have, such as extended warranties and purchase protection. Even if you purchase the gift card using a credit card that provides certain advantages, the benefits do not apply when the gift card is redeemed.
Click here to discover more about American Express’s Blue Cash Preferred card.
This Christmas season, the Chase Freedom Flex gives you 5% cash back on your Walmart purchases.
One of the finest features of the Chase Freedom Flex credit card is its collection of rotating bonus categories. Cardholders may receive 5% cash back at a new selection of retailers every quarter, up to $1,500 in total purchases. Walmart and PayPal are among those categories in the fourth quarter of 2021, which runs from October to December.
The Freedom Flex card may earn you 5% additional cash back at Walmart, which is a popular place to buy for the holidays. You may now receive the same 5% cash back when you pay using PayPal when you conduct your Christmas online shopping. In fact, the expanding number of shops that take PayPal may surprise you – Best Buy, Bed Bath & Beyond, Ikea, and Lowe’s are just a few examples.
When you combine the Chase Freedom Flex with a premium Chase Ultimate Points card like the Sapphire Preferred or Sapphire Reserve, you may redeem your rewards for travel or use the Pay Yourself Back function to get even more value out of them, just as you can with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.
The Chase Freedom Flex also includes purchase protection, which covers new purchases for 120 days against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, and extended warranty protection, which adds an additional year to any US manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less on any items purchased with the card.
To apply for the Chase Freedom Flex, go here.
When you buy anything with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you may protect it against damage or theft.
Using a card that gives purchase and return protection for pricey things — such as devices that might break easily — is strongly advised, since it’s a benefit that may surpass any additional points or cash back you can receive on your next purchase.
Purchase protection is available for 120 days from the date of purchase with the Chase Sapphire Reserve card, up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year. This protects qualified purchases against damage or theft for one of the longest periods of time and has some of the highest limits you’ll find on a credit card.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve comes with return protection in addition to purchase protection, which is a perk we’re seeing less and less of on credit cards these days. As a result, a card that offers both purchase and return protection is worth considering.
If you wish to return an eligible item purchased with your Sapphire Reserve card within 90 days of the purchase date and the merchant refuses to accept it, you’ll be repaid the entire purchase amount thanks to return protection (excluding shipping and handling).
Claims are limited to $500 per purchase and $1,000 per card each year, which is much greater than many other cards, which limit claims to $300 per item. The Chase Sapphire Reserve is by far the most expensive credit card on our list, with a $550 annual fee, so be sure you can take use of its many other features if you decide to obtain it.
To apply for the Chase Sapphire Reserve, go here.
During the Christmas season, use the Discover it Cash Back card to get 5% additional cash back at Amazon.
The Discover it Cash Back, like the Chase Freedom Flex, is a cash rewards card that also provides rotating bonus categories, and Discover’s 5 percent cash back calendar this year was designed with flexibility in mind.
You’ll receive 5% cash back from Amazon, Target, and Walmart during the fourth quarter of 2021, which spans from October through December. You should be able to meet all of your Christmas buying requirements with these three large retailers.
The Discover it Cash Back bonus cash back is limited at a total of $1,500 in purchases every quarter, but you may still earn up to $75 in additional cash back. However, you must remember to activate the bonus categories before making any purchases in them, since you will only get extra cash back once you have done so.
In addition, every cash back you earn in your first year as a Discover cardholder will be matched dollar for dollar. This cash back match has no upper limit, so if you obtain a new Discover card today, your forthcoming purchases in the rotating bonus areas might earn you an effective 10% return, or up to $150 in cash back.
For the first 14 months after establishing the account, the Discover it Cash Back card offers a 0% APR on all transactions, which then increases to a variable APR of 11.99 percent to 22.99 percent. As a result, this is an excellent card to utilize for any large purchases that you may need to pay down over time. Unfortunately, the card no longer provides purchase protection or extended warranties, so you’ll have to consider the advantages and drawbacks when making significant purchases.
Are you short on cash? On purchases, these credit cards carry 0% interest.
There’s certain to be one that fits the bill for your specific requirements among the various credit cards available for Christmas spending. The Citi Double Cash Card is your best pick if you want a card that gives you pure cash back without having to bother about bonus categories.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited, on the other hand, if you want a card with more flexibility and bonus categories, enables you to earn cash back that may be converted into points for future travel. If you’re planning on shopping at a large box or department store, have the Blue Cash Everyday card in your wallet, or the Discover it Cash Back card for Amazon, Target, or Walmart.
If your objective is to secure your Christmas purchases, the Chase Sapphire Reserve will meet or surpass your expectations if anything goes wrong with your purchase or if you need to return something after the return period has expired. Finally, if you’re purchasing gift cards for a friend or family member who has everything, the Blue Cash Preferred or Chase Freedom Flex might earn you the most returns if you buy them at a U.S. supermarket.
Find out which credit cards CNN Underscored picked as the best in 2021.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Which credit card is best for shopping and travel?
A: Most credit cards are good for travel, but the best card is one that has no foreign transaction fees when youre abroad. The Discover It® Miles Credit Card has 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers in the first 18 months.
Is it better to use a debit card or a credit card when doing your Christmas shopping?
A: When it comes to Christmas shopping, a credit card is better. Credit cards charge lower fees and have a higher grace period which means that if you pay off your balance in full by the end of December, then you wont be charged any interest on the purchase for the next six months. On top of this, they also provide warranties or warranties from their issuers so theres no worry about whether or not something will get fixed when you need it to be repaired
Should I get a credit card for Christmas?
A: Many people would say no, but youre probably able to get a credit card with the money that your parents give you. If this is not an option for you and if they insist on giving their child something like a credit card, there are only two places they should consider: Capital One and Discover. Both of these cards come with rewards programs attached to them which will help make up for any risks associated with opening up such an account without parental supervision.
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