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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.


During the holiday shopping season, you may have a long list of presents to buy for your family and friends. Since you’re reading The Points Guy, I certainly hope that you’re giving careful consideration to which credit cards earn you the best rewards and protections for these purchases.

Today, I want to go through my list of the top cards to use when you buy gifts during the holiday season.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive but instead takes a look at a variety of cards that may appeal to numerous readers out there. Everyone has their own criteria for deciding which card is best for holiday shopping, so be sure to crunch the numbers based on your own unique situation.

That said, here are our top picks for your gift purchases during the holiday season.

Best credit cards for holiday purchases

The information for the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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The Capital One Venture Rewards is a great option for those who want to earn flexible rewards without worrying about different spending category bonuses. The Venture Rewards accrues 2 miles per dollar spent on all eligible purchases — ensuring that you earn bonus points no matter if you’re buying stocking stuffers or perusing the Cyber Monday deals.

There’s also flexibility in how you redeem those miles you earn. You can use your miles to “pay” yourself back for travel booked in the past 90 days. Or, you can transfer your miles to over 15-plus airline and hotel loyalty programs to book new travel. You can also redeem miles for gift cards or statement credits for eligible purchases, although your best option is to transfer them to airline or hotel partners.

Related: How to use your Capital One miles for maximum value

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Chase Freedom Flex

Whether you’re more of a traditional brick-and-mortar shopper or prefer buying online, you’ll enjoy 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Walmart or with PayPal with the Chase Freedom Flex in the fourth quarter of 2022.

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While 5% cash back sounds great, experienced points and miles hobbyists know that the Chase Freedom Flex is not just a cash-back card. When it’s paired with a premium Chase card that earns full Ultimate Rewards points — such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve — that cash back can be converted to much more valuable Ultimate Rewards points, which you can transfer to partners including United Airlines and Hyatt.

TPG values Ultimate Rewards points for travel at 2 cents apiece, so that’s why combining the Freedom Flex (or Chase Freedom Unlimited) with the Sapphire Reserve and the Ink Business Preferred Credit Card creates a formidable points-earning machine.

If you don’t carry this card already, Chase Freedom Flex is offering new cardholders a $200 cash-back bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months with the card.

Related: 5 ways to maximize the new Chase Freedom Flex promotion to earn up to 19,500 bonus points this quarter

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature

If you’re a regular Amazon shopper, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is the card for you, with no annual fee (though it requires an Amazon Prime membership at $139 a year).

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With Black Friday and Cyber Monday coming, you want a card that gives you the biggest bang for your holiday shopping buck. The Amazon Prime Visa offers 5% cash back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% on restaurants, gas stations and drugstore purchases and 1% back on everything else.

If you don’t have the card already, new applicants will get a $150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval, helping you lower the cost of your holiday shopping expenses from the get-go.

Related: Best credit cards for Amazon purchases

American Express® Gold Card

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Without a question, the Amex Gold is one of the best cards for foodies. With a 4-point-per-dollar earning rate at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 spent per calendar year, then 1 point per dollar) and restaurants worldwide, 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly or through Amex Travel and 1 point per dollar on all other eligible purchases, this card can provide some lucrative earnings for everyday purchases.

While the earning rate for non-bonus purchases just yields 1 point per dollar, you may want to consider paying with the Amex Gold this holiday season for its strong purchase protection policy. Eligible items will come with up to $10,000 in coverage for theft, damage or loss within the first 90 days of purchase.* That’s considerable, especially if you’re buying big-ticket items this holiday season like electronics or furniture.

The Amex Gold also comes with an extended warranty, which prolongs a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year on eligible warranties of three years or less.*

You’ll never know when you need to rely on these protections, but they can be quite valuable and may be worth sacrificing the bonus points you’d earn from the other cards on this list.

Related: Use these cards to maximize large purchases

*Eligibility and benefit levels vary by card. Terms, conditions and limitations apply. Visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for details. Policies are underwritten by AMEX Assurance Company.

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The best credit cards for holiday purchases

2022-11-17 16:00:16

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