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While Black Friday offers consumers tremendous discounts and offers, using the right rewards credit card for your shopping can lead to even greater savings. Finding the best credit card for Black Friday comes down to how and where you shop.
Before signing up for any card for a special occasion, such as Black Friday, be sure to consider the long-term effects of your actions. At the bottom of this page, you will find the most important factors to consider when shopping around for a card this holiday season.
Best For All-Purpose Spending: Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a fantastic go-to card for Black Friday shoppers who will be making purchases across a variety of different stores. The card offers a flat rate 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day – meaning no caps, and no categories to worry about.
While other cash back cards may offer better long-term savings, if you’re getting a credit card to increase short-term savings for your holiday shopping, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s early spend bonus really makes it stand out of from other similar cards. As long as you spend at least $500 on purchases, within the first 3 months of opening your account, you will receive a $150 cash back bonus. That comes out to a 30% rewards rate for the first $500 in purchases.
Long-Term Potential: The Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card unfortunately does not hold-up well in the long run, as it is outperformed by other cash back cards. The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, for example, lets users Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. After you have charged and paid off $20,000 with your credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer cash back cards will begin to outperform the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card due to the higher overall rewards rate.
- 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
- $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening
Best For Earning a Big Welcome Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a fantastic travel rewards credit card, with one of the best signing bonuses around. If you manage to spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening your account, you’ll receive 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards (UR) points. If you anticipate spending this much on holiday deals and doorbusters on Black Friday, you'll get closer to qualifying for this bonus. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is an option we highly recommend for its overall value, too.
You can use points earned with this card to book travel through the UR online portal, or transfer them to one of 11 different partner programs. For, example you have the option to transfer all 60,000 points to Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards® points, at a 1:1 ratio. That is enough points to score 2 roundtrip 'Wanna Get Away' tickets with Southwest from New York City to Los Angeles – we estimate this to be a $726 value.
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card Points Transfer Partners|
Hyatt Gold Passport®
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||United MileagePlus®||Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards®|
British Airways Executive Club
|JetBlue TrueBlue||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer||The Ritz-Carlton Rewards®|
|Marriott Rewards®||IHG® Rewards Club|
Long-Term Value: The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card comes with a $95 annual fee, which means you have to be a big spender in order to justify signing up for it. The card works best for individuals who spend big on dining and travel, as it awards 2 points per $1 in these categories. As long as you spend at least $5,000 annually on those things, you’ll be able to break-even.
- 60,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 in purchases in the first 3 months – an estimated value of $750 when used as travel statement credit redeemed through UR
- 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel spending (2 points per dollar multiplied by the 1.25 bonus when redeeming for travel on the Chase portal)
- $0 foreign transaction fees makes this card great for use overseas
Best For Cyber Monday: Chase Freedom®
In the past, the Chase Freedom® has included Amazon.com as one of its 5% cash back categories. Just keep in mind that Amazon.com was not included in 2018's cash back calendar, however, the card still has potential given the calendar has slight alterations every year. The card lets you Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Like most of the cards that made our list of “Best Credit Cards for Black Friday”, the Chase Freedom® comes with a generous welcome bonus. New cardmembers can earn a $150 cash back bonus if they make at least $500 in purchases within the first 3 months of their account opening.
Long-Term Potential: Even after Black Friday/Cyber Monday is done, the Chase Freedom® remains one of the best cash back credit card options available. The only caveat is that cardholders must keep track of the changing cash back bonus categories, and activate them online every three months in order to make the most of the card.
- Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in purchases within first three months
Things To Be Careful About When Opening Up a Credit Card for a Specific Occasion
Before signing up for a credit card, consumers should always be mindful of the long-term implications of their actions. The two sections below will help make sure that you are not getting yourself into a situation that may end up hurting you a few months down the line.
Will Having The Card Make Financial Sense After Black Friday?
While one card may provide you with amazing savings for Black Friday, you don’t want to end up having to pay an annual fee for that card, unless you are also extracting long-term value that offsets it. Most of the cards we’ve selected above come with no annual fee, which means that even if you open them for the Black Friday, they won’t burn a hole in your wallet over the next year.
Individuals should also not open an account and then close it immediately after collecting the rewards. This will have a negative impact on your credit score – one that might take months or even years to recover from. Before committing to opening up a new credit card account, you should be comfortable keeping it around. As noted above, as long as the account doesn’t have an annual fee, keeping it open would be good for your credit score (assuming you pay your bills on time).
Don't Make Purchases You Won't Be Able to Pay Off At the End of the Month
Consumers who are thinking of getting a rewards credit card with the potential of carrying a balance and paying interest should reconsider their choice. Making Black Friday purchases on a credit card that you can't pay of at the end of the month is generally a bad idea. We strongly advise against such behavior, as it is not financially optimal. The interest you pay – however small – will eat away any savings you might find on Black Friday or through a card's rewards.
Let’s look at a concrete example of how counterproductive even a low APR can be on a purchase. Let’s assume you open up a credit card with an APR of 8% (close to 10 percentage points lower than the average interest rate), and buy a $2,500 flatscreen TV that has been discounted 20% down to $2,000. We will also assume you can make $100 monthly payments towards that TV at the end of every month. With this set-up, it will take you 22 months to pay off that purchase, and by the end of it, you would have paid over $138 in interest. That means the total cost of the TV to you, would have been $2,138.
This above example is simple and doesn't take in the complexities of life that can turn it into an even worse deal for consumers. In reality, you are likely to face other costs over that 22 month period, which can put various strains on your finances. If you become unable to make the $100 monthly payments, the fees you will pay will be far greater, and you can easily find yourself backed into a debt corner. This is why we urge all readers that it's best to charge their credit card with purchases they can ideally pay off completely at the end of the month. Otherwise, you’ll be putting yourself in un-needed financial risk.
The information related to the Chase Freedom® has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.