Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping 2021

Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping 2021

Our pick for the best credit card for holiday shopping is the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. It lets consumers earn high rates of cash back in a category of their choosing, including online shopping.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Citi is an advertising partner

Top credit cards for holiday shopping 2021

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website
Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citibank's Secure Website
N/A

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From stocking stuffers to big electronic purchases, the holiday season can really put a dent in your wallet. Our team surveyed hundreds of credit cards across both ValuePenguin and top issuer sites to put together a little gift for our readers — a list of credit cards that’ll get you the most bang for your buck as you begin your holiday shopping.

We looked at cards from three major categories:

  • Rewards credit cards can help you pay for your family's Christmas vacation or allow you to head home for the holidays for free.
  • Cashback cards can earn you money back on every purchase, which you can put towards other holiday spending.
  • Low interest credit cards can help you manage your spending during the holidays to avoid falling into debt.

While choosing the best credit card for your holiday spending will depend on your specific needs and preferences, our list can guide you towards making the best choice for your wallet.

Compare best credit cards for holiday shopping 2021

Annual fee
Welcome offer
Earning rate
Discover it® Cash BackSee termsUnlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automaticallyRead Review
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class=\\\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-AffiliateImage\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateImage\\\"\\u003E\\n \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateImage--root AffiliateImage--align-left \\\"\\u003E\\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateImage--wrapper\\\" style=\\\"width:120px\\\"\\u003E\\u003Cimg alt=\\\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\\\" class=\\\"Image--root lazyload\\\" data-src=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/cdn.comparecards.com\\\/uploads\\\/images\\\/items\\\/4686.jpg\\\"\\\/\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n \\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n\\n \\u003Cscript type=\\\"application\\\/json\\\" class=\\\"js-react-component\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateImage\\\"\\u003E{\\\"align\\\":\\\"\\\",\\\"className\\\":\\\"\\\",\\\"imageURL\\\":\\\"https:\\\\\\\/\\\\\\\/cdn.comparecards.com\\\\\\\/uploads\\\\\\\/images\\\\\\\/items\\\\\\\/4686.jpg\\\",\\\"name\\\":\\\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\\\",\\\"width\\\":\\\"120\\\"}\\u003C\\\/script\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\",\"$95\",\"Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel\",\"2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day\",\"\\u003Cdiv class=\\\"ReactComponent--root\\\"\\u003E\\n \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-AffiliateButton\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateButton\\\"\\u003E\\n \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateButtonV2--root \\\"\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"Link--root Button--root Button--primary Button--fluid \\\" href=\\\"\\\/credit-cards\\\/redirect\\\/88?url=_best-credit-cards-holiday-shopping\\\" rel=\\\"nofollow\\\" target=\\\"_blank\\\" title=\\\"Apply Now\\\"\\u003EApply Now\\u003Cspan aria-hidden=\\\"true\\\" class=\\\"StyledIcon-sc-e7wugl dBUYFD ValuePenguinIcon--root ValuePenguinIcon--lock\\\" color=\\\"inherit\\\" name=\\\"lock\\\"\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateDisclaimer--root\\\"\\u003E\\u003Cspan class=\\\"AffiliateDisclaimer--item\\\"\\u003EOn Capital One's Secure Website \\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n \\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n\\n \\u003Cscript type=\\\"application\\\/json\\\" class=\\\"js-react-component\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateButton\\\"\\u003E{\\\"category\\\":\\\"creditcards\\\",\\\"color\\\":\\\"primary\\\",\\\"context\\\":\\\" in context: Banner\\\",\\\"disclaimers\\\":[\\\"On Capital One's Secure Website\\\"],\\\"icon\\\":\\\"lock\\\",\\\"label\\\":\\\"Apply Now\\\",\\\"link\\\":\\\"\\\\\\\/credit-cards\\\\\\\/redirect\\\\\\\/88?url=_best-credit-cards-holiday-shopping\\\",\\\"name\\\":\\\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\\\"}\\u003C\\\/script\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\\\" href=\\\"#Wells\\\"\\u003EWells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"ReactComponent--root\\\"\\u003E\\n \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-AffiliateImage\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateImage\\\"\\u003E\\n \\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateImage--root AffiliateImage--align-left \\\"\\u003E\\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateImage--wrapper\\\" style=\\\"width:120px\\\"\\u003E\\u003Cimg alt=\\\"Wells Fargo Active Cash\\u2120 Card\\\" class=\\\"Image--root lazyload\\\" data-src=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/cdn.comparecards.com\\\/uploads\\\/images\\\/items\\\/4698.png\\\"\\\/\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n \\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n\\n \\u003Cscript type=\\\"application\\\/json\\\" class=\\\"js-react-component\\\" 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Now\\\"\\u003EApply Now\\u003Cspan aria-hidden=\\\"true\\\" class=\\\"StyledIcon-sc-e7wugl dBUYFD ValuePenguinIcon--root ValuePenguinIcon--lock\\\" color=\\\"inherit\\\" name=\\\"lock\\\"\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003Cdiv class=\\\"AffiliateDisclaimer--root\\\"\\u003E\\u003Cspan class=\\\"AffiliateDisclaimer--item\\\"\\u003E\\u003Ca href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/click.linksynergy.com\\\/fs-bin\\\/click?id=TO1vQFPQ*08&offerid=950395.366&type=3&subid=0\\\" rel=\\\"nofollow\\\"\\u003ESee Rates & Fees.\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E \\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003Cspan class=\\\"AffiliateDisclaimer--item\\\"\\u003EOn Wells Fargo's Secure Website \\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n \\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\\n\\n \\u003Cscript type=\\\"application\\\/json\\\" class=\\\"js-react-component\\\" data-component-name=\\\"AffiliateButton\\\"\\u003E{\\\"category\\\":\\\"creditcards\\\",\\\"color\\\":\\\"primary\\\",\\\"context\\\":\\\" in context: Banner\\\",\\\"disclaimers\\\":[\\\"\\\\u003Ca href=\\\\\\\"https:\\\\\\\/\\\\\\\/click.linksynergy.com\\\\\\\/fs-bin\\\\\\\/click?id=TO1vQFPQ*08&offerid=950395.366&type=3&subid=0\\\\\\\" rel=\\\\\\\"nofollow\\\\\\\"\\\\u003ESee Rates & Fees.\\\\u003C\\\\\\\/a\\\\u003E\\\",\\\"On Wells Fargo's Secure Website\\\"],\\\"icon\\\":\\\"lock\\\",\\\"label\\\":\\\"Apply Now\\\",\\\"link\\\":\\\"\\\\\\\/credit-cards\\\\\\\/redirect\\\\\\\/2193?url=_best-credit-cards-holiday-shopping\\\",\\\"name\\\":\\\"Wells Fargo Active Cash\\\\u2120 Card\\\"}\\u003C\\\/script\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003C\\\/div\\u003E\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card\\\" href=\\\"#Bank\\\"\\u003EBank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\",\"$0\",\"$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening\",\"3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category\\\/grocery store\\\/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases\",\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary Button--auto-width\\\" title=\\\"Read Review\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/bank-america-cash-rewards-credit-card\\\"\\u003ERead Review\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"American Express Serve® Cash Back\\\" href=\\\"#American\\\"\\u003EAmerican Express Serve® Cash Back\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\",\"$7.95 monthly fee\",\"N\\\/A\",\"1% cash back when you spend money in stores or online\",\"\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card\\\" href=\\\"#Amazon\\\"\\u003EAmazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\",\"$0\",\"Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.\",\"5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases.\",\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary Button--auto-width\\\" title=\\\"Read Review\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/amazon-prime-rewards-visa-signature-card\\\"\\u003ERead Review\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Capital One\\u00ae Savor\\u00ae Cash Rewards Credit Card\\\" href=\\\"#One\\\"\\u003ECapital One\\u00ae Savor\\u00ae Cash Rewards Credit Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\",\"$95\",\"Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening\",\"Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.\",\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary Button--auto-width\\\" title=\\\"Read Review\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/capital-one-savor-rewards-credit-card\\\"\\u003ERead Review\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\"],[\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"My Best Buy\\u00ae Visa\\u00ae Card\\\" href=\\\"#My\\\"\\u003EMy Best Buy\\u00ae Visa\\u00ae Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\",\"None\",\"5% back in rewards on travel purchases\",\"5% back in rewards and 6% back in rewards for Elite Plus Cardmembers at Best Buy. 3% back in rewards on gas purchases. 2% back in rewards on dining and grocery purchases. 1% back in rewards on everyday purchases\",\"\\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root Button--root Button--tertiary Button--auto-width\\\" title=\\\"Read Review\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/best-buy-credit-card\\\"\\u003ERead Review\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\"]],\"footnote\":\"\",\"hideHeaderRow\":false,\"hasMarginBottom\":true,\"isExpandable\":true,\"isSortable\":false,\"maxWidth\":\"1215\",\"minWidth\":\"100%\",\"showSearch\":false,\"sortColumnIndex\":0,\"sortDirection\":\"asc\",\"maxDefaultRows\":1}\u003C\/script\u003E\n\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Best credit card for holiday shopping

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

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Verdict: Earn hefty cashback rewards in a category of your choosing, including online shopping

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card is an all around outstanding credit card for holiday shopping, and for everyday purchases beyond the holidays. Cardholders can earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (for the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases), 1% cash back on all other purchases.

With the ability to earn 3% cash back on online shopping, your options for holiday spending can be exceedingly rewarding. You also have the opportunity to change your 3% earning category, so once the holidays are done, you might consider switching to gas, dining, travel or another category where you tend to spend frequently day-to-day.

  • High earning rate in relevant spending categories
  • Solid sign-up bonus
  • Cash rewards don't expire
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earning potential is capped

Best for cash back

Discover it® Cash Back

Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

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Verdict: A top card for earning cash back on holiday spending, though acceptance is more limited

The Discover it® Cash Back is our choice for the best cashback card for the holidays. Discover offers an Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

Cardholders get 5% cash back at different places each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. For 2021, the categories include grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS (January to March), gas stations, select streaming services and wholesale clubs (April to June), restaurants and PayPal (July to September) and — notably — Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com (October to December). This card can be extremely rewarding for shoppers who frequent these large retailers during the holidays.

  • Offers high rate of cash back in relevant categories
  • Great cashback offer at the end of your first year
  • No traditional sign-up bonus
  • Discover isn't as widely accepted as other cards

Best for sign-up bonus

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

On Chase's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 22.99% Variable

720 - 850

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Enjoy new benefits such as a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit, 5X points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3X points on dining and 2X points on all other travel purchases, plus more.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $750 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.

Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

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Verdict: A great choice for a large sign-up bonus and valuable travel rewards

While technically a travel card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has one of the best sign-up bonuses in the business. New cardholders are eligible to receive the following offer: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.

The best way to redeem your points for the most value is through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can use your points to fly the whole family to Mexico — or book yourself a solo stay at a luxury hotel in Aspen. When it comes to booking your holiday vacation, the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card sign-up bonus is here to help.

  • Flexible travel rewards
  • Strong sign-up bonus
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Includes travel protections and benefits
  • $95 annual fee
  • Not as useful for infrequent travelers

Best for travel rewards

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

On Capital One's Secure Website

$95

15.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get our best prices on thousands of trip options
  • Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
  • Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees

Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel

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Verdict: An excellent option for travelers looking to get away during the holidays

Another top card that can help mitigate the costs of a big holiday trip is the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a stellar sign-up bonus for new members: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $600 in travel.

The sign-up bonus alone can go a long way toward paying for a warm-weather escape during the cold winter months, or booking an epic ski vacation in the mountains. The card also allows you to earn unlimited 2 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, which you can use for all types of travel purchases, transfer to a partner airline or hotel program or redeem directly at Amazon.com.

  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Solid rewards rate on all purchases
  • Flexible redemption options
  • $95 annual fee

Best for 0% intro APR

Citi Simplicity® Card

On Citibank's Secure Website

$0

14.74% - 24.74% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee... Ever
  • 0% Intro APR for 21 months on balance transfers from date of first transfer and 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening. After that the variable APR will be 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfers must be completed within 4 months of account opening.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 14.74% - 24.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
  • Stay protected with Citi® Quick Lock and $0 liability on unauthorized charges

Verdict: A smart credit card for shoppers who need extra time paying off their balance during the holidays

The most notable feature of the Citi Simplicity® Card is its leniency towards late payments. It doesn't charge any late fees, annual fees or penalty rates, a rare benefit that can help holiday shoppers spend with some peace of mind.

The card also comes with an intro APR of 0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers and 0% for 12 months on Purchases. After that, the APR will be 14.74% - 24.74% (Variable). That's great news for consumers who could use a bit of wiggle room during the gift-giving season to make payments without incurring additional interest.

  • $0 annual fee
  • Long 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers and purchases
  • No late fees
  • No rewards

Best for balance transfer

Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

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See Rates & Fees. On Wells Fargo's Secure Website

$0

14.99%-24.99% (Variable)

660 - 850

  • New! Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 14.99% to 24.99% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • $0 annual fee
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open
  • Enjoy a premium collection of benefits at a selection of the world's most intriguing and prestigious hotel properties with Visa Signature Concierge
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
  • Select “Apply Now” to learn more about the product features, terms and conditions

Verdict: A reliable cashback card and a top balance transfer credit card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card is one of the top cashback cards on the market. It allows consumers to Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases with no rewards category limitations or quarterly activations and $0 annual fee.

But the best part of this card is that it also offers a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers. After that your variable APR will be 14.99%-24.99% (Variable). Balance transfers made within 120 days from account opening qualify for the intro rate and fee. This can be a huge benefit for shoppers during the holiday season, as gifts, holiday dinners and vacations can quickly add up. The Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card can be a great option for those looking to moderate debt during this expensive time of year.

  • Excellent balance transfer offer
  • Solid earning rate
  • Valuable rewards
  • $0 annual fee
  • High sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • No bonus categories

Best prepaid holiday credit card

American Express Serve® Cash Back

Verdict: The American Express Serve® Cash Back card makes budgeting your holiday spending easy

Using a prepaid credit card like the American Express Serve® Cash Back card is a unique way to keep yourself on a manageable budget during the holidays. Similar to a debit card, you can preload your card and use those funds as you please.

The best part about the American Express Serve® Cash Back card is that it allows cardholders to earn cash back on their purchases. You'll earn 1% cash back when you spend money in stores or online

  • Offers cashback rewards on spending
  • Allows users to prepay their card
  • Use your card to withdraw cash without a checking account
  • Includes Amex protections and insurance
  • You can only spend the amount you've prepaid the card for

Best for retail

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.

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Verdict: A rewarding card for Amazon Prime members who prefer to earn in cash back

Nearly everything is available on Amazon these days, so what better credit card than the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card to reward you for your holiday spending? This card lets cardholders earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on all other purchases. Amazon Prime members can earn 10% back or more on select products. Limited time offer. See terms.

The card has a $0 annual fee and $0 foreign transaction fees, and you'll Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval. For Amazon Prime members, this card can be incredibly rewarding, especially during the holidays. You'll also earn cash back on everyday categories with this card, which you can then put towards holiday spending.

  • $0 annual fee
  • $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Great for Amazon Prime members
  • Can only earn 5% cash back if you're a Prime member

Best for entertainment

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

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Verdict: A highly rewarding card for everyday spending and entertainment purchases

For holiday shoppers looking to give the gift of entertainment, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option. Get your loved ones tickets to a sporting event, play or amusement park, all while earning unlimited cash back. This card allows cardmembers to Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment & popular streaming services, plus 3% at grocery stores and 1% on other purchases.

For those shoppers who plan ahead, you can take advantage of the sign-up bonus to give you a bit of extra cash for holiday spending as well: Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

  • Generous sign-up bonus
  • High cash back rewards rate
  • 0% foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee

Best for electronics

My Best Buy® Visa® Card

Verdict: A great choice for shoppers who want to earn and spend rewards exclusively at Best Buy

The My Best Buy® Visa® Card allows cardmembers to redeem their rewards for Best Buy purchases. If you plan to do some electronics shopping this holiday season, this credit card can end up saving you big bucks at Best Buy. This card allows you to earn 5% back in rewards and 6% back in rewards for Elite Plus Cardmembers at Best Buy. 3% back in rewards on gas purchases. 2% back in rewards on dining and grocery purchases. 1% back in rewards on everyday purchases

This card also offers flexible financing options for purchases starting at $299, so this card may not be a bad idea if you could use a little buffer when paying off your holiday electronics expenses.

  • Offers financing
  • High rewards rate
  • Rewards are only redeemable at Best Buy

Types of holiday shopping credit cards

There are three types of credit cards that tend to be the most useful for holiday spending: cash back, rewards and low-interest credit cards. Each of these uniquely benefits shoppers both throughout the year and during the holidays specifically.

Cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards are perhaps the best of the three options when it comes to holiday spending. Certain cards offer higher rates of cash back for spending in particular categories, while others offer the same amount across all purchases. Either way, you can plan to earn cash back as you buy your holiday gifts, or use the cash back earned from your everyday shopping to put toward holiday expenses. Overall, cashback cards are a great way to make money while you spend it.

Best credit card for cash back: Discover it® Cash Back

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Rewards credit cards

Rewards credit cards are most valuable when used to make travel purchases during the holidays. The high sign-up bonuses that often come with these cards can be used to book a free flight home for Christmas or to take your family on a holiday vacation. Many rewards cards allow you to earn points in everyday spending categories, so you'll be earning points towards your holiday trip every time you spend.

Best credit card for rewards: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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Low-interest credit cards

Low interest credit cards include 0% purchase APR cards and 0% balance transfer cards. As a rule, we always urge consumers to spend wisely and pay off their monthly balance in full and on time to avoid late fees, penalty APRs and negative impact on credit histories. However, credit cards with low balance transfer and/or purchase rates and more lenient late payment policies can certainly come in handy from time to time. These cards can be especially helpful during the holidays when buying presents can increase debt, and overwhelming tasks during the holiday season can push making on-time payments to the back of one's mind.

Best credit card for low-interest offers: Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

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{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThere are three types of credit cards that tend to be the most useful for holiday spending: cash back, rewards and low-interest credit cards. Each of these uniquely benefits shoppers both throughout the year and during the holidays specifically.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003ECashback credit cards\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2021\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-cash-back-credit-cards\"\u003ECashback credit cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E are perhaps the best of the three options when it comes to holiday spending. Certain cards offer higher rates of cash back for spending in particular categories, while others offer the same amount across all purchases. Either way, you can plan to earn cash back as you buy your holiday gifts, or use the cash back earned from your everyday shopping to put toward holiday expenses. Overall, cashback cards are a great way to make money while you spend it.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-Panel\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"PanelRoot-sc-1o7qkaw efMzqR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"Panel--content\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBest credit card for cash back: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Discover it\u00ae Cash Back Credit Card Review: Is It A Good Value?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/discover-it-credit-card\"\u003EDiscover it\u00ae Cash Back\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E{\"backgroundColor\":\"ice\",\"content\":\"\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\\u003Cstrong\\u003EBest credit card for cash back: \\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Discover it\\u00ae Cash Back Credit Card Review: Is It A Good Value?\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/discover-it-credit-card\\\"\\u003EDiscover it\\u00ae Cash Back\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\",\"padding\":\"double\"}\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003ERewards credit cards\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"12 Best Rewards Credit Cards\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-rewards-credit-cards\"\u003ERewards credit cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E are most valuable when used to make travel purchases during the holidays. The high sign-up bonuses that often come with these cards can be used to book a free flight home for Christmas or to take your family on a holiday vacation. Many rewards cards allow you to earn points in everyday spending categories, so you'll be earning points towards your holiday trip every time you spend.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-Panel\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"PanelRoot-sc-1o7qkaw efMzqR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"Panel--content\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBest credit card for rewards: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Review\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/travel\/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card\"\u003ECapital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E{\"backgroundColor\":\"ice\",\"content\":\"\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\\u003Cstrong\\u003EBest credit card for rewards: \\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Review\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/travel\\\/capital-one-venture-rewards-credit-card\\\"\\u003ECapital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\",\"padding\":\"double\"}\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003ELow-interest credit cards\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"What are the Best 0% APR and Low Interest Credit Cards?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-low-interest-credit-cards\"\u003ELow interest credit cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E include \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"What Are The Best 0% Interest Credit Cards in 2021?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-zero-percent-interest-credit-cards\"\u003E0% purchase APR cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E and \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"The Best Balance Transfer Credit Cards of 2021\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/best-balance-transfer-credit-cards\"\u003E0% balance transfer cards\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E. As a rule, we always urge consumers to spend wisely and pay off their monthly balance in full and on time to avoid late fees, penalty APRs and negative impact on credit histories. However, credit cards with low balance transfer and\/or purchase rates and more lenient late payment policies can certainly come in handy from time to time. These cards can be especially helpful during the holidays when buying presents can increase debt, and overwhelming tasks during the holiday season can push making on-time payments to the back of one's mind.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ReactComponent--root\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component-rendered js-react-component-Panel\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"PanelRoot-sc-1o7qkaw efMzqR\"\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"Panel--content\"\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cstrong\u003EBest credit card for low-interest offers: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Wells Fargo Active Cash Credit Card Review: Is It Worth It?\" href=\"https:\/\/www.valuepenguin.com\/wells-fargo-active-cash-credit-card\"\u003EWells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\u003C\/strong\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"js-react-component\" data-component-name=\"Panel\"\u003E{\"backgroundColor\":\"ice\",\"content\":\"\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\\u003Cstrong\\u003EBest credit card for low-interest offers: \\u003Cspan\\u003E\\u003Ca class=\\\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\\\" title=\\\"Wells Fargo Active Cash Credit Card Review: Is It Worth It?\\\" href=\\\"https:\\\/\\\/www.valuepenguin.com\\\/wells-fargo-active-cash-credit-card\\\"\\u003EWells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\\u003C\\\/a\\u003E\\u003C\\\/span\\u003E\\u003C\\\/strong\\u003E\\u003C\\\/p\\u003E\\n\\n\\u003Cp\\u003E\",\"padding\":\"double\"}\u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

How do you make the most of your credit card during the holidays?

Regardless of which credit card you choose, it's essential to make the most of your card's features during the holiday season.

  • Take advantage of free shipping. Some American Express credit cards come with a complimentary ShopRunner subscription, which offers free two-day shipping, free returns and other member benefits — this can be exceedingly useful during the holidays.
  • Choose a card that offers bonus points on shopping. The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, for example, offers 3% cash back in the category of your choice, including online shopping. Be sure to focus your spending during the holiday months on your cash back or rewards categories that earn the most.
  • Keep an eye out for special offers. Be sure to check your card for ongoing deals and take advantage of the offers to get the most bang for your buck during the holidays. For example, some American Express and Chase cards offer discounts at particular restaurants and stores.
  • Use your rewards to fund your holiday shopping and travel. You can use your credit card rewards toward holiday travel or gift purchases. As long as you don't overspend on your cards, this tactic can help you to save considerably.

Tip: Set a budget for your holiday credit card spending and use your credit card deals and rewards to stick to it. Make sure to pay off your balance on time and in full every month to avoid accruing debt.

Which holiday shopping credit card is best for me?

The best holiday shopping credit card for you will depend on your personal spending habits and preferences. Ultimately, you may be best off combining two or more credit cards to ensure you're getting your best deal.

Best credit cards for holiday shopping 2021

{"backgroundColor":"white","content":"\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003EThe best holiday shopping credit card for you will depend on your personal spending habits and preferences. Ultimately, you may be best off combining two or more credit cards to ensure you're getting your best deal.\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Ch3\u003EBest credit cards for holiday shopping 2021\u003C\/h3\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--root \"\u003E\n\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--content ShortcodeList--content-margin\"\u003E\n \u003Cdiv class=\"ShortcodeList--column\"\u003E\n \u003Cul class=\"ListUnordered--root ListUnordered--bullet\"\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best credit card for holiday shopping: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card\" href=\"#Bank\"\u003EBank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for cash back: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Discover it\u00ae Cash Back\" href=\"#Discover\"\u003EDiscover it\u00ae Cash Back\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for sign-up bonus: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Chase Sapphire Preferred\u00ae Card\" href=\"#Chase\"\u003EChase Sapphire Preferred\u00ae Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for 0% APR: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Citi Simplicity\u00ae Card\" href=\"#Citi\"\u003ECiti Simplicity\u00ae Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for travel rewards: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\" href=\"#Capital\"\u003ECapital One Venture Rewards Credit Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for balance transfer: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\" href=\"#Wells\"\u003EWells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best prepaid holiday credit card: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"American Express Serve® Cash Back\" href=\"#American\"\u003EAmerican Express Serve® Cash Back\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for retail: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card\" href=\"#Amazon\"\u003EAmazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for entertainment: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"Capital One\u00ae Savor\u00ae Cash Rewards Credit Card\" href=\"#One\"\u003ECapital One\u00ae Savor\u00ae Cash Rewards Credit Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003Cli class=\"ListUnordered--list-item\"\u003E\n Best for electronics: \u003Cspan\u003E\u003Ca class=\"ShortcodeLink--root ShortcodeLink--black\" title=\"My Best Buy\u00ae Visa\u00ae Card\" href=\"#My\"\u003EMy Best Buy\u00ae Visa\u00ae Card\u003C\/a\u003E\u003C\/span\u003E\n \u003C\/li\u003E\n \u003C\/ul\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n \u003C\/div\u003E\n\u003C\/div\u003E\n\n\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E\u003C\/p\u003E\n\n\u003Cp\u003E","padding":"double"}

Credit cards and holiday shopping FAQs

Is it best to book a holiday with a credit card?

Yes, we recommend booking your holiday vacation with a credit card as you can earn rewards on your purchases — which can end up saving you money. Make sure to only book a trip on your credit card if you're confident you can pay off your balance in full and on time each month to avoid accruing debt.

What is the best way to pay for a holiday, credit or debit card?

The best way to pay for a holiday is with a credit card, as you can earn rewards on your purchases which can help you cut costs on your trip. If you're too tempted to overspend when booking a trip on your credit card, we recommend using your debit card instead to avoid going into debt.

How do you manage holiday spending?

The best way to manage holiday spending is by making a budget and sticking to it. Using a credit card is a great way to keep track of your spending and take advantage of special deals and offers to help you cut costs. Rewards credit cards can also help you book flights and hotel stays for free, which can lighten the load of your holiday spending.

How do I make a holiday budget?

Make a holiday budget by setting aside a certain amount of money you're comfortable spending on holiday-only purchases. Think about everything that goes into celebrating the holidays, such as cooking a big dinner, buying gifts and planning your winter getaway. Once you have an idea of how much you need, write that number down and try to only spend within your limits.

The information related to Discover it® Cash Back, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card, American Express Serve® Cash Back, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card and My Best Buy® Visa® Card has been independently collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms apply to American Express credit card offers. See americanexpress.com for more information.

Methodology

To make choosing the right credit card for holiday shopping easier, we've compiled this list from hundreds of cards across the ValuePenguin and major card issuers' databases.

Our recommendations are based on the additional value these cards offer. In this case, we looked specifically at cashback, rewards and low interest credit cards to select those that offer consumers the most value in their particular category. For example, in choosing the best balance transfer card, we analyzed cards with the longest 0% intro APR on balance transfers, and no annual or additional fees. For other categories, we analyzed the value of things like the cashback rate on relevant holiday spending categories, rewards value, cost of card ownership, additional perks and more.

Our choices are not influenced by our advertisers. Learn more on how we calculate rewards.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).