December’s Best Credit Cards
You’re in the thick of holiday shopping and you’re looking for the best deals you can find.
Thankfully, credit card companies have recognized our need to get deals during the Christmas season and many of them offer extra cash-back bonuses on purchases you make from certain stores.
That aspect of credit cards is what puts two of them in this month’s edition of the best of the best.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
Earlier this month Chase sent out an email to cardholders saying that there are up to 15% in cash back rewards for purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards shopping portal.
These discounts are pretty amazing considering that many of them are at stores that most of us don’t have credit cards for.
Here’s a quick list of the best deals we found when we searched through the discounts Chase is offering:
The important thing to remember is that these are cash-back rewards that come to you in the form of Ultimate Rewards points. The percentages aren’t a discount taken off your bill.
The good thing about these bonuses is that, yes, you can use your points for cash, but you can also use the points for travel with Southwest, United, Hyatt, Marriott and more.
Citi Double Cash
The Double Cash is arguably the best cash-back credit card on the market because it gives you 1% cash back on purchases and then another 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases.
It gets the distinction of being one of the best December credit cards, though, because Citi’s online shopping portal is offering tons of great cash-back bonus rates at certain stores.
Here are some of the best:
BarkShop is an online retail store that specializes in presents for dogs. It’s a great place to buy a gift for your doggo-loving friends and, at the time of publishing, they were offering free shipping for purchases of more than $35.
Coursera is an online learning website where you can take courses from prestigious universities around the country. Buying a family member or friend one of their courses
We added E-file to the group because many of us will file our taxes online and getting a head start at E-file this month can score you a 20% cash back rate, which equates to a $7 reward for purchasing their $34.95 Premium tax filing package.
Citi AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite MasterCard
This final December recommendation has more to do with that July vacation that you’re planning than it does the December Christmas presents you want to buy.
The Platinum Select is currently offering 60,000 AAdvantage miles for anyone who can use the card to spend $3,000 in the first three months of owning the card. That $3,000 threshold should be an easy one to reach for families and single people.
Those miles will show up in the AAdvantage account you set up about 8-10 weeks after you hit the $3K mark. Based on our research, those 60,000 points can get you at least two round-trip tickets to anywhere in the United States. Most American flights can be had for 25,000 miles.
In addition to the up-front bonus miles, you’ll also get 10% back on the miles you cash in for flights. You’ll also get one free bag when you fly and priority boarding.
A Few Extra Tips for Holiday Spending
All of the deals we mentioned here are excellent but they can have their drawbacks. If you spend money you don’t have just to take advantage of the various offers, the interest you pay on your credit card balances will most likely cancel out the monetary value of the rewards you earn.
So, before you sign up for or use these cards, take a minute to see how much holiday spending you have left, where you plan on getting your gifts and whether or not the discounts listed here can actually apply to your holiday shopping.
If you haven’t started on your Christmas list yet and need help budgeting, read our step-by-step guide on how to create an effective holiday budget.