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Best Credit Cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018

Best Credit Cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2018

*Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and 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.

This article was last updated Oct 24, 2018, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.

It’s that time of year again, when your inbox floods with holiday deals and sitewide sales, preparing you for some of the biggest shopping days of the year — Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The three-week period between Thanksgiving and Dec. 15 is the most popular time for holiday shopping, according to CompareCards.com’s 2018 Early Holiday Shopping survey.

While these days are known for fantastic discounts and doorbuster deals, you can still rack up high expenses. Our survey found that 37% of credit card holders anticipate spending more money this year, compared with last year. Regardless if you plan on spending more, less or the same amount than last year, shopping for the holidays can be expensive. You may not have the money available for all the purchases you plan on making, so using a credit card that offers rewards or special financing can help you save money.

We’ve rounded up the best credit cards that you can use to earn cash back and rewards on your holiday shopping at Amazon, department stores, wholesale clubs and at other places as well as cards that can help you finance purchases over time.

Best credit cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping
Best for Amazon Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Best for department stores Chase Freedom®
Best for general shopping Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Best for wholesale clubs Chase Freedom®

Discover it® Cash Back

Best for supermarkets Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express or Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Best 0% intro offers on purchases Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom® 

Best for Amazon: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon.com has a seemingly endless selection of products, making it a great destination for your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping. You can use an Amazon-branded credit card or rotating 5% cashback card on the site to earn rewards on your spending. Redeeming the rewards you earn for a statement credit can help retroactively reduce the cost of any purchases you made on Amazon.com.

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is great for all your year-round spending at Amazon.com — not just Black Friday and Cyber Monday. You earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases throughout the year, compared with some other cards that may only offer Amazon.com as a 5% bonus category for one quarter a year. While this card has a $0 annual fee, you need a Prime membership, which currently costs $119 for the annual plan. But, there’s a new cardmember offer where you receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, which can help offset the Prime membership fee. There is a version of this card that doesn’t require a Prime membership, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card, but you earn lower rewards at 3% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on all other purchases. Overall, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a no-brainer for Prime members since it costs nothing to carry and offers the best rewards rate around for Amazon.com purchases.

The information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by CompareCards and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

Runner-up: Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back offers Amazon.com and wholesale clubs as a bonus category from October to December 2018 — just in time for holiday shopping. You earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically. The quarterly maximum is $1,500, so that’s a $75 cashback limit to the amount of 5% cashback you can earn each quarter, before the cashback rate drops to 1%. The quarterly maximum shouldn’t be a major issue if you plan on spending less than $1,500 combined at Amazon.com this October to December. Otherwise, you may want to consider the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card mentioned above.

Best for department stores: Chase Freedom®

Major department stores like Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s always offer various Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals that can kickstart your holiday shopping. These department stores and most others offer store cards, but those cards can only be used in the issuing cards store. So, if you don’t favor one department store and instead shop at several stores, a store card isn’t the best choice since you’ll need to carry multiple cards for each department store. Therefore, below we’ve listed a card that can earn you a competitive cashback rate at eligible department stores.

The Chase Freedom® offers department stores, wholesale clubs and Chase Pay® as its 5% bonus categories for October to December 2018. There is a $1,500 quarterly maximum — so $75 cash back limit on the amount of 5% cash back you can earn in a quarter — before the cashback rate lowers to 1%. If you don’t mind activating the bonus categories and want a wide selection of eligible department stores to shop at and earn 5% cash back (up to a quarterly max of $1,500, then 1%), then this card is a good choice.

Eligible department stores include:

  • Aliexpress
  • Beall’s Of Florida
  • Belk
  • Bergdorf Goodman
  • Bergners
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Boscov’s Department Store
  • Boston Store
  • Carson’s
  • Dillard’s
  • Elder-Beerman
  • Goody’s
  • Gordmans
  • Gumps
  • Herbergers
  • J.C. Penney
  • Kohl’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom & Nordstrom Rack
  • Peebles Dept Store
  • Saks Fifth Ave & Off Fifth
  • Sears
  • Stage Stores
  • Stein Mart
  • The Bon Ton
  • Von Maur
  • Younkers

 

Best for general shopping: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Most people don’t shop at just one store during the holidays, they may need to make some online purchases at Amazon.com, go to a children’s store, a department store and other places to get everything they need. In those cases, you’ll either need several credit cards to maximize your rewards for each store you go to, or you can simply use a flat-rate cashback card that earns you the same amount of cash back regardless where you shop.

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is our top choice for a flat-rate cashback card since you earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases. This is double the amount of what most rewards cards earn on everyday purchases. Using the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer can also simplify paying for your transactions compared with carrying multiple cards — you won’t have to worry about which card to use at a certain store. If you do have other rewards cards, you can use the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer for everyday purchases and your other cards on the purchases they earn more rewards in.

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.*
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

More Info

Best for wholesale clubs: Chase Freedom®, Discover it® Cash Back

Wholesale clubs are a great place to stock up on items for entertaining guests during the holiday season as well as buying gifts. Major wholesale clubs like BJ’s, Costco and Sam’s Club all offer their own co-branded credit cards for members to use and earn rewards. And, some cards from major issuers offer wholesale clubs as a bonus category during the holiday months. Keep in mind, to shop regularly at wholesale clubs, you’ll need to be an active member. But, many clubs offer free one-day passes where you can shop around without becoming a member, or you can simply tag along with a friend or family member who already has a membership.

There are two credit cards from major issuers that are offering wholesale clubs as a bonus category from October to December 2018 — the Chase Freedom® and the Discover it® Cash Back. Both cards require you to activate the bonus categories and have $1,500 quarterly maximums on the amount of cash back you can earn before the 5% cashback rate drops to 1%. These cards can be great for your wholesale club shopping, especially if you’re a member of more than one club and don’t want a club-specific credit card.

 

Best for supermarkets: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express or Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

While you may not initially think to shop at your local supermarket during Black Friday, you can potentially save money on groceries and other items you buy there if they run promotions. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers the highest rewards rate we could find for U.S. supermarket spending with 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). But, beware there’s a $95 annual fee.

There is a $0 annual fee version of the card — the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. The caveat is you earn half as much cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases with 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores. 1% cash back on other purchases. That may not be an issue depending on how much you spend at U.S. supermarkets.

If you spend more than $264 a month ($61 a week) at U.S. supermarkets, you’ll benefit more from the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (even with it’s $95 annual fee). Anything less than $264 a month and you should stick with the $0 annual fee Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express.

Keep in mind superstores, convenience stores and warehouse clubs like BJ’s, Target and Walmart aren’t considered U.S. supermarkets and will earn 1% cash back.

  • $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

  • 3% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases*

  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

More Info


  • $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.*

  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

  • 1% back on other purchases*

Highlights
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • You spoke, we listened. Over 1.6 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 15.24% to 26.24%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

Cards with the best 0% intro offers on purchases

Holiday shopping can cost you a lot of money, and many people fall into debt as a result of shopping for everyone on their list. You can avoid debt traps like incurring high interest charges by using a credit card offering a 0% intro period for new purchases. These cards can help you finance new purchases interest-free for as long as 18 months.

Here are our top picks for cards with 0% intro periods:

  • 0% for 18 months on purchases and qualifying balance transfers*

  • Enjoy $0 Annual Fee

  • 13.74%-27.24% (Variable)*

Highlights
  • 0% Intro APR for 18 months on purchases and balance transfers (fees apply), then a 13.74%-27.24% variable APR; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee
  • 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 Platinum Visa card
  • Easy access to your FICO® Credit Score with Wells Fargo Online®
  • Zero Liability protection for promptly reported unauthorized transactions
  • Convenient tools to help create a budget and manage your spending with My Money Map
  • $0 Annual Fee

See additional details for Wells Fargo Platinum Visa card

More Info

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 17.24% - 25.99% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit JourneySM

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

  • 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

  • Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent.

  • 17.24 - 25.99% Variable

Highlights
  • New Offer! Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 17.24-25.99%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit JourneySM
  • No annual fee

See additional details for Chase Freedom Unlimited®

More Info

About two months before your 0% intro period ends, you should check to see if you’re on track to pay off your debt before the end of the intro period. If you are, great — you’re all set! But, if you still have lingering debt that you don’t think will be paid off in full before the end of the intro period, you should consider a balance transfer credit card. A balance transfer is when you transfer debt from one card to another card offering a 0% intro period for balance transfers. This can provide you with more time to pay off your debt. Keep in mind balances can’t be transferred between cards from the same bank and you most likely will incur a balance transfer fee — but it’s most likely minor compared with the amount you’ll save on interest. However, there are cards with no balance transfer fees.

Here are our top picks for balance transfer credit cards:

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 15.74% - 25.74%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.74% - 25.74% based on your creditworthiness.*
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

More Info

  • 0%* for 12 months on Purchases*

  • 0%* for 21 months on Balance Transfers*

  • 16.99% - 26.99%* (Variable)

Highlights
  • The only card with No Late Fees, No Penalty Rate, and No Annual Fee… EVER
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 16.99% - 26.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balances, are paid in full
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The same great rate for all balances, after the introductory period
  • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day – just say “representative”
  • Enjoy the convenience of setting up your own bill payment schedule on any available due date throughout the month

See additional details for Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

More Info


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