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As you buy gifts for your loved ones and friends, use one of the best credit cards to maximize each purchase. Not only can you earn points/miles, but you might also earn extras that are special for the season of giving. Additionally, if you’re looking to earn a new credit card signup or welcome bonus, it can be easier to earn now rather than during the months you don’t spend as much. Here are our picks for the best credit cards for holiday shopping.

credit cards holiday shopping
Natalie and her mom shopping.

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8 Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

Here’s a quick preview of the 9 best credit cards for holiday shopping and a little info about each card:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card – Best for travelers for want to use a variety of airlines and hotels
  • Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card – At least 2x miles on everything, plus an annual $300 travel credit
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Credit Cards – Earn points and get closer to the Companion Pass®
  • Prime Visa – 5% back with Amazon
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited® – At least 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Chase Freedom Flex℠ – Rotating 5% categories to earn cash back
  • Citi® Double Cash Card – Earn up to 2% back on everything
  • Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 – Up to 10% back at select retailers

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is known for being one of the best travel credit cards. But your holiday shopping points can be worth 25% more when you redeem them for award travel.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred earns unlimited:

  • 5x points on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards® (excluding hotel purchases that qualify for the $50 Anniversary Hotel Credit)
  • 3x points on dining (including eligible delivery services, takeout, and dining out)
  • 3x points on online grocery purchases (excluding Target®, Walmart®, and wholesale clubs)
  • Also 3x points on select streaming services
  • 2x points on all other travel purchases
  • 1x point per $1 spent on all non-bonus purchases 

There is a $50 annual Ultimate Rewards Hotel Credit. It comes in the form of a statement credit that will automatically be applied to your account when your card is used for hotel accommodation purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards program, up to an annual maximum accumulation of $50.

Plus, on each account anniversary, you’ll earn bonus points equal to 10% of your total purchases made the previous year. So, if you spend $25,000 on purchases, you’ll get 2,500 bonus points.

You might be able to earn bonus points for online purchases by shopping through the Chase Ultimate Rewards mall.

New Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card cardholders can earn 75,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening. That’s over $900 when redeemed through Chase Travel℠.

The annual fee is $95.

Related: Chase Sapphire Preferred Review

Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel credit card. You earn at least 2x miles per $1 on purchases. Consider this card if you want to redeem your miles for travel statement credits but also want several additional travel perks.

Cardholders earn unlimited:

  • 10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • 2x miles on all other purchases

Additionally, cardholders have access to several other airport benefits, including unlimited access to all-inclusive amenities at Capital One lounges and Priority Pass lounges worldwide, a fee credit of up to $100 for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and $300 back annually for bookings through Capital One Travel.

You can redeem your Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card miles to cover travel expenses or transfer your miles to Capital One travel transfer partners.

Cardholders also get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on their first card anniversary. Hertz President’s Circle status is another benefit they can enjoy.

Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel, with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.

The annual fee is $395.

Southwest Airlines Credit Cards

The information for the Southwest Rapid Rewards® Premier Credit Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

You may be surprised to find that one of the best credit cards for holiday shopping is an airline card. The consumer Southwest Airlines credit cards are currently offering one of their best signup bonus offers.

New Southwest Airlines (consumer) credit cardholders can earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This includes the following:

Prime Visa

The Prime Visa can be your best option if you’re doing most of your holiday shopping through Amazon.

Your rewards categories include unlimited:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership
  • 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare)
  • Everything else earns 1% back

You can redeem your purchase rewards on future Amazon shopping trips or also for cash back, travel, and gift cards. This card has no annual fee, and it’s also a metal credit card.

Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval, exclusively for Prime members with their new Prime Visa.

However, one stipulation to get this card is that you must be an Amazon Prime member.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns at least 1.5% back on purchases. That can be 50% more points on retail purchases than most rewards credit cards.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns unlimited:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

New Chase Freedom Unlimited® cardholders can enjoy an additional 1.5% cash back on everything they buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back! So, they’ll earn 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).

Read more in our detailed Chase Freedom Unlimited review.

The annual fee is $0.

Chase Freedom Flex

The information for the Chase Freedom Flex℠ has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is an attractive cash back credit card as you earn 5% on the first $1,500 in rotating quarterly bonus categories (once activated).

Cardholders also automatically earn:

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases
  • 1% on all other purchases.

Non-bonus purchases earn 1%, but you can earn bonus points on qualifying travel, dining, and drugstore spending.

New cardholders can earn a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

The annual fee is $0.

Related: How Hard Is It To Get The Chase Freedom Flex Card?

Citi Double Cash Card

The information for the Citi® Double Cash Card has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

The Citi® Double Cash Card has one of the highest cash back rates and a $0 annual fee. Each purchase earns up to 2% back (1% at the purchase time and 1% when you make a balance payment). To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Earning up to 2% back on purchases is pretty easy with no categories to activate or math to figure out which purchase earns what.

You can read more in our Citi Double Cash Card review.

Owner’s Rewards Card by M1

The information for the Owner’s Rewards Card by M1 has been collected independently by Johnny Jet. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

If you want to turn your credit card points into passive income, consider the Owner’s Rewards Card by M1. You can reinvest your purchase rewards through the M1 Finance free investing app. You can earn up to 10% back at participating retailers, and each purchase earns at least 1.5% back.

Some of the merchants include:

  • GameStop (10%)
  • Ulta Beauty (10%)
  • Wayfair (10%)
  • Etsy (5%)
  • Nike (5%)
  • Apple (2.5%)
  • Amazon (2.5%)
  • Best Buy (2.5%)
  • Target (2.5%)
  • Walmart (2.5%)

During the holiday shopping season, M1 is also randomly reimbursing 50 purchases daily.

This card doesn’t have an annual fee. However, you will need an M1 Plus membership ($0 for the first year and then $125) to have this card and enjoy other benefits.

Related: Can You Buy Stocks With A Credit Card?

Summary of the Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping

While the holiday shopping season can be one of the most expensive times of the year, these credit cards for holiday shopping can help you get extra rewards so you can enjoy cash or travel benefits later on. You might even be able to earn more at your favorite stores by using these cards. It can be a win-win situation if you can use your card responsibly.

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Johnny Jet has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Johnny Jet and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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