Tis the Season! The Best Travel Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping 2018

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Tis the Season!  The Best Travel Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping 2018

AlexTis the Season!  The Best Travel Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping 2018Million Mile Secrets Team

We devote thousands of hours of research to help you get Big Travel with Small Money. You support us by signing-up for credit cards through partner links which earn us a commission. Here’s our full Advertising Policy.

Black Friday, the busiest shopping day of the year, is just around the corner, marking the beginning of the holiday shopping season.

Using the right credit card while you shop for holiday gifts and supplies can help you maximize rewards for your spending.  Now is a great time to work towards meeting the spending requirements on one of the best travel credit cards to unlock a welcome bonus!   That way, you can earn Big Travel for yourself while you’re splurging on others.

With the increase in spending that usually comes with the holidays, it is smart to strategize which cards to use to make the most of your purchases.

Holiday Shopping Can Be Hectic. But With The Right Card In Your Wallet You Can Turn Holiday Shopping Into An Opportunity to Earn Free Travel

Here’s our list of the best credit cards to use for holiday shopping.

Best Cards for Holiday Shopping

Using a rewards credit card to pay for your holiday shopping can be a really easy way to earn cash back or points to use toward your next vacation!

Let’s take a look at 5 fantastic holiday shopping credit cards.  Depending on what type of holiday shopping you do, consider one of these great cards to keep in your wallet.

5 Best Holiday Shopping Travel Credit Cards

The best card to use for any purchase is the card you’re currently meeting the minimum spending on.  This helps you to unlock a big travel card bonus and earn miles, points, or cash back for Big Travel! 🙂

After you’ve done that, consider these cards to reward you for your thoughtful holiday gift buying.

Best Holiday Shopping Card for Department Stores:  Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Apply Here:   Apply for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Read our review of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Why the AMEX Blue Cash Preferred Is Great for Holiday Shopping

If you spend a lot at department stores, consider the American Express Blue Cash Preferred card.  With the Blue Cash Preferred, you’ll earn 3% cash back at select US department stores.

Here are some of the department stores that qualify for 3% cash back:

  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Dillard’s
  • J.C. Penney (JCP)
  • Kohl’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears

Welcome Bonus Details

The American Express Blue Cash Preferred offers $200 cash back (in the form of a statement credit) when you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within 3 months of account opening.

Annual Fee

This card has a $95 annual fee (not waived the first year)

Best Holiday Shopping Credit Card for Warehouse Clubs:  Chase Freedom   

Read our review of the Chase Freedom

Why the Chase Freedom Is Great for Holiday Shopping

During the 4th quarter of 2018, the Chase Freedom bonus spending categories include warehouse clubs.  This means using your Chase Freedom card at Costco or Sam’s Club this holiday season can earn you 5% back or 5X Chase Ultimate Rewards points per $1 on up to $1,500 in spending this quarter (combined with Chase Pay and department stores) when you activate the bonus.

This is especially awesome because warehouse clubs are usually not included in bonus spending categories with most other cards, so this is an awesome opportunity for shopping this season.

Don’t forget to activate your Chase Freedom bonus categories before December 14, 2018.

It Is Pretty Rare That You Can Earn 5% Back at Costco and Sam’s Club. But This Quarter You Can With The Chase Freedom Card on up to $1,500 in Spending (Combined With Chase Pay and Department Stores) When You Activate the Bonus

Welcome Bonus Details

With the Chase Freedom, you’ll earn $150 (15,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points) after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee.

The information for the Chase Freedom has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets.  The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Best Holiday Shopping Credit Card for Business:  Chase Ink Business Preferred 

Read our review of the Chase Ink Business Preferred


Why the Ink Business Preferred Is Great for Holiday Shopping

Even business owners need to buy gifts.  From the gift basket to a nice new suit, the Chase Ink Business Preferred is the card you want to use to earn the most points toward future travel rewards.

Welcome Bonus Details

Right now is a great time to apply for the Chase Ink Business Preferred.  You’ll earn 80,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

This is the highest public welcome bonus of any Chase Ultimate Rewards card.  And the holiday shopping season is an excellent time to work towards the spending requirement for this bonus!

This bonus is worth $1,000+ of free travel when you redeem your points through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal, and potentially much more when you transfer points to airline and hotel partners like Hyatt or United Airlines.

Annual Fee

The card has a $95 annual fee, which is NOT waived the first year.

Best Holiday Shopping Credit Card for Online Shopping with Fast Shipping:  The Platinum Card from American Express

Apply Here:   The Platinum Card® from American Express

Read our review of The Platinum Card from American Express

Why the AMEX Platinum Is Great for Holiday Shopping

If you like to shop online, the Platinum Card from American Express is for you.  This card offers tons of great perks and benefits that you can use during travel, but it also includes a complimentary ShopRunner membership, which will bring your online shopping to the next level.

With ShopRunner, you can shop at over 140+ online retailers and get free 2-day shipping plus free return shipping on all orders.  And most ShopRunner retailers have no minimum order size either.

ShopRunner Review
Emily Used ShopRunner To Get a Last Minute Delivery Before a Trip.  You Can Also Use ShopRunner to Ensure That You Get Free Return Shipping in Case That Gift Doesn’t Work Out

Welcome Bonus Details

New Platinum Card From American Express cardholders can earn 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 on purchases with their new card in the first 3 months of account opening.

Those 60,000 AMEX Membership Rewards points are enough for 8 short-haul one-way coach flights on American Airlines when you transfer your points to British Airways, or 2 round-trip coach flights from anywhere in the mainland US to Hawaii on Delta when you move points to Flying Blue.

Annual Fee

This card has a $550 annual fee (not waived the first year).

For many folks, the high annual fee is more than worth it.  You can read our review of the AMEX Platinum to see how to make the most of the card’s perks and benefits!

Best Card for Amazon:  Chase Amazon Prime Rewards

Apply Here:   Chase Amazon Prime Rewards

The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card has been collected independently by Million Mile Secrets.  The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

Why the Chase Amazon Is Great for Holiday Shopping

Amazon is one of the top destinations for holiday shopping.  It should come as no surprise that one of the best cards to use for Amazon shopping is Amazon’s own Chase Amazon Prime Rewards card.

This card earns you 5% back on all Amazon and Whole Foods purchases if you have an Amazon Prime membership (otherwise 3% back).  This balance is displayed at the checkout screen on Amazon, so that it can be applied to any future Amazon orders you place.  There is no minimum rewards balance to redeem.

You’ll also earn 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores.

Amazon Is a Great Place to Find All Sorts of Gifts, but With 5% Cash Back, You Might Find Even More Reasons to Do Your Holiday Shopping Online This Year

Earning a full 5% back on a site that will let you buy almost anything is a great deal.  For folks who do a lot of shopping on Amazon, this can translate into significant savings.

Welcome Bonus Details

When you apply for the Chase Amazon Prime Rewards card, you can earn a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon approval.  This is automatically added to your Amazon account and can be used immediately on any shopping you have planned.

Annual Fee

This card has no annual fee, however, you need to maintain an active Amazon Prime account (which costs ~$119 per year) to get the most out of this card.

Bottom Line

These are the best holiday shopping travel credit cards:

No matter where you shop this holiday season, there’s likely a rewards credit card that can earn you extra miles, points, or cash back!

What about you?  Which card is your favorite for holiday shopping?

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The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

More Info

Editorial Note: We're the Million Mile Secrets team. And we're proud of our content, opinions and analysis, and of our reader's comments. These haven’t been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any of the airlines, hotels, or credit card issuers which we often write about. And that’s just how we like it! :)

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Best card for Amazon is Discover It.
Get a new card and get 10% cash back on Amazon.
5% is doubled the 1st year.

Same for Warehouse stores, with Chase Freedom at 5x, effective 10%, when transferred a close 2nd.

Also, use the Chase Pay, where available with your freedom card linked for effective 10%

Thanks for sharing the tips and your insight!