Do you want 5% back this holiday season? Of course you do, who doesn't? With these two cards, your holiday shopping won't be such a drain on your budget.

Many people scoff at cash back rewards. They reason that it’s hardly worth the effort to earn just one or even 2% cash back on your purchases. But once you raise that number to 5%, you’ll find that it gets nearly everyone’s attention.

This 2020 holiday season, you have the opportunity to earn 5% cash back at some of the biggest names in retail including,, and Target. Paypal too.

It’s as good as it sounds. Read on!

How these offers work

Two of the top cash back credit cards have nearly identical formulas for earning bonus rewards. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Discover it® Cash Back card both offer 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in certain categories each quarter you activate.

If you were to spend the entire $1,500 eligible for the bonus cash back, you’d earn $75 in rewards in just three months.

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back card lets you earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on eligible purchases, and 1% cash back elsewhere, when you enroll each quarter. In the fourth quarter of 2020 (October – December) the featured merchants are, Target and

And after one year, Discover will automatically match the cash back that you’ve earned in your first year as a card member.

This card currently offers new applicants 15 months of 0% APR financing on both new purchases and balance transfers.  The ongoing APR after the intro APR expires is 11.99% - 22.99% Variable.  This Discover it® card includes benefits such as free security alerts when a new account is opened in your name, or if your Social Security number is found on a risky website.

There’s $0 annual fee for this card, no penalty interest rate and no foreign transaction fees.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in bonus categories when you activate. In the first quarter of 2021 (January – March), you’ll earn 5% back at wholesale clubs, internet, cable, and phone services and also select streaming services.

You’ll also earn the same 5% cash back on travel purchases when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. That’s perfect for when you have to visit family (in a post-COVID world, of course).

Plus, you’ll also earn 3% cash back at drug stores and when you dine out or order in. Finally, you’ll also get 1% cash back everywhere else.

New applicants can receive a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.  With the Chase Freedom Flex℠ you also get a 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months (followed by an APR of 19.74% - 28.49% Variable), which can help you significantly when shopping for gifts. 

In addition, this card comes with a purchase protection policy that covers new items for 120 days against accidental damage or theft. There’s no annual fee for this card, but it does have a foreign transaction fee of3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex℠ now!

How to use these offers

These cards are a great way to earn some extra cash back over the holidays, but only if you use them correctly. The most important thing is to never to make unnecessary purchases just to earn additional rewards.

Even when you earn 5% cash back, you’re just wasting 95% of your money when you buy something just to earn rewards. So if you weren’t going to be making purchases at an eligible store, don’t get one of these cards just to do so.

Another rule of smart reward card use is to always avoid interest charges. Most of the time, you’ll have to pay your statement balance in full to avoid interest, but both of these cards offer 0% APR financing on new purchases. These are valuable offers, but you should still not spend more than you can easily pay off before the interest-free promotional financing offers expire.

Also, both of these cards require you to “activate” the bonus categories by logging into your account online. This is quick and easy to do, but you still have to remember to do it. Thankfully, you can earn rewards retroactively so long as you activate your bonus categories anytime through the quarter.


These are both great cards that allow you to earn excellent rates of cash back at some of the largest merchants in the country. By examining both of these offers, you can choose the best one for your needs this holiday season.

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About the author

Total Articles: 33
Jason Steele has been writing about credit cards, travel and personal finance since 2008, and is passionate about using his cards to travel for free. Jason contributes to many of the top personal finance and travel sites and has been widely quoted in mainstream media as a credit card expert. Jason lives in Denver Colorado where he enjoys bicycling, snowboarding and flying. You can follow Jason on Twitter, Facebook or on his website.