These holiday cash back cards are great for buying gifts for your friends and family, but are also rewarding year-round cards as well.

If you are like me, you’re in crazy disbelief that 2020 is (finally) ending with the holidays just around the corner.

And with the holiday shopping season here and in full force, you’re probably thinking about all the ways you can save money on your purchases.

Your bag of tricks may include any number of things including incessant price checking for that expensive present you’d love to buy. But I know that at the end of the day, using the right cash back credit card is perhaps the best way to save money on your purchases.

It’s my number one trick at this point in time.

It’s easy enough, too. And as we roll in 2021, easy is all I want…

So I’m sharing six great cash back credit cards that you should consider for this year’s holidays (and the rest of the year). But remember – cash back cards are best used by those who avoid interest by paying statement balances in full. If you have to carry a balance, you’re better off using a card with the lowest possible interest rate.

Overview of the best cash back holiday credit cards

Credit cardBest for
Chase Freedom Flex℠ No annual fee
Discover it® Cash Back5% cash back
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer0% intro APR for balance transfers

Chase Freedom Flex℠

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom FlexSM offers an enticing $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.  Plus cash back rewards on travel, dining, drugstore and every day purchases with rewards that never expire. All for no annual fee!

Read review
Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Chase Freedom FlexSM offers an enticing $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 in the first three months.  Plus cash back rewards on travel, dining, drugstore and every day purchases with rewards that never expire. All for no annual fee!

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit. ?
  • Good/
  • Excellent
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • Awesome $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • Earn 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards® and on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter, plus earn 1% on all other purchases.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 16.49% – 25.24%.

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49% - 25.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
Intro APR Purchases
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months
Intro Term Purchases
15 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months
Intro Term Balance Transfers
15 months
Regular APR
16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee
$0

Apply Now >>

Chase Freedom Flex℠

If you want to save money when you shop at the biggest stores, then you should consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠. It offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter at featured merchants and merchant categories (from January – March of 2021 you’ll get 5% back at wholesale clubs, internet, cable, and phone services, and also select streaming services).

But wait…there’s more cash back: 5% cash back on travel purchases when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on dining and drugstores, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

Also, new applicants can receive a $200 bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening which is a great incentive to get this card around the holiday season when you’ll likely be spending more. You’ll also receive and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. There no annual fee for the card.

Apply here or read our full review of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card.

 

Discover it® Cash Back

As with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, the Discover it® Cash Back offers you 5% cashback on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on eligible purchases, and unlimited 1% cashback elsewhere. There’s a $1,500 max spend per quarter, activation required.

In the fourth quarter of 2020 (October – December) you get 5% back on your purchases from Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com. And after one year, Discover will automatically match the cashback that you’ve earned in your first year as a cardmember.

The Discover it® Cash Back 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 no annual fee for this card, no penalty interest rate, and no foreign transaction fees.

Apply here or read our full review of the Discover it® Cash Back credit card.

 

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now On the Secure Website

In A Nutshell

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer includes one of the best everyday cash back rewards rates available for cardholders. For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.

Read review
Credit Score Requirements: Credit Score requirements are based on Money Under 30’s own research of approval rates; meeting the minimum score will give you the best chance to be approved for the credit card of your choice. If you don’t know your credit score, use our free credit score estimator tool to get a better idea of which cards you’ll qualify for. *Money Under 30 uses a FICO 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. *A creditor may use a different score when deciding whether to approve you for credit.
Poor 500-599
Fair 600-699
Good 700-749
Excellent 750-850

What We Like:

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (regular APR of 16.24% – 26.24% Variable)

  • Earn 2% cash back on new purchases; unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

  • No annual fee

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • For a limited time, earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 16.24% - 26.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Intro APR
Intro APR Purchases N/A , 0 months
Intro APR Balance Transfers 0% intro for 18 months on Balance Transfers , 18 months

Apply Now >>

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Looking for a simple way to earn cash back during the holidays? The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is a good choice. It offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases, for a total of 2% cash back. There’s no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.

It also features 18 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee (or $5 minimum fee) when completed within first four months. After that the fee will be 5% per transfer (minimum $5). Keep in mind balance transfers do not earn cash back. After the promotional financing offer expires, an APR of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable) will apply, based on your creditworthiness.

And best of all, there’s no annual fee for this card.

Summary of the best holiday cash back credit cards

Credit cardCash back Unique features
Chase Freedom Flex℠5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating categories when you activate, 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases$200 bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening
Discover it® Cash Back5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating categories when you activate, 1% on all other purchasesCashback match at the end of your first year as an account holder
Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% cash back when you pay for your purchases18 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers. Then a regular APR of 16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)

Didn’t get approved for the card you want? You may want to boost your credit score

If you’re looking for holiday shopping credit cards but didn’t find the perfect one that suits your needs, don’t fret! There’s likely a simple solution: improve your credit.

Getting the right credit card is much simpler if you know your credit score and can narrow your search to only the cards you know you’ll get approved for. If you don’t already know your score, use the quick and free Credit Score Estimator tool.

Credit Score Estimator

Estimate your credit score in about 30 seconds. Just answer a few simple questions about your past credit usage:
1 Have you ever had a credit card or loan?
2 How long ago did you open your first credit card or loan?
3 Have you ever made a late loan or credit card payment?
4 How many new loans or credit cards have you opened or applied for in the past 6 months?
5 In the last five years, have you:
  • Gone through foreclosure or repossession?
  • Had debt go to collection?
  • Made a loan or credit card payment 90 days (or more) late?
6 In the last ten years, have you declared bankruptcy?
7 What is the total credit limit for all your credit cards?
8 What is your total amount of credit card debt?

Summary

You shouldn’t ever get a credit card just for holiday shopping. That being said, there are plenty of cards you should consider for everyday use that also have great cash back categories during the holidays.

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About the author

Total Articles: 35
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.