Deck the halls: Use these cards to maximize your seasonal spending

Dec 6, 2020

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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.

November and December are my favorite months of the year. I love the cooler temperatures and I the holiday season. When I was growing up, Nov. 1 was a mini-holiday at my house because it was the day we put up fall decorations. Festivities involved multiple trips to the attic to bring down the boxes of evergreen decorations and a trip to Target for a few new items. After Thanksgiving, we’d start the process again to get ready for Christmas.

Now that I’m older, I realize that decorating my own apartment for the holidays can be expensive. Throw pillows, blankets, Christmas lights and seasonal trinkets can cost a pretty penny. And don’t get me started on the cost of buying and decorating a Christmas tree. Luckily, there are credit cards out there to help me earn rewards while I feed my holiday decor obsession.

In This Post

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: $200 cash bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

With the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card, you’ll earn 3% back on the category of your choice; 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on everything else. There is a $2,500 quarterly cap on combined 3% and 2% spending each quarter; then 1%. One of the spending categories is home improvement and furnishings, a category that includes florists, antique stores and hardware shops, etc.

You can earn 3% back when you buy those seasonal throw pillows and blankets, add festive wreaths and flower arrangements from your local florist, grab new lawn ornaments from Lowe’s or all of the above. You can also boost your earnings with the Preferred Rewards program. Eligible cardholders could earn as much as 5.25% back on your holiday decor purchases.

Once the season is over and your decorations go back into storage, you can get continued value from your card by changing your category every month to fit your spending habits throughout the rest of the year.

Check out our full Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card review. 

Chase Freedom Flex

Annual fee: $0

Sign-up bonus: $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of account opening

The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% on rotating categories each quarter (with a $1,500 cap on 5% spend each quarter). The Q1 2021 categories are wholesale clubs, select streaming services and internet, cable and phone services

You can also pair your Chase Freedom Flex with Chase Ultimate Rewards cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card to convert your cash-back earnings into points. Those points can then be redeemed through the Chase travel portal or transferred to a Chase travel partner. 

Related: Why I switched from the Chase Freedom to the all-new Chase Freedom Flex

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy)
(Photo by Wyatt Smith / The Points Guy.)

Annual fee: $95

Sign-up bonus: 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening.

With the Capital One Venture Card, you’ll get unlimited 2x miles on every purchase, including any seasonal decor your heart desires. The other cards on this list are restricted to certain categories, but you’ll earn 2x with the Venture no matter what you buy or where you shop. You don’t get the best return with the Venture, compared to cards that offer 5% or 3% on specific categories, but you don’t have to worry about activating quarterly or monthly categories. If you buy your seasonal decorations from a number of shops that may not fall under a specific category, the Venture is a good choice.

Your Venture miles can be used as a statement credit to “pay” for eligible travel purchases, or you can transfer miles to one of Capital One’s 13 airline and two hotel transfer partners. 

Check out our full Capital One Venture Card review. 

Don’t forget to use shopping portals

Young woman shopping online in cafe with laptop. (Photo by filadendron/Getty Images)
Use shopping portals for your online decor purchases to maximize your rewards earning. (Photo by filadendron/Getty Images.)

When shopping online, you can stack rewards earnings by using shopping portals. Many popular airlines have shopping portals, and there are multiple third-party portals that offer cash back.

Aside from the extra two seconds it takes to click through the link, using a shopping portal doesn’t cost anything. It’s another easy way to maximize your purchases, on top of using the right card.

Related: Earn even more rewards by adding this one small step to your online shopping routine

Bottom line

Whether you go all out with seasonal decor (like my family) or only plan to add a few holiday touches around the house, it’s important to maximize your purchases with the right card(s). Luckily, there are plenty of credit cards that help you rack up rewards on decor purchases.

But it’s always best to choose a card that provides you value year round. If you take advantage of the right shopping portal and credit card matchup, you could even get a jump start on your 2021 travel fund with the rewards from your holiday shopping.

Additional reporting by Benét J. Wilson

Featured photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.

With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.

Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
  • Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
  • Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
  • Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
  • Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
  • Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
  • Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
  • Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
  • Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • $250 Annual Fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Regular APR
15.74%-24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$250
Balance Transfer Fee
N/A
Recommended Credit
Excellent/Good
Terms and restrictions apply. See rates & fees.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.