Maximize your seasonal spending with these 3 credit cards

Dec 10, 2021

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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.

December is one of my favorite months of the year. I love the cooler temperatures and the holiday season. When I was growing up, Dec. 1 was a mini-holiday at my house because it was the day we put up Christmas 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.

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. Here are my top picks.

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In This Post

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: None.

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

How to maximize your seasonal spending: 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 earn 1%. One of the spending categories is home improvement and furnishings, a category that includes florists, antique stores, hardware shops — the list goes on.

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 if you’re eligible for Bank of America’s Preferred Rewards program, earning 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 — making this one of the most flexible cash-back cards on the market.

Related: Best credit cards with customizable rewards

Chase Freedom Flex

(Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Annual fee: None.

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

How to maximize your seasonal spending: The Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% on rotating categories each quarter (with a $1,500 cap on 5% spending each quarter). The fourth-quarter categories for 2021 are Walmart and PayPal purchases, which are some of the easiest quarterly categories to max out since you can buy many seasonal purchases either through Walmart or using PayPal as a payment method.

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 for even more value.

Related: 5 ways to maximize the Chase Freedom Flex promotion to earn up to 19,500 bonus points this holiday season

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: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.

How to maximize your seasonal spending: With the Capital One Venture Rewards Card, you’ll get unlimited 2 miles per dollar spent 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 may not 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 off eligible travel purchases, or you can transfer miles to one of Capital One’s 15-plus airline and hotel transfer partners.

Related: 7 reasons to get the Capital One Venture Rewards Card

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 1 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 2022 travel fund with the rewards from your holiday shopping.

Official application link: Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex.

Official application link: Capital One Venture Rewards

Additional reporting by Stella Shon and Benét J. Wilson.

Featured photo by Summer Hull/The Points Guy.

Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card

Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.

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.

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More Things to Know
  • Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer ends 8/3/2022.
  • 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 up to 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 in the U.S., 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 $80 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 PreCheck® after you apply through any Authorized Enrollment Provider. If approved for Global Entry, at no additional charge, you will receive access to TSA PreCheck.
  • 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
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Annual Fee
Balance Transfer Fee
Recommended Credit
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.