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Two of the most popular days for shopping during the year are Black Friday and Cyber Monday, but in addition to taking advantage of various limited-time deals on these dates, you want to make sure that you’re maximizing your points and mileage earnings on these purchases — while also doing your best to cover yourself in the case of price drops, theft or damage. Today I’ll go through my list of the best credit cards to use for Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases.
My first pick is specific to Cyber Monday purchases and earns the top spot because of a single retailer: Amazon.com. In the past the Chase Freedom included Amazon as one of its bonus merchants in the fourth quarter, but this year it’s the Discover it card that’s in play, meaning that you can earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases at Amazon (and Target) this year.
However, if you’ve only just signed up for the Discover it card in the last 12 months, this gets even better, because as part of the current bonus, Discover will match all your cash back earned in the first 12 months you have the card. That means you’re actually earning up to 10% in cash back on all your Amazon purchases from October 1 through December 31, 2017. So if this card isn’t currently in your wallet, now’s a great time to apply!
2. Just about any Citi-issued card
Another great option for these purchases doesn’t apply to a single card but rather the vast majority of cards issued by Citi. This is due to the issuer’s Price Rewind benefit. If you purchase an item with just about any personal card from Citi (including the Citi ThankYou Premier Card and the Citi Prestige Card) and register that purchase on the Price Rewind website, the program will track prices online with over 500 retailers and will refund you the difference if a lower price is found within 60 days. You can also submit a claim manually if you find a lower price on your own.
The prices you’ll pay on both Black Friday and Cyber Monday will likely be rock-bottom already, but if the price on your purchased item does drop as the holiday approaches, you can get a refund of up to $500 (subject to an annual maximum of $2,500). The program has historically awarded over $2 million worth of refunds each year, though keep in mind that there are some exclusions, including (but not limited to):
- Consumable items
While this may not be the most rewarding card for most Black Friday and Cyber Monday purchases, the biggest pro to using the Premier Rewards Gold Card is its purchase protection. There are many cards that carry this benefit, but in 2015 the Premier Rewards Gold Card upped the ante by raising its coverage tenfold — from $1,000 to $10,000 per occurrence. If you purchase an eligible item that is damaged, lost or stolen within 90 days of purchase, you can file a claim by visiting www.AmericanExpress.com/onlineclaim or by calling 1-800-297-8019.
Of course, this isn’t the only American Express card to offer this coverage; you’ll get identical protection on The Platinum Card® from American Express, and others (like the Starwood Preferred Guest Credit Card from American Express) still offer the lower $1,000 worth of protection. However, the Premier Rewards Gold is significantly less costly than the Platinum Card and offers an array of other perks.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of 25,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 on purchases on your new card in your first three months of card membership.
The final card on my list earns a spot for its simplicity; the Citi Double Cash Card offers a flat 1% back on every purchase plus another 1% back when you pay your bill. While that return on everyday purchases doesn’t compare to the potential returns highlighted above, this is automatic and results in cold, hard cash in your pocket. With seemingly constant devaluations in the world of loyalty programs and the complexity of booking award tickets, many shoppers may simply want some money back on purchases. The card also doesn’t impose an annual fee, though it also doesn’t come with any type of a sign-up bonus (unlike many other top travel rewards credit cards out there).
Black Friday and Cyber Monday represent enormous shopping days here in the US, but some surveys show that less than a quarter of Black Friday shoppers will be swiping a credit card for their sought-after purchases. Don’t miss out! Even if you don’t want to brave the stores or the midnight-to-5am shopping rush, there are still many ways to make the most of your purchases this holiday season, and I hope this has given you some guidance into which credit cards offer the best bang for your buck.
This cash back card has a focus on dining and entertainment where you can earn unlimited 4% cash back in those spending categories. You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
- Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
- No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- Access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that