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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.
1. Discover it
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 sign-up bonus, Discover will double all your cash back earned in the first 12 months you have the card. That means you’re actually earning 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 sign-up 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.
LIMITED TIME OFFER. Aside from the 100,000 points welcome bonus (available until 8/8/18), Amex recently made huge improvements to the Business Platinum Card, including the fact that you will now earn 50% more points on purchases of $5,000 or more, earn 5x on flights and eligible hotels at Amextravel.com and cardholders will receive a $200 airline fee credit each year.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn up to 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points.
- Earn 50,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $10,000 & an extra 50,000 points after you spend an additional $15,000 all on qualifying purchases within your first 3 months of Card Membership. Offer ends 8/8/18.†
- Get 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com.
- Get 50% more Membership Rewards® points. That's 1.5 points per dollar, on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more. You can get up to 1 million additional points per year.
- 35% Airline Bonus: Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of a flight with your selected qualifying airline, and you can get 35% of the points back, up to 500,000 bonus points per calendar year.
- You can also receive 35% points back on all First and Business class flights, with all airlines available through American Express Travel.
- You can enjoy access to The American Express Global Lounge Collection℠ offering access to the most lounges across the globe, when compared with other U.S. credit card offerings. As of 11/2017
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