Maximize your Cyber Monday shopping with these 9 credit cards
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Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. This page includes information about the Discover it Cash Back that is not currently available on The Points Guy and may be out of date.
Whether you’ve been pregaming for Cyber Monday sales by compiling a wish list of deeply discounted items (guilty as charged) or are just browsing to see what strikes your fancy, you’ll want to make sure you’re maximizing those purchases.
Today, I’m walking through the best credit cards to use this Cyber Monday, plus some tips to earn even more while you shop.
Best cards for Cyber Monday shopping at major retailers
If you’re shopping at major retailers such as Target, Walmart and Amazon this Cyber Monday, here are the cards you should consider using:
Discover it Cash Back
The Discover it Cash Back earns 5% back on rotating categories each quarter (on up to $1,500 in spending; enrollment required). During the fourth quarter of 2021, the bonus categories are Amazon.com, Walmart.com and Target.com — all major retailers that offer great Cyber Monday deals. Even better? If you’re a new cardholder, Discover will match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year — not bad at all for a no-annual-fee credit card.
The information for the Discover It Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer and may be out of date.
Chase Freedom Flex
Like the Discover it Cash Back, the Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% back on rotating categories each quarter (on up to $1,500 in spending; enrollment required). This quarter, those categories include Walmart and PayPal. PayPal is an especially useful bonus category for Cyber Monday because millions of retailers accept PayPal at online checkout — just make sure your PayPal account has your Chase Freedom Flex set as the default payment method. In addition to the rotating quarterly categories, Chase has added another promotion that allows Freedom Flex cardholders to earn 5% on their top eligible spending category (on the first $1,500 spent) by the end of 2021. If you’re able to spend up to both thresholds, you can earn a ton of Ultimate Rewards points this holiday shopping season.
Amazon Prime Visa Signature Card
It’s hard to beat the Amazon Prime Visa Card when you’re shopping at Amazon. You’ll get 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; and 1% back on all other eligible purchases. If you’re planning on spending most of your Cyber Monday budget at Amazon, this is a great card to use to maximize those purchases. Until the end of November, new cardholders will get a $200 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.
The information about the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card has been collected independently by TPG. The card details on this page have not been provided by or review by the issuer.
Best cards for Cyber Monday shopping at smaller retailers
Smaller retailers and online boutiques may not fall into larger bonus categories, so flat-rate rewards credit cards tend to be the best options for these purchases.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
This luxury travel rewards card comes with a colossal $695 annual fee (see rates and fees), but this holiday shopping season may be the ideal time to apply for the Amex Platinum. If you’re anticipating thousands of dollars in spending across Cyber Monday and through the end of 2021, the welcome offer is substantial: Earn 100,000 points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new card in your first six months of card membership.
Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is actually my go-to card for online shopping. You’ll get 6.5% 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; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). New cardholders can earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
Related: The power of the Chase Trifecta
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Capital One Venture earns 2x on all non-bonus spending, making it another great option for online spending that doesn’t fall under other spending categories. While the card does come with a $95 annual fee, you’ll also get 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months of account opening. You’ll then be able to use your earned rewards at a fixed rate on travel purchases on your statement or by transferring to 15-plus airline or hotel partners.
Citi® Double Cash Card
You can earn up to 2% back on every purchase with the Citi Double Cash — 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay. Like the others on this list, it’s a great choice to use on purchases that won’t earn rewards with other cards. While the card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, you are able to convert your rewards into ThankYou points if you also hold an eligible Citi ThankYou credit card. After all, there’s no annual fee on the Citi Double Cash.
Best cards for Cyber Monday shopping to book future travel
Many airline and hotel brands are offering Cyber Monday travel deals as we look forward to the new year. If you decide to take advantage of any of these promotions, be sure to use the right travel card accordingly.
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
The new Capital One Venture X is one of the most rewarding credit cards when it comes to all things travel. Cardholders will earn 10 miles per dollar on hotels and car rentals booked through the Capital One Travel portal, 5 miles per dollar on flights booked through Capital One Travel and 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.
There are also several credits worth mentioning, from an up-to-$300 travel statement credit for bookings made through Capital One Travel and a limited-time, up-to-$200 statement credit toward vacation rental purchases (like Airbnb or Vrbo) within the first year of account opening. Finally, your holiday shopping spending will help you earn toward the card’s current six-figure sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after you spend $10,000 in the first six months of account opening.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
With the Chase Sapphire Reserve, you’ll earn 3x across all travel purchases, plus cardholders do get up to $300 in annual travel credits (if you haven’t already used yours for the year). Chase defines travel broadly, meaning a number of different travel purchases will qualify for awards. If you purchase travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, specifically, you can earn 10x on hotels and car rentals and 5x on flights (after the $300 in annual travel statement credits).
Cobranded airline and hotel cards
Consider using your cobranded cards when you book travel deals directly. Many airline and hotel credit cards offer best-in-class earning rates on brand purchases while offering perks like automatic elite status, free checked bags and more. While I wouldn’t suggest using your cobranded cards on everyday purchases from retailers like Target, you can use your specific cobranded cards when you book deals to maximize Cyber Monday purchases with the associated airline or hotel group.
Other tips for maximizing purchases
In addition to using your credit cards’ rewards rates to maximize purchases on Cyber Monday, make sure you’re also taking advantage of online shopping portals. When you use shopping portals for your Cyber Monday shopping, you can double- or even triple-dip your rewards earnings on top of what you’ll already save with Cyber Monday deals. I personally use the Rakuten Chrome extension and check CashbackMonitor.com to see which portals give me the best return at specific retailers. Plus, most of the major U.S. airlines have their own shopping portals where deals abound.
Amex and Chase Offers
Finally, make sure you’re checking the Amex Offers and Chase Offers available across your credit cards. Both programs offer additional rewards (sometimes in the form of bonus points and sometimes in the form of cash-back rebates) with specific retailers and companies. You can stack these offers with rewards earned through shopping portals and with standard Cyber Monday deals.
The only way to ensure you’ll get the best deals possible this Cyber Monday is to use the right credit card. With potentially hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in spending over the next month, you’ll want to make sure you earn those bonus points, miles and cash back that will help boost your balances in 2022.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex.
Official application link: Amex Platinum.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Unlimited.
Official application link: Capital One Venture.
Official application link: Citi Double Cash.
Official application link: Capital One Venture X.
Official application link: Chase Sapphire Reserve.
For rates and fees of the Amex Platinum, click here.
Additional reporting by Stella Shon.
Featured photo by Kena Betancur/Viewpress/Corbis for Getty Images.
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