Maximize your Cyber Monday shopping with these credit cards
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Update: Some offers mentioned below are no longer available. View the current offers here – Chase Freedom Flex
Welcome to Credit Cards week for the 2020 TPG Awards! I don’t know about you, but I am celebrating the start of this week on my couch surfing for Cyber Monday deals on all of the holiday gifts I’ve had on my list. I decided to skip out on in-person shopping this year to limit risk during the ongoing pandemic, but luckily, there are just as many online deals to take advantage of this holiday shopping season.
Whether you’ve been pregaming for Cyber Monday sales by compiling a list (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 during Cyber Monday, plus some tips to earn even more while you shop!
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:
The Discover it Cash Back earns 5% back on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in spending each quarter; enrollment required). During the fourth quarter of 2020, the bonus categories are Walmart.com, Target.com, Amazon.com and Best Buy — 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.
Chase Freedom Flex
Like the Discover it Cash Back, the Chase Freedom Flex earns 5% back on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in spending each quarter; enrollment required). This quarter, those categories include Walmart.com 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 to the default payment method before you start shopping.
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, plus Prime members get access to a number of special Cyber Monday deals. If you’re planning on spending most of your Cyber Monday budget on Amazon, this is a great card to use to maximize those purchases. Plus, right now, new cardholders get a $100 Amazon gift card when they are approved through Dec. 22, 2020. Cardholders also have additional Amazon financing options, including an option to make equal monthly payments on purchases over $150 with no interest. T
he information about the Discover it Cash Back and Amazon Prime Visa Signature cards have been collected independently by TPG. The card details on this page have not been provided by or review by the issuer.
Cyber Monday shopping at smaller retailers
Smaller retailers and online boutiques may not fall into larger bonus categories, so flat-rate rewards credit cards are excellent options for these purchases.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited is actually my go-to card for online shopping. You’ll get 1.5% back on all non-bonus spending. And if you also have a Chase Ultimate Rewards card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, those rewards can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points (turning your Cyber Monday spending into a 3% return according to TPG valuations). New cardholders can also get $200 after spending $500 in the first three months of account opening.
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 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. You’ll then be able to use your earned rewards at a fixed-rate on eligible purchases or by transferring to partners.
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 rewards into ThankYou points if you also hold an eligible Citi ThankYou credit card.
Cyber Monday shopping for future travel
If you’re planning on using Cyber Monday to book some of the travel deals available for future travel dates, then you can’t go wrong 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.
Also 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 those Cyber Monday purchases.
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 additional points and sometimes in the form of cash back rebates) on specific retailers that normally do not earn rewards. You can stack these offers with rewards earned through shopping portals and with standard Cyber Monday deals.
Even in a typical year, the idea of getting my holiday shopping done online rather than braving the mass crowds is tempting. But this year especially, I’m going to be taking advantage of cyber deals from my favorite small businesses (hello, Blk & Bold coffee and tea restock!) from my couch and using my credit cards and shopping portals to rake in rewards without risking the crowds.
Featured image by Kena Betancur/VIEWpress/Corbis via Getty Images.
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