These Credit Cards Can Help You Save for Holiday Gifts

Holiday gifts can be expensive,let these credit cards help you get the best possible deals.

[DISCLOSURE: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Discussions of the winter holidays in July may cause you to react with groans or eye-rolls. But if you find yourself struggling to afford gifts for your loved ones every year when the holidays roll around, you could benefit from starting a holiday savings plan early.

Cash back credit cards put money back in your pocket so you can save for the holiday season. Here are five credit cards that may be able to help you afford this year’s holiday gifts.

1. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Rewards: 3% cash back on up to $6,000 in annual spending at supermarkets, 2% cash back at gas stations and certain department stores and 1% cash back everywhere else
Signup Bonus: $100 bonus cash back when you spend $1,000 in the first three months (offer may vary)
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): 0% for 12 months, then variable 13.99% to 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Everyday purchases can earn you cash back, and there’s a nice little signup bonus to boot.
For the Holiday Season: Commonplace purchases such as groceries and gas earn special cash back rates, with everything else earning 1% cash back. Plus, you’ll get a bonus cash back just in time for the holidays.
Drawbacks: If you don’t spend much at supermarkets, gas stations or participating department stores, this card won’t hold as much value.

2. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 3% back at Amazon.com (5% if you also have Amazon Prime), 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $50 Amazon gift card (upon approval)
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 15.24% to 23.24%
Why We Picked It: This card earns extra rewards when you shop at Amazon.com and more, and rewards can be redeemed for future gifts.
For the Holiday Season: The card earns a percentage back on all purchases, with special rewards rates at Amazon.com, restaurants, gas stations and drug stores. Your rewards come in the form of points, which can be redeemed for future Amazon.com purchases and gift cards. You’ll also get a bonus $50 Amazon gift card right out of the gate that you can use to order those gifts.
Drawbacks: If you don’t do much shopping at Amazon.com, or don’t plan on doing so, this card probably isn’t ideal for you.

3. Chase Freedom

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter for rotating spending categories, unlimited1% cash back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% APR for 15 months, then variable 15.99% to 24.74%
Why We Picked It: Spending categories that earn 5% cash back and a signup bonus can help you save fast.
For the Holiday Season: You’ll earn 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate each quarter; past categories include gas stations and grocery stores. You can also earn a $150 signup bonus for spending $500 in three months, which is a fairly low spending threshold.
Drawbacks: You have to do the work of tracking and activating bonus spending categories with this card.

4. Citi Double Cash

Rewards: 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% on payments
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: 0% for 15 months, then variable 14.49% to 24.49%
Why We Picked It: By the time you pay off your purchases, you’ll have earned a flat 2% cash back on everything you buy. (Full Disclosure: Citibank advertises on Credit.com, but that results in no preferential editorial treatment.)
For the Holiday Season: All purchases earn 2% cash back by the time they’re paid off, so you’ll be earning a great cash back rate on everything on this card.
Drawbacks: You won’t get your full cash back until you pay your balance.

5. QuicksilverOne From Capital One

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on all purchases
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: $39
APR: Variable 24.99%
Why We Picked It: Consumers with average credit can still get in on cash back savings.
For the Holiday Season: All purchases earn 1.5% cash back, which can help you save up a decent holiday fund.
Drawbacks: There’s an annual fee and an above-average APR with this card.

Choosing a Credit Card to Save for the Holiday Season

Shoppers can use cash back rewards to start saving for holiday gifts. When choosing a card to help you save, you’ll want to pick one that rewards the types of purchases you make. If you mostly spend at a few specific types of merchants, you may want a card that offers special cash back rates at those merchant types. However, if you tend to spend at a wide variety of merchants, you may want a card with rotating purchase categories or a solid flat cash back rate on everything.

Cash back rewards can usually be redeemed for statement credits, but some cards also offer redemption options for gift cards, bank account transfers and merchandise. Make sure to pick a card with redemption options that will most benefit your holiday savings plan.

Remember, a cash back card earns the most value when you pay your balance in full each month.

What Credit Is Required for a Card That Helps Save for Gifts?

Cards with cash back rewards usually require good to excellent credit (although there’s at least one card on this list available to consumers with average credit). Before you apply, you’ll want to check your credit score to be reasonably confident in your chances of approval. You can check two of your credit scores free on Credit.com.

Image: andresr

At publishing time, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, Chase Freedom, Citi Double Cash, and QuicksilverOne From Capital One credit cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply and ultimately sign up for this card. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post These Credit Cards Can Help You Save for Holiday Gifts appeared first on Credit.com.

3 Credit Cards Book Lovers May Want to Add to Their Collection

For book lovers who want help affording their literary habit.

Bibliophiles know there’s no better way to pass the time than to get lost between the covers of a good book. But a love for stocking your bookshelves, means spending a lot of time and money at the bookstore.

True book lovers may want help affording their literary habit. Whether you prefer thrilling page turners, thoroughly researched biographies or the classics, some credit cards can help you feed your book addiction.

Here are three credit cards bookworms may like.

1. Barnes & Noble Mastercard

Rewards: 5% cash back on Barnes & Noble purchases, two points per dollar spent at restaurants, one point per dollar spent on everything else
Signup Bonus: $25 Barnes & Noble gift card after your first purchase
Annual Fee: None
Annual Percentage Rate (APR): Variable 14.74% or 25.74% on purchases, 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within the first 45 days after opening the account, then variable 14.74% or 25.74%
Why We Picked It: Readers can save on their online and in-store Barnes & Noble purchases and earn gift cards with everyday purchases.
Benefits: Cardholders earn 5% cash back on Barnes & Noble purchases. The cash back is credited to their account. Dining purchases earn two points per dollar. All other purchases earn one point per dollar. Every time you reach 2,500 points, you’ll be shipped a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card. You also get automatic Barnes & Noble membership if you spend $7,500 or more on your card each year. (Want more ways to save at Barnes & Noble? We have 13 right here.)
Drawbacks: If you like to shop elsewhere for your books, the Barnes & Noble card isn’t right for you.

2. Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 3% back at Amazon.com (or 5% with Amazon Prime), 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, 1% back on everything else
Signup Bonus: $50 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 14.99% to 22.99%
Why We Picked It: If you buy your books on Amazon.com, you can earn back decent rewards, especially with Amazon Prime.
Benefits: This card earns a certain percentage back on all purchases, with extra incentives for Amazon.com, restaurant, gas station and drugstore purchases. The percentage you earn back comes in the form of points, which can be redeemed for Amazon.com purchases, travel, gift cards and more.
Drawbacks: To squeeze the most value out of this card, you’ll have to pay for an annual Amazon Prime membership.

3. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card

Rewards: 5% cash back on $2,000 in combined eligible purchases for two quarterly categories chosen by you, 2% cash back on one everyday category chosen by you, 1% cash back on everything else.
Signup Bonus: None
Annual Fee: None
APR: Variable 14.99% to 23.99% on purchases, 0% intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within the first 60 days of account opening, then variable 14.99% to 23.99%.
Why We Picked It: Book lovers can choose bookstore purchases to receive a special cash-back rate.
Benefits: This card lets you define the categories that earn 5% and 2% cash back. You can choose two categories to earn 5% cash back for up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Bookstores are one of many available categories.
Drawbacks: This card requires a bit of management, as you’ll have to choose categories every quarter to earn your 5% back.

How to Choose a Credit Card to Fuel Your Reading Habits

When choosing a credit card to help fund your book addiction, you may want a card to use exclusively for book purchases or a card to also use for everyday spending.

If you plan to use a credit card exclusively for book purchases, your best bet is to choose a card that offers the biggest rewards at your bookstore of choice. That could be a store-branded credit card or a general cash-back credit card with a great rewards rate.

If you want a card to use for everyday spending, you may have to do some additional legwork. You’ll want to choose a card that rewards both your book spending and the other types of purchases you tend to make. You’ll also need to consider your goals for a card, and whether you want cash back, travel rewards, balance transfer options or other benefits.

What Credit Do You Need to Get a Credit Card for Book Purchases?

Cash back and rewards cards generally require good to excellent credit. Before you apply, you’ll want to be reasonably confident in your ability to get approved, as a hard inquiry into your credit can lower your credit score a few points. Before you apply, you can check two of your credit scores for free through Credit.com.

Image: Squaredpixels 

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees and terms for credit cards, loans and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees and terms with credit card issuers, banks or other financial institutions directly.

The post 3 Credit Cards Book Lovers May Want to Add to Their Collection appeared first on Credit.com.