Use the best credit cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday to earn the most rewards on your holiday spending, whether you prefer cash back or flexible points
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This page includes information about the Discover it® Cash Back, which is currently not available on Business Insider and may be out of date.
The best credit cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2020:
- Best for online shopping — Most Citi cards: 5% cash-back for online shopping on up to $500 in spending per card from November 24 to November 30 when you register your card for the promotion (accounts that were opened after October 23 don't qualify)
- Best for Walmart and PayPal — Chase Freedom Flex℠: 5% cash back on Walmart and PayPal purchases, on up to $1,500 in combined spending until December 31 when you activate (then 1%).
- Best for electronics — Discover it® Cash Back: 5% cash back at Best Buy, Amazon, Walmart.com, and Target.com on up to $1,500 in combined purchases (then 1%) until December 31 when you activate, plus Discover will match your cash back at the end of your first 12 months
- Best for office supply stores — Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: 5% cash back at office supply stores (and on internet, cable, and phone services) on up to $25,000 in combined spending per year (then 1%)
- Best for department stores — U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card: 5% cash back at department stores on up to $2,000 in combined spending (then 1%) when you choose this category and one other each quarter
- Best for US supermarkets — Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 6% back on the first $6,000 spent at US supermarkets each year (then 1% back)
- Best for drugstores — Chase Freedom Unlimited®: 3% cash back at drugstores (and restaurants), 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
- Best for cash back everywhere — Citi® Double Cash Card: 2% back on all purchases — 1% when you make a purchase and another 1% when you pay it off
- Best if you want to choose a category — Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: 3% back in a category of your choosing (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement or furnishings) and 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on a combined $2,500 in spending each quarter; 1% back on other purchases
- Best for purchase protection — The Platinum Card® from American Express: Solid purchase protection and extended warranty makes this card a good pick for large purchases. Plus, new cardholders earn 10x points at US supermarkets and US gas stations on up to $15,000 in combined spending in the first six months of account opening (then 1x)
The busiest shopping season of the year is here, and Black Friday and Cyber Monday will be a lot different this time around. Instead of braving the early-morning crowds at the mall, many of us are taking our bargain hunting online — and that opens up more opportunities to earn the most rewards for our holiday spending.
Deciding on the best rewards credit card for your purchase can seem daunting, with many cards offering extra rewards in the same bonus categories. You'll find that a lot of the cards for Black Friday deals and Cyber Monday shopping also appear on our list of the best cards for online shopping, for example.
Often, the choice that makes the most sense for you will depend on the type of rewards you like to earn, limited-time promotions you're eligible for, and even benefits like extended warranty and purchase protection.
You might even be working toward meeting a minimum spending requirement to earn the welcome bonus on a new credit card, and if that's the case, using that card for your holiday purchases is probably the smartest choice.
We're focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won't be worth it if you're paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it's important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.
5% cash back for online shopping with most Citi cards
Most Citi personal and small-business cardholders can earn 5% cash back when they use their card for online shopping between November 24 and November 30. Enrollment is required at citi.com/giving, and you'll earn the bonus on up to $500 in online purchases per card (accounts that were opened after October 23 don't qualify).
This is on top of the rewards you'd already earn, whether it's Citi ThankYou points with a card like the Citi Premier® Card or American Airlines miles with the CitiBusiness® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® Mastercard®.
5% cash back at Walmart and PayPal
Chase Freedom Flex℠
That's a great cash-back rate on its own, but if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can combine your Chase Ultimate Rewards points then open up more opportunities to redeem, including transferring points to Chase's airline and hotel partners.
5% cash back at popular retailers for electronics (including Amazon)
Discover it® Cash Back
For new cardholders, Discover will match all the rewards you've earned after the first 12 months, effectively earning you 10% back on these purchases.
5% cash back at office supply stores
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
You'll earn 5% cash back at office supply stores (and on internet, cable, and phone services) on up to $25,000 in combined spending per year (then 1%). Similar to the Chase Freedom Flex, your rewards could be worth even more if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
5% cash back at department stores
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card
There's another contender in this category, but only new cardholders can get in on the deal. The Platinum Card® from American Express is currently offering 10x Amex Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations on up to $15,000 in combined spending in the first six months of account opening (then 1x).
3% cash back at drugstores
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Again, you'll squeeze even more rewards from this no-annual-fee card if you also carry the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card. That's why the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns a spot in our ideal Chase Trifecta for earning the most Chase Ultimate Rewards points.
2% cash back everywhere
Citi® Double Cash Card
In this case, The Platinum Card® from American Express doesn't earn bonus points in most popular holiday shopping categories, but getting the peace of mind from the extra protection you'll get can offset the additional rewards you might earn with a different card.
Tips to boost your Black Friday and Cyber Monday rewards
Use a shopping portal
If you're shopping from home, be sure to check online shopping portals before making a purchase to see if there are opportunities for bonus rewards. These will stack on top of the earnings from your rewards credit card.
For example, if you have a Chase Ultimate Rewards credit card, check the Chase portal to earn extra points per dollar at popular retailers like Macys.com, Walmart.com, and BestBuy.com.
Most major US airlines have their own online shopping portal, so if you prefer earning airline miles it's worth checking your favorite, such as:
- American Airlines AAdvantage eShopping
- Delta SkyMiles Shopping
- JetBlue TrueBlue Shopping
- Southwest Rapid Rewards Shopping
- United MileagePlus Shopping
Check for limited-time bonus offers
Many issuers offer limited-time bonus spending categories, especially in relation to the pandemic. It's also worth checking your Amex and Chase accounts to see if you can activate any Chase Offers or Amex Offers that apply to your purchase.
For example, some cardholders have found an Amex Offer to earn 8 bonus Amex Membership Rewards points per dollar at Amazon (up to 3,000 points) on their card up to December 31. These offers are targeted, so there's no guarantee you'll get a particular offer, and you do have to enroll your card to receive any bonuses you qualify for.
Don't forget to activate promotions and bonuses
Some cards require activation or enrollment before you can earn extra rewards in certain categories. Be sure to activate bonuses on cards like the Chase Freedom Flex and Discover it® Cash Back to ensure you're earning the most rewards.
The same is true for limited-time promotions. Along with Citi's promotion to earn 5% back on online shopping, there's also a Chase promotion to earn 3x or 5x at Amazon and grocery stores through the end of the year with select co-branded credit cards, but you'll have to activate if you're eligible.
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