Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingNothing puts the happy in your holiday season like earning extra cash back on all those purchases you make. From family dinners and cocktail parties with your closest friends to presents for everyone — from grandma all the way to the dog — and fill-ups at gas stations near and far, the next few months are likely to be a blur of spending money. And if you’re going to be opening your wallet, why not swipe (or insert) a credit card that gives you money back every time you make a purchase? Many cash back credit cards tailor their rewards during the final few months of the year to take advantage of the type of spending customers are likely to be doing. If you’re looking for a way to extend your holiday cheer, check out our roundup of the best cash back credit card for every purchase you may make this holiday season.

Best credit cards for holiday shopping

Top pick for gift giving: Discover it – Cashback Match

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingIf Target and Amazon.com are on your list of go-to places for buying gifts, you’ll want to get your hands on Discover it – Cashback Match this season because purchases at both megastores — including Target.com — will earn cardholders 5% back at Target and Amazon.com (up to the quarterly maximum, currently $1,500) between October and December 2017. This cash back credit card features rotating 5% cash back categories which change on a quarterly basis, and some of the categories from the past year have included restaurants, ground transportation and home improvement store purchases. You do need to sign up for the categories before you can start earning, but Discover provides helpful reminders so you don’t forget. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back, and as a first-year cardholder, you can take advantage of the cashback match bonus. Essentially, all the cash back you earn during your first year will be matched by Discover after the year is up — that means if you earn $500, Discover will give you another $500 for a total of $1,000 back. The cashback match bonus also means you’re effectively earning 10% on rotating categories and 2% on all other purchases for the first year! And if you use Discover it – Cashback Match for holiday shopping this year, you may get your match bonus in time to make next year’s holiday season merry and bright. Other notable benefits of this credit card include 14 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (note that there’s a 3% balance transfer fee), no annual or foreign transaction fees and a plethora of great Discover-exclusive perks like Freeze it, which lets you use your phone or computer to put a temporary hold on your credit card if it goes missing. Finally, the cherry on top is that this card and all its benefits are available to those with average to excellent credit (typically considered a credit score of 670 or higher).

Runner Up: Chase Freedom – $150 Bonus

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingAnother excellent choice for holiday shoppers is Chase Freedom – $150 Bonus, which is another rotating-category cash back credit card. This quarter (October through December 2017), cardholders can earn 5% cash back at Walmart and department stores (up to $1,500 in combined purchases, then it’s 1%) and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Other rotating categories from the past year have included gas stations, movie theaters and grocery stores. As a special intro bonus, when you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months, you’ll get $150 back. Boost that with another $25 cash back bonus for adding your first authorized user and making a purchase during that same time period, and you’ll get an intro bonus of up to $175. As with other rotating cash back credit cards, you’ll need to activate each quarter in order to receive your rewards, but Chase makes that easy with text or email reminders, plus an option to add quarterly reminders to your online calendar. There is no annual fee associated with this card, and cardholders can enjoy 15 months of 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. Note that there is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5%, whichever is greater. You will need to have good credit or better (usually considered a credit score of 700 or higher) to apply for this card.

Top pick for groceries: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingAre you hosting one or more family dinners this holiday season? Make the most out of those extra trips to the grocery store by shopping with a credit card that earns you significant cash back rewards — such as the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express (a NextAdvisor advertiser). This cash back powerhouse not only earns a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000/year in purchases, then it’s 1%), but it also earns 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and unlimited 1% cash back on everything else. On top of that, you’ll get a hefty $200 statement credit bonus if you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months of card ownership and enjoy 12 months of 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. This card also requires good to excellent credit for approval. Note that there is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5 (whichever is greater), and that this card does have a $95 annual fee. If you’d prefer not to deal with annual fees at all, keep reading to learn about its annual fee-less sister card.

Runner Up: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingThe Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which offers similar perks and rewards to the Blue Cash Preferred Card, has no annual fee to worry about and is available to people with good to excellent credit. It earns 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in purchases annually), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and an unlimited 1% on all other purchases. When you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months, you’ll get a $150 bonus as a statement credit. The 0% intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers with this card is a lengthy 15 months, giving you plenty of time to pay down your holiday purchases and avoid interest. There is a balance transfer fee equal to the greater of 3% or $5 per transaction. Rounding out this card is a host of American Express perks, like purchase protection, extended warranty and return protection, roadside assistance, car rental insurance and travel accident insurance, as well as exclusive access to ticket presales and cardmember-only events (these same perks go for Blue Cash Preferred Card, too).

Top pick for road trips: Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday Shopping If you’re planning on hitting the road this holiday season to visit family and friends, or just plan on spending more time shuttling back and forth between shopping malls and football games, then the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is a card you’ll be glad to have in your wallet. Earn 3 points per $1 spent when you pay at U.S. gas stations, as well as 2 points per $1 at U.S. restaurants when you stop off to get something to eat and 1 point per $1 on everything else. Additionally, earn a jaw-dropping 20,000 bonus points — redeemable for $200 cash — when you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months. Save money with zero foreign transaction fees or annual fee, and note that you can qualify if your credit is less-than-perfect, as this card accepts applicants with good to excellent credit. You’ll also get 12 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, and the intro balance transfer fee is just 3% for the first 12 months (after that, it increases to 5% per transfer). Cardholders also benefit from mobile phone protection and an annual relationship bonus of 10% on non-bonus reward points if you maintain a qualifying Wells Fargo bank account.

Runner Up: Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingThe Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card earns a solid 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at wholesale clubs and grocery stores (up to a combined $2,500 in gas/wholesale club/grocery purchases each quarter, then you earn 1%), making it a great choice for busy drivers during the holiday season. All of your other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back, and when you make at least $500 in purchases during your first 90 days, you’ll get a $150 online-exclusive bonus. If you’re a Bank of America customer, then you will also benefit from an ongoing 10% cash reward bonus anytime you redeem your rewards directly into your Bank of America checking or savings account. To sweeten the deal, Gold, Platinum or Platinum Honors Bank of America customers can receive an even bigger bonus, ranging from 25% to 75%. There is no annual fee associated with this credit card, and your first 12 months you’ll enjoy a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers (note that a balance transfer fee of 3% or $10 minimum will apply). You will need good to excellent credit to apply.

Top pick for a flat rate on all your holiday purchases: Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingMaybe you’d prefer to skip the hassle of remembering which categories earn you the most cash back during the rush of the holiday season, and if that’s the case, then a credit card like the Barclaycard CashForward World Mastercard is right up your alley. This card earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make, plus, every time you redeem your rewards, you’ll earn an ongoing 5% to use toward your next redemption and if you spend at least $1,000 on purchases in your first 90 days as a cardholder, you’ll get $200 back. Beyond these excellent cash back earnings, this card features 15 months of 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and does not charge an annual fee. Note that you will have to pay a 3% balance transfer fee (or a minimum of $5, whichever is greater). You do need excellent credit (usually considered a credit score of 750 or higher) to qualify, so this card isn’t for everyone.

Runner up: Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingIf your credit has a couple of dings, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card might be a better pick to earn extra cash this holiday season. Those with good to excellent credit can qualify for this card, which earns an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. What’s more, during your 12 months as a cardholder, you’ll get 1.8% cash back anytime you use your card with an Apple Pay or Android Pay mobile wallet — the perfect way to pay when you’re dashing from store to store buying gifts and other holiday items and don’t want to constantly dig for your wallet. On top of that, spend $1,000 within your first 3 months and you’ll get a hefty $200 cash bonus in return. The same mobile phone protection perk we’ve already mentioned under the Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card above applies to this credit card as well, and you can count on 12 months of 0% intro APR on any purchases and balance transfers you make. Although you will have to pay an intro balance transfer fee of 3% for the first 12 months, then 5% afterward, there is no annual fee to worry about.

Runner up: Citi Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingAnother good choice for flat-rate cash back is the Citi Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (a NextAdvisor advertiser). This card earns an effective 2% cash back on all purchases — 1% when you make a purchase, and an additional 1% when you pay it off. You’ll earn that extra 1% whether you pay it off immediately or later on, though you’ll probably want to pay your balance in full each month to make the most out of your rewards and avoid interest. The other big draw of this credit card is its significant 18-month 0% intro APR on balance transfers. However, remember that you will still have to pay a balance transfer fee (3% of the total amount or $5, whichever is more) and that there isn’t a 0% intro APR on purchases. You won’t pay an annual fee with this card, and card member perks include Price Rewind, which looks for a lower price on items you purchase for up to 60 days afterward and refunds you the difference if a lower price is found, travel insurance and car rental insurance. Note that this credit card, like the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card, accepts applicants with good to excellent credit.

Top pick for giving back: Susan G. Komen Credit Card

Earn Extra Cash with the Best Credit Cards for Holiday ShoppingCelebrate the spirit of giving this holiday season every time you reach for your Susan G. Komen Credit Card, which donates an ongoing 0.08% of all retail purchases plus $3 when a new card is activated to the Susan G. Komen fund. A sister card to the Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card, this card also earns 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to a combined $2,500 in gas/grocery/wholesale club purchases each quarter. Purchases after you meet the quarterly maximum earn 1%, and you’ll also get 1% cash back on all non-qualifying purchases. You can earn an additional $150 online bonus by spending $500 within the first 90 days (you must apply for the card online to be eligible for this bonus), and there’s a 12-month 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for this card. Note that balance transfers are subject to a 3% or $10 balance transfer fee, whichever is higher, and that you need good to excellent credit to qualify. This credit card does not charge an annual fee, and Bank of America customers can take advantage of an ongoing relationship bonus which earns them an additional 10% cash back when they redeem rewards into a qualifying Bank of America account.

Not seeing what you’re looking for in this list? Check out our other credit card reviews to learn about all the cards available right now and find the perfect fit for your wallet.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.