Top Holiday Credit Cards of 2014

Top Holiday Credit Cards of 2014

November 14, 2014         Written By Jason Steele

In the United States, the holiday season is synonymous with shopping, and credit cards have become an indispensable part of the experience. Unfortunately, many shoppers end up applying for store credit cards during checkout, which offer less competitive terms and benefits than other cards.

So which credit cards should holiday shoppers apply for if they want to use the best cards? It all depends on what they value in a credit card. Here are some of the top credit cards this season, one of which is right for you:

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No late fees or interest charges because this is not a credit card it is a prepaid card.

Travel reward credit cards

Travel can be one of the most valuable credit card rewards as there are few things as alluring as an award trip.

The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is offering new applicants 60,000 bonus points when they make just $4,000 in purchases within the first three months of account opening. While these Ultimate Rewards points could be worth $750 towards cash back, merchandise, or gift cards, or $600 worth of travel reservations booked through Chase, savvy cardholders can do even better by transferring these rewards to airline miles or hotel points.

And just 9,000 points transferred to British Airways is enough for a round trip award on partner airlines American and US Airways for flights between cities within 650 miles of each other, since British Airways is a transfer partner of Chase Ultimate Rewards. Since American and US Airways are partners of British Airways, round-trip flights can be booked between places like Birmingham AL and Chicago, or Charlotte and New York, for just 9,000 points round-trip, a great deal for those who know about it!

This card offers double miles on all travel and dining expenses, and one mile per dollar spent elsewhere. There is a $95 annual fee for this card but foreign transaction fees.

Capital One Venture Rewards. New applicants receive 50,000 bonus miles after spending just $3,000 in three months, which are worth $500 in statement credits towards any travel expense. Cardholders simply book airfare, hotels, rental cars, or cruises the way they normally do, and then they can use their miles to pay for their travel. Cardholders also earn double miles on all purchases, with no limits or expiration dates. There is a $95 annual fee that is waived the first year, and no foreign transaction fees.

Cash back rewards and promotional financing

For those who value cash back over travel rewards, and those looking for interest free financing on their new purchases, here are two cards that offer impressive terms:

Chase Freedom. Freedom is a popular card as it offers not just 1% cash back on all purchases, but 5% cash back at select categories of merchants, on up to $1,500 of eligible spending each quarter. For the fourth quarter of 2014, bonus categories include all purchases from Amazon.com, Zappos.com, and select department stores. New applicants receive an additional $100 cash back when they use their card to make just $500 in purchases within three months of account opening. Freedom also offers 15 months of interest free financing on both balance transfers and new purchases, with a 3% balance transfer fee. There is no annual fee for this card.

Discover it. This offer for the Discover it card features 14 months of interest free financing on both new purchases and balance transfers, with a 3% balance transfer fee. Cardholders also receive 1% cash back on all purchases, and 5% cash back at eligible merchants, on up to $1,500 of qualifying spending each quarter. In November and December of 2014, all online shopping and department store purchases are eligible for the bonus cash back. Furthermore, the Discover card is renowned for its customer service that features 100% US based telephone representatives and a policy of automatically waiving customer’s first late fee. There is no annual fee for this card.

Promotional financing

For cardholders who are looking for interest free financing of their holiday purchases, and a 0% balance transfer, this is the most attractive option:

Chase Slate. This is the only major credit card currently offered with 0% APR on balance transfers and no balance transfer fee. New applicants receive 15 months of interest free financing on both balance transfers and new purchases, so this is the perfect offer for those who need a break from interest charges while they work on paying off their balance. There is no annual fee for this card.

Note: The information for the Chase Slate and Chase Freedom has been collected independently by LowCards.com. The product details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the bank advertiser.

The information contained within this article was accurate as of November 14, 2014. For up-to-date information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website. Many of the offers on this article are from our affiliate partners, and LowCards.com may be compensated if you take action with any of our affiliate partners.

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jasonsteele

About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is a journalist that covers credit cards, travel and consumer credit. As one of the nation's leading experts in credit cards, Jason has contributed to dozens of travel and personal finance outlets including NerdWallet, Credit Karma and the Points Guy, where he serves as the Senior Points and Miles Contributor. Jason has also been widely quoted in mainstream media in outlets such as the Washington Post, the USA Today and Bloomberg Business Week. Jason is also the founder and producer of CardCon, which is the annual Conference for Credit and Credit Card Media.