Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information and offers.
It’s that time of year again.
When I was much younger, Black Friday shopping was somewhat of a tradition in my family. I’d get up early with my mom and aunt, and “just the girls” would go to Target, Walmart, Dillard’s, Sears and every other store that was open — starting at the crack of dawn.
As I’ve gotten older, “Black Friday” has expanded beyond just Friday and beyond in-person shopping to online deals, too. In today’s digital era, a large portion of Black Friday shopping can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Wherever you shop, though, there are plenty of ways to maximize your purchases by using the right credit cards. Here’s a rundown of some of the best credit cards to use for your Black Friday shopping this year.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees).
Rewards rate: Earn 3% cash back on groceries at U.S. supermarkets, 3% back on online purchases from U.S. merchants, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and 1% back on other purchases. It’s worth noting that you can only earn 3% back in the bonus categories on the first $6,000 spent in each category during a calendar year; after that, your earning rate will be 1% until the following year.
When to use this card: For your first $6,000 of online purchases from U.S. retailers each year, you can earn 3% back. If you’ll be shopping online during Black Friday or Cyber Monday, this is easily one of the best credit cards for your purchases. You can also earn a welcome bonus of $100 as a statement credit after spending $2,000 on purchases within the first six months of cardmembership. Plus, up to $150 in statement credits earned as 20% back on purchases with PayPal merchants within the first six months of cardmembership.
For more details, check out our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday Card.
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Official application link: Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express
Chase Freedom Flex
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards rate: You’ll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories when you enroll (the current categories for October-December 2022 are Walmart and PayPal) and 5% back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal. You can also earn 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2025.
On top of this, you’ll earn 3% back at drugstores, 3% back on dining and 1% back on other purchases.
When to use this card: The Chase Freedom Flex is a great all-around earner, particularly now. It is currently offering 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases at Walmart and when paying with PayPal during the fourth quarter of 2022, making it perfect for any Black Friday shopping done at Walmart or online where PayPal is accepted. Walmart frequently has excellent Black Friday deals (both online and in-store) and PayPal is accepted at millions of retailers. Right now, new cardholders will also get a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening
Plus, if you also have another Chase card with an annual fee that earns Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card), the rewards earned with the Freedom Flex can be converted into full-fledged, transferable Ultimate Rewards points by combining your points.
For more details, check out our full review of the Freedom Flex card.
Official application link: Chase Freedom Flex
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Annual fee: $95.
Rewards rate: Earn 2 miles per dollar on all purchases but earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
When to use this card: The Venture card earns at least 2 miles per dollar on every single purchase, no matter when or where, so it’s great to use on purchases that won’t earn you bonuses in specific categories on your other rewards credit cards. It also means you’ll be earning solid rewards both in-store and online. Better yet, TPG values Capital One miles at 1.85 cents each, so you’re really getting a 3.7% return on all expenses.
Capital One miles can be redeemed as a statement credit for eligible purchases or transferred to one of the issuer’s many airline and hotel transfer partners, and this can provide outsized value on your next vacation.
For more details, check out our full review of the Venture card.
Official application link: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards rate: Earn 5% back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back at restaurants and gas stations and 1% back on everything else.
When to use this card: The Amazon Prime Rewards credit card is only open to those that have an Amazon Prime membership; while the card has no annual fee, you do have to foot the $139 bill for an annual Prime account. But for those who find Prime worthwhile, the card excels with 5% back on a wide variety of items and groceries at Amazon and Whole Foods.
Even better, eligible Amazon Prime members who apply for the Amazon Prime Visa Signature card during the current offer will receive a $200 Amazon gift card immediately upon approval. Prime cardholders can also earn a fantastic 10% back on select products from eligible gift guides, which can be found here, during this holiday season.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa.
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards rate: 5% cash back on the first $500 of purchases each billing cycle in your top spending category from the following list (then 1%): restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. Earn 1% back on other purchases.
When to use this card: This is a card that caters to your lifestyle, whether you’re traveling the globe one month or grocery shopping at home the next. If you max out the $500 spending limit each billing cycle, you’ll earn $25 in cash-back rewards per month — for a potential maximum of $300 in rewards annually. That versatility is key: even if your Black Friday purchases aren’t in your normal high-spending categories, you can still earn 5% back on them if they make up the bulk of your bill this month, provided they’re in those eligible categories.
Plus, if you’re adding the Citi Custom Cash on top of your Citi Prestige® Card or Citi Premier® Card, you can unlock the option to convert your earnings into fully transferable miles with Citi’s hotel and airline transfer partners to extract even greater value from them.
The information for the Citi Prestige card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Custom Cash Card.
Official application link: Citi Custom Cash Card
Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards rate: Enroll every quarter to earn 5% back on up to $1,500 spent on purchases in quarterly rotating categories. Current categories for October to December 2022 are Amazon.com and digital wallet payments.
When to use this card: If you’re planning on shopping online at Target, Walmart or Amazon, the Discover it Cash Back could be a great option for earning cash back this Black Friday. All of these retailers are famous for their holiday shopping deals, making them prime locations for Black Friday and Cyber Monday shoppers.
Better yet, Discover will match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. So if you’re a new cardholder this holiday season, you’re effectively earning 10% back on bonus category purchases and 2% on non-bonus spending.
For more details, check out our full review of the Discover it Cash Back card.
The information for the Discover it Cash Back has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards rate: You can earn 2 points per dollar on purchases. It works like this: Earn 1 ThankYou point for each dollar you spend and another 1 point for each dollar you pay from your bill.
When to use this card: If you’ve checked our list of the best cards for each bonus category and don’t think your purchases will qualify for any bonus earnings, then this is a great card to use for everything else. TPG values ThankYou points at 1.8 cents apiece, meaning you could earn a 3.6% return on all spending. You can redeem these points for cash back or with a limited number of travel partners. However, if you have another Citi credit card — such as the Citi Premier or the Citi Prestige — you can combine your ThankYou points to use with the full range of Citi’s travel partners and unlock huge value.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Double Cash.
Official application link: Citi Double Cash Card
Tips to further maximize purchases
Utilize offers from your credit card
Major credit card issuers have programs that provide targeted offers, and you can use these to get extra rewards or bonus cash back on your purchases. Because these are targeted offers, not every offer is available for every person or on every credit card that you hold from that bank. These include Amex Offers, BankAmeriDeals, Capital One Offers, Chase Offers and Citi Merchant Offers. Many offers are applicable to both in-store (Black Friday) and online (Cyber Monday) purchases.
These offers can make a card that doesn’t typically offer bonus rewards at certain stores worth using while you shop non-travel Black Friday deals. By adding an offer to your card and then shopping with that merchant (you’ll need to pay with the card to which you added the offer), you can earn cash back or bonus points on top of your normal earnings.
Don’t forget to use shopping portals
When shopping online for Black Friday or Cyber Monday, make sure you’re going through a shopping portal in addition to using a great credit card so that you’re double-dipping (or potentially even triple-dipping) on rewards.
All you have to do is go through their link to shop on the sites you love. I typically start at a shopping portal aggregator such as CashbackMonitor.com to compare earning rates across these sites and then select the one that works best for me.
Note that these bonuses will be in addition to the standard earning rates on the cards above; you should also be able to stack them with discounts or bonuses. In this way, you can earn rewards from the shopping portal, rewards from your credit card and possibly use rebates from your credit card issuer — quite the combination.
Using Black Friday to hit sign-up bonus spending requirements
If you just applied for a new card with a sign-up bonus spending requirement, holiday shopping is a great opportunity to help you hit those spending thresholds. While I don’t suggest overspending just to hit a welcome bonus, if your holiday shopping can help you along the way, responsibly, you might as well leverage it to do so.
For instance, let’s say you applied for the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card. The Venture X earns 2 miles per dollar on online shopping and at stores. Currently, the Venture X card’s sign-up bonus is 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening, so use your holiday shopping to help you get there.
Accruing 2 miles per dollar on everyday spending is a solid rate of return — especially for shopping categories that typically may not receive a bonus of any kind on other credit cards. But if you’re also making a dent in the $4,000 initial spending requirement to earn the 75,000 miles, that’s an even better deal.
The best credit cards for your Black Friday purchases may not be in your wallet yet, so consider the following resources:
Black Friday represents an enormous shopping day in the U.S., making it an excellent opportunity to rack up rewards as you head into the holiday season.
Whether you prefer to brave the stores or handle your shopping online while curled up with hot cocoa — or even do both — there are many ways to make the most of your purchases this holiday season.
The best credit cards for Black Friday shopping will provide extra cash back, earn more bonus points or even allow you to unlock a valuable welcome bonus.
Additional reporting by Nick Ewen, Chris Dong and Ryan Smith.
For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, click here.