3 Ways to Score More Credit Card Rewards While Shopping for the Holidays

Many or all of the products here are from our partners that compensate us. It’s how we make money. But our editorial integrity ensures our experts’ opinions aren’t influenced by compensation. Terms may apply to offers listed on this page.


  • Many people spend more money during the holidays than they do most of the year.
  • You may have a prime opportunity to score more cash back or rewards on the items you're buying.

It pays to get rewarded for the purchases you're already making.

At this point, a lot of people are deep into holiday shopping mode. And given the number of sales retailers keep advertising, it's easy to see how your normal spending might easily double during this time of the year.

Of course, it's important to track your spending carefully during the holidays to avoid landing in debt. But if you've saved well for the holidays, there's nothing wrong with going all out and buying your fair share of gifts, decorations, and treats for yourself (you might as well take advantage of those sales).

In fact, given the amount of spending you might end up doing during the holiday season, it's a great time to focus on maximizing your credit card rewards. Here's how to get more out of your credit cards in the coming weeks.

Featured offer: save money while you pay off debt with one of these top-rated balance transfer credit cards

1. Pay attention to bonus reward categories

Some credit cards rotate bonus reward categories on a quarterly basis. You may get 3% cash back on retail purchases this quarter, as opposed to the 3% you got on gas purchases over the summer. Take a look at your various credit cards and study their rewards programs so you know which ones to swipe this month.

2. Get a new credit card with a sign-up bonus

Many credit cards offer sign-up bonuses, and those can be very generous. To snag a sign-on bonus, you'll need to meet a certain spending threshold within a preset period of time once you open a credit card account. So you may, for example, need to rack up $3,000 in purchases over three months to get a $300 sign-up bonus.

Sign-up bonuses can be harder to snag during periods when you're not spending a lot. But if you expect to do a lot of holiday shopping, then now could be a great time to apply for a credit card with a sign-up bonus since you may be more likely to meet the spending requirement.

3. Consider a store credit card -- but carefully

When holiday shopping, you may be offered the option to sign up for a store credit card. Doing so could mean snagging a big discount on your initial purchase, plus scoring rewards like store cash going forward. And so getting a store credit card could make sense, especially if you're talking about saving 15% on a $250 gift purchase you're making.

But if you're going to apply for one of these cards, be careful. Read the fine print so you understand its terms, and make sure you can pay your balance in full. Store credit cards tend to charge high interest rates, and you don't want to get stuck paying them.

Also, you might hesitate to apply for a store credit card if you're on the cusp of applying for a large loan, like a mortgage. (The same warning applies for a credit card with a sign-up bonus, or any new loan or credit card for that matter.)

With the right strategy, you can rack up extra credit card rewards while doing your holiday shopping. And those rewards might help offset the cost of your holiday purchases -- and leave you with a little more money to treat yourself with.

Alert: our top-rated cash back card now has 0% intro APR until 2025

This credit card is not just good – it’s so exceptional that our experts use it personally. It features a lengthy 0% intro APR period, a cash back rate of up to 5%, and all somehow for no annual fee! Click here to read our full review for free and apply in just 2 minutes.

Our Research Expert

Related Articles

View All Articles Learn More Link Arrow