Do you fall under the category of shoppers freak? Then why don’t you get the best credit cards for holiday shopping 2022?
The holidays always seem to sneak up on us, don’t they? Every December, you vow not to be caught off guard again, but the next thing you know, it’s November all over again. The holidays are here again, and you may not have the budget for gifts.
2022 has been a challenging year financially, and if you’re feeling strapped for cash, you aren’t the only one. Millions of people have been impacted by the rising cost of essentials, and 1 in 4 people quit their job this year. Combine that with the continued uncertainty of COVID-19, and you’ve got a recipe for a tight budget.
No matter how tight your budget is, you still want to show your family and friends how much you care about them. You want to capture that holiday magic with the perfect gift, but you need to come up with a room in the budget ASAP. What do holiday shoppers need to do?
Get That Holiday Cash With Credit
There are lots of ways to make extra money. You could pick up a side hustle, take out a personal loan, or open a credit card. So which one is best for holiday shopping?
If you start a new job or side hustle, you’re probably going to have to wait a while before you see a payoff. Side hustles are a great way to make money in advance, but they aren’t the best option when time is ticking.
Taking out a personal loan is an option that can work well for holiday shopping, but there are a few problems there, too. The money can be in your account quickly, but the amount is inflexible.
If you take out more than you need, you’re stuck paying interest on the money you didn’t use. On the other hand, if you don’t take a large enough loan, your budget is coming up short, and you’re back where you started.
The best credit cards for holiday shopping 2022 don’t have either of these problems. The waiting period for approval is much shorter than waiting for a side hustle to pay off. Credit cards are also much more flexible. You don’t have to worry about taking out too much money or not having enough—the amount of money on your credit card changes in real-time with every purchase.
All of that is great, but there are even more perks to credit cards. You can also see long term payoff. Most credit cards have cashback or points perks that you can use later on. Even cards that don’t have those perks can help you build your credit.
With credit cards, you have lots of options, too. It can feel overwhelming, especially when you add holiday stress into the mix. Let’s take a look at three of the best credit cards for holiday shopping in 2022.
Before applying for a credit card, you’ll need to know your credit score. Has it been a while since you’ve checked your credit? Checking again before applying is a good idea. Maybe you’ve never checked your credit score. Don’t worry; it isn’t tricky! But first, a quick detour.
Make Your List, Check Your Credit
First, know your rights. You’re legally entitled to a free credit report from each of the three major credit bureaus once a year. This report doesn’t impact your score or cost you anything. It doesn’t stop lots of websites from trying to charge you for a credit report, though, so keep your eyes peeled!
These credit reports will give you an idea of your credit score. Once you know your credit score, you can start looking at credit cards. The credit cards with the best rewards usually require “Good” or “Excellent” credit scores. (If you’re not sure what a “good” credit score is, check out this article.)
Knowing your credit score before applying for a credit card is essential. It’s because if you use credit cards and get denied, it can hurt your overall credit score. And as a result, it turns into a vicious cycle. You apply and get rejected, which hurts your score, so you’re more likely to get rejected when you use it again.
When you know what your credit score is already, you can pick the best credit card for holiday shopping without hurting your score in the long run. You’re also more likely to get approved quickly if you apply for credit cards within or below your credit range.
Alright, the detour is over! Let’s take a look at the three best credit cards for holiday shopping so you can start wrapping those presents.
Already Have Good Credit?
Our first pick is the Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card. It is the best credit card for holiday shopping if you don’t need to build your credit and need extra cash. Chase is our pick for people who already have good credit since you need good to excellent credit (a score of 690 to 700) to qualify.
If you do qualify, though, the perks on this card make it perfect for shopping this holiday season.
- New Card member offer gives you a $250 bonus when you spend $500 within the first three months. When you’re shopping for gifts, that’ll be a piece of cake!
- Low intro APR gives you 15 months to pay off your holiday splurge.
- Cashback on every purchase and your cash back rewards never expire.
- No annual fee
- Not a good pick for someone working to build or repair credit
- After the 15 months 0% intro rate, the APR increases to around 14.99%–23.74%, a pretty high rate for someone with a good credit score.
- The line of credit doesn’t automatically increase when you hold the card for a long time.
Are You Looking For a New Bank?
Our second pick is the Alliant Visa® Signature Credit Card with Cashback. This credit card requires you to be a member of Alliant Credit Union to apply, so if you’ve been looking at switching banks, this one is perfect for you.
Alliant keeps things simple. They only offer two cards, and the cards are pretty similar. This card was our pick because of cashback options. They offer cash back on every purchase, making this their best credit card for holiday shopping.
- Unlimited cashback on every purchase, no categories to track
- Up to 2.5% cashback on your first $10,000 of eligible purchases
- APR as low as 12.24%
- Alliant doesn’t overwhelm you with options.
- Since membership is required to open a card with them, you can also take advantage of their high-interest rates in their checking and savings accounts.
- No introductory rate
- Fewer card options give you less flexibility in long-term
The Building or Repairing Your Credit?
This third pick is for people who don’t have “good” or “excellent” credit. If your credit score needs to be built or repaired, check out Credit.com. Credit.com’s tagline is “Better Credit For All”, and they live up to that.
Credit.com lets you look at cards across several different companies and pick the one that’s best for you. You start by inputting what your credit score is and what you’re looking for in a card.
Then Credit.com pulls up all the cards that fit your criteria and gives you a snapshot of the features. Once you have all the info, you can pick the best credit card for holiday shopping and your wallet.
- Card options for any credit score
- A wide variety of partners gives you flexibility
- Preference filters let you tailor a card to your needs
- Allows you to check your credit score for free every 14 days
- Recommendations aren’t always accurate; you’ll need to double-check that your card is a good fit
- Directs you to lenders rather than lending directly
Find The Best Credit Cards For Holiday Shopping 2022
Ultimately, there is no “best credit card” when it comes to holiday shopping. There are a lot of factors that go into finding a credit card that works for you.
The best credit card for someone with an excellent credit score isn’t going to be the same as the best credit card for someone with a poor credit score. Some people use their holiday credit card all year round, while others need a one-time use.
The most important thing is to find a card that fits your needs and helps you out. It would help if you had it for holiday gifts, but keep your eyes out for other helpful features.
Do you need to improve your credit for buying a home or a car in the future? Picking a card that’s designed to help you build credit is a great choice.
Do you travel a lot for work or fun? Pick a card that has rewards points you can put towards travel.
Maybe you have some smaller debts with high-interest rates. A credit card can help you rearrange your finances to work for your benefit.
The key to choosing the best credit card for holiday shopping is finding a card that fits your short- and long-term financial goals. Picking a card like that means you can keep earning and saving pennies, even while you’re shopping for the perfect gift.
Other Credit Cards For Holiday Shopping
Annual Fee: $0.
Rewards: On purchases, you get unlimited 2% cash rewards.
Sign-Up Bonus: Get a $200 cash reward bonus after you spend $1,000 on your purchases in the first three months.
APR: Get 0% intro APR that lasts for 15 months on purchases right from your account opening and after you qualify the balance transfers. Further, the current APR is 14.99%-24.99% Variable APR.
Annual Fee: $0.
Sign-Up Bonus: None.
APR: You get 0% intro APR for eighteen months right from your account opening on your purchases. Also, for 18 months, you qualify balance transfers, and, further, the current APR is 12.99%-24.99% Variable APR.
Up to 3 months, there’s an extension in intro APR with on-time minimum payments at the time of extension and intro periods.
Annual Fee: $0; but for that, you should be an Amazon Prime Member. The Membership of Amazon annually costs $119 (i.e. $59 a year for students).
- At Whole Foods Market and Amazon.com, you get a 5% cashback
- At drugstores, gas stations, and restaurants, you get 2% cashback
- On all other purchases, you get a 1% cashback.
Sign-Up Bonus: Occasionally, Amazon offers you gift cards of different amounts depending upon approval.
APR: The current APR is 14.24%-22.24%, Variable.
Annual Fee: $0.
Rewards: You get a 5% discount on every eligible Target purchase.
- Unique and exclusive gift offers, and you get early and easy access to promotions.
- You get “free standard shipping”, which includes free two-day shipping on your qualifying items.
- Thirty days of extra time for returning purchases.
APR: The current APR is 22.90% Variable.
Annual Fee: $0.
Rewards: You get a 2% cashback on purchases, including:
- For every dollar spent, you will get a 1% cashback
- for all dollars paid off, you will get a 1% cashback.
Sign-Up Bonus: None.
APR: For 18 months on Balance Transfers, you get 0% intro APR. The current APR is 13.99%-23.99% Variable APR.
Finding the perfect gift can be stressful, and adding extra stress is the last thing anyone needs. Choosing a credit card that fits your goals takes away some of that money stress. Less stress leaves you free to enjoy the best part of the holidays: spending time with the people you love most.
Happy Holidays from Penny Calling Penny!