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December can be an expensive month. That’s why you should make your seasonal purchases on credit cards that richly reward you for using them. With these three top cards you can leverage your expenses to rack up hotel rooms, flights and more perks, fast, to help pay for your 2020 travels. And who doesn’t need to get out of town after a busy holiday season? See which of these cards best suits your lifestyle.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Why we like it: This card rakes in a whopping 60,000 points as a welcome bonus (worth $725 on purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards) after spending $4,000 within the first three months of opening the account. This is really a great deal, assuming you would spend this amount on regular expenses and, importantly, pay off the balance each month. We’re not alone in our fondness for this card, which Kiplinger Personal Finance named “Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption” in 2018.
- Earn 2 points for each dollar spent on travel and dining, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases with this card.
- Points transfer 1-to-1 to leading hotel and airline loyalty programs.
- No foreign transaction fees.
Note: Annual fee of $95
Capital One Venture Rewards
Why we like it: This card offers a hefty welcome bonus of 50,000 miles after you spend $3,000 within your first three months with the account. You earn 2x miles for every dollar spent on the card. So long as you are paying off your card each month (since paying interest on a balance is obviously counterproductive), you can rack up serious mileage for all your adventures.
- Earn 2x miles for every dollar spent on this card, every day.
- Earn 10x miles for every dollar spent on hotels around the world through 2020.
- No blackout dates when you travel.
- Points transfer to more than a dozen hotel and airline loyalty programs.
- Pay no foreign transaction fees.
- No annual fee for the first year, then $95 per year.
The Platinum Card from American Express
Why we like it: This card offers 60,000 Membership Rewards points as an introductory bonus after making purchases worth $5,000 within the first three months. This is a great card with lots of luxuries and benefits — and will be well worth it if you can comfortably make purchases and pay off your balance at that level and pay a larger-than-average annual fee.
- Earn 5x points for each dollar spent on flights when booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel.
- Earn 5x points for each dollar spent on hotels (prepaid through Amextravel.com).
- Luxury perks, including access to airport lounges worldwide and complimentary benefits at Fine Hotels & Resorts.
- Uber VIP status worth up to $200 in rides per year.
Note: The annual fee for this card is $550.