Get the Most Credit Card Rewards Possible This Holiday Season

Man shopping with credit card on his phone
Olha Povozniuk / Shutterstock.com

Editor's Note: Money Talks News has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Money Talks News and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

We’re entering the holiday shopping season once again, and it’s time to ask — before you buy any gifts — whether you can get more out of your spending this year.

A solid credit card rewards program could mean amazing things for you in 2022, whether it’s a free flight or hotel room for your next vacation or simply padding out your next gift budget.

A number of new and great rewards card offers are worth a look right now. Here are our top cards:

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Why we like it: With no annual fee to worry about, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a top-tier choice for grocery or general cash-back rewards, offering at least 1.5% cash back on every purchase and more in certain categories. You also earn a $200 cash-back bonus after you spend $500 within the first three months.

What to know:

Chase Freedom Unlimited
Chase
  • 5% cash back on travel-related purchases through Chase.
  • 3% cash back on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% cash back on every other purchase.
  • No expiration on cash-back rewards.
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months, then a variable rate of 14.99% to 24.74%.
  • No annual fee.

Note: This card has a foreign transaction fee, so plan accordingly for international travel.

Capital One Venture

Why we like it: An early spending bonus offer of 60,000 miles when you spend $3,000 within the first three months is worth $600 in travel.

What to know:

Capital One Venture
Capital One
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Get a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • Extended warranty protection.
  • Travel accident insurance.
  • No foreign transaction fee.
  • $95 annual fee.

Note: This card has a $95 annual fee. The Capital One VentureOne card does not, but doesn’t have the same early spending bonus offer and offers a lower rate of return.

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus

Why we like it: Southwest’s Companion Pass is almost like a buy-one, get-one-free deal on flights, and this card makes it much easier to earn — just spend $2,000 in the first three months and earn 50,000 points, and then another 50,000 if you spend $12,000 within the first 12 months. You’ll just need another 25,000 points within the year to earn your Companion Pass!

What to know:

Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards Plus
Chase
  • Earn up to 100,000 bonus points by spending $2,000 in the first three months and $12,000 within the first 12 months.
  • Get 3,000 bonus points each year for your cardholder anniversary.
  • Get 2 points per $1 spent on Southwest flights.
  • Get 2 points per $1 spent on transit and commuting.
  • Get 2 points per $1 spent on internet, cable or phone service.
  • Get 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
  • There are no blackout dates or seat restrictions.
  • All points count toward Companion Pass, and never expire.
  • $69 annual fee.

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express

Why we like it: This card currently offers an amazing introductory bonus of 150,000 points and a free night award when you make $5,000 in purchases within the first three months.

What to know:

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express
American Express
  • 6X points at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • 3X points at U.S. restaurants and flights booked directly with airlines.
  • 2X points on other eligible purchases.
  • Up to $300 in statement credits each year for eligible purchases at participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels.
  • Free night at a participating hotel each year after your card anniversary.
  • Up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or $85 credit for TSA PreCheck for easier airport access.
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge access.
  • $450 annual fee. (See rates and fees)

Note: There are no foreign transaction fees associated with this card.

Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s a balance transfer, reward points, cash back or a low interest rate — you can find it with our credit card search tool. Click here to search for the plastic that best fits your needs.

Disclosure: The information you read here is always objective. However, we sometimes receive compensation when you click links within our stories.