The Best Credit Cards for December 2020

Happy woman using credit card for holiday shopping
Photo by Daniel_Dash / Shutterstock.com

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The holiday season is in full swing, and we’re thinking about gifts — mostly for loved ones, but what about ourselves?

Could you use some extra cash back next year? Are you ready to start thinking about traveling in a post-COVID world?

Now is an excellent time to stuff your stocking with some new plastic.

Here’s a look at the top cards available right now.

Best cash-back cards

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

Why we like it: The Blue Cash Preferred Card offers a very strong 6% cash back on the first $6,000 per year spent on supermarket purchases and 3% cash back spent at gas stations in the U.S. Plus, for a limited time, you also earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 with the card within the first three months.

What to know:

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
American Express
  • 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets per year, and 1% cash back after that amount
  • 6% cash back on certain U.S. streaming subscription services
  • 3% cash back on spending at U.S. gas stations and for taxi or rideshare service
  • 1% cash back on other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases for 12 months
  • $95 annual fee

Note: Cash back is redeemed as statement credits.

Citi Double Cash

Why we like it: We’ve called this “The Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Everyday Use” since it earns 1% cash back on every purchase, then earns another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. If you want the peace of mind that you’re earning good cash-back rewards on everything, with no gimmicks or expiration dates, this is your card.

What to know:

Citi Double Cash
Citi
  • Get a total of 2% cash back on every purchase
  • No limits or caps on cash back
  • No confusing categories; everything earns cash back
  • No annual fee

Note: This card offers 18 months of 0% introductory APR on balance transfers.

Best overall card bonuses

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Why we like it: The Chase Sapphire Reserve card offers a sign-up bonus of 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 with the card within the first three months. Redeeming those points for travel through the Chase website adds 50% to their value, for a bonus worth $750.

What to know:

Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase
  • Get 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
  • Earn 10 points per $1 spent on Lyft rides through March 2022.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on travel and dining.
  • Earn 3 points per $1 spent on up to $1,000 in grocery store purchases per month through April 2021.
  • Earn 1 point per $1 spent on everything else.
  • $300 annual travel credit.
  • A free year of Lyft Pink membership.
  • Complimentary DashPass delivery subscription.
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre-check application reimbursement up to $100.
  • $550 annual fee.

Note: The annual fee looks high, but is offset by the $300 annual travel credit and other card benefits, including food delivery and rideshare services and airport lounge access.

The Platinum Card from American Express

Why we like it: The American Express Platinum will rack up enormous rewards while providing stellar ongoing benefits, including 75,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $5,000 in the first six months.

What to know:

The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $5,000 in your first six months
  • 10X points on up to $15,000 eligible purchases at U.S. gas stations and supermarkets in your first six months
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases starting Jan. 1, 2021)
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com
  • 1X points on other eligible purchases
  • Uber VIP status and up to $200 for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders annually
  • $550 annual fee

Note: Other current card benefits include up to $100 in statement credits at Saks Fifth Avenue each year.

Best travel card

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

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 Rewards Credit Card
Capital One
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every purchase.
  • Get a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA Pre-check.
  • 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 Rewards Credit Card does not, but doesn’t have the same early spending bonus offer and offers a lower rate of return.

Best no-interest card offer

Citi Diamond Preferred

The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a good choice for people transferring a balance, thanks to the introductory 0% APR on both balance transfers and new purchases for the first 18 months.

What to know:

Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months, with a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is higher
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 18 months
  • Free access to your FICO Score
  • No annual fee

Note: This card has a 3% foreign transaction fee, so plan accordingly for international travel.


Whatever you need in a credit card — whether it’s 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.

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