The Best Credit Cards for December 2020

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Happy woman using credit card for holiday shopping
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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: For a low annual fee, the Blue Cash from American Express Card offers an easily attainable introductory offer worth $350, plus as much as $360 back on groceries each year. And that’s before you start racking up rewards from your travel, entertainment and every thing else.

What to know:

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
American Express
  • Earn a $350 statement credit when you make $3,000 in purchases during your first six months.
  • Earn 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year.
  • Earn 6% back on select streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% back on transit purchases and gas.
  • Earn 1% back on other purchases.
  • $95 annual fee. (See rates and fees)

Note: This card has a 2.7% foreign transaction fee (after converting to U.S. dollars).

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.

Plus, for a limited time, you can earn points worth $200 in cash back when you make $1,500 in purchases in your first six months as a cardmember.

What to know:

Citi Double Cash
Citi
  • $200 cash back when you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first six months from account opening.
  • 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 Platinum Card from American Express will rack up enormous rewards while providing stellar ongoing benefits, including 100,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $6,000 in the first six months.

What to know:

The Platinum Card from American Express
American Express
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards Points when you spend $6,000 in your first six months.
  • $200 in statement credits each year on select prepaid hotel bookings through American Express.
  • Up to $100 in fee credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck
  • Up to $200 for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders annually plus Uber VIP status.
  • Includes Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold Status
  • 5X points on flights booked directly with airlines or through American Express Travel (on up to $500,000 in purchases starting Jan. 1, 2022).
  • 5X points on prepaid hotels booked at amextravel.com.
  • 1X points on other eligible purchases.
  • $695 annual fee. (See rates and fees)

Note: Other current card benefits include up to $200 in statement credits each year for airline charges such as baggage fees and in-flight purchases and up to $240 in credits each year on certain digital entertainment subscriptions.

Best travel card

Capital One Venture

Why we like it: An early spending bonus offer of 75,000 miles when you spend $4,000 within the first three months is worth $750 in travel.

What to know:

Capital One Venture
Capital One
  • Earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 2 miles per dollar on every other purchase with no annual cap or expiration.
  • Get up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
  • 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.

Best no-interest card offer

Citi Diamond Preferred

Why we like it: The Citi Diamond Preferred card is a good choice for people transferring a balance, thanks to the introductory 0% APR on balance transfers for the first 21 months. You’ll also get a full 12 months of 0% APR on new purchases.

What to know:

Citi Diamond Preferred
Citi
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 21 months, with a balance transfer fee of $5 or 5%, whichever is higher.
  • 0% introductory APR on new purchases for 12 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.

See rates and fees for the Blue Cash Preferred from American Express and The Platinum Card from American Express.