The Best Credit Cards for December 2020

Happy woman using credit card for holiday shopping
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 $150 back in statement credits after you spend $3,000 with the card in the first six months.

What to know:

Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
American Express
  • 20% cash back on Amazon.com purchases in the first six months, up to $200 back.
  • 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. (See rates and fees)
  • $0 intro annual fee for first year, then $95. (See rates and fees)

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. (See rates and fees)

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 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 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 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.

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