In November and December, holiday shopping might feel like it never ends. It can also be a big financial burden, especially if the people in your life are hoping for expensive gifts. If the upfront expense feels like too much, you can buy your gifts via credit card to pay off later. This choice is an even smarter one if your credit card offers rewards. The below best credit cards for Black Friday are some great examples of rewards-heavy cards for the holiday season.
Table of contents
- What Is Black Friday?
- 7 Best Credit Cards for Black Friday
- Best for Department Store Black Friday Buys: Chase Freedom Flex℠
- Best for Walmart, Target, and Amazon Online Purchases: Discover it® Cash Back
- Best for All-Purpose Shopping: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred
- Best for Entertainment: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Best Welcome Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Best for Introductory Zero-Percent APR: AmEx EveryDay® Credit Card
- Which Card Should You Choose for Black Friday Shopping?
- Explore More Credit Card Options
What Is Black Friday?
Black Friday is a retail holiday that occurs the day after Thanksgiving. On Black Friday, many major retailers and smaller businesses typically offer heavy discounts that shoppers take advantage of for holiday shopping. These discounts rarely extend past Black Friday, and the rush to claim these offers has made the occasion a hallmark of the holiday season. While many retailers now offer their Black Friday pricing both in-store and online, a separate event, Cyber Monday, marks a special sale day for all things ecommerce the Monday after Thanksgiving.
7 Best Credit Cards for Black Friday
If your holiday shopping involves especially expensive items, Black Friday discounted prices might still not quite be enough to meet your budget. In that case, a credit card can help you split up your payments to make them easier on your wallet without missing out on the deal. Even better are credit cards through which you can earn rewards on your purchases. Here are some cards that meet this description alongside details or their advantages, perks, features, and best use cases.
Best for Department Store Black Friday Buys: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Like many cash rewards credit cards, the Chase Freedom Flex card offers higher rewards rates on certain items each quarter. Typically, come Black Friday, those higher rewards – 5% cashback, to be exact – apply to department stores. As such, this card will serve you well if Black Friday means you’re looking to score some deals on a new coat or a beautiful new scarf for your loved one.
The Chase Freedom Flex card will also work wonders for you if your Black Friday purchases will be mostly online from department store websites. Its 5% cashback rate applies equally online and in-person at these stores, making this a great card for shopping no matter how you prefer to secure your deals.
Beyond department stores, you’ll get 1% off all your purchases. Additionally, if you sign up now and spend $500 within three months, you’ll earn a $150 bonus. These perks come with no annual fee and, for your first 15 months, neither regular purchase nor balance transfer APRs.
Best for Walmart, Target, and Amazon Online Purchases: Discover it® Cash Back
Like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the Discover it Cash Back credit card offers 5% rewards on different categories during each quarter. During the final three months of the year, that 5% rate applies to purchases on Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com.
If approved for a Discover it card, you’ll need to manually activate the higher 5% rate. Otherwise, you’ll earn the 1% rate that applies to all other categories. Additionally, after your first $1,500 in purchases that qualify for the 5% rate, you’ll earn the standard 1%.
The Discover it card comes with a substantial welcome bonus. At the end of your first year using the card, you’ll be given a bonus equal to all the cash back rewards you’ve accumulated to date. You’ll also enjoy a zero-percent introductory APR for this first year and the two months after it (a total of 14 months), so you can pay back your cards without interest payments.
After this introductory period, your regular APR will be as low as 11.99% and as high as 22.99%. Your balance transfer fee will be 5%, and during your introductory period, it will be 3%. At no point will you pay foreign transaction fees.
Best for All-Purpose Shopping: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card
Many, if not most, no-fee credit cards offer a 1% cashback rate on everyday purchases. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card instead offers 1.5%. That means you’ll be earning cashback 50% faster than with similar credit cards. As such, the Capital One Quicksilver card is your best bet for all-purpose Black Friday shopping.
The Quicksilver card’s introductory bonus also makes it especially appealing. To earn an extra $200, you’ll need to spend $500 in your first three months. This bonus amounts to a 40% cashback rate. You can also wait 15 months to pay for your purchase since your introductory zero-percent APR will last that long.
The Capital One Quicksilver card doesn’t include annual fees or foreign fees. It’s also intrinsically linked with the Capital One Shopping app, which can identify the best price for you as you shop online. This app removes the manual work of comparing prices at several retailers, and it can give you exclusive discounts at these retailers as well. Between the card and the app, you’ll get to enjoy two forms of discounted shopping this Black Friday.
Best for Travel: Chase Sapphire Preferred
For many people, Black Friday occurs during or just before holiday travel. As such, Black Friday is also a great time of year for earning the most possible travel points from your credit card. On that front, the Chase Sapphire Preferred card is your best bet.
The value of the Chase Sapphire card for travel lies partially in its introductory bonus. If you spend $4,000 within your first three months, you’ll earn 60,000 points. When you apply the 25% extra value that these points have toward travel purchases, the result is $750 to use toward your travel. You can redeem these extra-value rewards through the Chase Ultimate Rewards program or transfer them to several travel miles programs.
When you use the Chase Sapphire card to pay for travel expenses, you’ll earn two points for every dollar you spend. Booking your travel through the Chase website can increase the number of points you earn by as much as 75%. All non-travel purchases earn one point per dollar spent.
Alongside these sizable rewards come additional travel benefits. When you buy plane tickets with your Chase Sapphire card, you can access up to $10,000 in trip cancellation insurance. You’ll also get up to $500 in delay insurance, up to $3,000 for lost luggage, and up to $500 in baggage delay insurance. Chase will also act as your primary insurer if you rent a car.
All these valuable perks come with a $95 annual fee and an APR of between 15.99% and 22.99%. As such, you might need to be big on traveling and dining out to justify a Chase Sapphire Preferred card. If you do sign up, you won’t pay any foreign transaction fees.
Best for Entertainment: Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
With the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn more rewards for your typical Black Friday dining and entertainment purchases. These purchases earn 4% back, as do purchases with eligible non-membership or non-digital streaming services. Grocery store purchases earn 3% back, and all other purchases earn 1% back.
Additionally, through January 2022, you’ll earn 8% back on Vivid Seats ticket purchases. This earnings rate is the highest on this list. Another big entertainment perk: Savor cardholders get exclusive access to entertainment events including the Capital One JamFest and the iHeartRadio Music Festival.
When you first sign up for a Capital One Savor card, you have three months to spend $3,000 if you want a $300 bonus. You’ll have a year to repay this $3,000 without interest – which you can easily spend on expensive Black Friday gifts – given your 12-month introductory zero-percent APR. This introductory APR doesn’t apply to balance transfers, which come with a 3% rate for promotional APR offers. There’s no APR for any balances transferred at your regular APR.
To use the Savor card, you’ll pay $95 per year. You won’t pay foreign transaction fees.
Best Welcome Bonus: Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred card is the only one on this list to check the box for two categories. The introductory offer in the above “Best for Travel” section is superior to all others on this list. If your welcome bonus is the make-or-break factor when buying a loved one that special holiday gift over Black Friday, the Sapphire card is your best bet.
Best for Introductory Zero-Percent APR: AmEx EveryDay® Credit Card
Like the Chase Freedom Flex card, the AmEx EveryDay Credit Card comes with a 15-month zero-APR period. However, the perks that come with the AmEx card make it a better choice if a zero-percent APR is key to your Black Friday shopping.
The AmEx EveryDay card includes car rental insurance if you use your card to make your reservation. It also comes with a cell phone protection plan and, with certain retailers, free two-day shipping.
Alongside these high-level perks come 10,000 Membership Rewards® points if you use the card on $1,000 in purchases in your first three months. You’ll accumulate 2X rewards points on all supermarket purchases per year until you reach $6,000. All other purchases earn 1X points. You’ll also get a 20% extra point bonus during any billing period in which you make 20 or more purchases.
The AmEx EveryDay Credit Card lacks annual fees and balance transfer fees. It does, though, come with a 2.7% foreign transaction fee. Additionally, once your introductory zero-percent APR offer ends, your rate will increase to between 12.99% and 23.99%.
Which Card Should You Choose for Black Friday Shopping?
Somewhere among the above options lies the best credit card for your Black Friday shopping. Ask yourself three questions to figure out which card is right for you:
- Will the card still be worth it after Black Friday? The Chase Sapphire card’s travel points can be quite attractive if you’re traveling this holiday season. Similarly, if Black Friday is your time to grab discounted entertainment deals, the Capital One Savor card might be your top pick. However, both these cards come with $95 annual fees. After the holiday season, this fee might stop feeling worthwhile.
- Can I afford the purchases I’ll make? Almost every card on this list comes with an introductory zero-percent APR offer. As such, during your first Black Friday with the card, you can worry later about paying for the purchases you make now. But on subsequent Black Fridays, these cards’ high APRs can make repaying your purchases prohibitively expensive if you can’t pay on time. Think long-term when making your decision.
- How do my current credit cards compare? This list comprises six credit cards in total. There are hundreds more out there, and maybe you already have some of them. Maybe one of these cards earns you rewards at rates on par with, if not just slightly behind, these cards. If you’re the type to open a new credit card for an offer only to abandon it later, try sticking with what you already have.
Explore More Credit Card Options
The cards on this list are a great starting point to make the best of your Black Friday shopping. They also don’t have to be the end of your research. If your Black Friday financial, travel or entertainment situation is especially unique, maybe another card will better suit it. Visit our credit cards page to explore other options and find what works best for you.