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Credit Card Rewards: 3 Ways to Earn More This Holiday Season

Dec. 3, 2018
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards
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If it feels like your holiday spending is on par with St. Nick’s, you might want get a little something extra out of it. Check out our three tips for earning more credit card rewards on your holiday buys.

1. Opt into bonus categories for more credit card rewards

Some credit cards, including the Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom® cards, offer bonus rewards on certain spending categories on a rotating basis. But to take advantage of these extra rewards, you need to opt in quarterly.

Here are the bonus categories for the Discover it® Cash Back:

Discover bonus categories 20182019
Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)Gas stations and wholesale clubsGrocery stores
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)Grocery storesGas stations, Uber and Lyft
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)Restaurants Resaurants
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31) and wholesale

Here are the bonus categories for the Chase Freedom®:

Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2018
Q1 2018 (Jan. 1 - March 31)• Gas stations
• Internet, cable and phone service
• Purchases via Chase Pay, Apple Pay, Android Pay and Samsung Pay
Q2 2018 (April 1 - June 30)• Grocery stores
• PayPal, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
• Chase Pay, for online, mobile or in-app purchases
Q3 2018 (July 1 – Sept. 30)• Gas stations
• Lyft
• Walgreens
Q4 2018 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)• Chase Pay
• Wholesale clubs
• Department stores

2. Use deal sites to shop online for additional rewards

Programs like Chase Ultimate Rewards and Barclaycard RewardsBoost give you additional rewards for shopping online through their sites. These sites are similar to Ebates and Fat Wallet, but instead of getting cash deposits to your PayPal account, you’ll receive points, miles or cash back based on your card’s rewards program.

Combining this with the bonus categories can net you major rewards, with little effort.

» MORE: How to maximize credit card rewards when shopping

3. Apply for a new credit card with a sign-up bonus

If you’re in the market for a new credit card, you could apply for a card with a sign-up bonus. Here are a few recommendations for cards with great sign-up bonuses after required spending:

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers 2x points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. But the card’s real appeal is its outstanding sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. These can be redeemed for cash at 1 cent per point or travel at 1.25+ cents per point. This card is ideal for travelers, both for earning and redeeming rewards.

The takeaway: To earn even more rewards this holiday season, opt into your credit card’s bonus categories, shop online through your issuer’s shopping sites and maybe get a new credit card with a sign-up bonus. Rack up those rewards and redeem them for something nice for you.

Shopper image via Shutterstock