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

Oct. 10, 2019
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 rewards categories for 2019
Q1 (Jan. 1 – March 31)• Grocery stores
Q2 (April 1 – June 30)• Gas stations.
• Uber and Lyft.
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)• Restaurants.
• PayPal.
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)• Amazon.com.
• Target (in store and online).
• Walmart.com.

Here are the bonus categories for the Chase Freedom®:

Chase Freedom® bonus rewards categories for 2019
Q1 (Jan. 1 - March 31)• Gas stations.
• Tolls.
• Drugstores.
Q2 (April 1 - June 30)• Home improvement stores.
• Grocery stores.
Q3 (July 1 – Sept. 30)• Gas stations.
• Select streaming services.
Q4 (Oct. 1 – Dec. 31)• Department stores.
• PayPal.
• Chase Pay.

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 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 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