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Best Black Friday Sales and Deals 2016

Black Friday, Shopping
NerdWallet's Best Credit Card Tips for November 2016

Don’t miss out on all of NerdWallet’s highly anticipated 2016 Black Friday ad leaks this season. Check back regularly for updates on the best holiday deals from your favorite retailers. Black Friday is Nov. 25.

Black Friday is all about the deals. But with sales at practically every retailer, it’s easy to lose track of which ones make braving the shopping frenzy worthwhile.

We’ve searched through all the ads in order to give you some guidance. If history repeats itself this year, electronics, household cleaning products and small kitchen appliances are likely to be the best of the best.

Here are our picks for the Best Black Friday deals.

Best Black Friday Sales and Deals 2016

Target

Target has appealing savings storewide, but some of its biggest draws are discounted gadgets that come with free store gift cards.

In-store sale starts: 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Thanksgiving Day.

Standout deals:

  • $70 off the GoPro Hero Session bundle with camera, handler, 16GB microSD card and a free $20 Target gift card for $179.99.  
  • $50 off Xbox One S 500GB “Battlefield 1” and “Minecraft” bundles, each with free $40 Target gift card, at $249.99.
  • The Samsung curved 55-inch 4K UHD with $70 Target gift card for $697.99 (regularly $1,099.99).

Best Buy

You’ll find some of the best deals on tech, including HDTVs and Apple products at Best Buy. The electronics retailer’s ad also features sales on computers, video games, appliances and accessories.

In-store sale starts: 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Thanksgiving Day.

Standout deals:

  • $125 off the iPad Air 2.
  • $150 off Beats by Dre Solo 2 headphones.
  • The 13.3-inch MacBook Air with Intel Core i5, 8 GB memory and 128 GB flash storage for $799.99 (regularly $999.99).

Wal-Mart

The superstore is serving up savings on smartphones, tablets, apparel and more. And shoppers are more likely to score big-ticket items on Black Friday this year, as Wal-Mart promises to have a greater amount of inventory in stock.

In-store sale starts: 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Thanksgiving Day.

Standout deals:

  • $69 for the Fitbit Flex 2 (regularly $99).
  • $50 off the PlayStation 4 Slim “Uncharted 4” 500GB bundle with free $30 Wal-Mart gift card for $249.
  • Samsung 50-inch class smart 4K TV for $398 (regularly $628).

Kohl’s

Now through Black Friday, Kohl’s is dishing out a generous amount of store rewards dollars on top of its discounts. Shoppers can earn Kohl’s Cash with just about every purchase.

In-store sale starts: 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Nov. 21.

Standout deals:

  • $89.99 for Keurig K55 coffee maker, plus get $15 in Kohl’s Cash.
  • Get $105 in Kohl’s Cash with purchase of the Apple Watch Series 2 for $369.
  • $300 off a Canon EOS Rebel T6 DSLR camera with Wi-Fi, including bag, 18-55 mm lens and 75-300 mm lens, plus $135 in Kohl’s Cash for $449.99.

J.C. Penney

The retailer has big deals on virtually everything, including appliances, clothing, shoes and cookware. Early shoppers at J.C. Penney stores will receive a mystery coupon, too.

In-store sale starts: 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Thanksgiving Day.

Standout deals:

  • $19.99 for select women’s boots.
  • $59.99 for Nutribullet blenders (regularly $135).
  • Up to 40% off major appliances.

Macy’s

Macy’s Black Friday ad includes a coupon worth an extra $10 or $20 off select sale or clearance apparel and home items, valid online or in store. The department store’s prices are lowest on Thanksgiving and before 1 p.m. on Black Friday and Saturday.

In-store sale starts: 5 p.m. on Thanksgiving.

Online: Most deals are available online starting Thanksgiving Day.

Standout deals (before 1 p.m. Friday and Saturday):

  • $7.99 for select small kitchen appliances (after mail-in rebate).
  • 50% off cold weather accessories.
  • Dyson vacuums starting at $249.99 (regularly $579.99 to $859.99).

Also be mindful — your generous gift list might result in a bit of credit card balance. In the 2015 holiday season, 44% of American shoppers incurred debt and took about two months to pay it off. If you’re part of this crowd, make sure to avoid paying interest with the right credit card. NerdWallet’s list of best credit cards for holiday shopping includes cards with 0% interest periods that may last from 9 to 21 months. There are plenty of reasons to stress over the holidays; don’t let credit card interest be one of them.

Best Black Friday Sales and Deals 2015

Most of last year’s standout Black Friday deals actually began on Thanksgiving. Department stores and big-box stores were home to the top bargains. For example:

  • Target offered the Xbox One 500GB console with “Gears of War” digital download for $299.99 (regularly $349.99), which included a $60 Target gift card with purchase. Price reductions on other electronics, apparel, accessories and small kitchen appliances were also noteworthy.
  • Wal-Mart significantly marked down activity trackers and electronics like laptops and TVs. The iPad Air 2 Gold 16GB with Wi-Fi was discounted to $399 (regularly $499).
  • Best Buy slashed prices on electronics like Apple Watches, iPads and HDTVs. It sold the Apple 21.5-inch Mac with 8GB memory for $899.99 (regularly $1,099.99).
  • J.C. Penney boasted discounts on items like jewelry, apparel and small kitchen appliances. The NutriBullet Pro 900 Series blender was on sale for $89.99 (regularly $165-$215).
  • Macy’s offered markdowns throughout practically every category and included coupons in its ad for additional savings. The Dyson V6 Motorhead and Cinetic vacuums were $249.99-$499.99 on Thanksgiving and $399.99-$699.99 after 1 p.m. on Black Friday (regularly $499.99-$799.99).

Most of these stores opened at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving and offered a large selection of deals online. J.C. Penney opened earliest, at 3 p.m. on Thanksgiving, and Best Buy followed at 5 p.m.

» MORE: Macy’s One-Day Sale Guide

Check out our full list of 2016 ad leaks for up-to-date deal news from a wide range of retailers.

Lauren Schwahn is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: lschwahn@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @lauren_schwahn.