The Best Credit Cards to Use for the 2017 Holiday Season

Best Credit Cards to Use for the Holiday Season

There are exactly 25 shopping days left until Christmas, and whether you’re ahead of the game or behind on your shopping list, you may already be feeling some shopping lethargy. But don’t despair: depending on your preferred method of payment, you may be able to get rewarded for running around those stuffy, crowded malls or spending hours scrolling through online catalogues.

We present to you five of RateSupermarket.ca’s 2017 Best of Finance credit card winners that can reward you on each dollar you spend and make your Christmas morning just a bit brighter.

If you’re a student coming home for the holidays

Card of choice: BMO SPC® CashBack® MasterCard®

Though the holidays can pose as a stressful time for anyone, early December is an especially challenging time for a college or university student. Exam season can be mentally and physically taxing to say the least. And if money is tight and you’re looking for ways to cut costs, buying gifts for friends and family will be no easy feat with Christmas just around the corner.

But with the BMO SPC® CashBack® MasterCard®, you can earn you one per cent cash back on every $100 you spend, anywhere. According to our Best of Finance methodology, this can put an extra $200 in your wallet over a two-year period. While that $200 might not seem like a large number right now, every dollar helps when you’re living away from home or dealing with student loans. Another great bonus is that this card comes with a free SPC membership, which gives you 10 to 15 per cent off at participating retail stores – and there are many.

If you’re a busy parent looking for a getaway

Card of choice: Scotiabank®* Gold American Express®Card

You’ve worked hard all year and the daily grind is starting to get to you, but you haven’t had a chance to get away from it all. Start planning that hard-earned vacation in 2018 with the help of the Scotiabank®* Gold American Express®Card. It’s our pick for the highest-earning credit card with travel perks in 2017, with four times the Scotia Rewards points for every $1 you spend at eligible gas stations, grocery stores, on dining and entertainment. Cardholders can redeem points for a plethora of getaways “anywhere, anytime, with no travel restrictions.”

If you make $1,000 in everyday purchases in the first three months, you can earn a bonus 25,000 points – starting you off in a good position to book trips. And while there is a $99 annual fee, the first year’s fee is waived.

The card also so happens to come with all the protection you need while you’re away, including baggage insurance, flight delay insurance, trip interruption or cancellation insurance, travel medical and accident insurance, and rental vehicle insurance.

So the more Christmas gifts you pay for with plastic, the greater number of travel options you have. The best part is supplementary cards are free, meaning other members of your family can help pitch in towards your dream destination simply by using the card.

If you’re driving to visit out-of-town relatives

Card of choice: Scotia Momentum®VISA Infinite* card

Driving long distances can be a great alternative to flying, but it can still take a bite out of your budget. That’s why it’s important to make even more out of your visits to grandma’s house by earning some cash back on the trip back and forth. Our top pick for cash back is the Scotia Momentum®VISA Infinite* card, which gives you four per cent cash back on all fuel purchases. Based on the everyday expenditures of the average Canadian, this can result in almost $120 back in your pocket over two years from just gas alone.

The Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite also gives you a significant amount of cash back on other purchases – two per cent on eligible drug store purchases and recurring bill payments, and five per cent cash back on all other eligible everyday purchases in the first three months. But keep in mind that it has a $99 annual fee after the first year.

If you’re cooking that perfect Christmas dinner

Card of choice: President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard®

Stocking up your fridge can be pricey this time of year, especially when families are entertaining more than usual. That’s where the President’s Choice Financial® Mastercard® comes in: a top-notch product that earned first place in our Best Card for Groceries category.

This no-fee card earns you 10 PC Points for every dollar you spend on food and pharmacy items at Loblaws stores, as well as through PC Travel, and 10 PC Points per dollar everywhere else. You can also earn two cents cash back per litre of gas at Esso stations. All points can be redeemed at stores under the Loblaws umbrella, including Joe Fresh clothing stores. This can amount to close to $305 back in your wallet over a two-year period – possibly covering a lot of Christmas dinner next year!

For a limited time, when you apply through RateSupermarket.ca and activate your card you’ll get a $100 e-gift card in addition to the PC Financial® Mastercard® welcome offer of up to 20,000 PC® points.1

And if you simply love to shop

Card of choice: Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card

Perhaps you feed off the energy of those crowded malls this time of year. Or your greatest joy is digging deep into your wallet to give your family and friends everything on their wish lists. But maybe it’s time to reward yourself, for a change. In that case, the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card is the perfect way to do so. With no annual fee, this card earns you two per cent cash back in two chosen categories (like food, gas or pharmacy) for the first three months, and 0.5 per cent cash back on everything else.

Earn rewards and be merry!

Our 2017 Best of Finance picks are all solid choices for any season, but we all know that December is the true season of consumerism.

Aside, we can’t stress enough how important it is to make at least your minimum monthly payments on time. In fact, you should always strive to pay your balance off in full every billing cycle. By doing so, you’re avoiding interest charges and truly reaping the benefits of each card. So, set a reasonable shopping budget and enjoy the perks these cards offer!

Related Topics

Credit Card Reviews / Credit Cards / Credit Cards 101 / Lifestyle News / Personal Finance / RSM News / Your Budget

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