The Best Credit Cards to Use for the 2019 Holiday Season

Person sitting on the ground surrounded by presents with a laptop on their lap and a credit card in their hand

As of November 13, there are exactly 42 days left until Christmas. That means you have just over one month to complete your purchases. Whether you’ve already started or planning for that last-minute holiday dash, you may already be feeling some shopping related dreadHoweverholiday spending might be more rewarding depending on your preferred method of payment.  

We have selected four great credit cards that can reward you on each dollar you spend and can make your holiday hunt a little jollier. 

Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card 

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

If treating yourself to a meal from Foodora or SkipTheDishes and settling in to watch Netflix is how you unwind, wait until you see what this card has to offer.  

The Scotiabank Gold American Express® Card welcomes new cardmembers with up to 30,000 bonus Scotia Rewards points ($300 dollars) in the first year.  

To earn the initial 25,000 in points cardmembers must: 

  • Open a new Scotiabank Gold American Express card by December 30, 2019 
  • Make at least $1,000 in everyday purchases within the first three months 

To earn the additional 5,000 in bonus points, cardholders are required to: 

  • Make at least $10,000 in purchases within the first year 

Cardmembers earn five times the Scotia Rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible grocery, restaurant, fast food, drinking establishment, and popular food subscription purchases. As well as entertainment including movies, theatre, and ticket agencies. Earn three times the Scotia Rewards points at eligible gas stations, streaming services, and daily transit including rideshare, taxis, and the subway. Collect one Scotia Rewards point on everything else.  

Since this card is American Express, cardholders have access to exclusive Amex Offers. Enjoy discounts on shopping, dining, travel, online and in-store deals, as well as access to presale tickets and special events.  

With no foreign transaction fees on this card, you won’t pay the normal 2.5 percent fee on foreign currency purchases including online shopping and when travelling abroad.  

This card has a $120 annual fee. Each supplementary card has an additional $29 fee. 

According to our Best of Finance methodology*, this can amount to $1,241.59 in Scotia Rewards over a two-year period.  

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: December 30, 2019 

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card 

TD Cash Back Visa Infinite Card

Though the holidays can pose a stressful time for many, some people thrive on the holiday spirit. Early December can be a time of excitement, planning and a precise execution of holiday cheer. The best part, you can be rewarded for all the trips to the grocery store, last minute purchases, and for filling up at the gas station after picking up your relatives.  

The TD Cash Back Visa Infinite* Card even has a pretty remarkable welcome offer. New cardmembers can earn 10 percent cash back on all purchases made within the first three months, up to a total spend of $2,000. Plus, the annual fee is waived for the first year.  

After the bonus earn rate expires, cardholders can earn 3 percent in Cash Back Dollars on eligible grocery store and gas purchases, and on regularly recurring bill payments set up on the account. Additionally, earn one percent cash back on all other purchases made with this card.  

Added benefits of cardmembership include: 

  • Emergency Road Services with the Deluxe TD Auto Club Membership 
  • Various travel insurance coverages  
  • Complimentary Visa Infinite Concierge service 
  • Exclusive benefits when booking specific hotel stays, visiting participating wineries, and at select rental car companies  
  • Added security features including Visa Zero Liability, Extended Warranty Protection, and TD Fraud Alerts 

According to our Best of Finance methodology*, this can put an estimated $720 in your wallet over a two-year period.  

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: December 1, 2019 

BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* 

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

If jetting off and exploring the locations where your favourite holiday movies were filmed, soaking in the sun in a tropical destination, or flying home for the annual turkey buffet, is more your scene, then this card may be right for you.  

New BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* members can get five percent cash back for the first three months. Plus, the annual fee is waived for the first year. Then earn 1.5 percent cash back on all other eligible purchases.  

This card offers Complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKeyComplimentary Roadside Assistance ProgramBMO CashBack World Elite Travel and Medical ProtectionExtended Warranty PlusPurchase Protection Plus, discounts on car rentals, and BMO Concierge Service. However, terms and conditions may apply.  

According to our Best of Finance methodology*, this can equal a $596 return over a two-year period.  

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: March 31, 2020 

Triangle Mastercard® 

Triangle Mastercard

Shoveling snow, salting the sidewalk, breaking out the skis, the hockey net, and the toboggan, can be top priority for some as soon as the first snowflake falls from the sky. If this resonates with you, a trip to Canadian Tire or Sport Chek may be in order.  

The Triangle Mastercard® is perfect for that handyperson or athlete. This card earns cardmembers four percent Canadian Tire Money on purchases made at Canadian Tire, Sport Chek, participating Marks/L’Équipeur, and Atmosphere stores. Additionally, collect five cents per litre back in Canadian Tire Money at Gas+ locations, and earn Canadian Tire Money everywhere else you shop. Plus, this card has no annual fee.  

According to our Best of Finance methodology*, this can amount to $257.57** in rewards over a two-year period.  

**Assuming $100 a month is spent on the card monthly at eligible retailers. 

Earn Rewards and BMerry! 

The hours spent sweating in the mall, picking up presents, treats, and decorations, will come to an end after December 25. However, these four credit cards and our 2019 Best of Finance picks are all solid choices for any day or occasion.  

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! 

*Assuming $1,600 (average Canadian household spend according to Statistics Canada) is spent on the card monthly at eligible retailers, in the following categories: Pharmacy ($55.33), Food ($710.58), Gas: ($134.31), Travel ($151.21), Other ($548.57). 

 This post has been updated. 

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