The holidays are a sweet spot for card issuers, thanks to all the extra shopping, eating and travelling consumers are doing. One way they try to make sure you pull their card out of your wallet is to offer limited-time holiday promos – extra rewards, a gift card, or a discount in the future and, these days, maybe even a free Uber ride.
As we did last year, we’ve scanned issuers’ websites, social media profiles and press releases for holiday deals. While some seasonal favorites are notably missing (American Express, a CreditCardForum advertising partner, is no longer providing statement credits for Small Business Saturday this year), chances are the cards in your wallet offers a little something extra for your holiday purchases.
We will be updating this chart as more promos and deals are announced. Your issuer may also give you a targeted offer, just for you – so make sure you’re checking your mail and your account online.
|Credit card holiday promos and deals for the 2015 season|
|Card issuer||Relevant dates||Other information|
|Virgin America status for transfer: Transfer 80K Membership Rewards points by the deadline and get Elevate Gold Status.||Dec. 31 deadline||Gold Status applies through Feb. 2017.|
|Transfer bonus for Hawaiian Airlines: Get 25% more miles when you transfer your MR points to Hawaiian.||Through Dec. 21||Starts at 1,000 points.|
|Iberia Plus transfer bonus: Get 25% more Avios when you transfer MR points into your Iberia Plus account.||Through Dec. 31||Starts at 250 points.|
|Best Buy e-Gift card: Use Membership Rewards points to make a purchase of at least $50, and get an e-Gift card for Best Buy. Gift card value increases, with purchase total, up to a $300 gift card for a purchase of $1,000 or more.||Ends Jan. 31, 2016||Purchases must be made via membershiprewards.com/shopping.|
|2 free Uber rides for using LGA Centurion lounge:||Expires Dec. 31, 2015||Code given upon entry into lounge (which requires a Platinum or Centurion card and a boarding pass).
|$50 back when spending $100 on Airbnb: Use your American Express card to spend $100 or more on Airbnb, and get $50 back (as a statement credit).||Expires Dec. 31, 2015||Valid on bookings and gift cards. Must be a single transaction of $100 or more. Your American Express card must be connected with Twitter, and you must tweet using #AmexAirbnb. Check out AmEx Offers website for full details.|
|Until Dec. 31, 2015||Some purchases are not eligible for 10 percent rewards, including mattresses, furniture and luxury items.|
|Extra amenities on holiday getaways: Book at certain properties in AmEx's portfolio with your American Express card and get extra amenities, like free breakfast, event tickets and spa credits.||Book by Dec. 31, 2015. Stay must be completed between Nov. 15, 2015 and Jan. 5, 2016.||Subject to availability. View eligible properties here.|
|Rewards Boost holiday offers: Extra bonus points and free shipping for purchases with various holiday-friendly retailers.||Varies. Check individual offers.||Some offers require coupon codes.|
|10 percent cash back with certain retailers: In addition to the 5 percent category bonus, the Chase Freedom is giving an additional 5 percent back (for a total of 10 percent cash back) on Zappos, Audible.com, Diapers.com and Amazon.||Between Nov. 23 and Dec. 31, 2015.||For up to $1,500 in purchases between Nov. 23 and Dec. 31.|
|Cyber Monday Sale: 30 to 50 percent fewer points needed to redeem featured items.||Nov. 30 (9 a.m. to 11:59 p.m.)||Applies only to limited items. While supplies last. See a list of discounted items here.|
|Bonus points on Hilton HHonors point transfers: Get 2 Hilton HHonors bonus points for every ThankYou Point transferred into your HHonors rewards account.||Ends Jan. 6, 2016||Must have a Citi card that allows point transfers (Prestige, Chairman, ThankYou Premier)|
|Extra Cashback bonus on Discover Deals: Cardmembers can earn between 10 percent and 25 percent cash back with more than 65 merchants for a limited time. Merchants include Bloomingdales, Dillard's, Old Navy, Sephora, Starbucks, Zales and more.||Ends Dec. 31, 2015||Deals subject to rules of Discover Deals program. Keep in mind that, the Discover it Miles card doubles all miles (including bonus miles) earned in first year of cardmembership.|
|10 percent back with Apple pay purchases: Link your Discover card to Apple pay and earn 10 percent back with most purchases made with that card via Apple Pay.||Ends Dec. 31, 2015||Up to $10,000 in purchases. Gift cards not eligible.|
|Priceless Surprises IHG: Use your MasterCard to book and pay for a stay at an IHG property. The first time, you'll get 1,000 IHG reward points. Every subsequent time, you'll have a chance at getting a random, computer-selected surprise (could be a free trip, 1 million IHG reward points, a gift card, an adventure package, various merchandise or a free night at an IHG hotel).||Nov. 15, 2015 to Feb. 15, 2016||Official rules here. Card must have been opened before Nov. 15, 2015.|
If you didn’t find anything compelling on the chart, don’t forget that some cards have built-in bonuses for the holidays. Cards with rotating categories, for example, often make their Q4 bonus categories holiday-friendly. For example, you might get 5 percent back at department stores and various online retailers.
Updated Dec. 11, 2015