Your cards may see a little more action in the coming weeks – but they can also put a little money back in your pocket. Card networks and issuers often roll out limited-time promos to coincide with holiday shopping, and this year is no different.
|More from our 2014 holiday package|
2014’s holiday promos are diverse. American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner) is again offering statement credits for cardholders who participate in Small Business Saturday – as well as several bonuses for travelers. Other issuers are offering redemption discounts and free shipping via their online malls. You’ll find a couple sweepstakes in the mix as well. And, new for 2014, Visa is offering an incentive to try out Apple Pay.
Check out our chart to find out which holiday gifts your issuer is offering this year.
|Credit card holiday promotions and specials for 2014|
|Promotion||Effective dates||Other info/requirements|
|American Express (a CreditCardForum advertising partner)|
|Small Business Saturday: Register your American Express card to get $10 back via statement credit per $10 spent (up to $30 back).||Nov. 29||Corporate cards and prepaid cards (aside from Serve and Bluebird) are not eligible.
Instructions for registering your card here.
|Beach escapes hotel sale: Get additional 3rd or 4th night at select properties booked via American Express Travel||Must book by Dec. 31 and complete travel between Dec. 1 and Jan. 15||Can't combine with other offers; must pay taxes and fees on extra night
More info and eligible properties
|Purchase fees waived on gift cards: AmEx is waiving purchase fees (normally $3.95) on business and personal gift cards.||Ends Dec. 17||Must use correct code. Applies only to web orders.|
|Virgin Atlantic transfer bonus: Get 35% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to Virgin Atlantic Flying Club||Ends Nov. 30||Must transfer at least 1,000 points|
|Hilton HHonors transfer bonus: Get 33% bonus when transferring Membership Rewards points to Hilton HHonors program||Ends Nov. 30||Must transfer at least 1,000 points|
|$25 Best Buy e-gift card: When you redeem Membership Rewards points for qualifying products||Ends Nov. 22||List of eligible products|
|$5 back on Starbucks website: Enroll your card in Amex Offers, and get $5 back when you spend $10 or more on Starbucks' website||Ends Dec. 31||One time only|
|$150 credit for Chicago hotel stay: Book (and stay) at least 3 nights at participating Chicago hotels with your American Express card, and get a $150 statement credit.||Ends Dec. 21||See list of participating hotels here.|
|Bank of America|
|Extra rewards in WorldPoints Mall: Earn 2 bonus points/dollar above base offer with various retailers, including Macy's, ProFlowers, StarbucksStore.com, REI and more||Ends Dec. 28||Using third-party coupons may disqualify you.|
|L.L.Bean Visa sweepstakes: Every purchase made with the L.L.Bean Visa is an entry to win $250,000.||Ends Dec. 31||Drawing takes place in mid-January.
|Free shipping, discounts and bonus points: Find various holiday rewards offers at RewardsBoost.||Varies. Plenty of offers lasting through holiday season.||Using third-party coupon code may disqualify you.|
|Hilton HHonors transfer bonus: Get 2 Hilton HHonors points (usually you get 1) for every Citi ThankYou point you transfer||Ends Jan. 8, 2015||Must have Citi ThankYou Premier, Citi Prestige or Citi Chairman|
|40 to 50 percent off on Cyber Monday: Redeem for select electronics in Citi ThankYou catalog for 40 percent to 50 percent fewer points.||Ends Dec. 1 at 11:59 p.m. EST||While supplies last. View examples of discounts here.|
|Citi ThankYou Rewards on sale: Gaming, electronics, luggage, and home and garden merchandise redemptions require fewer points than usual||Varies. Check online rewards catalog.|
|Chase United VIP lounges: 2 malls (one in San Francisco, one in Short Hills, New Jersey) will have VIP lounges open to MileagePlus cardholders. Lounges will feature gift wrapping, snacks and beverages.||Nov. 24-Dec. 24||More details here.|
|5% cash back with Discover it card||Ends Dec. 31||Up to $1,500 in spending. Must enroll in category.|
|Priceless Surprises: Use your MasterCard for automatic entry and chance to win everything from event tickets, to trips, to gift vouchers||Dec. 31||View contest rules here.|
|Gilt Priceless Surprises Contest: Follow Gilt on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter and post your holiday wish with the hashtag #giltsurprisescontest.||Ends Dec. 8 at 11:59 ET||Exclusive to MasterCard cardholders. View contest rules here.|
|Visa Apple Pay Sweepstakes: Set a Visa card as your default credit or debit card in Apple Pay an make a purchase for a chance to win a $500 Visa gift card||Ends Dec. 31||View entry and submission rules here|
|$100 off hotel with Visa Checkout: Use Visa Checkout to book a round-trip flight on Orbitz and receive $100 off qualifying hotel stay.||Ends Nov. 23||Not valid on packages. Must book hotel by Nov. 23 and complete stay by June 30, 2015.
|Get $20 Gap eGift card back with Visa Checkout: Spend $50 at Gap Inc. website and use Visa Checkout. You'll receive an email containing a $20 Gap Inc. eGift card.||Ends Dec. 16||Gift cards, shipping, handling and taxes don't count toward $50 minimum.|
Where to find holiday promos
As with coupons, you’ll have to do some hunting for limited-time credit card promos. We found the promos featured in our chart in the following places:
- Card network and issuer social media pages
- Card issuer press releases
- Card issuer rewards portal site. At this time of year, you’ll often find a special “Holiday” section or banner that leads you to the seasonal specials.
It pays to watch your mail and email as well. Your issuer might send you a limited-time targeted offer.
Taking advantage of holiday promos
The cardinal rule of couponing also applies to these holiday promotions: If you were planning on buying something anyway, go ahead and take advantage. If you weren’t planning on buying it, don’t let an offer of extra points or a few bucks back lure you into unplanned spending. The couple hundred dollars extra dollars you spend will likely dwarf any kickback you’d get from the offer.
Any holiday promos that we missed? Tell us in the comments.
Updated Dec. 9, 2014