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Credit Cards

Best Credit Cards for Black Friday and Cyber Monday 2019

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday are fast approaching, with Christmas not far behind. Last holiday season, consumers took on an average of $1,230 in debt for holiday shopping — and 68% of those with holiday debt put it on credit cards.

That’s especially true for younger shoppers. A 2018 MagnifyMoney survey found that millennials with holiday debt spent the most on credit, with an average of $1,318. By contrast, the number was $1,272 for Gen Xers, and $1,186 for baby boomers.

If using credit cards will be your strategy to fund holiday expenses, then it would be best to use it wisely, either by using a credit card with a 0% interest purchase promotion or a cashback card to help put some money back in your pocket. We’ve compiled a list of cards that can help you save money on interest or cash back to help you this holiday season.

Best for Amazon.com

If you’re an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card is a card you’ll probably want to have in your wallet for Cyber Monday. Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

The information related to Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% to 23.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit

Good

And one of the best things about this card? There’s no limit to how much you can earn. Some other cards offering 5% cash back have maximums on how much you can earn 5% back on — and once you hit that maximum, your rate drops until it’s time for a new category. If you plan to do a lot of Cyber Monday shopping on Amazon, this card is one of your best options.

There’s also a very nice sign-up bonus — Get a $70 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval.

It should be noted that even though this card has a $0 annual fee, you must be a Prime member to have the card. Prime memberships cost $119 a year (or $59 a year for college students). There are monthly membership options available as well, but you’ll end up paying more over the course of a year than you would with the annual option.

If you already have Prime, getting this card is a great choice. You’re already paying for membership, and getting the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card is a great way to take advantage of that. If you don’t have Prime, and you’re considering getting it for this card, do the math first. You’ll need to spend $2,380 annually on purchases eligible for 5% cash back to recoup $119, or $1,180 to recoup the student rate of $59. After that, you’ll be earning net cash back.

Without Prime, you can apply for the Amazon Rewards Visa® Signature Card. It’s similar to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa® Signature Card, but has a lower rewards rate and sign-up bonus. Earn 3% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Get a $50 Amazon.com Gift Card instantly upon credit card approval. The annual fee is $0.

Amazon Rewards Visa® Signature Card

The information related to Amazon Rewards Visa® Signature Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Amazon Rewards Visa® Signature Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.99% to 23.99% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Best for Walmart, Target and department stores

Our first card on this list, the Discover it® Cash Back, fits well for these stores, as well as Amazon. With it, you can earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more, up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases — automatically. The 5% category for October through December 2019 is Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com. Between those three retail powerhouses, there’s not much you can’t buy.

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

There are two important caveats here. First, there’s a quarterly spending cap of $1,500 at the 5% cashback rate. So you can earn a maximum of $75 per quarter in the 5% category before your rate drops down to 1%. It will go back up to 5% when the next quarter’s category starts.

Second, while purchases made in-store at physical Target locations can be eligible, purchases made in-store at physical Walmart locations are not. So make sure to do your Walmart shopping online at Walmart.com and through the Walmart mobile app to get the higher cashback rate.

Now, if you know you’ll be doing most of your holiday shopping at Target, we’d be remiss not to mention the Target REDcard™ Credit Card. It offers a discount of 5% at Target & Target.com, applied automatically when you check out. It has an annual fee of $0. However, since this is a store card, you can only use it at Target and Target.com — so it might not be the best choice if you know you’ll be doing some of your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping elsewhere.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

The information related to Target REDcard™ Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Regular Purchase APR
25.15% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% at Target & Target.com

For those planning to shop at stores such as Macy’s and Kohl’s, we recommend the Chase Freedom®. While department stores often offer their own store cards, we prefer a card that can be used anywhere. The Chase Freedom® gives you more flexibility than a closed-loop store card that can only be used at the retailer while also offering competitive rewards on department store purchases.

Chase Freedom®

The information related to Chase Freedom® has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Chase Freedom®

Regular Purchase APR
16.74% - 25.49% Variable
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Credit required
good-credit

Excellent/Good

With this card, you can Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The 5% category for October through December 2019 is department stores and purchases made using PayPal or Chase Pay.

Plus, if you have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, you can transfer points earned with the Chase Freedom® to your Sapphire card and redeem them for travel via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for additional value than they’d otherwise be worth.

Read: 10 Best 5% Cash Back Credit Cards

Best for 0% intro APR on purchases

Shopping for everyone on your list can get expensive. That’s especially true if you’re purchasing big-ticket items, such as electronics. But if you get a card offering a 0% introductory APR on purchases and make a plan to pay off what you charge within the intro period, you can save by avoiding interest charges.

The HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card and the TruWest Visa Platinum Card both offer great introductory periods on purchases. The former offers 0% for 18 months. After that, it’s 12.74% - 20.74% Variable. The latter offers 0% introductory APR for 18 months. After, 7.45% - 21.45% Variable.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

The information related to HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

HSBC Gold Mastercard® credit card

Regular Purchase APR
12.74% - 20.74% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 18 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $10 or 4%, whichever is greater, will apply on each balance transfer and credit card check.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

TruWest Visa Platinum Card

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on TruWest Credit Union’s secure website

TruWest Visa Platinum Card

Regular Purchase APR
7.45% - 21.45% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% introductory APR for 18 months
Intro BT APR
0% introductory APR for 18 months
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of the amount of each balance transfer

If you get to the end of your intro period and are still facing a large balance, it might be worth considering a balance transfer card. You can transfer debt from your existing card to a new card offering a 0% intro period for balance transfers. Just note that balances can’t be transferred between cards from the same bank, and you will typically incur a balance transfer fee of 3% to 5% of the amount transferred — however this fee is often outweighed by the amount you could save on interest. (There are also a few cards available which don’t charge a fee for balance transfers.)

For long periods of 0% APR on balance transfers, as well as reasonable balance transfer fees, some cards worth considering are the Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, and the Discover it® Balance Transfer.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

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The information related to Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi Simplicity® Card - No Late Fees Ever

Intro Purchase APR
0% for 12 months on Purchases
Intro BT APR
0% for 21 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
16.24% - 26.24% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
5% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

Discover it® Balance Transfer

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on Discover Bank’s secure website

Rates & Fees

Read Full Review

Discover it® Balance Transfer

Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 6 months
Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Balance Transfer Fee
3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

Best for low, ongoing APR

We never recommend carrying a balance on your credit card. Your best option for covering big purchases, if possible, is to get a card offering a 0% intro APR deal on purchases and then pay off what you charge to the card before the intro period expires. However, if that’s not possible and you need to carry a balance for a longer period of time, a card with low ongoing APR can help you save some money on potentially expensive interest charges.

Keep in mind that you’re not guaranteed a specific APR when you apply for a card. You can see the card’s APR range, so you know what the minimum and maximum will be, but your specific rate will depend on a variety of factors. The better your credit score and credit history, the better chance you have of getting approved for an APR toward the lower end of the card’s range.

Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU

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on Aspire Federal Credit Union’s secure website

Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU

Regular Purchase APR
9.90% - 18.00% Variable
Intro Purchase APR
0% Intro APR on Purchases for 6 months
Intro BT APR
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months
Annual fee
$0
Balance Transfer Fee
$5 or 2% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Credit required
fair-credit

Average

The Aspire Platinum Mastercard® from Aspire FCU is a great choice if you need a long ongoing APR. This card offers an intro rate on purchases of 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 6 months. After that, the regular purchase APR is 9.90% - 18.00% Variable.

Because this card is issued by a credit union, you’ll need to join Aspire Federal Credit Union to apply for the card. If you don’t qualify through your employer or through a family member, you may be able to join through the Marine Stranding Mammal Center.

Best for big welcome offers

If you plan to spend a lot on Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals, this might be a good time to take advantage of a sign-up bonus. Sign-up bonuses, sometimes referred to as welcome offers, often require you spend a certain amount on purchases using your new card within a certain time frame from opening the account. If you do that, you can earn bonus cash back, rewards points or miles. Here are some of our top picks:

 Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

The information related to Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Regular Purchase APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual fee
$95
Rewards Rate
2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide
Credit required
good-credit

Good/Excellent

The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers excellent value to frequently travelers. One of its key features is access to the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal. Points redeemed for travel through this portal have additional value compared with other methods of redemption. If you don’t mind the annual fee of $95, this card is well worth considering. That’s especially true if you put your Black Friday and Cyber Monday shopping on this card and use it as a way to earn the sign-up bonus — Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

Discover it® Cash Back

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Rates & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back

Annual fee
$0
Intro Purchase APR
0% for 14 months
Regular APR
13.49% - 24.49% Variable
Rewards Rate
5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

With the Discover it® Cash Back, Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year for new cardmembers. There’s no signing up and no limit to how much Discover will match. If you put the bulk of your spending on this card within the first year you have the card, this sign-up bonus has the potential to be an excellent value. The annual fee for this card is $0.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

The information related to Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Regular Purchase APR
15.49%-27.49% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases.
Credit required
excellent-credit

Excellent/Good

The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card lets you earn 30,000 bonus points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months — a $300 value. Plus, the ongoing rewards are great too. Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in, 3X points on gas stations, rideshares and transit, and 3X points on travel including flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals. Earn 1X points on other purchases. The card’s annual fee is $0.

Best for flat-rate cash back on everything

Maybe you don’t want to restrict your shopping to specific stores or purchase categories. If that’s the case, a flat-rate cashback credit card can help you earn money back on every purchase you make. Here are two of our favorite cards for flat-rate cash back:

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is regularly among our top choices for cashback cards. With this card, you can Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay..

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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The information related to Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication. Terms Apply.

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Intro BT APR
0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers
Regular Purchase APR
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Balance Transfer Fee
3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent, Good

A worthy competitor is the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card. With this card, you can earn 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day It’s not quite as high a cashback rate as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, but you get all your cash back up front, rather than half as you pay off the charges on the card.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.5% Cash Back on every purchase, every day
Regular Purchase APR
15.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The bottom line

With the right credit card and careful budgeting, you can take advantage of great deals this holiday season while also avoiding taking on expensive debt. If you plan to pay off your balance in full, consider a cashback credit card to put some money back in your wallet. If you can’t pay off your balance all at once, consider applying for a card with a 0% introductory APR on purchases, and make a plan to pay off what you charge before the intro period ends.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Reviews

Disney Premier Visa Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.

The information related to Disney® Premier Visa® Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

If movies such as “The Lion King” and “Beauty and the Beast” are among your go-to options for family movie night, and your vacation of preference is visiting Disney World or Disneyland, then the Disney® Premier Visa® Card might be the right credit card for your wallet.

The card is issued by Chase Bank, and is available with a variety of popular characters from Disney movies and Disney-owned properties. Choices include Mickey Mouse (available solo in his sorcerer’s robe from “Fantasia” and alongside his famous pals, Donald Duck and Goofy), Yoda from “Star Wars” and Elsa from “Frozen.”

Its rewards rate is just OK: Earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchases But there are perks that might still make this card worth it for hardcore Disney fans.

If you’ve been approved for five personal credit cards with any issuer within the past 24 months, you are likely to be turned down if you apply for this or any other Chase card due to the Chase 5/24 rule. You’ll have to look at your credit history and tally up how many credit cards you’ve been approved for within the past 24 months.

For a full breakdown of what this card offers, read on. But if you’re looking for a cashback card that rewards you a higher cashback rate on all purchases, you may want to take a look at the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer instead.

Where the Disney® Premier Visa® Card stands out

Disney Perks

If Disney vacations and Disney store shopping are a regular part of your life, here’s how this card can help:

  • 10% off select merchandise purchases of $50 or more at select locations at Disney World and Disneyland.
  • 10% off select dining locations most days at Disney World and Disneyland.
  • 15% off the non-discounted price of select guided tours at Disney World and Disneyland.
  • Get exclusive photo opportunities at private cardmember locations at Disney World and Disneyland.
  • 10% off select purchases at Disney store and shopDisney.com.
  • Get access to exclusive cardmember events at Disney store.

Terms may apply.

Statement Credit

Earn a $200 Statement Credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening with a new Disney Premier Visa Card. You’re eligible for this if you don’t already have this card and haven’t received a new cardmember bonus for this card in the past 24 months.

Redeem for Air Travel

When you purchase airline tickets on any airline using your Disney® Premier Visa® Card, you can redeem your Disney Rewards Dollars for a statement credit to cover the tickets. Each Disney Rewards Dollar is worth $1. The minimum amount to redeem this way is $50 in rewards.

Additional Disney® Premier Visa® Card benefits

Disney Rewards Dollars

Earn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchases The rewards rate isn’t bad, and you can redeem Disney Rewards Dollars toward Disney and Star Wars purchases at most Disney locations — some examples being theme park tickets, resort stays, shopping and dining. Every Disney Rewards Dollar is worth $1 when redeeming toward eligible Disney goods and services.

The issue with these rewards is that before you can use them, in most cases you’ll have to put them on a separate Disney Rewards Redemption Card. You can order one of these as soon as you have earned 20 Disney Reward Dollars. And anytime you want to transfer rewards to the redemption card, you must have a minimum of 10 Disney Rewards Dollars to transfer.

Special Vacation Financing

Get 0% promotional APR for six months on select Disney vacation packages from the date of purchase. After the promo period, the APR increases to 17.74% Variable.

Travel and Purchase Perks

This card comes with:

  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty protection

Where the Disney® Premier Visa® Card falls short

Redemption Process

As we outlined above, you have to transfer Disney Rewards Dollars to a separate redemption card before you can use them for most of what they’re eligible for. (Redeeming toward air travel is a situation where you don’t have to put them on the redemption card first.)

In a world where other credit cards will let you redeem rewards as statement credits and bank account deposits, or apply them toward online shopping, having to take the extra step of putting your rewards on a separate card can be a deterrent to use the Disney® Premier Visa® Card.

Annual Fee

There’s an annual fee of $49.00* on this card. While some cards charge higher annual fees, it’s still disappointing — you can get cards with no annual fee that have rewards rates just as good as what the Disney® Premier Visa® Card offers. What you won’t get on other cards is the Disney-specific perks, so you have to decide if those are worth the fee.

Compare it with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer sets the standard for flat-rate cashback cards. If you’re not a hardcore Disney fan, chances are you’ll get more value out of the Citi card. You might prefer the Citi card even if you are a Disney fan, but prefer a simpler rewards experience.

 Disney® Premier Visa® CardCiti® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Annual Fee$49.00*$0
Regular Purchase APR17.74% Variable15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
RewardsEarn 2% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases at gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and most Disney locations. Earn 1% on all your other card purchasesEarn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.
Sign-Up BonusEarn a $200 Statement Credit after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening with a new Disney Premier Visa Card.No bonus
Foreign Transaction Fee3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars.3%

Both cards charge foreign transaction fees, so they’re best to leave at home if you’re traveling outside the United States.

The bottom line

The Disney® Premier Visa® Card could offer value to Disney fans who frequent Disney World or Disnleyland, who value the opportunity for photos with Disney and Star Wars characters, and who purchase enough Disney merchandise so that the card’s discounts add up.

There’s also a nice option to redeem rewards for travel in a straightforward fashion — purchase your airline tickets on this card, then redeem your rewards for a statement credit.

That said, using your rewards for anything else requires the extra step of first transferring them to a redemption card. We’re not a fan of that extra step slowing down the redemption process.

Read: Best Rewards Credit Cards

In addition, this card charges a $49.00* annual fee. If you don’t want to pay an annual fee, a card such as the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is probably a better choice. And if you are willing to pay an annual fee, you might consider paying a little more each year for a card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, which charges $95 a year but offers significant value for the frequent traveler.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which MagnifyMoney receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). MagnifyMoney does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here

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Credit Cards

Marriott Bonvoy Bold Credit Card Review

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

If you want to join the ranks of Marriott Bonvoy cardholders — where you can redeem rewards points for a future Marriott hotel stay — but aren’t interested in paying an annual fee, check out the new Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card.

As of July 2019, four Marriott Bonvoy cards are open for applications, two issued by Chase and two from American Express. The Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card is the only one of those cards that doesn’t charge an annual fee, and its APR is 17.74% - 24.74% Variable.

Read: What are miles and points worth?

Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card benefits

Earn 3X points for every $1 spent at 7,000+ participating Marriott Bonvoy hotels and 2X points on other travel purchases (from airfare to taxis and trains).

15 elite night credits per calendar year, qualifying you for Silver Elite status. Perks that come with Silver Elite status include priority late checkout and earning 10% bonus points on stays.

Earn 30,000 Bonus Points after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Marriott hotel categories range from 1 (7,500 points) through 8 (85,000 points) — so if you’re looking at a Category 2 hotel, 50,000 points can get you four free nights, but if you’re looking at a Category 6 hotel, that’ll buy you only one night. Take a look at the “how many points you need for a hotel room” section of this article for the full list.

It’s important to note that you won’t be eligible for the signup bonus if you meet any of the following criteria as outlined by Chase (click on the “offer details” link).

What we like about the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card

No annual fee. If you don’t travel enough to justify carrying a card with an annual fee, but you want to start earning hotel rewards points to redeem for free room nights, the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card will give you a chance to test the waters.

No foreign transaction fee. If you plan to travel abroad, you probably want a credit card that charges a $0 foreign transaction fee.

Travel and purchase perks, including:

  • Baggage delay insurance
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Purchase protection
  • Visa Concierge

What we don’t like about the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card

Half the rewards rate. This card basically earns half the points that you’d get using the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card, which allows cardholders to earn 6x points for every $1 spent at over 7,000 participating marriott bonvoy hotels and 2x points everywhere else.  However, the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card also charges a $95 annual fee.

No free night. With the annual-fee Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card, you get a credit for a free one-night hotel stay each year, valid for a stay at a property with a redemption value of 35,000 points or less; you don’t get that with the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card.

The information related to the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card has been collected by MagnifyMoney and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

How many points do you need to book a hotel room?

If you’re hoping to cover the cost of a hotel room entirely with points, you should know that Marriott breaks its participating hotels into eight categories. Here’s how many points you need in order to cover one night at a room in each category:

  • Category 1: 7,500 points
  • Category 2: 12,500 points
  • Category 3: 17,500 points
  • Category 4: 25,000 points
  • Category 5: 35,000 points
  • Category 6: 50,000 points
  • Category 7: 60,000 points
  • Category 8: 85,000 points

Alternatives to the Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card

If you want to stick with a hotel card, but Marriott’s not your preferred chain, the Hilton Honors American Express Card is a competitive choice with a $0 annual fee. Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.

Hilton Honors American Express Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on American Express’s secure website

Terms Apply | Rates & Fees

Hilton Honors American Express Card

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
Earn 7X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for each dollar of eligible purchases charged directly with a hotel or resort within the Hilton portfolio, 5X Hilton Honors Bonus Points at U.S. restaurants, U.S. supermarkets, and U.S. gas stations AND 3X Hilton Honors Bonus Points for all other eligible purchases on your Card.
Regular Purchase APR
17.24%-26.24% Variable
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The signup bonus is 75,000 Hilton Honors Bonus Points with the Hilton Honors American Express Card after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months of Card Membership. You also get complimentary Hilton Honors Silver status with this card — and if you spend $20,000 on eligible purchases in a calendar year, you get the chance to upgrade to Gold through the next calendar year. As for foreign transaction fees, there are None.

However, if a general purpose travel card with no annual fee is more to your liking, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card is worth considering. It offers an unlimited 1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day and, through January 2020, 10X miles per $1 spent when you book a hotel through hotels.com. There’s also a One-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within 3 months of account opening, equal to $200 in travel for this card, plus no foreign transaction fee.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW Secured

on Capital One’s website

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Annual fee
$0
Rewards Rate
1.25 Miles per dollar on every purchase, every day
Regular Purchase APR
13.74% - 23.74% (Variable)
Credit required
good-credit
Excellent/Good

The bottom line

The Marriott Bonvoy BoldTM credit card is a decent option if you want to test out a hotel rewards card without committing to an annual fee. It offers a chance for folks who wouldn’t otherwise apply for a Marriott Bonvoy card to see if the program is worth their time.

However, if you’re not set on a Marriott Bonvoy card, the Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card and the Hilton Honors American Express Card are two very competitive no-fee cards worth considering. If you’re committed to the Marriott rewards program, for $95 a year, the Marriott Bonvoy BoundlessTM Credit Card offers more robust earnings than its no-fee sibling.

Still undecided? Take a look at our list of best travel credit cards and see what additional options are available.

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Glen Luke Flanagan
Glen Luke Flanagan |

Glen Luke Flanagan is a writer at MagnifyMoney. You can email Glen Luke here