November is synonymous with Thanksgiving and holiday shopping, so the Nerds’ credit card tips this month focuson finding you the best cards to use for groceries, gas and Black Friday. Let’s go!Cash-back cards for seasonal spending
The average cost of a typicalThanksgiving spread for 10 in 2015 was $50.11, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation. If your family and friends stay for the weekend, your food bill will run even higher. To help manage the budget, turn toa credit card that pays bonus cash back on groceries.
TheBlue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is our favoritecash-back card for shopping in supermarkets. Itpays 6% cash back on up to $6,000 a year in spendingat supermarkets (then 1%). The annual fee is $95, which you recoup if you spend more than $31 per week at the grocery store. Additionally, this card gives you 3% back at gas stations and select department stores, so it’s worth keeping in reach all through the holidays.
Don’t care for the annual fee? Check out the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, which has a fee of $0 but offers lower rewards rates of 3% at the supermarket and 2% at gas stations and department stores.
In addition, for the rest of 2016, American Express’ Blue Cashcards are offering new cardholders 10% cash back on up to $2,000 in Amazon purchases. Click card names for details.Terms apply.
Buying food for an army at Sam’s Club or Costco? TheChase Freedom®offers5% cash back in categories that change each quarter. Through the end of 2016, those categories include wholesale clubs. If you have supersize costs, you can save some money by shopping at the supersizestores. TheDiscover it® - Cashback Match™also has5% bonus categories, which through the end of the year include Sam’s Club, Amazon.com and department stores. With both of these cards, the 5% is good on up to $1,500 per quarter in category spending (after that, you get 1%), and you have to activate the bonus categories online.Gas up your Thanksgiving travel
Thanksgiving weekend means food, football and travel. In 2015, AAA predicted nearly 47 million Americans would travel 50 miles or more for the holiday. Even though the price of a gallon of gas is low, you’ll still want to get the most foryour travel dollars. Use a rewards credit card that earns a bonus for gas purchases. Here are some of the Nerds’ favorites:
For Costco members, theCostco Anywhere Visa®Card earns 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases up to $7,000 per year and 1% thereafter; 3% cash back at restaurants and travel; 2% at Costco and Costco.com; and 1% on all other purchases.
We’ve already mentioned the bonus gas rewards on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and theBlue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Another option isThe Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card from American Express. It gives you3 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent atsupermarkets up to $6,000 a year (then 1 point per dollar); 2 points per dollar at gas stations; and 1 point per dollar for all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.So what do you get for theannual fee? Bonuses: Earn 15,000 Membership Reward® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases within the first 3 months. Terms Apply. Plus, if you useyour card 30 or more times in a billing cycle, you’llearn 50% more points on those purchases.
Another option, especially if you already have a banking relationship with Bank of America®, is theBankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card. You get 3% cash back on gas and 2% atgrocery stores and wholesale clubs, on up to $2,500 in combined spending every quarter, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The annual fee is $0. When you deposit thecash back into your Bank of America® checking or savings account, you get a 10% bonus.Arm yourself for Black Friday shopping
NerdWallet’s Shopping team has Black Friday covered for you, from where to find the best deals to which cards to use when you’re shopping. We’re tracking Black Friday ads for all the major stores and online shopping sites, and the information will be updated regularly.
Before you hit the stores, check out the best free apps to help you plan your shopping. For example, Shopular keeps you up-to-date on sales in popular stores, and itshows coupons for nearby stores.
The Nerds also looked at dozens of credit cards to help you take advantage of bonus categories and cash-back offers for the types of shopping you’ll be doing for the holidays. See our best holiday shopping cards here.
The more you plan for holiday spending, the more you’ll save, so start planning today.
The article NerdWallet’s Best Credit Card Tips for November 2016 originally appeared on NerdWallet.