February 21, 2024

7 Rewards Cards to Love This Valentine’s Day

Image source: Getty Images From the pandemic that brought you Zoom Thanksgiving, welcome to quarantine…

7 Rewards Cards to Love This Valentine’s Day

Money, Valentine's gifts, and a red paper heart.

Image source: Getty Images

From the pandemic that brought you Zoom Thanksgiving, welcome to quarantine Valentine’s Day. Yes, if your go-to Valentine’s plan is surf-and-turf at the local steakhouse — well, you’re probably doing things a bit differently this year. But you don’t need a crowded restaurant to have a memorable Valentine’s Day.

And, even better, you don’t need to spend a fortune, either. You can pair a good rewards credit card with some issuer offers and retailer deals for a fantastic — and affordable — holiday. (Because everyone knows that budgets are aphrodisiacs!) Here are a few suggestions to help make your Valentine’s Day extra rewarding.

For a romantic night in

We might not be packing the restaurants this Valentine’s Day, but you can still have a special dinner at home. Instead of hitting the town, spend a romantic night snuggling on the sofa with your loved one with these rewards cards.

1. American Express® Gold Card

Whether you’re going to cook your special meal yourself or order it to go from a local restaurant, the American Express® Gold Card can help you save this Valentine’s Day. Earn 4x points per dollar on groceries (on up to $25,000 per year) and 4x at restaurants, including takeout and delivery. What’s more, cardholders qualify for $120 in dining credits for select brands, a perk that helps make up for the card’s $250 annual fee.

2. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the ideal pick for at-home entertainment. Cardholders can earn 6{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on up to $6,000 in grocery purchases each year. Plus, your evening’s viewing will be extra rewarding with 6{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on select streaming services, including popular favorites like Netflix and HBO. With such great rewards rates, you can easily outearn the $95 annual fee.

3. Chase Freedom Flex℠

The recently revamped Chase Freedom Flex℠ is an ideal combination of quarterly rotating rewards and year-round bonus categories, and this quarter’s pairing is great for a cozy evening in. For one thing, you’ll earn 3{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on dining purchases, so go ahead and grab some takeout. Plus, cardholders can earn 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back on cable, internet, and streaming services through March 2021 (on up to $1,500 in combined category purchases). So don’t forget to activate your quarterly bonus category for your 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} back. Not bad for a card with no annual fee.

For a staycation splurge

Sure, travel isn’t exactly at the top of anyone’s list right now, but you don’t need to go far for a night of room service and pillow mints. Get a change of scenery — and a dinner you don’t have to cook or clean up — by heading to a local hotel with your favorite travel rewards cards.

4. The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express was literally designed for travel, and it arguably has the most perks of any travel rewards card on the market today. Not only do cardholders earn 5x points per dollar on prepaid hotel stays, but you’ll also receive elite status with both Marriott and Hilton. Not staying with those brands? Check out the Fine Hotels & Resorts® program and Amex’s Hotel Collection, both of which have hugely valuable perks for Platinum cardholders. With smart use, you’ll get your money’s worth out of the card’s $550 annual fee.

5. Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Another card at the top of every travel rewards list, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a good pick for a romantic staycation. Earn 3x points per dollar on your hotel purchases, plus enjoy extra benefits when you book through Chase’s Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection. A Valentine’s Day splurge is also a good way to put your $300 annual travel credit to use as you enjoy room service and a relaxing evening just for you and your partner. That credit also goes a long way toward making that $550 annual fee worthwhile.

For a gift from the heart

Although Valentine’s Day has become synonymous with expensive jewelry, you don’t need to break the bank to show your love. Instead, find a gift from the heart, one that shows you know your special someone inside and out. Of course, if you do want to hit the jewelry store for something sparkly, don’t think you need a deferred-interest store card to pay off your purchase over time. The following cards have great rewards no matter the gift.

6.Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a perfect pick for getting a great gift, as it offers the same 1.5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back rate no matter where you find that perfect item. So you can hit the candy store, the jeweler’s, or the comic shop — all with 1.5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back. Plus, enjoy 15 months of 0{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} APR on your purchases, big or small. And it’s all with no annual fee.

7. U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is uniquely suited to gift-giving thanks to its choose-your-own 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} cash back categories. You can pick two 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} categories each quarter from a list that includes a range of shops, from department stores to sporting goods stores — and most retailers in between. Bonus rewards are capped at $2,000 in combined category purchases each quarter, but the card has no annual fee.

Don’t forget to check for issuer offers

No matter how you spend your pandemic-adapted Valentine’s Day, you can find a great rewards card to help you save. But don’t forget to look past the purchase rewards. Many issuers offer extra deals and discounts — like the $10 to $15 off online flower purchases available to some Amex cardholders — that can save you a bundle.

Our credit card expert uses the card we reveal below, and it could earn you $1,148 (seriously)

As long as you pay them off each month, credit cards are a no-brainer for savvy Americans. They protect against fraud far better than debit cards, help raise your credit score, and can put hundreds (or thousands!) of dollars in rewards back in your pocket each year.

But with so many cards out there, you need to choose wisely. This top-rated card offers the ability to pay 0{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5} interest on purchases into 2022, has some of the most generous cash back rewards we’ve ever seen (up to 5{d54a1665abf9e9c0a672e4d38f9dfbddcef0b06673b320158dd31c640423e2e5}!), and somehow still sports a $0 annual fee.

That’s why our expert – who has reviewed hundreds of cards – signed up for this one personally. Click here to get free access to our expert’s top pick.

The Motley Fool owns and recommends MasterCard and Visa, and recommends American Express.
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