The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Wednesday, April 24, 2024

7 Best Holiday Loans (March 2024)

Holiday Loans
Eric Bank

Written by: Eric Bank

Eric Bank
Eric Bank

Eric Bank is an M.B.A. who has covered financial and business topics since 1985, appearing regularly on Credible, eHow, WiseBread, The Nest, Zacks, Chron, BadCredit.org and dozens of other outlets. Eric specializes in taking complex subject matters and explaining them in simple terms for consumer audiences, particularly in the world of personal finance. Eric holds a Master's in Business Administration from New York University and a Master's in Finance from DePaul University.

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Edited by: Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro
Lillian Guevara-Castro

Lillian Guevara-Castro brings more than 30 years of editing and journalism experience to the CardRates team. She has written and edited for major news organizations, including The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the New York Times, and she previously served as an adjunct journalism instructor at the University of Florida. Today, Lillian edits all CardRates content for clarity, accuracy, and reader engagement.

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Reviewed by: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Advertiser Disclosure

That twinkle in the store manager’s eye can mean only one thing: The holiday shopping season is upon us. Naturally, we consumers must do our part, but money might be a little tight right now. But that’s OK, thanks to the easy availability of Christmas loans and perk-laden credit cards

We review the best options for credit users during the festive season and answer a few questions to help you decide whether holiday loans work for you. 

Personal Loans For the Holidays

Personal loans are versatile, and thanks to these lending networks, easy to get approved for whatever your credit rating. These websites can prequalify you for a loan and connect you with one or more lenders. 

Their service is fast, free, and won’t hurt your credit. A lending network is one of the most efficient ways to prepare for the extra expenses that crop up during the holidays.

  • Short-term loans up to $5,000
  • Online marketplace of lenders
  • Funds available in as few as 24 hours
  • Simple online form takes less than 5 minutes
  • Trusted by more than 2 million customers
  • Not available in NY or CT
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.8

It’s hard to beat MoneyMutual for fast and easy Christmas cash loans. It continues to rank as one of our top-rated lending networks for arranging loans. To get one, simply fill out the online loan request form — it takes only minutes. Money Mutual will instantly circulate your request throughout its lending network for a quick follow-up from one or more personal loan providers.

  • Loans from $500 to $10,000
  • All credit types accepted
  • Receive a loan decision in minutes
  • Get funds directly to your bank account
  • Use the loan for any purpose
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7

CashUSA.com is another highly-rated lender-matching service that can help you with your holiday expenses. In four short steps, CashUSA can securely find the money you need to make the holidays merry and bright. Requirements include earning at least $1,000 monthly after taxes, owning a checking account in your name, and having a valid email address and phone number.

  • Loan amounts range from $500 to $10,000
  • Compare quotes from a network of lenders
  • Flexible credit requirements
  • Easy online application & 5-minute approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.6

If your credit is bad, BadCreditLoans.com is an online loan-finding service that may be able to help you get the money you need. It provides many educational resources and can connect you to a direct lender securely and quickly. The lender will then offer you a loan interest rate, repayment schedule, and other terms for an unsecured personal loan.

  • Loan amounts range from $1,000 to $35,000
  • All credit types welcome to apply
  • Lending partners in all 50 states
  • Loans can be used for any purpose
  • Fast online approval
  • Funding in as few as 24 hours
Overall Rating
★★★★
4.4

PersonalLoans.com offers a streamlined preapproval process and a sizable maximum loan amount. It will hook you up with a direct lender that can quickly close the deal and deposit money into your bank or credit union account the next business day, subject to credit approval. The company works with an extensive lender network, helping you obtain the best terms for your holiday loan.

  • Personal loans from $500 to $35,000
  • All credit types are considered and welcome
  • Simple, no credit impact form
  • Helping consumers since 2001
  • 4.7 out of 5 Trustpilot rating with 2,000+ reviews!
Overall Rating
★★★★★
4.7

24/7 Lending Group is available anytime you need a fast personal loan during this holiday season. You may receive multiple offers within minutes by filling out a short loan request form. Trustpilot gives this loan-finding service an Excellent rating. The company works exclusively with lenders that comply with the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act, a debt protection law. 

A Credit Card Can Offer Rewards and 0% Financing on Holiday Purchases

Part of the holiday shopping fun is scoring great deals and rewards on your purchases. These five credit cards deliver all that and more. It’s a great time to add one to your wallet.

6. Chase Slate Edge℠

This card is currently not available.

0% Intro APR Rating

★★★★★

N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

The Chase Slate Edge℠ lets you finance purchases without accruing interest fees until after next Christmas. While you get a long 0% financing period with this Visa credit card, it doesn’t offer purchase rewards like our next few cards do.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® Review

at Chase’ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% – 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
20.49% – 29.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

New cardholders get a full range of perks and additional services from the Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card. Beyond the 0% intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers, this card is our highest-rated cash back card. This award-winning Visa credit card is the ideal choice for those who need to spend big bucks on holiday travel, thanks to its high rewards rate on travel purchased through Chase Travel and no annual fee. 

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Enjoy up to 6 months of complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

Relentless catchy commercials keep Capital One as one of the most recognizable credit card issuers in the United States this holiday season. One of its popular products is the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers an introductory 0% APR, a signup bonus, cash back rewards, and additional services. Once the promotional period ends, you’ll want to avoid the card’s interest charges by paying your entire monthly balance.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card’ssecure website

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.6

OVERALL RATING

  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 15 months
0% Intro APR for 15 months
17.24% – 28.24% Variable APR
$0
Excellent/Good

New Discover it® Cash Back cardholders receive an extended period of interest-free financing. Even better, you automatically get Discover’s Cashback Match that doubles the amount of cash back earned during your first year of card ownership. To help with extra holiday season expenses, the Discover it® Cash Back‘s Q4 bonus categories generally align with the big-box retailers many holiday shoppers patronize.

0% INTRO APR RATING

★★★★★

4.7

OVERALL RATING

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
19.99% – 29.99% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is an excellent choice for restaurant diners — but you don’t have to dine out to enjoy the card’s benefits. This card offers a signup bonus, a 0% introductory APR, and a generous rate of return on grocery store purchases — perfect for any holiday host.

What Is a Holiday Loan and How Does It Work?

A holiday loan provides shopping and travel funds for the festive season. They are typically unsecured personal installment loans that can be used for any purpose. 

The loan agreement will specify the interest rate, total loan amount, monthly payment, and loan term (how long you’ll be paying). After you e-sign the contract online, you can expect the loan proceeds to be deposited into your bank account by the next business day.

How Much Does a Holiday Loan Cost?

A personal loan shouldn’t charge more than a 36% annual percentage rate. Your loan rates could be a third of that if you have good credit.

Average Personal Loan APR by Credit Score

Your interest charges are part of each monthly payment; over time, less of your money goes to paying interest and more toward the principal. Personal loans charge a fixed rate, whereas credit cards generally charge variable interest rates.

If you have fair or bad credit, you can raise your credit score by repaying your holiday loan on time which will help you save money on loan rates in the future. By next Christmas season, you may be eligible for lower borrowing costs and easier access to credit. If your score is already good, timely payments will preserve your credit rating.

Is a Holiday Loan a Good Idea?

It depends on whether you can afford to repay the loan. If you already owe a significant amount, consider getting a loan that consolidates debt and includes enough left over for your holiday shopping. Also, the loan should charge less than the average interest expense on the consolidated debts for this to work well. 

Personal loans are a good choice, especially compared to the more expensive options such as title, pawnshop, and payday loans. If necessary, ask for a longer term to reduce your monthly payments. This will increase your overall cost but may help you avoid busting your budget.

If you own a home, you may want to consider a home equity loan or home equity line of credit. You usually can’t beat the interest rate on a home equity loan, but a home equity line of credit may be more convenient. 

We don’t recommend home equity loans just for holiday purchases — it’s not worth leveraging your home for gifts. But we do recommend it if you’re going to consolidate debt at a lower rate and just so happen to have some left to enjoy the holidays.

Another consideration if you have bad credit is a payday alternative loan from a credit union that belongs to the National Credit Union Administration. You can get a loan of up to $2,000 with a low interest rate and up to 12 months to repay.

Weigh the Costs and Benefits of Christmas Loans

The average American family spends about $1,000 during the holidays. It’s up to you to decide whether to take out a loan to help cover those costs. If you don’t have that kind of cash lying around, a holiday loan can make sense, particularly if you have good credit and can score a low interest rate. 

If you don’t have good credit, see if you can qualify for a Payday Alternative loan from a credit union first. You’ll get the best terms and rates available for someone with poor credit, and a PAL can provide a nice holiday for your loved ones without the burden of high-interest debt.

Advertiser Disclosure

CardRates.com is a free online resource that offers valuable content and comparison services to users. To keep this resource 100% free, we receive compensation for referrals for many of the offers listed on the site. Along with key review factors, this compensation may impact how and where products appear across CardRates.com (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CardRates.com does not include the entire universe of available offers. Editorial opinions expressed on the site are strictly our own and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by advertisers.