/The best credit cards for online shopping, no matter what you buy

The best credit cards for online shopping, no matter what you buy


This article is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. It has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the issuers listed. Some of the offers you see on the page are from our partners like Citi and American Express, but our coverage is always independent. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page.

Unlike groceries, dining, and travel, online shopping isn’t a common bonus category on rewards credit cards. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn more than 1 point or mile per dollar you spend, or more than 1% cash back, when you buy things online. By picking the right card — and by taking advantage of online shopping portals and other deals like Amex Offers — you can actually rake in the rewards on these purchases. 

We’re focused here on the rewards and perks that come with each card. These cards won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. When using a credit card, it’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford to pay.

Regular APR

13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)

2% cash back on all purchases

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
    • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
    • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
    • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
    • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
    Pros
    • No annual fee
    • Simple earning structure
    Cons
    • Some cards earn higher rates of cash back on rotating categories


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    The Citi Double Cash earns 2% cash back on everything you buy: 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% back when you pay your bill. Since there are no bonus categories to keep track of, that means you can earn 2% back on your online purchases, no matter where you’re shopping. The card has no annual fee, either.

    Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases:

    Regular APR

    14.24% to 22.24%

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with an eligible Prime membership
    • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores
    • 1% back on all other purchases
    • No annual credit card fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    Pros
    • 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods is hard to beat
    • Earns 2% cash back on other popular categories (restaurants, gas stations, drugstores)
    • No annual fee (though you have to be an Amazon Prime member)
    Cons
    • Other cards offer higher cash-back rates on non-Amazon purchases


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    If you want a card that offers bonus rewards on Amazon purchases, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card is a solid choice, with 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods. This could be a great option if you’re looking to stock up on supplies and order grocery delivery. There’s no annual fee, but you need to be an Amazon Prime member.

    Regular APR

    15.24% (Variable)

  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
    • 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
    • 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
    • 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
    • 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • No annual fee with your paid Costco membership and enjoy no foreign transaction fees on purchases
    • Receive an annual credit card reward certificate, which is redeemable for cash or merchandise at U.S. Costco warehouses, including Puerto Rico
    • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.24%. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.
    Pros
    • Generous cash-back categories, especially for gas purchases
    • No foreign transaction fee
    Cons
    • You can only receive rewards once per year
    • You need to visit a Costco location to redeem rewards for cash back instead of merchandise


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    For Costco members who shop with the big-box retailer online, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could be another smart choice. It earns 2% cash back on all Costco.com and Costco purchases, in addition to 4% cash back on the first $7,000 spent on eligible gas purchases each year (then 1%), 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, and 1% back on everything else. The card has no annual fee, but you need a paid Costco membership.

    The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is another no-annual-fee card, and it’s the rare one that includes online shopping as a bonus category. You can earn 3% cash back on a category of your choice (options include online shopping portals as well as gas, dining, travel, drugstores, and home improvement/furnishings) and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1% back).

    If you’re looking to maximize your online shopping purchases with the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card, your best bet would be to only use it for online shopping and put grocery store and wholesale club purchases on another card.

    Regular APR

    13.24%–19.24% variable APR

    Credit Score

    Good to Excellent

    Featured Reward

    $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
    • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
    • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
    • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
    • Employee cards at no additional cost
    • No Annual Fee
    Pros
    • Broad 5% and 2% cash-back categories (you can earn bonus cash back at office supply stores and at gas stations and restaurants)
    • Intro APR offer for purchases
    • No annual fee
    • You can pair this card with a card that earns Ultimate Rewards to redeem your cash back for travel
    Cons
    • Annual cap on bonus categories


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    If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, the Ink Business Cash card is a great option for earning cash back on office supplies. You’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each year (then 1% back).

    You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year (then 1% back). This card has no annual fee, and if you also have a Chase Ultimate Rewards travel card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can move over cash-back rewards from the Ink Business Cash card and unlock more redemption options.

    Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

    Featured Reward

    75,000 points after you spend at least $5,000 in your first 6 months of account opening


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  • Details
  • Pros & Cons

    • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
    • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
    • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
    • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
    • 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
    • Enjoy complimentary access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
    • Receive complimentary benefits through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties. Learn More.
    • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
    • $550 annual fee.
    • Terms Apply.
    Pros
    • Long list of travel benefits, including airport lounge access and complimentary elite status with Hilton and Marriott
    • Annual statement credits with Saks and Uber
    Cons
    • Bonus categories leave something to be desired
    • One of the highest annual fees among premium travel cards


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    Especially if you’re making a large purchase, you’ll want to pay attention to what kind of purchase protection your credit card offers. The Amex Platinum card has one of the most generous policies, offering up to $10,000 in coverage per occurrence and up to $50,000 in coverage per year for stolen or damaged items.

    You need to submit a claim within 120 days (or 90 days for New York residents) to receive reimbursement through this benefit. The card only earns 1 point per dollar on online purchases — and it has a $550 annual fee (See Rates) thanks to its long list of shopping and travel benefits — but you may be able to stack it with an Amex Offer to each additional cash back or rewards.

    Whenever you shop online, it’s worth taking a few extra seconds to go through a shopping portal, since you can earn a ton of bonus rewards or cash back by clicking through one of these sites.

    Airlines and credit card issuers, along with a handful of hotel brands, operate shopping portals that award you bonus loyalty points in their respective programs when you click through from the portal to a retailer’s website. For example, if you’re a United flyer, you can click through the airline’s MileagePlus Shopping site to earn bonus miles with Bed Bath & Beyond, Sephora, Staples, and dozens of other online shops.

    Online shopping portal bonuses change all the time, and not every portal partners with the same retailers. To see your best options for earning rewards, search for the retailer on Cashback Monitor or Evreward. Both of these sites show you all your different shopping portal options for earning points, miles, or cash back.

    Once you’ve decided which shopping portal you want to use, make sure you’re logged into your associated loyalty program account, then find the retailer in the portal and click through. This is an easy way to maximize credit card purchases that would otherwise only earn you 1 point or 1% cash back.

    Don’t forget about Amex Offers and cash-back deals through Chase 

    If you have an American Express card or a Chase card, you could be able to save extra money on your online purchases through Amex Offers and Chase Offers, respectively.

    Amex Offers are limited-time deals available to cardholders, letting you earn cash back or bonus Membership Rewards points when you make purchases with retailers such as Best Buy, Home Depot, and Instacart. The offers are targeted, meaning not every cardholder will see the same deals in their account, and you need to make your purchase with the Amex card tied to a given deal in order to be eligible for cash back or bonus points.

    Chase Offers work similarly; if you have a Chase card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® or the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, log into your account and see what offers are available. Click on any offers you want to use to add them to your account, then use the corresponding Chase card to complete your purchase. Currently, Chase Offers are limited to cash back — for instance, 10% back at Lowe’s or Rite Aid. 

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