Online shopping is quick, convenient, and often allows you to find great deals or unusual products. With so many benefits, it's no wonder that buying on the web has become so popular.
But if you're making the bulk of your purchases online, it makes sense to have a credit card that rewards this type of spending. Luckily, there are tons of cards that give you extra points, cash back, or miles for online purchases. Plus, many of them allow you to redeem those rewards with online merchants as well. You just need to know which card to pick.
The best credit card for online shopping will depend on your exact shopping habits and how you plan to use your rewards. Check out this guide for the top cards to consider.
How to choose the best card for online shopping
If you know that you prefer to shop online rather than at brick-and-mortar stores, there are a few key features you should look for when selecting a credit card. Some of these include:
- The ability to earn bonuses for spending on the internet: While many cards offer extra rewards, cash back, or points for buying at local grocery stores, gas stations, or restaurants, these cards aren't ideal if most of your money goes to online stores. Be sure to look for a card that offers bonuses for the spending you actually do online.
- Flexible rewards redemption: Some credit card rewards points are most valuable when redeemed for travel or hotel stays. These wouldn't be ideal if you’re more of a homebody than a jet-setter. Look for a card with rewards you can redeem in a way that's best for you — such as points you can use to shop at your favorite online stores.
- Perks that benefit online shoppers: Some credit cards make it possible for you to score free shipping from hundreds of online stores. For example, the Citi World Elite cards offer a free ShopRunner membership to cardmembers that gets you free shipping and free returns at over 100 stores. Others may provide extended warranties or assistance with returns that could be beneficial if you tend to deal with online stores that don’t provide the same level of customer support available from local merchants.
6 best personal cards for online shopping
|Card||Annual fee||Why it’s great for online shopping|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0||Earn up to 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods|
|Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0||Earn up to 3% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods|
|Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card||$0||Choose online shopping as a bonus category to get up to 3% cash back on online purchases|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||$0||Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases
|Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer||$0||Get up to 2% cash back on every purchase|
|Discover it® Cash Back||$0||Earn up to 5% cash back in quarterly categories, including Amazon.com and other major online retailers|
Amazon credit cards
Amazon actually offers two different credit cards that are ideal for online shoppers: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card and the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card. Both cards offer generous cash back on Amazon purchases, but there are some slight differences between them:
- The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature provides points that can be redeemed for Amazon purchases, statement credits, or merchandise. If you have an eligible Prime membership, you'll earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases.
- The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature offers 3% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases. You can only redeem your rewards at Amazon, but you don't need a Prime membership to use this card.
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature offers more generous cash back and greater flexibility in rewards redemption, which many may find preferable — as long as you don't mind paying for an annual Prime membership.
Because this card is really best for people who shop at Amazon often, chances are good that the Prime membership will be worth the fee anyway, since it comes with perks like free two-day shipping and access to Prime Video. Both cards have a $0 annual fee, which makes paying for Prime membership more reasonable.
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card comes with a $0 annual fee and the opportunity to get up to 3% cash back in the category of your choosing. Online shopping is one of those categories, so you can get generous cash back whenever you shop on the web.
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card also provides 2% back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases, so it’s somewhat comparable to Amazon's cards, which offer additional bonuses at drugstores.
There’s a caveat, though: The bonus cash back you can earn online or at grocery stores is only available on the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter. If you commonly spend more than that, this card may not be optimal for your situation.
You can, however, earn between 25% and 75% bonus cash back if you maintain a certain minimum balance across Bank of America and Merrill Lynch accounts. The 25% bonus becomes available once your account balances hit $20,000, so those who already invest with BoA or Merrill may find this card provides an especially good value.
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
The Chase Freedom Unlimited allows you to earn a generous 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited also offers a 0% intro APR (annual percentage rate) for 15 months on purchases (then 17.24% to 25.99% (variable)). So if you plan to make some big purchases online and want to benefit from no-interest financing, this card is likely the ideal choice for you. After the promotional rates expire, however, this card may not be as good as others that may earn a higher cashback rate for shopping on the web.
Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card is another great contender for online shopping because of the double cash back you get on every purchase. You can up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay for those purchases.
There aren't any caps on the cash back you can score with this Citi card, and you aren't restricted to getting bonus cash back at certain retailers. And like the other cards mentioned above, this card has a $0 annual fee.
Citi also features its Identity Theft Solutions program, which helps you get back on track if your personal information is compromised. Shopping online often comes with an inherent risk of data breaches, so this helps make this card especially attractive to those who buy on the web often.
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it Cash Back is different from other cards on the list because it provides ample bonus cash back for certain online purchases — but only at specific times of the year. With the Discover it Cash Back, cardholders get up to 5% cash back in various categories each quarter. As of September 2019, upcoming bonus categories include purchases at Amazon.com, Target, and Walmart.com.
While you have to activate the bonus cash back each quarter, you can get one of the best rewards rates for online shopping with this card. Even better, you can automatically get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of any cash back you've earned at the end of your first year
Another big benefit to this card is that you can use your cash back directly at Amazon.com, which makes it easy for you to redeem your points at one of the most popular online merchants.
3 best business cards for online shopping
It's not just individuals who shop online often — businesses do as well. Check out some of the best rewards credit cards to use if your business frequently makes web purchases.
|Card||Annual fee||Why it’s great for online shopping|
|The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express||$0 (Terms apply)||Earn 2X Membership Rewards points on eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that|
|Capital One Spark Cash Plus||$150||Earn up to 5% cash back on online purchases|
|Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card||$0||Earn 1.5% cash back on online purchases|
The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express
The American Express Blue Business Plus allows you to earn 2X Membership Rewards points on eligible business purchases up to $50,000 each year, and 1X points on eligible purchases after that. This means if you tend to shop online, you can score double points for all your web-based purchases.
The card also comes with a $0 annual fee, plus a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, then 16.24% to 24.24% (variable). That means you can buy online and pay off what you purchased over time without worrying about interest charges right away.
Employee cards are free as well. So you can sign up your staff members for their own cards so they can shop online and rack up rewards in your account even faster.
Capital One Spark Cash Plus
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus has an annual fee of $150, but it provides your company with plenty of perks for this low annual cost.
One of those benefits entails 2% cash back on every purchase, every day; plus 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel — including purchases made online. The cash back can be redeemed at any time, too, so you can put the money right back into your company. Plus, you can get a earn up to $1,000 cash bonus — $500 after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months, plus $500 after spending $50,000 in the first 6 months.
Free employee cards are another perk of the Spark Cash Plus, so you can get your staff shopping online or at brick-and-mortar stores without incurring additional costs. You also have the flexibility to pick your own payment due date, which means you can decide when to pay based on your company's cash flow.
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card
The Ink Business Unlimited comes with a $0 annual fee. Plus, you can take advantage of a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months (then 15.49% to 21.49% (variable)) from opening your account.
The chance to get 1.5% cash back on all spending makes this card especially attractive if your company spends a lot of money online. And you benefit from the flexibility of redeeming your points for travel, cash back, or merchandise through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
This Chase card also comes with purchase protection — which covers new purchases for 120 days and pays up to $10,000 for damage or theft — as well as extended warranty protection, which extends eligible manufacturer warranties by one year. When dealing with online merchants, these added shopping protections can be a big benefit.
These cards top our list for lots of reasons, including:
- The potential to earn the maximum possible cash back for online shopping: Earning up to 5% cash back for purchases made on the web allows you to rack up rewards fast when you primarily buy things at dot-com stores instead of brick-and-mortar retail locales.
- No (or low) annual fees: If you plan to collect major rewards with your online spending, don’t throw away your earnings by paying a hefty annual fee. These cards are either free or inexpensive to own.
- Other features attractive to online consumers: Benefits such as identity theft support can help you to feel safer when shopping online.
- Flexible rewards redemption methods: If you like to shop online, it likely makes sense to choose a card that allows you to redeem your rewards with web merchants or as cash.
Finding the best card for online shopping is worth the effort
If you're spending a lot of money on the internet, it's worth taking the time to research which cards will offer the best rewards for your online shopping. These cards offer an easy way to start making your online spending work for you.