Standing in line at the store to make a purchase is old news.
It’s frustrating, time-consuming, and usually more expensive.
That’s probably why 40%of people now shop online several times per month, and 20% of people buy online multiple times per week.
With more and more people opting to save time and money by making everyday purchases online, it’s only smart to look for the credit card that will give you the best rewards for doing so. In this article, I’ll review the best credit cards for online shopping, based on different situations. From there, you can decide which one suits you best and quickly learn more or apply.
Overview: Best Credit Cards For Online Shopping
|Card Name||Best For|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Best overall|
|Discover it® Cash Back||Everyday Purchases Rewards
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||Best for online travel purchases
|Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card||Best sign-up bonus
|Discover it® Student Cash Back||Best for students|
What We Like:
Intro Offer: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year) – worth up to $300 cash back!
Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; then a variable APR of 17.24% – 25.99%.
- 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 Ultimate Rewards®, 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 Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 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 17.24% - 25.99%.
- No annual fee – You won’t have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
- Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
With Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on every dollar you spend.
Other long-term cash back offerings include 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases which will help you continue to save significantly.
You can increase your cash back by signing up for either the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card. If you have one of those cards, the points you’ve earned with your Chase Freedom Unlimited® can transfer to be used on purchasing travel in the Chase Travel Center, where they’re worth more.
As if that weren’t incentive enough, the bonuses continue: you’ll earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 in the first year- worth up to $300 cash back), PLUS there’s no annual fee.
Finally, you’ll get 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After that, you’ll pay an APR of 17.24% - 25.99% Variable, depending on your credit score.
Best online grocery shopping
Discover it® Cash Back
The Discover it® Cash Back is one of my top choices for shopping online. Let me first start by talking about Discover’s customer service. You’ve probably seen me talk about this before—but their customer service lives up to what you see in the commercials. No, they may not sit in an all-white office and crack jokes with you, but they’ve got your back. It’s a critical part of Discover’s business model.
This becomes important when you shop online because chances are you’ll run into some challenges with an online merchant, an incorrect charge, or a shipping delay. It just happens. So when those things do occur, it’s best to have a card issuer with excellent service at your back.
You’ll also get a baseline of 1% cash back on all purchases. This gets bumped up to 5% in specific categories every quarter ($1,500 max spend) when you activate. One of those categories happens to be Amazon.com in 2020.
Jan-March 2020 Apr-June 2020 Jul-Sep 2020 Oct-Dec 2020
Grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS Gas stations, Uber, Lyft, and wholesale clubs Restaurants and PayPal Amazon.com, Walmart.com, and Target.com
To top this off, you’ll get an end of year match from Discover as a new cardmember—so whatever cash back you earn in your first year, Discover will match it for you.
Best for online travel purchases
What We Like:
Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
2X miles earned for $1 spent on all purchases
Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
- Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
- Enjoy two complimentary visits per year to Capital One Lounges or to 100+ Plaza Premium Lounges through our Partner Lounge Network
- Earn 5X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of trip options
- Use your miles to get reimbursed for any travel purchase—or redeem by booking a trip through Capital One Travel
- Transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card is one of our favorites for online travel purchases. If you book hotels and flights online often, you’ll love this card. The card does come with an annual fee of $95. If you use the card enough, you’ll be able to earn more rewards than the annual fee costs, so it’ll be worth it. In fact, I use this card for all of my everyday purchases, and I’ve never once earned less than it cost me to have the card.
For all purchases, you’ll get 2x miles per dollar spent, which ends up working out to two percent back if you use the card for travel only (it’s less when you exchange it for a statement credit, for instance). So between flights and hotels, you can rack up some serious points quickly.
You’ll also earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Your miles don’t expire, there are no blackout dates, and you won’t even experience foreign transaction fees. A great feature that Capital One has is the ability to receive up to a $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® – which saves you a lot of time when traveling.
Best for sign-up bonus
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card
Disclaimer – The information about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa card has been collected independently by MoneyUnder30.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is an excellent choice for shopping online, especially if you want a nice cash bonus to get you started. Currently, you can earn $150 in cash rewards after you spend $500 over the first three months of having the card.
Also, you’ll enjoy a 0% for 15 months interest rate on all purchases for having the card. This way, you can make a large online purchase, collect your $150 bonus cash, and still have 15 months to pay it off.
On top of the sign-up bonuses, you’ll earn a flat 1.5% on all purchases made with the credit card – regardless of where or when you make them. This provides an excellent alternative for those who don’t want to deal with the rotating 5% categories that a Discover it® Cash Back offers. Outside of shopping online, you’ll earn 1.8% back on qualified digital wallet purchases (i.e., Apple Pay® or Google PayTM) during the first 12 months of opening the card.
One final feature for online shoppers is the Wells Fargo Earn More Mall. It’s a website specifically for Wells Fargo customers that allows you to earn additional cash back by going through their links. One example is Groupon, which gives you an additional 3% cash back. There are all kinds of stores in the Earn More Mall, so you can use this to multiply the cash back you’re already earning with the card.
Best for students
Discover it® Student Cash Back
The Discover it® Student Cash Back is similar to the Discover it® Cash Back mentioned above but is designed specifically for students. You won’t get the same perks as the Discover it®, but you also won’t have to have as good of credit history. A great feature is the $20 statement credit you’ll receive for getting above a 3.0 GPA each year for up to five years.
Regarding online shopping, you’ll get the same rotating categories for 5% cash back ($1,500 max spend per quarter, activation required) that the other Discover cards get, including Amazon.com. All other purchases will get you 1% cash back automatically. This is a nice feature for a student card and will allow you to get some extra cash when buying things like textbooks and clothes for college.
To sweeten the pot even further, Discover will give you a nice introductory offer. After that, the standard 14.49% - 23.49% Variable APR applies. If you’re getting the card right as you’re starting college, this is a nice feature, as it’ll give you time to get settled into your dorm and find a job to start paying down the balance you may have accrued getting there.
The card has no annual fee, and they’ll waive the late fee if and when you miss a payment for the first time. You can get a free Credit Scorecard through Discover to keep tabs on your credit, and you can use the Freeze It feature to lock the credit card in case you lose it at the bar…er…bookstore.
Apply now or read the full review of the Discover it® Student Cash Back credit card.
As you can see, different cards work best for online shopping based on your situation. Any of the cards I mentioned above will be a great addition to your wallet when shopping online, but if I had to pick one, I’d go with the Discover it Cash Back. It has no annual fee and gives you some excellent sign-on bonuses. Plus, you can get 5% back on Amazon purchases at least three months out of the year!