Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping

If you tend to skip the brick-and-mortar experience in favor of virtual shopping sprees, these cards can reward you handsomely.
Aug 9, 2022

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An online shopping spree can free you from bustling crowds, long lines and overly enthusiastic retail employees — and the right credit card can stretch that spending further.

You can use the introductory incentives and ongoing points or cash back to bring down your overall bill, treat yourself to a fancy dinner or maybe even fund your next vacation.

Here are some of our favorite credit cards that offer top rewards for online purchases.

Nerdy tip: "Online shopping" and "online streaming" are not necessarily synonymous when it comes to credit card bonus categories. If you're looking for a card that specifically rewards the latter, see NerdWallet's best credit cards for streaming services.

Top credit cards for online shopping

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Our pick for: Simplicity

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 2% cash back on all purchases.

Welcome offer: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is an excellent pick for all purchases. There are no spending requirements, spending caps or rewards categories that you have to track. The sign-up bonus and 0% intro APR offer can also help you offset or finance shopping costs.

DRAWBACKS

Redemption options mostly favor Wells Fargo customers. You can redeem cash back for a statement credit, cash withdrawals from Wells Fargo ATMs (in $20 increments), direct deposits into a Wells Fargo checking or savings account, a paper check sent through the mail, charitable donations, merchandise, gift cards or travel.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Our pick for: Everyday spending

American Express Blue Cash Everyday Credit Card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 spent per year.

  • 3% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year.

  • 3% back at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 spent per year.

  • 1% back on other purchases.

  • Terms apply; see rates and fees.

Welcome offer: Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months. Terms Apply.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-27.24% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has a specific category dedicated to U.S. online retail purchases, earning a solid bonus rate of 3% back on up to $6,000 spent per year in that category. (Certain categories — including restaurants, supermarkets, automotive dealers and a handful of others — will not qualify as retail purchases.) Terms apply. When you’re not making purchases online, you can also earn rewards on some other popular everyday purchases. Plus, the welcome offer can put money back in your pocket, and the 0% intro APR offer can help you finance purchases. AmEx cards also frequently feature one-time AmEx Offers, which may allow you to earn discounts or additional cash back when you use the card with certain retailers.

DRAWBACKS

The spending caps on each elevated rewards category may be difficult to track. If you’re looking to maximize rewards with a different credit card after meeting the spending limit, you’ll have to come up with a system to know when you’ve reached that threshold.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive

Our pick for: Customization and flexibility

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Credit Card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% cash back on two categories of your choice from a list of several options (on up to $2,000 spent per quarter on combined purchases).

  • 5% cash back on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Travel Center.

  • 2% cash back on an everyday category of your choice, such as gas, groceries or restaurants.

  • 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 18 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 16.74%-26.74% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive lets you choose from several 5% categories, and among the choices as of August 2022 were select department stores, sporting goods stores and electronics stores. Depending on where you shop, the rewards for these categories may extend to some online purchases. And if you need some padding for your purchases, the long introductory 0% APR can offer an interest-free break.

DRAWBACKS

Note that neither Walmart nor Target qualifies as a department store or electronics store. Also, some effort is required to rake in that prized 5% cash back rate. You have to remember to opt in to bonus categories every quarter and keep spending caps in mind to maximize your rewards.

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Seasonal shopping

Discover it® Cash Back
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% back in rotating quarterly categories on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter (requires activation); 1% after that.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – 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.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 13.49%-24.49% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Discover it® Cash Back card is similar to the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive in that it features bonus categories that you must activate each quarter. In the past, its 5% bonus categories have included things like grocery stores, gas stations and wholesale clubs — not to mention specific online retailers that tend to be timely or seasonal. For example, in the third quarter of 2022, the bonus categories on the calendar were restaurants and PayPal. The intro APR period can also help.

DRAWBACKS

Unlike the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card - NerdWallet Exclusive, you can’t choose your own categories; they're set by the issuer. If categories don’t match your spending, you’ll have to wait until the next quarter for new ones.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Bank of America® customers

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 3% back on a category of your choice and 2% back on grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 spent per quarter in these categories combined (1% after).

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Welcome offer: $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening..

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 billing cycles and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, and then the ongoing APR of 16.24%-26.24% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card lets you choose your own top earning category from a list of six options, and "online shopping" is one of them. (Gas, dining, travel, drugstores, and home improvement/furnishings round out the list.) Examples of merchants that qualify include Amazon.com, Apple.com, Bestbuy.com, Macys.com, Nike.com, Nordstrom.com, Target.com, Ticketmaster.com and Walmart.com. If you're already a Bank of America® customer, you can earn higher rewards rates through the Bank of America® Preferred Rewards program. This card also offers a lengthy intro APR that can offer breathing room on purchases.

DRAWBACKS

This card is not ideal for big spenders. If you spend thousands of dollars each month on purchases in your choice category, plus grocery stores and wholesale clubs, the $2,500 spending cap can limit your rewards.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Our pick for: PayPal customers

PayPal Cashback Mastercard
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase. (3% back on purchases made directly via PayPal.)

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 16.49%, 25.49% or 28.49%, Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, there’s no guessing which purchases qualify as “online shopping." You don’t have to track categories, stay on top of spending limits or opt in to earn a great rate on all purchases.

DRAWBACKS

You’ll need a PayPal account to apply for this card, but it’s free to create one. You won’t get a 0% introductory APR period.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our pick for: Avid Amazon fans

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $0, but you must be an Amazon Prime member to qualify. Membership costs around $139 annually.

Welcome offer: Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card instantly upon approval.

APR: The ongoing APR is 15.74%-23.74%, Variable.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Amazon Prime customers can use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card to get an outstanding uncapped rate that can potentially defray the cost of an Amazon Prime membership (see below). You’ll also earn a handsome 2% back on everyday purchases. And, when you need a break on interest payments, you can forfeit rewards and get a 0% promo APR on purchases of $50 or more.

DRAWBACKS

Again, an Amazon Prime membership is required to get this card, typically a $139 annual expense.

Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®

Our pick for: True-blue Walmart fans

CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% back on purchases at Walmart.com and items purchased through the Walmart app. This includes items you buy online for in-store pickup as well as for Walmart Grocery Pickup and Delivery. (Gift cards earn 2% back regardless of where they are purchased.)

  • 2% back for in-store purchases, including those made at Murphy USA and Walmart gas stations.

  • 2% back at travel and restaurants.

  • 1% back on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

WHY WE LIKE IT

Walmart customers can use the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard® to earn a healthy bonus rewards rate on everyday essentials. Rewards may be redeemed in the form of a statement credit or applied toward purchases on Walmart.com. Other redemption options include gift cards or travel.

DRAWBACKS

Redemption options don’t include cash back deposited into a bank account.

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Target loyalists

Target REDcard™ Credit Card
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CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 5% discount on all eligible Target purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

Welcome offer: N/A.

APR: The ongoing APR is 24.40% Variable.

WHY WE LIKE IT

For frequent Target shoppers, the Target REDcard™ Credit Card offers a 5% discount on most in-store or online purchases, free two-day shipping on qualifying items, an extended window for returns, and special offers. Exclusions apply. You can stack your savings, when possible, with deals available on Target’s app. There's no membership fee required.

DRAWBACKS

Like many store cards, it has a sky-high ongoing interest rate: The ongoing APR is 24.40% Variable, making it a poor choice if you maintain an ongoing balance.

Information related to the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has been collected by NerdWallet and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card.


To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, see this page.

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