Shopping online has some distinct advantages over going the brick-and-mortar route. Most notably, it's just more convenient to browse and order something online and have it delivered than to drive around looking for it. Another advantage: credit card rewards that are in some cases higher simply for making a purchase online as opposed to in the "real world."
Some of our best credit cards for online shopping can be applied for through NerdWallet, and some cannot. Below, you'll find application links for the credit cards from our partners that are available through NerdWallet, followed by the full list of our picks.
Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.
|Annual Fee||Rewards Rate||Intro Offer||Learn More|
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
|Best for Everyday spending|
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
|Best for Flexibility and customization|
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
|Best for Maximum simplicity|
Discover it® Cash Back
or call 800-347-0264
|Best for Seasonal shopping|
Chase Freedom Flex℠
|Best for Seasonal shopping|
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
|Best for 0% APR period|
On top of its lucrative rewards in other everyday spending categories, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express earns a solid bonus rate of 3% cash back on up to $6,000 spent per year on U.S. online retail purchases (terms apply).
The U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card earns up to 5% cash back in categories that you choose, including several with special online shopping appeal.
The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is great for online shopping for the same reason it's great for offline shopping: It gives you 2% cash back on every purchase, no matter what, no matter where.
The Discover it® Cash Back earns 5% cash back in quarterly categories that you activate (on up to $1,500 per quarter in spending; other spending earns 1%). Those categories are often quite friendly to online shoppers.
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back in rotating categories, which have included major online retailers and payment platforms.
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card earns 3% cash back cash back in a category you choose, with one of those categories being online shopping. It also offers one of the longest 0% intro APR periods in its class, if you've got a big purchase coming up.
Before applying, confirm details on the issuer’s website.
Our pick for: Everyday spending
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express pays elevated rewards at U.S. supermarkets, at U.S. gas stations and on U.S. online retail purchases. The rewards might not be as rich as on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, but this card doesn't charge an annual fee either. New cardholders get a decent welcome offer and an introductory 0% APR period. Read our review.
Our pick for: Flexibility and customization
If you don't mind putting some work into your rewards, check out the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. It might be the most customizable cash back card available. You pick which categories earn the most cash back — you get two 5% categories and a 2% category — and you can change those options every quarter. There's a good bonus offer for new cardholders, too. Read our review.
Our pick for: Maximum simplicity
Among flat-rate cash-back cards, you'll be hard-pressed to beat the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. It earns an unlimited 2% back on all purchases, which is excellent. But in addition, the card offers a rich sign-up bonus and a generous 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers. That's an impressive, hard-to-find combination of features on a card with a $0 annual fee. Read our review.
Our pick for: Big spending with major retailers
The U.S. Bank Shopper Cash Rewards™ Visa Signature® Card is tailor-made for consumers who spend a lot of money at retailers that don't fit into (or are specifically excluded from) the bonus categories offered by other credit cards. The card also offers a higher-than-usual rate on spending outside its bonus categories. The downside: There's an annual fee. Read our review.
Our pick for: Seasonal shopping
The Discover it® Cash Back earns bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending aligns with those categories (and for most households, it probably will), you can rake in serious rewards. You also get the issuer's signature "cash-back match" bonus in your first year. Read our review.
Our pick for: Seasonal shopping
The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate, as well as on travel booked through Chase, at restaurants and at drugstores. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending matches the categories — and for a lot of people, it will — you can rack up hundreds of dollars a year. There's a fantastic bonus offer for new cardholders and a 0% intro APR period, too. Read our review.
Our pick for: 0% intro APR period
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card gives you a little more control over your credit card rewards by letting you choose which category earns the highest cash-back rate, from a list that includes gas stations, restaurants, travel, home improvement and more. You also get bonus rewards at grocery stores and supermarkets, plus a great new-cardholder bonus offer. Read our review.
Our pick for: PayPal power users
Earn unlimited 3% cash back on purchases made with the card through PayPal and unlimited 2% cash back on all other purchases. You'll need a PayPal account, but if you're the sort of person this card appeals to, you probably already have one. Read our review.
Our pick for: Amazon loyalists
If you drop a lot of money at Amazon and/or Whole Foods Market, this is the card for you, with 5% back on such purchases, plus bonus rewards at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores. There's no annual fee, but you have to be a Prime member, and that does have a fee. Read our review.
Our pick for: Walmart regulars
Walmart's branded credit card is unusual among store cards in that it gives you significantly better rewards for purchases at Walmart.com (and in the Walmart app) than for those made in an actual brick-and-mortar Walmart. Read our review.
Our pick for: Target fans
Target's branded credit card doesn't give you rewards that require you to come back in order to use them. Instead, it gives you a 5% discount on just about everything, both in-store and online, as well as free shipping and extra time for returns. Read our review.
• • •
Just because you spent money online doesn't mean your credit card will give you bonus rewards tied to "online shopping." Each card issuer defines for itself what exactly counts as "online shopping," but in general, it means buying something on the web or through an app from a merchant that the credit card issuer recognizes as a retailer. (How does it know? It uses merchant category codes.) Payments for services don't usually count, nor do things like doctor bills, tax payments, alimony or child support and utility bills. Examples:
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express says its online shopping rewards apply only to purchases from a "U.S. retail merchant that sells physical goods and/or merchandise directly to consumers. Purchases made at restaurants, supermarkets, gasoline stations, or automotive dealers, as well as purchases of travel, entertainment, or other services are NOT eligible for additional rewards."
The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card says it "includes online and mobile app purchases in a wide variety of merchant categories." It provides several examples (though not a full list) of the types of merchants that would qualify as well as specific retailer brands. It also offers a full page of exceptions.
"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.
• • •
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.
Last updated on March 28, 2023
NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.