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Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping

Sept. 10, 2019
Credit Card Basics, Credit Cards
520118583
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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.

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Customization and flexibility

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Apply Now on US Bank's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Complex rewards require maintenance
    • Foreign transaction fee

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.99% - 25.49% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

    Intro APR

    • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles
  • Additional Information
    • Earn up to $550 cash back in the first year.
    • $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.
    • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases ($100 per quarter) on two categories you choose. That adds up to $400 cash back!
    • 2% cash back on your choice of one everyday category, like gas stations or grocery stores.
    • 1% cash back on all other eligible net purchases.
    • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 15.99% - 25.49%.
    • No limit on total cash back earned.
    • No annual fee*
    • Great Offer from U.S. Bank, a 2019 World's Most Ethical Company® - Ethisphere Institute, February 2019
    • View Rates and Fees

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).
  • 2% cash back on an everyday category of your choice, such as gas, groceries or restaurants.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Sign-up bonus: $150 bonus after spending $500 in eligible net purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.49% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card lets you choose from several 5% categories, and among the choices as of September 2019 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.

» MORE: Full review of the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Discover it® Cash Back

Our pick for: Seasonal shopping

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply Now on Discover's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • Cash back match at the end of your first year
    • Bonus cash back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers

    Cons

    • Slightly less merchant acceptance for Discover in US - acceptance outside of US can be an issue
    • If you value simplicity, a flat rate cash back card may be better

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
    • Cash Advance APR: 26.99%, Variable

    Bonus Offers

    Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

    Intro APR

    • 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months
  • Additional Information
    • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
    • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
    • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
    • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
    • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
    • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
    • No annual fee.
    • View Rates and Fees

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: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months, and then the ongoing APR of 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Discover it® Cash Back is similar to the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card 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, restaurants and wholesale clubs — not to mention specific online retailers that tend to be timely or seasonal. For example, in the fourth quarter of 2019 (just in time for holiday shopping), the bonus categories on the calendar were Amazon.com, Target (in-store and online), and Walmart.com. The intro APR period can also help.

DRAWBACKS

Unlike the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Discover it® Cash Back

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Our pick for: Bank of America® customers

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Apply Now on Bank of America's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • No annual fee
    • Cash bonus offer
    • Cash rewards

    Cons

    • If you're a big spender with excellent credit and willing to pay an annual fee, there are cards with higher rewards

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR
    • Penalty APR: up to 29.99% APR

    Bonus Offers

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

    Intro APR

    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Additional Information
    • No annual fee
    • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
    • Earn 3% cash back on gas or your choice of one of five other popular categories, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
    • No expiration on rewards
    • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase

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% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 billing cycles, and then the ongoing APR of 15.99% - 25.99% Variable APR.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Bank of America® 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.

» MORE: Full review of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Uber Visa Card

Our pick for: Foodies

CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • 4% back on restaurants, takeout and bars, including Uber Eats.
  • 3% back on airfare, hotels and vacation home rentals.
  • 2% cash back on online purchases including Uber, online shopping and streaming services.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual fee: $0.

WHY WE LIKE IT

The Uber Visa Card offers a 2% cash-back rate on all eligible online purchases (such as Amazon, Walmart, Best Buy and Macy’s), and you’ll get the same rate on Uber and qualifying streaming services. Cardholders also get an annual statement credit of up to $50 for qualifying online subscription services after spending $5,000 or more with the card per year. Most of the services covered by that benefit include music and TV subscriptions, but it also extends to Amazon Prime and ShopRunner memberships, which offer accelerated shipping for qualifying purchases. A $50 credit would cover almost half of an Amazon Prime membership or the bulk of your ShopRunner subscription.

DRAWBACKS

Despite its name, the Uber Visa Card is comparatively stingy when it comes to rewarding you for actual Uber rides. If you’re not big on dining out, other cards will suit you better.

» MORE: Full review of the Uber Visa Card

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Our pick for: Simplicity

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Apply Now on PayPal's secure site
  • Recommended Credit Score
  • 690
    850
    Good - Excellent
  • Card Details
  • Pros

    • High rewards rate
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fee

    Cons

    • High APR

    Annual Fees

    $0

    APR

    • APR: 22.24%, 26.24%, and 29.24% Variable

    Bonus Offers

    None

    Intro APR

    • N/A
  • Additional Information
    • Earn 2% cash back* on every purchase, no restrictions, no maximums, no rotating categories to keep track of
    • No annual fee**, no foreign transaction fee**
    • Redeem cash rewards right to your PayPal balance* at any time, use however you want. No thresholds or minimums
    • *Select ‘Apply Now’ to view the Rewards Program Terms and important information on redeeming Cash Rewards to your PayPal balance. Subject to credit approval. You must be at least 18 years old and reside in the US or its territories to apply.
    • **For New Accounts: Variable Purchase APR is 22.24%, 26.24% or 29.24%. The APRs are accurate as of 1/1/2019 and will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate (as defined in your credit card agreement). Minimum interest charge is $1.50 for all types of cards in any billing cycle in which you owe interest.
    • View Rates and Fees

CARD DETAILS

Rewards:

  • Unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase.

Sign-up bonus: None.

Annual fee: $0.

APR: The ongoing APR is 22.24% - 29.24% Variable.

WHY WE LIKE IT

With the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®, there’s no guessing which purchases qualify as an “online shopping” category. You don’t have to track categories, stay on top of spending limits or opt in to earn a great 2% rate on all purchases. That can add up quickly.

DRAWBACKS

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

» MORE: Full review of the PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Our pick for: Avid Amazon fans

Amazon Prime customers can use the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card to get 5% back on purchases made through the retailer and at Whole Foods. That’s an outstanding uncapped rate that can potentially defray the cost of an Amazon Prime membership (typically a $119 annual expense). You’ll also earn a handsome 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else. The card’s annual fee is $0.

» MORE: Full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Target REDcard™ Credit Card

Our pick for: Target loyalists

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. And on every cardholder anniversary, you can look forward to a 10% discount. There’s no membership fee, and the annual fee is $0. But like many store cards, it has a sky-high ongoing interest rate: The ongoing APR is 25.15% Variable, making it a poor choice if you maintain an ongoing balance.

» MORE: Full review of the Target REDcard™ Credit Card

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.