If you're an online shopper – and who isn't these days – you know how quickly those purchases can add up. So why not get a credit card that rewards online spending? Whether you're looking for free shipping, online grocery delivery or cash back on your next takeout order, we've got the best credit cards for online purchases. After you've browsed our list, keep scrolling for tips on how to earn the most rewards for your online purchases and how to stay safe while shopping online.
The best credit cards for online shopping
- Holiday shopping: Discover it® Cash Back
- Grocery pickup and delivery: Capital One® Walmart Rewards Mastercard
- Free shipping: Target REDcard™
- Fast delivery: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Food delivery: Uber Visa Card
- Flexible online purchases: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
Best credit card for holiday shopping
The Discover it Cash Back card is a versatile, high rewards credit card that often makes it onto “best credit card” lists – and this list is no exception. Cardholders can earn 5 percent cash back on quarterly rotating categories for up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter, and Discover tends to make its fourth-quarter categories (aka “the holiday season”) very online-shopping-friendly.
Discover's 5 percent cash back categories for October–December 2019 include Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com, making the Discover it Cash Back card an ideal choice for holiday shoppers. Plus, as a new cardholder you'll get access to Discover's famous Cashback Match, which matches all the cash you earn during your first year of membership. If you earn $500 cash back, for example, Discover will award you an extra $500.
If you're the type of shopper who does most of their online spending over the holidays, and you're not a die-hard fan of a single online retailer, the Discover it Cash Back card is an excellent choice – and you'll probably enjoy earning rewards on your Discover card even after the holidays are over.
Best credit card for grocery pickup and delivery
There are a lot of credit cards that help you earn rewards on online spending, but not all of those cards reward online grocery purchases as well. The Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard offers 5 percent cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders – making it an excellent card for people who want to save both time and money on their grocery shopping.
The Walmart Rewards Mastercard rewards all qualified Walmart shopping, whether you make your purchases in store or online. You'll earn 5 percent cash back at Walmart.com with no spending cap. You'll also receive a sign-up bonus that entitles you to 5 percent cash back at Walmart stores for your first 12 months as long as you make those purchases through Walmart Pay, the quick and secure way to pay at Walmart with your phone. After your sign-up bonus ends, you'll earn 2 percent cash back on in-store Walmart purchases.
This rewards card doesn't just benefit Walmart shoppers, though. Cardholders also receive 2 percent cash back on restaurant and travel spending and 1 percent cash back on all other purchases. With no annual fee, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard is a great way to earn high-level rewards on all kinds of purchases while making sure your groceries are delivered in time for dinner.
Best credit card for free shipping
The Target REDcard is a little different from the other cards on our list. It's a store-branded credit card, which means it isn't co-branded with a major bank or lender like Visa or Capital One. Store-branded credit cards tend to come with higher-than-average APRs, and the Target Redcard is no exception; as of this writing, the card offers a variable APR of 24.90 percent.
However, if you use the Target REDcard responsibly and don't run up a balance you can't pay off, you can earn some serious perks: a 5 percent discount on Target and Target.com purchases, plus free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of items from Target.com. That might be a good reason to cancel your pricey Amazon Prime membership and do all of your online shopping at Target!
Best credit card for fast delivery
Amazon Prime members are already familiar with Prime's free two-day delivery, one-day delivery and same-day delivery options. Amazon Prime Now shoppers can even get items delivered for free in just two hours – so why not earn some rewards in the process?
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers an unlimited 5 percent back on Amazon.com purchases, making it an easy win for Prime members who find themselves making 1-click purchases on a regular basis. Plus, you'll get 5 percent back on Whole Foods purchases; 2 percent back on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases; and 1 percent back on all other purchases. (These percentages come in the form of Amazon points, not cash, and can be redeemed for purchases, statement credits, gift cards and more.)
This card doesn't come with an annual fee, but you will need an eligible Amazon Prime membership before you can apply. Currently, Amazon Prime costs $119 per year, which is higher than many credit card annual fees. However, Prime membership comes with its own set of perks and benefits, from fast delivery to online discounts to a vast library of books, music, movies and television, not to mention Amazon Original Series like the Emmy-winning Fleabag.
If you decide to let your Prime membership lapse, you won't have to give up your Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Instead, your card benefits will drop to 3 percent cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases – and you'll have to wait a little longer for your Amazon products to arrive.
Best credit card for food delivery
If you love ordering takeout, you need a credit card that rewards you every time the food arrives. The Uber Visa Card offers 5 percent back in Uber cash on meals ordered through UberEATS, as well as 5 percent back on Uber and JUMP scooter rides. You'll have to decide whether you want to use your Uber Visa Card to request delivery, or request an Uber to take you to the restaurant.
These aren't the only rewards the Uber Visa Card offers. You'll earn 3 percent back in Uber cash on restaurants, bars, hotels and airfare purchases.
Throw in a $100 bonus if you spend $500 in the first 90 days, and this card is a great choice for anyone who regularly orders takeout and spends a lot of time on planes, in hotels or at restaurants and bars. If that description sounds familiar, the Uber Visa Card might be right for you.
Best credit card for flexible online purchases
If you don't want to be constrained to a specific retailer, you might be best served with a credit card that rewards a variety of online spending. The Bank of America Cash Rewards card offers 3 percent cash back on a category of your choice – and yes, “online shopping” is one of the categories you can choose.
The Bank of America Cash Rewards also offers 2 percent cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases on up to $2,500 in combined purchases per (1 percent thereafter). A $200 online cash rewards bonus for cardholders who spend $1,000 in the first 90 days sweetens the deal.
Since you can switch your 3 percent cash back category every calendar month, set it to “online shopping” during months that are likely to include a lot of online purchases (like back-to-school season) and pick a different 3 percent cash back category, like travel or dining, during other months. Take advantage of the flexibility in getting to choose your own top rewards category, and choose wisely!
Compare top credit cards for online purchases
How to choose a card for online shopping
- Ask yourself where you do the majority of your online shopping. Do you want a card that only rewards purchases at that retailer, or a card that rewards other types of spending as well?
- If you want a card that rewards purchases at a specific retailer, look for a top rewards credit card that offers online shopping bonus rewards for that retailer.
- Store-branded credit cards are also an option, but they come with higher than average APRs, so make sure you don't run up a balance you can't pay off!
- Consider the types of purchases you're likely to make online. For instance, if you do a lot of food ordering, you might search for a card with a bonus on food delivery.
- Besides rewards on online purchases, look for other online-friendly perks like free shipping on purchases.
How to make the most of a credit card for online purchases
- Update the default credit card on your online accounts, and make sure you're using the best card for each retailer. If you have both the Target REDcard and the Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, set the REDcard as the default card at Target.com and the Walmart Rewards Mastercard as the default card at Walmart.com.
- Use a digital wallet service like Google Pay or Apple Pay to store and access your credit cards. These digital wallets make online shopping quick and easy, and you can even use your phone to pay for products at the store.
- Keep track of your balances. When you make purchases with a single click or tap, it's easy to spend more than you realize. Consider using a budgeting app to manage your spending and avoid new debt. Some apps will even send you a notification if you've spent over a certain amount, which is a great way to keep yourself from going overboard with online purchases.
Tips for shopping safely online
- Make sure you're shopping from a site that begins with “https,” not “http.” HTTP stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol and HTTPS stands for Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure. You want the secure one.
- Use secure passwords for your online shopping accounts and change those passwords regularly. Consider a password manager to help you keep everything up-to-date.
- Check your credit card statements. Credit card companies tend to be good at identifying potential fraud, as anyone who's received a “do you recognize this charge?” notification already knows. However, you should still read your credit card statements carefully and ensure all of the charges are correct. If you suspect someone else is using your credit card to make purchases, here's how to report card fraud.
- Read our article on how to protect your credit cards online for even more tips and insights, including how to avoid phishing scams and Facebook ad scams.
Since many of us make a lot more purchases online than we used to, it's worth asking whether we can benefit from a credit card that specifically rewards online spending. Choose the right card, and you can get up to 5 percent cash back on online purchases at your favorite retailer – or take advantage of perks like free shipping or rewards on grocery delivery or takeout. Don't forget to practice safe online shopping habits and check your statement regularly to ensure that you're the only person using your credit card online.