Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping in August 2022 – CNET

Credit card rewards programs often overlook online shopping, but online shopping represents 14.3% of all sales transactions in the US, according to the US Census Bureau. Besides credit cards issued by individual brands like Amazon, Target or Walmart, a handful of credit cards offer a wider scope of rewards on online shopping. Some of them even offer welcome bonuses or introductory APRs that can also help supplement your shopping, as well. The credit cards below will earn you the best rewards rates on all of your online shopping, while doubling as great options for everyday purchases made either online or in person.

Custom rewards fit to your online shopping

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

APR16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Intro Purchase APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for purchases

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% Intro APR for 18 billing cycles for any BTs made in the first 60 days. A 3% fee (min. $10) applies.

Balance Transfer APR16.24% – 26.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Balance Transfer Fee Either $10 or 3% of the amount of each transaction, whichever is greater.

Late Payment Fee See Terms

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

Penalty APR Up to 29.99% APR

  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
  • Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

Our Take

This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

The Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card offers 3% cash back on a category of your choice. You can choose from online shopping, gas, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings. Note that you’ll have to manually select “online shopping” through your account, as the default category is gas. There is a spending limit to watch out for, too.

You can spend up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases within the 3% and 2% rewards rates. The 2% rewards rate applies to grocery stores and wholesale clubs, so if you have a particular month where you might hit that spending cap with online purchases alone, you’ll want to avoid charging groceries to this card to reap the highest reward rates. You’ll earn 1% on your purchases beyond the spending cap.

Best for shopping on Amazon

Intro OfferUp to a $150 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval

APR15.74% to 23.74% Variable

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good

Reward Rates

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Annual Fee$0

Balance Transfer APR15.74% to 23.74% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Late Payment Fee Up to $39

Foreign Transaction Fees None

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market with eligible Prime membership*
  • 2% back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores*
  • 1% back on all other purchases*

Our Take

While the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card* might not have the best rewards available for all of your online shopping, it may be worth having if you often shop on Amazon. The e-commerce giant offers 5% cash back on purchases from its website through its flagship credit card, along with either a $100 or $150 Amazon gift card instantly when you’re approved. Unlike most retailer-issued credit cards, there are rewards beyond just Amazon, so you can use this as your daily credit card. But if your goal is to maximize rewards across online shopping regardless of the merchant, you’ll be better off with another pick from this list.

For more information about this card’s rewards and perks, see our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card.

Intro OfferEarn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months

APR17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR

Intro Purchase APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers

Balance Transfer APR17.24%, 22.24%, or 27.24% Variable APR

Balance Transfer Fee up to 5%; min: $5

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

Penalty APR None

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Our Take

If you’re looking to just have one credit card for your spending both online and in person, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers the simplest and most widely applicable rewards program on this list. You’ll earn 2% cash rewards on purchases, period. You can also use your online purchases to earn the welcome bonus — and once you’ve earned it you can redeem it as a statement credit to essentially make up for online purchases, as well. If you’re making a particularly large purchase, you can use the introductory APR to stretch out your payments without incurring interest charges.

For more details about this card’s offer, see our full review of the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

Intro OfferEarn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

APR16.24% – 27.24% Variable

Intro Purchase APR0% on purchases for 15 months

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Reward Rates

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

Annual Fee$0

Intro Balance Transfer APR0% on balance transfers for 15 months

Balance Transfer APR16.24% – 27.24% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Late Payment Fee Up to $40

Foreign Transaction Fees 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Penalty APR 29.99% Variable

  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • New! 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.

Our Take

If you’re mostly making retail purchases from a variety of brands online, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express will be a good bet. You earn 3% cash back on all U.S. retail online purchases on up to $6,000 in spending per year (then 1%). So if you’re shopping online mostly for clothing or household wares, this will likely be the best option for you. And with the extra cash back categories, this will also be a good fit for everyday use for many wallets. Cash back is earned in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. The welcome offer and introductory APR can also help pad your budget and give you more time to pay off your balance.

For more information, see our full review of the Blue Cash Everyday Card.

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

The security of virtual credit cards

Intro OfferN/A

APR15.00% – 22.00% Variable

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 2x points on every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x points on every dollar spent that entire year when you spend $15,000+ in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for each friend you invite who gets the card

Annual FeeNone

Balance Transfer APR15.00% – 22.00% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee 2% of the amount of each transfer.

Penalty APR None

  • Earn 2x points on every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x points on every dollar spent that entire year when you spend $15,000+ in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for each friend you invite who gets the card

Our Take

The major draw of the X1 Card* for online shopping is the card’s superior virtual credit card options. Virtual credit cards are disposable credit card details that can be used to mask your real credit card information online to prevent fraud and identity theft. From the X1 app, you can create multiple virtual credit cards simultaneously so you can keep your information secure and organized. You can preset expiration dates for these cards if you’re signing up for a free trial online, or you can keep different cards open for different websites.

While other credit cards might offer more widely applicable rewards, the base rewards rate of 2x points per dollar spent means you can earn up to 2% back on your purchases depending on how you redeem the points. Points are worth 1 cent each when redeemed for purchases at popular brands across retail, tech, travel and fitness including Airbnb, Home Depot, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, Apple, Lululemon, Costco, Wayfair and Ikea. If you’d rather redeem your points for a general statement credit, often referred to as cash back, other cards will net you a higher rewards rate. Points are only worth 0.7 cent each when redeemed for cash back.

For more information about the virtual credit cards and rewards program boosts, see our full review of the X1 Credit Card.

Online purchases through PayPal for extra cash back

Intro OfferN/A

APR16.49%, 25.49%, or 28.49% Variable

Intro Purchase APRN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent/Good Credit

Reward Rates

  • Earn 3% cash back on PayPal purchases
  • Get 2% cash back* every day, every purchase, every time you use your card. No exceptions. No rotating categories to keep track of

Annual Fee$0

Foreign Transaction Fees 3%

  • Earn 3% cash back on PayPal purchases
  • Get 2% cash back* every day, every purchase, every time you use your card. No exceptions. No rotating categories to keep track of

Our Take

The PayPal CashBack Mastercard®* offers a competitive 2% cash back on all of your purchases — but you can earn 3% if you make your online purchases through PayPal at checkout. Your PayPal account acts as a digital wallet and holds your PayPal CashBack Mastercard details, so instead of filling in your credit card information at checkout, you can choose the option to checkout with PayPal with millions of brands online. 

Make sure your PayPal CashBack Mastercard is your default payment method in your PayPal account to earn 3% cash back on these transactions. With major online shops such as Ebay, Target, Overstock, Nike, Walmart and Home Depot among the millions of brands that offer PayPal at checkout, you can earn 3% cash back on lots of your online purchases, with no spending cap.

FAQs

How can I save more money when shopping online?

Besides using the right credit card for online shopping to earn rewards, there are a handful of other options you can use — often in tandem with a good credit card. Browser add-ons such as CNET shopping can help you apply promotional codes and other savings with a single click. Some brands offer a one-time discount when you sign up for a newsletter, or you can buy discounted gift cards to make a purchase.

Can I earn rewards on online shopping internationally?

Some credit cards with online shopping rewards allow rewards on international orders, but others do not. For example, you’ll earn 2x points per dollar spent with the X1 Card on online international purchases, but not with the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, which only applies to U.S. online retail purchases. You’ll have to check the details of your credit card in your cardmember agreement.

How can I earn the most rewards on my Walmart online shopping?

If you’re looking to maximize your rewards specifically when shopping online at Walmart.com, you can earn 5% cash back on your Walmart.com purchases, including pickup and delivery, with Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard®*.

How can I earn the most rewards on my Target online shopping?

When shopping online at Target.com, you can use the Target RedCard™ Credit Card* or Target RedCard™ debit card* to save 5% upfront on your purchases. These rewards apply to purchases you make at one of Target’s physical retail locations, as well.

Our methodology

CNET reviews credit cards by exhaustively comparing them across set criteria developed for each major category, including cash back, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfer. We take into consideration the typical spending behavior of a range of consumer profiles — with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different — and the designated function of a card.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express, click here.

*All information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, X1 Card, PayPal CashBack Mastercard, Capital One Walmart Rewards Mastercard, Target RedCard Credit Card and Target RedCard Debit Card has been collected independently by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on objective, independent assessments by our writers and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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