The best credit cards for online shopping:
- Best for 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay): Citi® Double Cash Card
- Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Best for Costco.com purchases: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Bonus cash back for online shopping: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
- Best for office supplies: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
- Best for purchase protection: American Express Platinum Card® from American Express
- Bonus rewards on Zoom and Slack: Brex Corporate Card for Startups
Unlike groceries, dining, and travel, online shopping isn’t a common bonus category on rewards credit cards. But that doesn’t mean you can’t earn more than 1 point or mile per dollar you spend, or more than 1% cash back, when you buy things online. By picking the right card – and by taking advantage of online shopping portals and other deals like Amex Offers – you can actually rake in the rewards on these purchases.
The best credit cards for online shopping
Best for 2% cash back on everything: Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi® Double Cash Card earns 2% cash back on everything you buy: 1% cash back when you make a purchase, and another 1% back when you pay your bill. Since there are no bonus categories to keep track of, that means you can earn 2% back on your online purchases, no matter where you’re shopping. The card has no annual fee, either.
Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
If you want a card that offers bonus rewards on Amazon purchases, the Prime Rewards Visa Signature is a solid choice, with 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods. This could be a great option if you’re looking to stock up on supplies and order grocery delivery. There’s no annual fee, but you need to be an Amazon Prime member.
Best for Costco.com purchases: Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
For Costco members who shop with the big-box retailer online, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi could be another smart choice. It earns 2% cash back on all Costco.com and Costco purchases, in addition to 4% cash back on the first $US7,000 spent on eligible gas purchases each year (then 1%), 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases, and 1% back on everything else. The card has no annual fee, but you need a paid Costco membership.
Bonus cash back for online shopping: Bank of America Cash Rewards card
This is another no-annual-fee card, and it’s the rare one that includes online shopping as a bonus category. You can earn 3% cash back on a category of your choice (options include online shopping portals as well as gas, dining, travel, drugstores, and home improvement/furnishings) and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on up to $US2,500 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1% back).
If you’re looking to maximise your online shopping purchases with the Bank of America Cash Rewards card, your best best would be to only use it for online shopping, and put grocery store and wholesale club purchases on another card.
Best for office supplies: Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card
If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card is a great option for earning cash back on office supplies. You’ll earn 5% back on the first $US25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services each year (then 1% back).
You’ll also earn 2% cash back on the first $US25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each year (then 1% back). This card has no annual fee, and if you also have a Chase card that earns Ultimate Rewards points (such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or the Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card), you can move over cash-back rewards from the Ink Business Cash to redeem them as travel points.
Best for purchase protection: Platinum Card® from American Express
Especially if you’re making a large purchase, you’ll want to pay attention to what kind of purchase protection your credit card offers. The Platinum Card® from American Express has one of the most generous policies, offering up to $US10,000 in coverage per occurrence and up to $US50,000 in coverage per year for stolen or damaged items.
You need to submit a claim within 120 days (or 90 days for New York residents) to receive reimbursement through this benefit. The card only earns 1 point per dollar on online purchases – and it has a $US550 annual fee thanks to its long list of travel benefits – but you may be able to stack it with an Amex Offer to each additional cash back or rewards.
Bonus rewards for Zoom and Slack: Brex Corporate Card for Startups
The Brex Corporate Card for Startups is unique in a few different ways. For one, it doesn’t require a credit check or a personal guarantee. It also offers bonus rewards on a variety of purchase categories – but you can only earn bonus points if it’s your only corporate card.
The card just launched the Brex Remote Collaboration rewards program as an alternative to its standard rewards program. If you opt into this, instead of earning bonus points on rideshares and travel booked through Brex, you’ll earn 7x points on collaboration services including Zoom, Slack, GoToMeeting.com, Gong, and Monday.com. You’ll also earn 3x points with food delivery services including DoorDash and Seamless.
Make sure to use an online shopping portal
Whenever you shop online, it’s worth taking a few extra seconds to go through a shopping portal, since you can earn a ton of bonus rewards or cash back by clicking through one of these sites.
Airlines and credit card issuers, along with a handful of hotel brands, operate shopping portals that award you bonus loyalty points in their respective programs when you click through from the portal to a retailer’s website. For example, if you’re a United flyer, you can click through the airline’s MileagePlus Shopping site to earn bonus miles with Bed Bath & Beyond, Sephora, Staples, and dozens of other online shops.
Online shopping portal bonuses change all the time, and not every portal partners with the same retailers. To see your best options for earning rewards, search for the retailer on Cashback Monitor or Evreward. Both of these sites show you all your different shopping portal options for earning points, miles, or cash back.
Once you’ve decided which shopping portal you want to use, make sure you’re logged into your associated loyalty program account, then find the retailer in the portal and click through. This is an easy way to maximise a credit card purchases that would otherwise only earn you 1 point or 1% cash back.
Don’t forget about Amex Offers and cash-back deals through Chase
Amex Offers are limited-time deals available to cardholders, letting you earn cash back or bonus Membership Rewards points when you make purchases with retailers such as Wine.com, Levi’s, and Blue Apron. The offers are targeted, meaning not every cardholder will see the same deals in their account, and you need to make your purchase with the Amex card tied to a given deal in order to be eligible for cash back or bonus points.
Chase Offers work similarly; if you have a Chase card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited or the Chase Sapphire Preferred, log into your account and see what offers are available. Click on any offers you want to use to add them to your account, then use the corresponding Chase card to complete your purchase. Currently, Chase Offers are limited to cash back, ranging from 10% back at H&M to 5% back at Rite Aid.
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