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The best credit cards for online shopping:
- Best for 2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay): CitiÂ® Double Cash Card
- Best for Amazon and Whole Foods purchases:Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Best for Costco.com purchases: Costco Anywhere VisaÂ® Card by Citi
- Bonus cash back for online shopping: Bank of AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card
- Best for office supplies: Ink Business Cashâ” Credit Card
- Best for purchase protection: Platinum CardÂ® from American Express
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 â€” and by taking advantage of online shopping portals and other deals like Amex Offers â€” you can actually rake in the rewards on these purchases.
Best for 2% cash back on everything:
CitiÂ® Double Cash Card
The CitiÂ® 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 Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you want a card that offers bonus rewards on Amazon purchases, the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card 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:
Citi Costco Anywhere VisaÂ® Card by Citi
For Costco members who shop with the big-box retailer online, the Costco Anywhere VisaÂ® 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 AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card
The Bank of AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card 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 AmericaÂ® Cash Rewards credit card, your best bet 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 Cashâ” Credit Card
If you’re a freelancer or a small business owner, the Ink Business Cashâ” Credit Card is a great option for earning cash back on office supplies. You’ll earn 5% back (5x Chase Ultimate Rewards points) 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 Ultimate Rewards travel card such as the Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® Card or the Ink Business PreferredÂ® Credit Card, you can move over cash-back rewards from the Ink Business Cashâ” Credit Card and unlock more redemption options.
Best for purchase protection:
The Platinum CardÂ® 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 CardÂ® 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 â€” and it has a $US550 annual fee (See Rates) thanks to its long list of shopping and travel benefits â€” but you may be able to stack it with an Amex Offer to each additional cash back or rewards.
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 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 Best Buy, Home Depot, and Instacart. 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 UnlimitedÂ® or the Chase Sapphire PreferredÂ® Card, 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 â€” for instance, 10% back at Lowe’s or Rite Aid.
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