Thanks to the power of the internet, you can buy whatever you want at any time, all while avoiding crowds and saving both time and energy. You can even order groceries and household essentials and have them magically show up on your doorstep. With all these benefits, it’s no wonder online stores like Amazon.com continue to gain market share.
Fortunately, there are plenty of rewards credit cards that let you take your online shopping up a notch, mostly by offering an additional layer of rewards for each dollar you spend. If you shop online anyway, you might as well pay with plastic and get something in return.
Before you choose a new card for your online shopping bill, check out Bankrate’s online shopping credit cards for 2021:
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card: Best for Amazon purchases
- Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi: Best for Costco purchases
- Discover it® Cash Back: Best for rotating categories
- Target REDcard: Best for Target.com purchases
- Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: Best for online travel purchases
- Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card: Best for Walmart purchases
- Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flexibility
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
- Earn 5 percent back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1 percent back on other purchases
- Receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card instantly upon card approval, or a $100 statement credit after spending $100 at a Whole Foods Market store within the first two months
- No annual fee, but an Amazon Prime membership is required
- Qualify for travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel accident insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection, auto rental collision damage waiver and more
Why it’s best for Amazon purchases
It’s obvious why the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is ideal for Amazon.com purchases, but you should note that the 5 percent back also applies to purchases made at Whole Foods Market. If you want to use this card as your everyday card, you’ll be happy to know you can earn 2 percent back on dining, gas stations and drugstore purchases, as well as 1 percent back on everything else.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee, but you do have to be an Amazon Prime member to qualify (annual Prime memberships cost $119).
The rewards you earn can be redeemed for more purchases on Amazon.com, gift cards, travel and cash back—both as a direct deposit into a checking account or as a statement credit on your credit card bill. You can redeem your points in any increments you want.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- Earn 4 percent back on eligible gas purchases, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year (then 1 percent), 3 percent back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases worldwide and 2 percent back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- Earn 1 percent back on all other purchases
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- Rewards are redeemable as an annual credit certificate for cash back or Costco merchandise once per year
Why it’s best for Costco purchases
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is a solid option for shopping on Costco.com since you earn 2 percent back in this category. However, you also earn 3 percent back on eligible travel purchases, which includes online travel bookings made with Costco Travel.
Additionally, earning 4 percent back on up to $7,000 spent on eligible gas purchases each year is a major plus. This card doesn’t charge an annual fee with your paid Costco membership.
One downside is you only receive rewards earned with this card once per year when your February account statement closes and they can only be used at Costco or Costco.com.
Discover it® Cash Back
- Earn 5 percent cash back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly rotating categories (then 1 percent, activation required) plus 1 percent back on all other purchases
- Discover will match all your rewards after the first 12 months
- No annual fee
- No late fee on your first late payment (after that, it’s up to $40)
Why it’s best for rotating categories
The Discover it® Cash Back lets you earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in categories that rotate (then 1 percent, activation required), and online shopping is a common option at least once per year.
From October to December 2021, for example, Discover categories include purchases made with Amazon.com, Target.com and Walmart.com—just in time for all your holiday shopping. And remember, Discover will match all the rewards you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
You won’t pay an annual fee or a fee for your first late payment, either. You’ll also earn a flat 1 percent back on all other purchases you make, which can add up over time.
- Receive 5 percent off all purchases made in Target stores or on Target.com
- No annual fee
- Qualify for free shipping on most items and an additional 30 days for returns and exchanges
Why it’s best for Target.com purchases
If you shop at Target stores or on Target.com, you should consider the Target REDcard. This card gets you 5 percent off all Target purchases, but you’ll also qualify for special benefits like more free shipping opportunities and a longer timeline for exchanges and returns.
Just remember that you don’t earn “rewards” with this credit card. Instead, the 5 percent is applied directly as a discount on all your Target purchases.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
- Earn 60,000 points when you spend $4,000 within three months of account opening
- Earn 2X points on dining and travel and 1X points on other purchases; also earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022
- $95 annual fee
- Benefits include no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation and interruption coverage, extended warranties, purchase protection and more
Why it’s best for online travel purchases
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a solid option for online travel purchases based on the fact that you earn 2X points on travel and dining. The bonus rewards you can earn on travel are unlimited, and you can earn these points with any purchase that codes as travel on your credit card statement.
The points you earn with this card also fall within the popular Chase Ultimate Rewards program, which lets you redeem points for gift cards, statement credits, cash back, merchandise, travel through the Chase portal or 1:1 transfers to Chase airline and hotel partners.
A $95 annual fee applies when you sign up, but the sign-up bonus alone is worth $750 in travel when you book through the Chase portal.
Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card
- Earn 5 percent back at Walmart.com or with the Walmart app, including grocery delivery and pickup; earn 2 percent back on purchases made at Walmart stores, Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations and on restaurants and travel and 1 percent back on other purchases
- For the first 12 months, earn 5 percent back in Walmart stores when you use Walmart Pay
- No annual fee
Why it’s best for Walmart purchases
While the Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card doesn’t offer a big sign-up bonus, you really do have the potential to earn a lot of rewards if you spend a lot at Walmart. Once you’re a cardholder, you will earn their top rate of rewards (5 percent back) on purchases made on Walmart.com or with the app, including grocery pickup and delivery services. You can also earn 2 percent back in popular categories and 5 percent back on in-store Walmart purchases for 12 months when you download and pay with Walmart Pay.
This card doesn’t charge an annual fee, and you can redeem your rewards for statement credits, gift cards, travel and more.
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card
- Earn a $200 online cash rewards bonus when you spend $1,000 in purchases on your card within 90 days of account opening
- Earn 3 percent cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2 percent at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category, grocery store and wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1 percent on all other purchases.
- Earn 25 percent to 75 percent more rewards as a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member
- No annual fee
Why it’s best for flexibility
The Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card is unique among rewards credit cards because you get to pick the category you’ll earn 3 percent back in. Options include gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement and furnishings, making it simple to choose the online shopping category and earn 3 percent back as you shop with online retailers throughout the year.
Just know that the 3 percent and 2 percent categories this card offers are limited to $2,500 in combined spending each quarter. This cap restricts how much you can earn in rewards, but at least you’ll rack up 1 percent back for all purchases over that limit, as well as all non-bonus spending.
You won’t pay an annual fee to carry this cash back credit card, and you can redeem your rewards for cash back, statement credits and transfers into a Merrill investing account.
The information about the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card has been collected independently by Bankrate.com. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer.
Don’t see the card for you? Our CardMatch feature can help you find a card that best fits your needs.
Best credit cards for shopping online
|Card name||Rewards rate||Annual fee||Best for|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Earn 5 percent back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, 2 percent back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1 percent back on other purchases||$0 with paid Amazon Prime membership||Amazon.com purchases|
|Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi||Earn 4 percent back on eligible gas purchases, including gas at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year (then 1 percent), 3 percent back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases worldwide and 2 percent back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
Earn 1 percent back on all other purchases
|$0 with your paid Costco membership||Costco purchases|
|Discover it® Cash Back||Earn 5 percent back on up to $1,500 spent in quarterly rotating categories (activation required, then 1 percent) plus 1 percent back on all other purchases||$0||Rotating categories|
|Target REDcard||Receive 5 percent off all purchases made in Target stores or on Target.com||$0||Target purchases|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred®||Earn 2X points on dining and travel and 1X points on other purchases; also earn 5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022||$95||Online travel purchases|
|Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Card||Earn 5 percent back at Walmart.com or with the Walmart app, including grocery delivery and pickup; earn 2 percent back on purchases made at Walmart stores, Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations, and on restaurants and travel and 1 percent back on other purchases
For the first 12 months, earn 5 percent back in Walmart stores when you use Walmart Pay
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 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||Flexibility|