You may already know that shopping with a credit card is safer online. Credit cards have stronger fraud protections, so you can’t be held liable for charges you don’t authorize. Debit cards aren’t required to have this same level of protection (though some do). In short, it’s a good idea to use a credit card rather than a debit card if you’re going to shop online.
Plus, there are some great credit cards out there that give you excellent points or cash-back rewards when you use them to shop online. Here are our five favorite options to check out:
What to Look for in an Online Shopping Card
So how did we come up with this list? Well, here are some of the things we looked for in the cards that we vetted. You might want to use these same criteria when you’re looking for a credit card to use for shopping online:
- Fraud Protections: The best credit cards these days have a $0 fraud liability clause that lets you off the hook for any fraudulent charges. Since your credit card number is more vulnerable when you use it online, this is a great protection to look for in a credit card for shopping online. Federal restrictions keep fraud protections pretty solid for consumers, but $0 is the best it gets, obviously.
- Great Cash Back or Points: You want your card to give you the most cash back or points at the places you frequently shop, whether in store or online. These cards automatically have good all-around rewards, or they have rotating categories that at least sometimes offer big bonuses for online shopping.
- Decent Bonuses: If you’re looking for a new credit card, you might as well look for one that has a good sign-on bonus. This wasn’t a deal breaker when we were looking for these cards. But it’s a helpful additional perk if you’re waffling between two options.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa®
The Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® is a great option for straight up cash-back rewards on any purchases, including online purchases. And if you’re ready to make a big purchase or two today, you’ll get 0% APR on purchases for the first 15 months of card ownership.
What I like about this card is that it makes it easy to get your cash back without thinking about it. You can get 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases. Plus, you’ll get a $150 cash rewards bonus when you spend just $500 on purchases within the first three months of owning the card. And it doesn’t have an annual fee.
If you’re looking for a decent amount of cash back on a card you don’t have to put much thought into, this is a great option.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
If you have excellent credit and want to earn a ton of miles for your next trip, the Capital One Venture Rewards card may be for you. This card offers 2X miles per dollar on every purchase. Plus you can get 10X miles when you spend on hotel purchases at thousands of hotels.
This card also offers a 50,000 bonus mile bonus when you spend $3,000 within three months of opening the card. The card also offers $0 annual fee in the first year, but it’s $95 per year after that.
What makes this card a good one for online purchases is that 2X miles per dollar spent every day. But it also offers great rewards and benefits that are otherwise geared towards travel, including transferable miles that connect to several potential partner programs and benefits for Global Entry and TSA precheck fees.
Read our full Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card Review
Discover it® Cash Back
This card hits it out of the park when it comes to solid cash back rewards. It offers 1% on everyday spending for every item. But it really shines in its rotating bonus categories. Each quarter, you can get a 5% cash back bonus on up to $1,500 in purchases from various categories.
The last quarter is typically a bonus from Amazon.com, which makes it a great option for shopping online for holiday gifts and other year-end purchases. Plus, Discover will match all of the cash back you earn in the first year of card membership at the end of that first year, which could be a significant bonus if you use this card frequently.
This card has some great fraud protection benefits, too, including:
- A Quick Freeze Option For Your Account: If you think your card is missing or your number has been compromised, you can flip your account on and off via your mobile app or website to prevent further activity. It’s less permanent than asking for a replacement card, but a quick way to protect yourself.
- Credit Monitoring: Discover monitors your purchases for suspicious activity. If they think your spending is out of line with your habits, they’ll alert you.
- $0 Fraud Protection: You aren’t responsible for any part of an unauthorized purchase on your Discover card.
- Free FICO Statement: You can also get access to a FICO score on your monthly credit card statement. This is helpful if you’re trying to boost your credit, but can also help you be alert to potential identity theft and fraud on your other, non-Discover accounts.
Along with all these benefits, this card also boasts a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months and no annual fee.
Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you, like me, are an Amazon addict, this could be the credit card you need. This Amazon branded card from Chase has some excellent benefits, including 3% cash back for every purchase from Amazon.com. It also offers 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
It’s also a great travel card since it offers no foreign transaction fees, travel and emergency assistance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, and even protection for rental cars.
This card also has no annual fee, and you can get a $50 Amazon gift card as soon as you’re approved for the card. That will be linked to your Amazon account and available for immediate use. Since most cards require actually using the card to get any sort of bonus, this is a pretty great perk.
One potential drawback of this card is that the easiest way to redeem your rewards is on Amazon products at checkout. You can redeem these in any amount when you’re checking out on Amazon. You can also cash in points for cash through an electronic deposit or statement credit, but not until you get to 2,000 points.
Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa
Again, if you’re like me and you swear by your Amazon Prime membership, you can actually upgrade the above card to the Amazon Prime Rewards Signature Visa card. It has similar perks, but it offers a whopping 5% cash back on all Amazon purchases and purchases at Whole Foods Market.
This card also offers the 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores, as well as 1% cash back on all other purchases. This card offers a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval. To qualify for and keep this card, you just have to maintain an eligible Prime membership.
This relative newcomer offers some interesting cash back perks, though not exclusively on online purchases. Its highest earning category is 4% cash back on dining, including restaurants, bars, takeout, and UberEATS. It also offers 3% cash back on hotels and airfare, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
But our category of interest is online purchases, which earn 2% cash back. The interesting thing here is that the definition of online purchases is pretty broad. It includes, for instance, Uber rides, online shopping, online video services, and online music streaming services. Plus it comes with a $50 subscription credit for online subscription services when you meet a spending threshold on your card.
As a bonus, this card offers an extra $100 in cash back when you spend $500 on purchases within the first 90 days of card ownership.
In short, this card isn’t anything flashy with additional features. But its cash back features are a great option for those who like to shop online and dine out.
Citi Double Cash
This no annual fee credit card offers a flat 2% cash back on purchases, though it comes in segments. You get 1% cash back when you make the purchase and another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. That 2% doesn’t seem like a lot, but since it covers all your purchases, it’s actually really hard to beat.
If you shop online at more stores than Amazon and hate rotating categories, the Citi Double Cash could be your best friend when it comes to shopping online. Again, it doesn’t have an annual fee, and it even has a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months right now. The card also offers great fraud protection features, including:
- Fraud alerts monitored around the clock
- In-house identity theft help if you become the victim of identity theft
- EMV chip technology for additional protection
- $0 liability for unauthorized charges
- A lost wallet service that guarantees to replace your card, typically within 24 hours, and can provide you with emergency cash in accordance with your cash advance limit
Read our full Citi Double Cash Credit Card Review
Each of these cards is a great option for shopping online. The key is to find the card that best suits your needs and spending patterns so that you can get the cash back rewards that are highest for you.