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Best credit cards for online shopping

Shop securely and save on extra fees when shopping online.

While there’s no single best credit card for online shopping, many come with protections or bonuses for making purchases online. When choosing our favorite cards, we compared a variety of factors a consumer might want from a shopping card, including rewards rates, store brands, welcome offers and shopping perks like purchase protection. We selected the cards that stood out in one or several categories for our list.

What are the best credit cards for online shopping?

The best online store credit cards tend to have no annual fees. That’s good news as it means your rewards are all upside.

Before spending with a card, check whether there are any merchant exclusions. Some purchases may not qualify for bonus rewards.

Best for flat-rate rewards

Citi® Double Cash Card

Finder rating 3.8 / 5 ★★★★★

If your head is spinning from bonus categories with other cards, you might like a flat-rate rewards card. The Citi® Double Cash Card fits the bill, offering up to 2% cash back on all purchases — including online shopping. It's a stellar choice if you want to keep things simple.

Best overall for online shopping

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards

Finder rating 4.6 / 5 ★★★★★

This card strikes the best balance between versatility and strong rewards. The online shopping bonus category includes a variety of merchants, including Amazon, Best Buy, Apple, Target and Macy's. Additionally, 3% - is a great cashback rate. All this makes for a reliable card you can use widely for online purchases.

One of the few downsides of this card is the $2,500 quarterly cap on bonus-reward spending. If you spend big on online purchases, you might get more out of a card that doesn't limit your rewards.

Best for overall cashback rate for online shopping

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

Finder rating 4.4 / 5 ★★★★★

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
If you spend in specific online-shopping categories, this card can be an excellent pick. You'll earn a top-notch rewards rate in your choice of two categories, which might include department stores, electronics stores and more. Plus, you'll earn solid rewards in one everyday category of your choice.

Best for holiday spending

Discover it® Cash Back

Finder rating 4.8 / 5 ★★★★★

Using the Discover it® Cash Back card, you'll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter, and 1% back after that. Unlike some other rotating cashback cards, you don't get to choose your categories from a broader list. That means your 5% earning potential will be locked in to just the retailers offered for that quarter. However, these categories tend to align with the season, so you can usually expect at least one solid online retailer in time for the holidays.

Best for flat-rate rewards

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
If your head is spinning from bonus categories with other cards, you might like a flat-rate rewards card. The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® fits the bill, offering 2% cash back on all purchases — including online shopping. It's a stellar choice if you want to keep things simple.

Best for Amazon shoppers

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

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Terms apply, see rates & fees
The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is a great choice if you make a ton of Amazon purchases each year and will use card rewards on more Amazon purchases. You'll enjoy a great cashback rate on Amazon purchases, which now includes Whole Food purchases as well.

What’s changed in 2021?

Walmart and Capital One introduced its new Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard®. Since it’s a Mastercard, you can use it virtually anywhere credit cards are accepted.

Tips for safely shopping online with a credit card

It’s relatively safe to shop online using a credit card. That said, there are always extra safety precautions you can take. Here are a few tips:

  • Shop only on secure websites. To check if a website is secure — meaning your information will be encrypted — check that the website URL starts with “https.” Also, look for an image of a small padlock, which is typically near the address bar.
  • Regularly check your credit card statements. This will help you spot fraud on your credit card. Fraudulent transactions on your card are usually reversible if you notify your issuer promptly.
  • Sign up for account alerts. If your issuer offers these, it’ll notify you via your preferred communication method if it sees fraud on your account.
  • Bank with issuers that provide unique security features. Some providers let you instantly freeze your card. Others let you generate temporary credit card numbers. The advantage of the latter is if a temporary number is compromised, fraudsters won’t have your main credit card number.
  • Opt for a virtual credit card. For an added layer of protection while shopping online, consider a virtual card. Virtual credit cards aren’t standalone cards — they’re a security feature offered by some card providers to help protect your information online. With this feature enabled, a random credit card number is generated for the purposes of online transactions.

If you’d like more options to protect yourself while shopping online, consider cards that offer fraud protection.

How to choose a credit card for online shopping

Choosing the right card for online shopping often depends on your preferred online store. But there are also other card features you should consider before you pull the trigger on any card. For example:

  • Rewards. Look for a card that offers bonus rewards at online retailers. You’re often getting a good deal if it offers a higher base rewards rate than 1%, the industry standard.
  • Where you typically shop. If you’re not particularly loyal to just one merchant, you might prefer a general rewards card to get solid rewards no matter where you shop. But if you do the majority of your online shopping with a single merchant, such as Amazon or Target, consider a cobranded card. These cards often have more perks or higher earning rates associated with the parent store, such as the Target REDcard™ Credit Card.
  • Interest rates. A 0% intro APR card can help you make purchases now and pay them off over time with no interest. You might also want to look for a card with low ongoing interest rates.
  • Foreign transaction fees. If you frequently make purchases with foreign online merchants, consider a card with no foreign transaction fees. Otherwise, you could pay up to 3% fee of the amount of every transaction. This means for every $1,000 spent at the store, you’ll pay $30 in foreign transaction fees.
  • Purchase protection. Credit card fraud protection is standard. However, not all cards have purchase protection or extended warranties — both of which can save you money if something goes wrong with a purchase. Consider these benefits when deciding on a card.

Do I really need a credit card for online shopping?

Truth be told, any credit card that’s from an accepted card network — Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover — can do the trick for online shopping. To determine if you really need a card for online shopping, consider whether you want to get extra benefits in the form of discounts, cash back and special offers.

For the occasional online purchase, getting a special credit card for this purpose may not be worth it. But for frequent online shopper, it’s definitely worth considering getting the right credit card.

The pros and cons of using a credit card for online shopping

Online credit card shopping has become a standard, everyday routine for many consumers. With that said, there are both pros and cons to using a credit card to shop online.


  • Avoid currency conversion fees. If you get a credit card with no or low currency conversion fees, you can make significant savings while making purchases with overseas retailers.
  • Earn while you spend. If your credit card comes with a rewards system, you can earn points as you spend. These points can be redeemed for cash back on your account, travel rewards, and merchandise and products from the rewards program online store.
  • Wide acceptance and protection. If your credit card is linked to one of the larger providers, such as Visa or Mastercard, you can make purchases internationally. These networks often come with additional security, such as Verified by Visa or Mastercard ID Theft Protection, giving you an extra layer of protection when shopping online.


  • Accumulating debt. Unlike a debit card or a prepaid card, a credit card is not linked to your own funds. So if you’re an impulsive or frequent spender, using your credit card for online purchases could quickly build up debt on your card. If you struggle to repay your balance in full, make sure to consider a card with low or no interest on purchases.
  • Security risks. While credit card security measures are in place to protect your finances against fraud or theft, no online purchase is entirely risk-free. Always research the site’s legitimacy and security before making a purchase.
  • Foreign fees. If your card doesn’t offer either a low or no currency conversion fee, your spending can increase significantly when making a purchase in a foreign currency.

Using a prepaid card to shop online

Consider a prepaid debit card if you want a secure way to make purchases online that isn’t tied to your savings account. You can load a prepaid card with funds and use them to make purchases.

If you’re trying to curb spending, this is a good way to stay within a budget. You can only spend the amount that’s loaded on the card and will need to reload more funds if your balance runs low.

As these cards are usually Mastercard or Visa products, you can use them both online and in-store at millions of locations around the world.

Potential drawbacks to using a prepaid card for online shopping

  • Fees. You may have to pay monthly fees, as well as fees when you want to reload your card. There may also be costs for activities like checking your balance or letting your card become inactive.
  • It’s not credit. You don’t have the opportunity to make purchases now and pay them off later as you would with a credit card.
  • You need to keep track of your balance carefully. While you might have a high credit limit on your credit card, you might not load a large amount onto a prepaid debit card. You’ll need to recalculate how much you have on your prepaid card after every online purchase.

Bottom line

Shopping online with a credit card is easy, convenient and can save you some cash over the long run when you pick the right card. Compare the best credit cards to find one that best suits your online purchasing needs.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    MeSeptember 28, 2018

    Trying to make purchase online on overseas site. Called credit card company and was told they could not see the denied transaction. Which card is best for overseas online shopping

    • Avatarfinder Customer Care
      JoshuaOctober 1, 2018Staff

      Hi Me,

      Thanks for getting in touch with finder. I hope all is well with you. :)

      As a comparison website, we are not permitted to provide specific recommendations. However, this page is designed to help you make the right decision. After reading our guide, you may then start comparing your options by using the table above. Please review the criteria, details of the card, and its conditions, then contact the provider by clicking directly on the “Go to site” green button. From there, you can then discuss your card options and eligibility.

      I hope this helps. Should you have further questions, please don’t hesitate to reach us out again.

      Have a wonderful day!


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