The 6 best credit cards for online shopping: Protect your purchases while earning bonus rewards (2024)

The Citi Premier® Card is no longer available for new applicants.

The average online shopper in the U.S. spends over $5,300 annually, according to a study by Insider Intelligence, so if you're not using the right credit card for your purchases, you're potentially missing out on valuable rewards and protections.

There is no "right" credit card for every situation, but there are better cards for certain categories of online shopping. One card may earn bonus points, miles or cash back at a specific retailer like Amazon, while another may earn extra rewards for food delivery. It's also important to consider a card's built-in coverages like purchase protection and extended warranty, especially when making larger purchases.

To help you make the best decision and maximize your purchases, CNBC Select has the details on the best credit cards for online shopping. (See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best cards.)

Best credit cards for online shopping

Best for cash back

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 per year, then 1%, 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits or at Amazon.com checkout.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, from the date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.99% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either$5or3%of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Who's this for? The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express is ideal for anyone who wants to earn cash back for their online shopping. It earns 3% back on U.S. online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in purchases per year (then 1%). Plus, it provides a special financing offer for purchases and balance transfers with a 0%intro APRfor the first 15 months from the date of account opening (19.24% - 29.99% variable APR afterward; see rates and fees).

The Blue Cash Everyday also has potentially valuable benefits for streaming and meal delivery services. Cardmembers can get up to $180 in Home Chef credit ($15 back a month; subject to auto renewal) and up to $84 in Disney Bundle credit ($7 back a month in the form of a statement credit) after spending $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal & enrollment required). In addition, this card comes with purchase protection, which covers eligible purchases for damage or theft for up to 90 days. Terms apply.

Best for delivery and takeout

American Express® Gold Card

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    4X Membership Rewards® points at Restaurants (plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X), 3X points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, 1X points on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $250

  • Intro APR

    Not applicable

  • Regular APR

    See Pay Over Time APR

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • See rates and fees, terms apply.

Read our American Express® Gold Card review.

Who's this for? If you like taking out or getting your food delivered, you'll love the American Express Gold Card. It earns a generous 4X Amex Membership Rewards® points at restaurants worldwide, which includes delivery and takeout in the U.S.

In addition to the bonus points, the American Express Gold card offers useful monthly credits you can use on food delivery apps. Cardmembers get up to $120 in dining credits each year (up to $10 back a month), which can be used with partners like Grubhub, Seamless and Goldbelly. The card also provides up to $120 in annual Uber Cash ($10 per month) that can be used for Uber Eats orders. Enrollment required. Terms apply.

The best way to use Amex Membership Rewards points is usually to transfer them to an airline or hotel partner, but you can also redeem them for gift cards, cash back and other rewards. To use the American Express Gold card's monthly dining credits, simply make an eligible purchase and the statement credit should automatically post to your account within 6 to 8 weeks. The Uber Cash is automatically deposited into your Uber account each month once you link your Amex Gold card.

Don't miss: Here's how American Express Gold Card members can score two lunches a month

Best for purchase protections

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

On Chase’s secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5X total points on flights and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases plus, 10X points on Lyft rides through March 2025

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.

  • Annual fee

    $550

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    22.49% - 29.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5%, minimum $5

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

  • Terms apply.

Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve® review.

Who's this for? The Chase Sapphire Reserve is a premium credit card loaded with benefits, including just about every type of purchase protection you could want. Purchases made with the card can qualify for the following:

  • Purchase protection: Eligible purchases are covered for 120 days from the date of purchase against theft, damage or loss for up to $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year.
  • Return protection: Eligible items the retailer will not allow you to return are covered for 90 days from the date or purchase for up to $500 per item and up to $1,000 per year.
  • Extended warranty: Get one additional year of protection on original warranties that provide coverage for three years or less. Covers up to a maximum of $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per account.

To take advantage of this card's extended warranty or return protection, you can file a claim at this site. For purchase protection, you can open a new claim here.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has a $550 annual fee, but it can be offset by perks like a $300 annual travel credit and access to over 1,300 airport lounges with a Priority Pass Select membership. Chase Ultimate Rewards® points can be redeemed for cash back, travel booked through the Chase travel portal or transferred to various hotel and airline partners.

Best for flexible bonus category

Citi Custom Cash® Card

On Citi's secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Special Travel Offer: Earn an additional 4% cash back on hotels, car rentals, and attractions booked on Citi Travel℠ portal through 6/30/2025.

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for first 15 months

  • Regular APR

    19.24% - 29.24% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum)

  • Foreign transaction fee

    3%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent, Good, Fair

  • See rates and fees. Terms apply.

Read our Citi Custom Cash® Card review.

Who's this for? The Citi Custom Cash Card earns 5% cash back on purchases in the category you spend the most in each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent (then 1%). The categories are:

  • Gas stations
  • Restaurants
  • Grocery stores
  • Select travel
  • Select transit
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Fitness club
  • Live entertainment

What's nice about this card is, the bonus cash automatically applies to the category you spend the most in each month. So you don't have to select the category in advance and hope that's where most of your purchases fall that month. If you buy expensive concert tickets one month and start a home improvement project next month, the 5% bonus cash back will apply to the category where you spent the most without requiring any extra steps.

Pro tip: Although billed as a cash-back card, if you have the Citi Strata PremierCard, you'll be able to transfer your Citi ThankYou® Rewards to any of Citi's 16 airline and hotel partners.

Best for small businesses

The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express

On the American Express secure site

  • Rewards

    Earn 2X Membership Rewards® points on everyday business purchases up to $50,000 per year, then 1X point per dollar

  • Welcome bonus

    Earn 15,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases on the Card within your first 3 months of Card Membership.

  • Annual fee

    $0

  • Intro APR

    0% for 12 months on purchases from date of account opening

  • Regular APR

    18.49% - 26.49% variable; APRs will not exceed 29.99%

  • Balance transfer fee

    N/A

  • Foreign transaction fee

    2.7%

  • Credit needed

    Excellent

See rates and fees, terms apply.

Who's this for? Anyone with a side hustle or small business can maximize their everyday spending, including online purchases, with The Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express. It earns 2X American Express Membership Rewards points on the first $50,000 in purchases each year, then 1X. Terms apply.

Its simple rewards structure allows card members to earn an above-average return without having to track specific spending categories. Plus, it has a $0 annual fee (see rates and fees), which makes it ideal for side hustles, freelancing or anyone just starting a business.

Best for Amazon

Prime Visa

  • Rewards

    Earn unlimited 5% back at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership, unlimited 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting (including rideshare), 10% back or more on a rotating selection of products and categories at Amazon.com, unlimited 1% back on all other purchases

  • Welcome bonus

    Get a $100 Amazon Gift Card (or more) instantly upon approval exclusively for Prime members

  • Annual fee

    $0 (but Prime membership is required)

  • Intro APR

    None

  • Regular APR

    19.49% - 27.49% variable

  • Balance transfer fee

    Either $5 or 4% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

  • Foreign transaction fee

    None

  • Credit needed

    Excellent/Good

  • Terms apply.

Information about the Prime Visa has been collected independently by Select and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

Who's this for? If you want to make the most of your Amazon purchases, the Prime Visa is the way to go. It earns 5% cash back on purchases with Amazon and Whole Foods.

This card also has limited-time offers to earn 10% back on rotating categories or select items. And on Prime Day, you'll usually be able to earn 6% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods. The Prime Visa also comes with purchase protection and extended warranty coverage.

While this card has a $0 annual fee, you do need to be an Amazon Prime member to be eligible for the card.

FAQs

There are advantages to using a credit card, as opposed to a debit card, for online shopping. You'll typically earn better rewards and have better protections compared to using a debit card or prepaid card.

The Chase Sapphire Reserve has return protection, purchase protection and extended warranty coverage. Plus, its coverages have higher limits or longer coverage periods than many other cards with these types of benefits.

The best credit card for online shopping is the one that earns the type of rewards you prefer and aligns with your spending habits.

Bottom line

Whenever shopping online, make sure you use a credit card that will get you the best return on your purchases and offers important purchase protections. Whether you want to earn cash back, points or miles, there's a credit card for you.

Subscribe to the CNBC Select Newsletter!

Money matters —so make the most of it. Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox.Sign up here.

Why trust CNBC Select?

At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money. Every credit cardreview is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit cardproducts.While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics. Seeour methodologyfor more information on how we choose the best credit cards for online shopping.

Our methodology

To determine which cards are best for online shopping,CNBC Selectanalyzed over 230 of the most popular credit cards available in the U.S. We compared each card on a range of features, including: rewards, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available. We also considered additional perks, the application process and how easy it is for the consumer to redeem points.

Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage ofcredit cards,bankingandmoney, and follow us onTikTok,Facebook,InstagramandTwitterto stay up to date.

Read more

Here are the best credit cards to earn cash back and finance your Amazon purchases

11 tips for saving money at the grocery store

Save on essentials with the best credit cards for maximizing everyday purchases

Get up to $10,000 in damage or theft purchase protection with these credit cards

Information about the Prime Visa has been collected independently by Select and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer prior to publication; if you purchase something through Select links, we may earn a commission.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the Blue Business® Plus Credit Card from American Express, click here.

For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold Card, click here.

Editorial Note: Opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the Select editorial staff’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any third party.

The 6 best credit cards for online shopping: Protect your purchases while earning bonus rewards (2024)
Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Kareem Mueller DO

Last Updated:

Views: 6386

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (66 voted)

Reviews: 89% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Kareem Mueller DO

Birthday: 1997-01-04

Address: Apt. 156 12935 Runolfsdottir Mission, Greenfort, MN 74384-6749

Phone: +16704982844747

Job: Corporate Administration Planner

Hobby: Mountain biking, Jewelry making, Stone skipping, Lacemaking, Knife making, Scrapbooking, Letterboxing

Introduction: My name is Kareem Mueller DO, I am a vivacious, super, thoughtful, excited, handsome, beautiful, combative person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.