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Updated November 16, 2015

Study: Credit Cards for Online Shopping 2015

Here are the best credit cards from our partners for online shopping

This article contains references to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You can help support CreditDonkey by reading our website and using our links. (read more)

To attract new customers, many credit cards offer special deals specifically for online shopping - and you could easily earn cash back and rewards just for buying things you’d be buying anyway.

Why not give to yourself while you’re giving to others? All you need to do is make sure you’re armed with the right credit cards before you start filling up your shopping cart.

We’ve done the hard work by zeroing in on the new offers from our partners that will give you the best payback. Of course, this money-saving idea assumes you’ll pay off your balance when it comes due, otherwise the late fees and interest charges negate the sweet perks.

Here were the guidelines we used in our study: Taking into account nationwide averages, we measured the perks of various cards based on an average American consumer (for the purposes of this article, we’ll call him Jake). Jake spends $700 shopping online from Thanksgiving through December.

Below are the credit cards from our partners that came out best for an online holiday shopper like Jake:

Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom comes in with Jake pocketing $157 by the time he's done. Assuming Jake was new to using the Chase Freedom card and he used only that card for all of his online shopping, he would earn:

  • $150 from Chase’s bonus offer since he’s a first-time cardmember and spent over $500 within the first three months of opening his account.

  • $7.00 from the 1% cash back on the $700 Jake spent.

Chase Freedom
Apply for Chase Freedom
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After the intro period, a variable APR of 13.99-22.99%
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like Gas Stations, Restaurants, and Select Grocery Stores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash Back rewards never expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% Intro APR for 15 Months
0% Intro APR for 15 Months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable

For all the cards mentioned with 5% cash back categories, consumers must manually enroll in the 5% bonus spending categories, which change each quarter, but the process is quick and easy. All of the cards limit the amount of spending that can fall into the 5% bucket (e.g.: earn up to $75 cash back per quarter for Discover It and Chase Freedom.)

Honorable Mentions

For travelers who plan to spend over $3,000 within the first 90 days, take a look at the Barclaycard Arrival Plus. It offers 40,000 bonus miles if you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of opening your account – that's worth a $400 travel statement credit. Moreover, you earn 2x miles on all purchases. There is an $89 annual fee, which is waived for the first year.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
Apply for Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard
At Barclaycard's Secure Site
  • Earn 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases
  • Get 5% miles back to use toward your next redemption, every time you redeem
  • Chip card technology, so paying for your purchases is more secure at chip-card terminals in the U.S. and abroad
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR will apply, currently 15.99% or 19.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Complimentary online FICO® Credit Score access for Barclaycard Arrival cardmembers
Introductory Bonus Airline RewardsAirline RewardsHotel RewardsTravel RewardsCar Rental RewardsTravel Accident InsuranceEmergency Assistance
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
15.99% or 19.99%* Variable
$89 - Waived first year

For big spenders who plan to spend thousands of dollars, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card will give you 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. That alone is worth $625 toward travel rewards when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards. There is a $95 annual fee, but that is waived the first year.

Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Apply for Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
At Chase's Secure Site
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • $0 foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance when used at a chip card reader
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points
  • Travel and shop with confidence with premium Travel and Purchase Protection Benefits, including Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Purchase Protection and more
  • 24/7 direct access to dedicated customer service specialists
  • Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
15.99% Variable
Introductory Annual Fee of $0 the first year, then $95

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Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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About CreditDonkey®
CreditDonkey is a credit card comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy financial decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: The card offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

*See the card issuer's online application for details about terms and conditions. Reasonable efforts are made to maintain accurate information. However, all information is presented without warranty. When you click on the "Apply Now" button you can review the terms and conditions on the card issuer's website.

CreditDonkey does not know your individual circumstances and provides information for general educational purposes only. CreditDonkey is not a substitute for, and should not be used as, professional legal, credit or financial advice. You should consult your own professional advisors for such advice.