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Updated March 25, 2015

Study: Credit Cards for Online Shopping 2014

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

This article has references or links to products from our partners. We receive compensation if you apply or shop through links in our content. You support CreditDonkey by 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 $107 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:

  • $100 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
  • Named a Best Card for Cash Back by MONEY® Magazine
  • Earn a $100 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%
  • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between 4/1/15-6/30/15 at Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond®, H&M®, and Overstock.com®.
  • You'll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like Gas stations, Restaurants and Amazon.com. It's free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee and rewards never expire as long as your account is open
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% Variable
$0


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 shoppers with an existing balance, take a look at the Discover It.

Jake could earn additional cashback if he shopped on Discover Deals, Discover's online shopping portal. When Discover account holders go through Discover Deals to make their online purchases from certain retailers, they can earn extra Cashback Bonus. Plus, the Discover It offers price protection, extended warranty and return protection on eligible items.

This card is particularly helpful for people looking for a balance transfer deal. Discover It offers 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months, after which the variable purchase APR comes into effect (currently 10.99% - 22.99%). You’ll pay a 3% fee for each balance transferred.

Discover it
Apply for Discover it
At Discover's Secure Site
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months-then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • New Freeze ItSM on/off switch lets you prevent new purchases, cash advances and balance transfers. Freeze or unfreeze your account in seconds via our website or mobile app.*
  • 5% cash back in categories that change each quarter up to the quarterly maximum when you sign up.* Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score on monthly statements, online and in our mobile app.*
  • No annual fee, no late fee for your first late payment, APR won't go up for paying late, no overlimit fee and no foreign transaction fee.*
  • Each Discover purchase is monitored. If it's unusual, you're alerted by e-mail, phone or text-and never responsible for unauthorized purchases on your Discover card.
  • *See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score terms, balance transfer terms and other info by clicking "Apply."
Cash Back RewardsBonus Cash BackNo Limits on RewardsExtended WarrantyPurchase ProtectionReturn Protection$0 Fraud Liability
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 6 months
0% for 18 months
10.99% - 22.99% Variable*
$0

For big spenders who plan to spend thousands of dollars, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred. The card will give you 40,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account. That alone is worth $500 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 40,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $500 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
  • 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • No foreign transaction fees, plus chip-enabled for enhanced security and wider acceptance
  • 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
  • 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
N/AN/A
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.