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Updated November 17, 2014

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 $207 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:

  • $200 from Chase’s bonus limited time 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
  • For a limited time, earn a $200 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 October 1 – December 31, 2014 at Amazon.com, Zappos.com and select department stores
  • 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
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.99% - 22.99% (Variable)
$0

Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash Card
Apply for Citi Double Cash Card
At Citi's Secure Site
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The only card that earns you cash back twice on every purchase with:
  • 1% cash back when you buy
  • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
  • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories
  • No Annual Fee
Cash Back Rewards
Intro APR for PurchasesIntro APR for Balance TransferRegular APRAnnual Fee
0%* for 15 months*
0%* for 15 months*
12.99% - 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 (earn up to $75 per quarter for Discover It and Chase Freedom and earn up to $300 per calendar year for Citi Dividend Platinum Select.)

Honorable Mentions

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

If he used this card, Jake would earn $35 as cash back (because he’d receive 5% cash back on that $700 spent on online shopping between October and December 2014 - requires free activation).

Jake could make those earnings even higher if he shopped on ShopDiscover, Discover's online shopping portal. When Discover account holders go through ShopDiscover to make their online purchases from certain retailers, they earn 5% to 20% back. 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%.
  • Over 5,000 cardmembers rated 4.8 out of 5 stars* and now Discover "Ranked Highest in Customer Satisfaction with Credit Card Companies in a Tie" by J.D. Power*.
  • 5% cash back for online shopping and department store purchases on up to $1,500 - Oct. through Dec. 2014 when you sign up for 5%*. 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements*.
  • 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 Discover card purchases.
  • *+See rates, rewards, free FICO® Credit Score 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 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 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $400 travel statement credit
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months for each Balance Transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that, a variable APR currently 14.99% or 18.99%, depending on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 2X miles on all purchases - Miles don't expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Chip card for increased confidence and convenience to pay abroad as easily as you do at home
  • Redeem your miles for travel statement credits - redemptions start at 2,500 miles for $25 toward travel purchases made in the last 120 days
  • Get 10% miles back to use toward your next redemption every time you redeem for travel statement credits
  • No foreign transaction fees on anything you buy while in another country
  • 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
N/A
0% for 12 months (must be completed within first forty-five days of account opening)
14.99% or 18.99%* (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 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(SM).
  • 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 and Signature enabled for international travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading frequent travel programs at full value - that means 1,000 Ultimate Rewards points equal 1,000 partner miles/points.
  • 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 otherwised endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

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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.

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