The best credit cards for shopping

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There are a lot of rewards credit cards that can reward you for your shopping, but it’s important to pick one that aligns with your habits.

Here’s our take on the best credit cards for shopping to help you narrow down your list of options.



Best for flat-rate rewards: Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

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Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card

3.7 out of 5

From cardholders in the last year

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: This card offers a flat 2% cash back on every purchase you make — and it has no annual fee. That means you’ll be able to get solid value no matter where you shop.

The card also offers a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months after account opening.

Read our member reviews of the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card to get more details.

Best for rotating bonus categories: Chase Freedom Flex℠

Here’s why: You’ll earn an impressive 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent in bonus categories that rotate every three months. After reaching the spending cap, you’ll earn 1% back on bonus category purchases. You must activate your categories every quarter to earn that bonus rate.

In 2021, the card’s bonus categories have included wholesale clubs, home improvement stores, grocery shopping, and purchases made through PayPal and at Walmart.

What’s more, new cardholders will earn a $250 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months after you open your account.

Other bonus rewards rates include 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining, including takeout and eligible delivery services, and 3% on drugstore purchases. All other purchases will net you 1% back.

That’s not bad for a card with a $0 annual fee.

Read our member reviews of the Chase Freedom Flex℠ to learn more.

Best for a variety of online shopping: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

From our partner

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

See details, rates & fees

Here’s why: With this card, you’ll earn 3% cash back in a category of your choice — and the list of categories includes online shopping purchases, so you can maximize your rewards at a variety of retailers.

Cardholders will also earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. But the bonus earning rate stops once you hit a cap of $2,500 in combined spending in all three bonus categories each quarter, so spending a lot at grocery stores and wholesale clubs could limit the rewards you see from your online shopping. All other purchases, including what you spend after hitting the cap, will net you just 1% back.

As a new cardholder, you’ll earn a $200 bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening. There’s also a $0 annual fee.

Get more details about the card in our Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card review.

Best for Amazon: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Here’s why: As an Amazon Prime member, you’ll earn 5% cash back on every purchase you make on Amazon.com and at Whole Foods Market.

Cardholders also get 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on everything else.

As a new cardholder, you’ll get a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval.

There’s no annual fee, but keep in mind that it’ll cost you to get an Amazon Prime membership if you don’t already have one.

If you’re interested in applying, read our review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card to learn more.

Best for Target: Target RedCard™

Here’s why: You’ll get a 5% discount on all eligible purchases you make at Target stores and on Target.com. There are no rewards to track — you’ll get a simple discount on your purchases when you check out.

The card also offers free shipping on most items, access to exclusive offers and 30 more days for returns and exchanges. The 5% discount also applies to Starbucks purchases inside Target locations, so you can recharge while you shop.

Just keep in mind that you can only use the Target RedCard™ at Target. But if you shop there often enough, it can still be worth it. If you’re concerned about the hard inquiry on your credit reports, you might prefer the Target RedCard™ debit card. Both cards have no annual fee.

Get more details about the Target RedCard™ in our full review.

Best for Walmart: Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard

Here’s why: You’ll earn 5% cash back on Walmart.com, including pickup and delivery, plus 2% back in Walmart stores.

And during the first 12 months, you’ll get the 5% rewards rate in Walmart stores when you use Walmart Pay, too. Cardholders also earn 2% back at restaurants and on travel, and 1% back on everything else. Plus, there’s no annual fee.

If you’re not approved for this card, you’ll be automatically considered for the Walmart Rewards® Card, which is a store credit card that you can only use at Walmart. This card offers the same rewards on Walmart and Walmart.com purchases.

If you’re a regular Walmart shopper, read our review of the Capital One Walmart Rewards® Mastercard to find out if it’s right for you.

How we picked these cards

We chose our top credit cards for shopping with a variety of shopping habits and preferences in mind.

First, we considered the type of rewards program. While some shoppers prefer a flat rewards rate on everything, others might want the chance to maximize their rewards on certain everyday spending categories.

We also wanted to include a few retail credit cards from large stores that offer a wide range of items because they offer some of the best rewards for their regular shoppers.

Which type of credit card is best for online shopping?

There’s no one type of credit card that’s best for every kind of online shopping. When choosing a particular credit card for your shopping, you’ll want to pick one that aligns with your habits.

For instance, if you do most of your online shopping at a large retailer like Amazon or Target.com, you might want to pick one of their co-branded cards to maximize your rewards or savings. Similarly, if you do a variety of online shopping, you might want to choose a card that rewards you for all online shopping. The same idea holds for the shopping you might do in physical stores.

When you think you’ve settled on a card, though, make sure to read the fine print on your rewards categories. For example, if a card says it offers bonus rewards on grocery shopping, groceries at superstores like Walmart and Target and wholesale clubs might be excluded. You’ll also want to double-check if online orders or delivery services are included in the bonus category.

What’s the easiest store credit card to get?

Application standards for store credit cards aren’t typically made public, but it’s generally agreed that many retail credit cards can be easier to get than other types of cards. But that isn’t true across all store credit cards, so don’t assume that you’ll be able to qualify when you apply. 

We advise doing research on specific cards before you apply, especially if you’re trying to build your credit.

What are the risks of store credit cards?

Store credit cards have their pros and cons, just like any type of card. But there are particular risks with some store cards.

For example, these cards tend to come with higher interest rates and lower credit limits. If you carry a balance, that means you might end up paying more in interest than you get from your rewards.

Additionally, it’s important to keep in mind that these cards are meant to get you to shop at the co-branded stores. Consider if a store credit card is rewarding you for the shopping you already do, or if you find yourself spending more than you would otherwise just to get access to special benefits or deals.


About the author: Ben Luthi is a personal finance freelance writer and credit cards expert. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and finance from Brigham Young University. In addition to Credit Karma, you can find his wo… Read more.