The Best Credit Card to Use for Online Holiday Shopping

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More people are turning to online shopping as their preferred method of finding that perfect gift during the holidays. They are able to beat the stress of fighting crowds at brick-and-mortar retailers while accessing a wider selection of goods. If you, like millions of others, are doing most of your holiday shopping online this year, you may as well make the most of it. Certain credit cards offer rewards on purchases that make online shopping that much sweeter. Here are some of the best credit cards to use for online holiday shopping.

Best credit cards for online shopping this Holiday season.

Best credit cards for online shopping this Holiday season.

American Express Blue Cash Credit Cards

If you prefer cash back on your purchases over travel rewards, the BlueCash credit cards from American Express may be the choice for you.  The American Express Blue Cash offers two card options. Each card offers different percentages of cash back in expenditures at supermarkets, gas stations, and eligible department stores. The right card for you really depends on how much you spend.

The Blue Cash rewards cards bonus rewards only apply to purchases made at eligible retailers. For example, the caveat that grocery store rewards only apply to purchases made at “U.S. supermarkets” isn’t as self-explanatory as it sounds. Here are the eligible retailers for bonus rewards.

U.S. Supermarkets

Eligible supermarkets do not include specialty stores (cheese shops, bakeries, etc.) or superstores (Target, Amazon, etc.). Eligible supermarkets include the following:

  • Whole Foods
  • Winn Dixie
  • Meijer
  • Stop and Shop
  • Online supermarkets, such as FreshDirect

U.S. Gas Stations

Eligible gas stations include major stand-alone gas station chains, such as:

  • Shell
  • Exxon
  • Mobil

Gas stations attached to superstores, such as Wal-Mart or Costco, are not eligible.

Major Drugstores

  • CVS
  • Wallgreens
  • Rite Aid
  • DUANEreade

U.S. Department Stores

  • Bealls
  • Belk
  • Bloomingdale’s
  • Bon Ton Stores
  • Boscov’s
  • Century 21 Department Stores
  • Dillard’s
  • J.C. Penney (JCP)
  • Kohl’s
  • Lord & Taylor
  • Macy’s
  • Neiman Marcus
  • Nordstrom
  • Saks Fifth Avenue
  • Sears
  • Stein Mart

Blue Cash Preferred® 

Highlights

AMEX offers $250 back in the form of a statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first three months of membership.

Why This is a Great Card for Holiday Shopping

In addition to cash back rewards on eligible purchases, account holders can start spending instantly. If you are eligible for an Instant Card Number, you can spend online or through your Digital Wallet before your card arrives in the mail.

Like the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express  credit card offers an extended warranty up to 1 year on a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less. The coverage is limited to the actual amount charged on your card for the item, up to $10,000 per item. The Blue Cash Preferred credit card also offers Purchase Protection up to 90 days and $1,000 per occurrence.

The Blue Cash Preferred credit card also offers account holders access to 2-day free shipping from eligible retailers through their ShopRunner program. The ShopRunner includes a growing 140+ network of retailers nationwide.

Account holders also have up to 90 days to return an eligible purchase. If the merchandiser won’t take it back, you may be eligible for a refund. This is a great benefit for those difficult to shop for people on your list!

The Details

Rewards Rate: Cash back rewards vary dependent upon the type of expenditure. All Rewards Dollars can be redeemed for a statement credit. Account holders receive:

  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year in purchases. After that, they earn 1% cash back.
  • 3% cash back U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores.
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Annual Fee: $95

Typical Credit Score: Excellent (690 – 850)

Blue Cash Everday® 

Highlights

New account holders get $200 cash back after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening an account.

Why This is a Great Card for Holiday Shopping

Just like the Preferred credit card, Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express account holders have access to the extended warranty, purchase protection, and ShopRunner benefits.

The Details

Rewards Rate: Cash back rewards vary dependent upon the type of expenditure. All Rewards Dollars can be redeemed for a statement credit. Account holders receive:

  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per calendar year
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Annual Fee: $0

Typical Credit Score: Excellent (690 – 850)

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Credit Card

Highlights

Frequent travelers will be the most impressed by the host of rewards offered by the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card. After spending $4,000 or more during the first three months after opening the card, new account holders will receive 50,000 bonus points. This translates to $625 towards travel when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Account holders also get double points for purchases related to travel and dining. The Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card also offers a 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs. Points transfers extend to the following major airline and hotel travel partners

Airline Travel Partners

  • British Airways Executive Club
  • Flying Blue AIR FRANCE KLM
  • Korean Air SKYPASS
  • Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer
  • Southwest Airlines Rapid Rewards
  • United Mileage Plus
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club

Hotel Travel Partners

  • IHG Rewards Club
  • Mariott Rewards
  • The Ritz-Carlton Rewards
  • World of Hyatt

Why This is a Great Card for Holiday Shopping

In addition to rewards, the Chase Sapphire Preferred credit card offers Purchase Protection for up to 120 days after purchase. This means that if that perfect gift you found is damaged or stolen, Chase has your replacement covered. This coverage extends up to $500 per claim or $50,000 per account. It also offers an Extended Warranty Protection plan – perfect for electronics. Chase extends the time period of the U.S. manufacturer’s warranty by an additional year (on eligible warranties of three years or less).

The Details

Rewards Rate: 1 point per dollar spent; double points on travel and dining expenditures

Annual Fee: $0 for the first year, then $95 annually

Typical Credit Score: Excellent (690 – 850)

 

American Express EveryDay® Credit Card

Outside of the BlueCash program, AMEX also offers the EveryDay Credit Card.

Highlights

Account holders are eligible to receive 10,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening an account. Membership Rewards points may be redeemed in the following ways:

  • Checkout at eligible merchants
  • Retail, entertainment, travel, and AMEX gift cards
  • Applied to eligible charges from previous statements
  • Travel booking
  • Transfer to an eligible loyalty program
  • Shopping for eligible products

Why This is a Great Card for Holiday Shopping

Account holders can earn 20% more points if they use their card 20 times or more during a single billing period. If you have a long holiday list, this may be the card for you. The option to redeem Membership Rewards points at eligible retailers and for eligible purchases is an additional benefit that most points-based credit cards don’t offer. Points can also be used at Boxed, which offers products at wholesale prices.

The Details

Rewards Rate: 1%

Annual Fee: $0

Typical Credit Score: Excellent (690 – 850)

 

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Geoff Whitmore

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The Best Credit Card to Use for Online Holiday Shopping
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About the Author

Geoff Whitmore
Geoff writes about how to book travel with award miles & points, reviews top travel credit cards, and basic rewards news.

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