Best Credit Cards for Shopping With Rewards Benefits
Learn about some of the best rewards benefits and how to make the most of them.
November 16, 2022
Credit cards are a convenient payment option and can help you build credit, but they also make it easy to overspend and fall into debt. For some, it may be best to avoid credit and to pay with cash or a debit card instead. If you do need a credit card, try to get a rewards card and use it to your advantage
In this guide, we will detail the best credit cards for shopping that have rewards benefits and how to keep your spending in check to avoid going into credit card debt.
9 of the best credit cards for shopping
You've likely seen television commercials advertising a wide range of rewards credit cards, each offering different rewards rates or other benefits and claiming to be the best credit card for shopping. However, selecting a card that fits your buying habits is essential if you want to make the most of your shopping rewards.
Here are nine of the best credit cards for shopping that can help you maximize your savings by offering rewards benefits.
1. Discover it Cash Back Credit Card
The Discover it Cash Back Credit Card has no annual fee. You can earn 5% cash back on purchases you make at places like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations — depending on that quarter’s rotating category.
Other features include 1% cash back on all other purchases and Unlimited Cashback Match, where the credit card company matches all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
2. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 3% cash back rewards in the category of your choice, 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% cash back on everything else. Keep in mind, the 3% and 2% cash back is only on the first $2,500 you spend on those categories per quarter.
There’s also an intro offer where you can receive a $200 cash reward bonus if you spend at least $1,000 in the first 90 days after your account opening.
3. Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card offers a 2% cash back rate on all purchases. The card also features a $0 annual fee and $0 fraud liability. You may use this card everywhere that accepts Mastercard, and the cash back is unlimited.
4. PayPal Cashback Mastercard
The PayPal Cashback Mastercard offers 3% cash back on every eligible purchase you make through your PayPal account. You also get 2% cash back on all other purchases.
5. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
With the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, you’ll get 6% cash back on up to $6,000 in grocery purchases per year at U.S. supermarkets, 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and 3% cash back on transit fees like taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains and buses.
Cash back comes in the form of reward dollars, which can be exchanged for a statement credit.
6. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
For starters, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card has the following welcome offer: If you spend $1,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days of opening your account, you get a $200 rewards bonus. Plus, for the first 15 billing cycles, purchases and balance transfers have a 0% introductory APR. After that, a variable APR will apply.
In addition, each quarter, you'll receive 5% cash back on your first $2,000 worth of purchases in two bonus categories of your choice.
There is no annual fee for this card.
7. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
With the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, every purchase you make gives you 1.5% cash back. You’ll also earn 5% cash back travel rewards when you book hotels and rental cars through Capital One Travel.
New cardholders receive a one-time $200 welcome bonus when they spend $500 on purchases within three months of enrollment.
This card also has no foreign transaction fees. In addition, there’s a 0% intro APR within the first 15 months of account opening. After that, the APR will vary.
8. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
With the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card, as a new cardholder, you’ll get a $200 cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first three months after card activation. Plus, you'll get 2% cash rewards on all retail and online purchases, no matter how much you spend.
The card has no annual fee and includes other perks like $0 liability purchase protection, cell phone protection and a convenient mobile app.
9. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
If online shopping is your thing, you might like the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card. Its rewards program has two tiers: one for Prime members and one for non-Prime members.
If you have a Prime membership, you’ll receive 5% cash back on purchases made at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market, including when you buy Amazon gift cards. You’ll also get bonus rewards on select Amazon.com purchases.
If you don’t have a Prime membership, you’ll get 3% cash back on purchases made at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.
Both tiers receive 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back on everything else.
How to Use a Rewards Credit Card to Your Advantage
The sign-up bonuses and rewards can definitely be enticing, but credit card use can also be a slippery slope into debt. Here are some tips to help you use credit card rewards to your advantage without overspending or accruing interest charges.
Choose a card with the right rewards for you
The best credit card for shopping is the one with rewards that match your spending habits. For example, perhaps you don’t travel a lot, but you have a long commute to work (and frequent fill ups). In that case, you’ll be better off with a card that gives cash back on gas instead of rewards points on travel purchases.
Look at the card details before you apply and make sure the perks align with the places you shop and the types of things you buy.
Use the card for budgeted purchases
Want to avoid overspending? Budgeting is key. You can then use your credit card to pay for your everyday purchases you’ve budgeted for. This helps you maximize your cash back and other credit card rewards without overextending yourself financially.
Pay off the balance in full each month
When you use your credit card for expenses that are in your budget, you know you have the money on hand to pay your credit card statement in full by the due date. Paying off your balance each month helps you avoid interest charges and make the most of your rewards.
Let’s say you use your credit card to make $1,000 in purchases, and you earn 5% cash back (or $50). But if you only pay the minimum balance of $25 each month and have a 15% APR, it would take you 56 months to pay off the balance, and you’d spend $394 in interest, which would negate the $50 in extra cash you earned.
But if you pay the full $1,000 balance by your due date, you’ll owe $0 in interest and have an extra $50 in your pocket.
Be strategic about shopping with your rewards credit card
The best credit cards offer a variety of rewards and cash back. But just like credit cards that don’t include these perks, they can still result in overspending and debt. Make the most of the rewards you earn by choosing the right card for your spending habits, only using the card for budgeted expenses and paying the balance in full each month.
Do you have credit card debt that you want to pay off? Check out the Tally† credit card repayment app. It can help by combining your higher-interest credit card balances into a lower-interest line of credit.
†To get the benefits of a Tally line of credit, you must qualify for and accept a Tally line of credit. The APR (which is the same as your interest rate) will be between 7.90% and 29.99% per year and will be based on your credit history. The APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. Annual fees range from $0 - $300.