Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Any Store
Best Credit Card for Shopping at Supermarkets, Gas Stations & Department Stores
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The American Express Blue Cash Everyday Card is great to have when you’re shopping for groceries, gas and anything department stores sell. Amex Blue Cash Everyday has a $0 annual fee and gives 1 - 3% cash back on purchases: 3% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 spent per year), 2% back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Amazon.com purchases also yield 20% back during the first 6 months, up to $150 back. The Blue Cash Everyday Card can even help you save on interest after a big-ticket shopping trip, offering an introductory APR of 0% for 15 months.
Best Credit Card for Shopping with Flat-Rate Rewards
Transfer Fee: 3% (min $5)
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Citi Double Cash Card is excellent for shopping because cardholders earn the same above-average rewards rate wherever they shop. That rate is 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy, 1% when you pay Citi), with no limit to how much cash back you can earn. Plus, Citi Double Cash has a $0 annual fee and is available to people with good credit.
Best Credit Card for Shopping with Initial Bonus Rewards
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Capital One Savor Card can make costly shopping trips pay off big time, thanks to its initial rewards bonus of $300 for spending $3,000 within 3 months of opening an account. Cardholders also earn unlimited rewards on purchases: 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% back at grocery stores, and 1% back on everything else.
Best Credit Card for Grocery Shopping
Best for U.S. Supermarkets
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card is the best credit card for grocery shopping right now, giving cardholders 6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%). That’s in addition to 6% cash back on U.S. streaming services, 3% on transit expenses, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 1% on everything else. The Blue Cash Preferred Card also offers $150 statement credit, which new cardholders can earn by spending $3,000 within 6 months of opening an account. Plus, new cardholders earn 20% back on purchases from Amazon.com, up to $200 back, during the first 6 months. It also has no annual fee the first year ($95 after), making the card a good investment for frequent shoppers.
Best Credit Cards for Shopping Benefits
Best Purchase Protection
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: Elite credit cards offer elite benefits. For example, the best purchase protection policies come from Chase Sapphire Reserve® and J.P. Morgan Reserve Credit Card, which tied for the highest score from WalletHub’s editors. So you may be eligible for a refund if something you buy with these cards gets lost or stolen.
But those cards all have very high annual fees. If you don't want to pay an annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card also offers Chase's top-ranked purchase protection.
Best Price Protection
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Capital One SavorOne Card and its sibling, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, offer the market’s best price protection, earning a WalletHub score of 80%. Either card’s price protection policy could get you a refund for the difference if you find an item advertised for a lower price within 120 days after buying it. Capital One SavorOne has a $0 annual fee, a $200 initial bonus for spending $500 in the first 3 months, and ongoing earning rates of 1 - 3% cash back.
Best for Below-Average Credit
Best for Bad Credit
Transfer Fee: 3% intro balance transfer fee, up to 5% fee on future balance transfers (see terms)*
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is the best rewards credit card for people with below-average credit who don’t mind placing a refundable security deposit of at least $200, the amount of which will be the account’s spending limit. Discover it Secured Credit Card offers at least 1% cash back on all purchases, with the first $1,000 spent per quarter at gas stations and restaurants yielding 2% back. Plus, after the first year, Discover provides a bonus equal to your total rewards earnings from the first 12 months. That’s a great deal, making shopping just about as rewarding as it can be with a low credit score, especially since there’s no annual fee.
Best for Limited / Fair Credit
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is the best unsecured rewards credit card available to people with limited or fair credit who aren’t currently in college. QuicksilverOne gives 1.5% cash back on all purchases, in exchange for a $39 annual fee. That means it will pay off for cardholders whose shopping amounts to at least $2,600 per year, assuming they pay the bills in full each month and don’t rack up interest.
Online Shopping with Bad Credit
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: Fingerhut is a catalog retailer that sells a wide range of goods online and by phone. You can buy everything from clothing and electronics to furniture and appliances. The Fingerhut Credit Account makes it easier to complete those purchases and gives people with damaged credit a chance to rebuild at a low cost. Fingerhut Credit accepts applicants with bad credit and does not charge an annual fee, a monthly fee, or any kind of one-time initial fee. Fingerhut also reports account information to the three major credit bureaus each month.
Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Specific Stores
Best Store Credit Card for Shopping Overall
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Target REDcard is the best store credit card available right now, offering 5% back on all Target purchases, even including in-store Starbucks locations. The card also gets you free two-day shipping for online orders and 30 extra days to return items purchased either online or in store.
Best Store Credit Card for Online Shopping
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The best thing about the Walmart Store Card is its rewards rate for purchases made on Walmart.com or via the Walmart mobile app: 5% back on everything, including groceries that you order online but pick up at the store. Plus, new cardholders get 5% back on purchases made at Walmart stores for the first 12 months, as long as they use Walmart Pay to complete the transactions. In-store purchases normally yield 2% back, as do purchases made at Walmart and Murphy USA gas stations.
The Walmart Card also has no annual fee, and people with fair credit or better are eligible for approval.
Best Department Store Credit Card
Why It's One of the Best Credit Cards for Shopping: The Gap Store Card offers a 20% discount the day you are approved for an account, in addition to 1000 points (worth $10) after you register your e-mail address and sign up for electronic statements. You’ll also earn ongoing rewards at a rate of 5 points per $1 spent at Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy and Athleta – the equivalent of 5% cash back. There is no annual fee.
6 Tips for Saving on Shopping
- Budget Strategically. It’s hard to tell whether you’re overspending if you don’t know how much you can afford to spend as well as how much you actually spend. So you need to make a budget and stick to it. Start with your monthly take-home pay and subtract necessities such as rent, food, health insurance, credit card and loan payments, and retirement savings. Then figure out how you’d like to use the remaining amount. You may want to devote some to savings and earmark the rest for fun, such as shopping, for example. Once you know how much you can afford to spend on the various things you need and want to buy, you’ll be able to compare your credit card transactions to your plan to see if you’re overspending.
- Pick an Everyday Card. Using the Island Approach is another easy way to keep your spending in check. The idea is to use at least one credit card solely for everyday purchases that you should be able to pay for in full by your due date(s). If you ever see interest charges on your everyday account(s), you’ll know that you’re spending too much. And if you already have credit card debt or plan to make a big purchase that will take months to pay off, you can use a 0% credit card for that.
- Shop Around & Set Alerts. We all know that comparing costs among retailers is an easy way to identify savings opportunities. You can make this process easier by setting online news alerts for deals at your favorite stores or on particular items that you plan to buy.
- Limit Your Number of Transactions. From taxes to credit card processing to shipping fees, certain ancillary charges will accompany each individual purchase that you make. Planning out what you want to buy and determining how much you can get in one fell swoop can therefore enable you to maximize savings even more.
- Buy Gift Cards at a Discount. Most people don’t realize that you can save up to 15% on gift cards from most major retailers when you buy them online. Whether you’re buying them for personal use or as a gift for someone else, this strategy can put a lot of extra money in your pockets.
- Take Advantage of Credit Card Savings. Via lucrative initial rewards bonuses, 0% financing deals, and various other discounts, credit cards offer a number of different ways to save every time you shop.
- Avoid Deferred Interest Plans. Make sure to carefully read the fine print of any retailer-affiliated credit card that offers a 0% introductory rate. Many of these deals, according to WalletHub’s Deferred Interest Study, have a clause that allows the issuer to retroactively apply interest to your entire purchase amount if you don’t pay off your balance in full by the end of the introductory period.
With these tips in mind, you may want to take another look at the year’s best credit cards for shopping. For your convenience, we’ll summarize what the top cards bring to the table below.
WalletHub's Best Shopping Credit Cards of 2021:
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee||Best Feature|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Initial Bonus||$95||$300|
|Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||Flat-Rate Rewards||$0||2% Cash Back|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Everyday Bonus Categories||$0||1 - 3% Cash Back|
|Target Credit Card||Department Store||$0||5% discount|
|Walmart® Store Card||Online Shopping||$0||2 - 5 points / $1|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Grocery Shopping||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after||1 - 6% Cash Back|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||Limited/Fair Credit||$39||1.5% Cash Back|
|Fingerhut Credit Account||Bad Credit||$0||No initial or monthly fees|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve®||Purchase Protection||$550||1 - 3 points / $1|
Knowing your credit score is critical to finding the right credit card for your shopping needs. If you’re not sure where you stand, you can check your latest credit score for free on WalletHub, the only site with free scores and reports that are updated on a daily basis.
To identify the best credit cards for shopping, WalletHub’s editors compared 1,500+ credit card offers based on their rewards, rates, fees, credit score requirements, secondary features and overall savings potential for different types of shoppers.
In general, we focused on the terms that are most relevant to each type of transaction. For example, in choosing the best card for an initial rewards bonus, we concentrated on the bonus amount (in dollar terms), the amount a cardholder must spend to qualify for it, and the card’s annual fee.
Additional information about the criteria used to select cards in other categories can be found below.
- In selecting the cards with the best rewards, we considered how much someone who pays his or her bills in full every month would save, taking into account the card’s annual fee. We used the average American’s $36,506 in annual expenditures that can be paid for with a credit card as a benchmark.
- To select the best store credit cards for shopping online and in store, WalletHub’s editors compared the rewards offered and fees charged by the credit cards associated with the largest and most popular retailers.
- Selections for the cards with the best purchase protection and price protection are based on WalletHub’s reports on those benefits. When there was a tie, our editors picked their favorite card based on other primary features (e.g. rewards, rates, etc.).
Some cards may come from WalletHub advertising partners, but advertising status played absolutely no role in the selection process. Cards were picked for their terms alone.
Questions & Answers
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