Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Any Store
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Best Credit Cards for Shopping Benefits
Best for Below-Average Credit
Best Credit Cards for Shopping at Specific Stores
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- 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.
Best Shopping Credit Cards Comparison
|Credit Card||Best For||Annual Fee||Best Feature|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Initial Bonus Offer||$0 intro 1st yr, $95 after||$250|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card||Flat-Rate Cash Back||$0||2% Cash Rewards|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||Shopping Rewards Categories||$0||1.5 - 5% Cash Back|
|Target Credit Card||Department Store Card||$0||5% discount|
|Amazon.com Store Card||Online Shopping||$0||0 - 5% back in rewards|
|Instacart Mastercard®||Grocery Shopping||$0||1 - 5% Cash Back|
Methodology for Selecting the Best Shopping Credit Cards
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.
Best Credit Cards For Shopping FAQ
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