Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping

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Last updated on May 3, 2022

Are you paying more than you need to for your online purchases? Most of us are spending more money online than ever before, but aren’t taking advantage of all the features and benefits offered by credit cards to save you money.

From cash back to no foreign-exchange fees to extended warranties, you have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to picking a credit card to match your online spending habits. Here is our list of the very best credit cards for online shopping, to save you money and protect your purchases!

At a Glance

Card NameAnnual FeeShopping PerkMore Info
American Express SimplyCashTM Preferred Card$9910% cash back for the first four months, 2% after (conditions apply)Read More
MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®$120Price ProtectionRead More
HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®$01.5% cash back on online purchases*Read More
Home Trust Preferred Visa$0No foreign transaction feesRead More
KOHO $0Price MatchingRead More
HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®$149No foreign transaction feesRead More

American Express SimplyCashTM Preferred Card

Best for Unlimited Cash Back

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Good-Excellent
– Min personal income required: N/A

The AMEX SimplyCash Preferred Card offers one of the highest cash back rates on the market. If you’re making lots of online purchases, you can’t do better than earning 10% cash back on everything you buy with the card for the first four months. Once the promotional period ends, you’ll still enjoy a stellar 2% unlimited cash back rate on all purchases. This incredible cash back rate combined with the Buyer’s Assurance and Purchase Protection insurance for purchases made with the card make it the best credit card for online shopping. The only downside is that Amex isn’t accepted everywhere (though there is no shortage of partnering retailers).

Key Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: 10% cash back through first $4,000 spent on all eligible purchases (up to $400 cash back) for your first four months
  • Regular Cash Back: 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases after welcome period ends
  • Additional Perks: Buyer’s Assurance extends manufacturer’s warranty by up to one additional year; Purchase Protection insurance in the event of damage or theft within 90 days of purchase
  • Annual Fee: $99

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card review.

MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®

Best for Price Protection

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $80,000

The MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® is one of the few credit cards that offer Price Protection. If you buy something with your card and then find the same item advertised elsewhere at a lower price within 60 days of making your purchase, you can get a refund for the difference, up to $500 per item and up to $1,000 per year. If you’ve ever agonized about getting the best deal when online shopping, you can rest easy with Price Protection knowing you’ll have it no matter what.

Key Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: 30,000 Welcome Bonus points if you spend $2,000 and sign up for paperless e-billing within 90 days of opening your account
  • Rewards: Earn 5 MBNA Rewards points per $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, memberships, digital media, and household utilities + 1 point per $1 spent on everything else
  • Additional Perks: Get an extra 10% of all the points you accumulate annually (conditions apply); Price Protection; Mobile Device Insurance; Purchase Assurance and Extended Warranty
  • Annual Fee: $120

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® review.

Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on this MBNA credit card, please click on the “Apply Now” button.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.

HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard®

Best No Annual Fee Card

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Recommended credit score: Fair/Good
– Min personal income required: N/A
– Age: Age of majority in your province or territory
– Residency: Canadian

The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® is one of the few cards in Canada that specifically offers a special cash back rate for online purchases. Cardholders get 1.5% cash back on up to $6,000 worth of online purchases each year*. Grocery, gas, and drug store purchases earn 1% back, and all other eligible purchases earn 0.5% back*.

Those who apply by October 31, 2022 can earn an additional 12.5% cash back on up to $1,000 in purchases made during their first 180 days with the card. Conditions apply. Quebecers are eligible for a different welcome offer in which they earn a flat $125 in cash back*, provided they simply keep the account open for 180 days. The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® is also notable for including up to $1,000 worth of mobile device insurance if a mobile device you purchased with the card is lost, stolen, accidentally damaged, or has a mechanical failure. That’s a relatively unusual feature among any Canadian credit card, let alone a card with no annual fee.

Key Features:

  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Welcome Offer: Extra 12.5% cash back on up to $1,000 spent (up to $125 cash back) in the first 180 days. Must apply by Oct 31, 2022. Conditions apply.
  • Regular Cash Back: 1.5% back on online purchases*; 1% back on gas, groceries, and drug store purchases*; 0.5% back on all other purchases*
  • Additional Perks: Mobile device insurance; extended warranty insurance; purchase assurance

Apply for the card here or learn more by reading our complete HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® review.

*Terms and conditions apply.

®/TM Mastercard is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

Home Trust Preferred Visa

Best for Foreign Purchases

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: Fair-Good
– Min personal income required: $15,000

The Home Trust Preferred Visa stands out as one of the few cards with no annual fee offering both cash back and no foreign transaction fees. It also has a low minimum personal income requirement, making it easier to get than some competitors on this list.

If you frequently make online purchases from US or other international retailers, the Home Trust Preferred Visa is the best card for you. No other no annual fee cash back card waives the 2.5% fee you would normally pay for purchases in foreign currencies.

Key Features:

  • Cash Back: 1% cash back on all eligible purchases (foreign transactions are excluded).
  • Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees; Purchase Protection insurance in the event of damage or theft within 90 days of purchase
  • Annual Fee: $0

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete Home Trust Preferred Visa review.

KOHO

Best Prepaid Card for Finding Great Deals

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: N/A
– Min personal income required: N/A

KOHO’s prepaid card offers all the perks of a luxury credit card, but is also an incredible budgeting and savings tool. While the cash back rate is lower than competitors, the Premium version’s Price Matching feature will ensure this card delivers savings when it comes to your online spending. KOHO will identify eligible purchases in your spending history by putting the 🔍 icon next to them. To take advantage of Price Matching for these items, all you need to do is send in a picture of the receipt and they’ll do the legwork of seeing if you could have gotten a better deal elsewhere!

If you’re looking for the convenience and ease of a credit card for online shopping, but don’t actually want to apply for credit, KOHO is your best bet. Because you can’t actually spend more money than you’ve loaded to your KOHO card, you’ll never have to deal with a bill coming later.

Key Features:

  • Cash Back: No annual fee version earns 0.5% cash back on all purchases; Premium version earns 2% cash back on groceries, eating & drinking, and transportation + 0.5% back on everything else
  • Additional Perks: Price Matching (Premium version only); no foreign transaction fees (Premium version only); free financial coaching
  • Annual Fee: $0 for KOHO or $84 (or $9/month) for KOHO Premium

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete KOHO review.

HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®

Honourable Mention

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Eligibility Criteria:
– Credit score required: N/A
– Min personal income required: $80,000

The HSBC World Elite Mastercard gets an honourable mention because it offers a ton of value but does come with a very steep annual fee compared to its competitors.

Special offer: Earn up to 80,000 points* ($400 travel value) PLUS a full annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder for the first year* ($149 value) and receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit*. Must apply by October 31, 2022. Conditions apply.

  • Welcome bonus of 20,000 points* ($100 travel value)
  • Earn 40,000 points* when you spend $6,000 within 6 months of account opening ($200 travel value)
  • Earn 20,000 points* as an anniversary bonus ($100 travel value)
  • First year annual fee rebate for the primary cardholder* ($149)
  • Receive a $100 annual travel enhancement credit*

An HSBC Rewards point is worth $0.005 when redeemed for travel, so that adds up to $649 in total value* in the first year. This offer is only available to residents of Canada other than the province of Quebec (Quebec residents eligible for separate offer).

You can redeem points for travel, gift cards, HSBC financial products, merchandise, and cash back. With no foreign transaction fees (only the exchange rate will apply), purchase protection, and extended warranty, the HSBC World Elite Mastercard gets an honourable mention despite its high annual fee.

Key Features:

  • Welcome Bonus: Get up to $649 in total value* for the first year! Must apply by October 31, 2022. Conditions apply.
  • Rewards: Up to 6 points earned per $1 spent on travel purchases; 3 points per $1 spent on all other purchases.
  • Additional Perks: No foreign transaction fees; Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty
  • Annual Fee: $149

Click here to apply or learn more by reading our complete HSBC World Elite Mastercard review.

*Terms and Conditions apply.

®/TM Mastercard and World Elite are registered trademarks, and the circles design is a trademark of Mastercard International Incorporated. Used pursuant to license.

Final Word

Though there are many ways to save when you shop online, finding the right credit card that will serve your personal spending habits is a big part of that! Where you shop online and what you buy will determine whether you need a card with no foreign transaction fees or an extended warranty benefit. Personal preferences, like whether you want cash back or rewards points, will also influence your decision. Don’t dismiss cards with annual fees if they provide enough additional benefits to make up for the cost.

FAQs

When shopping online from a retailer outside of Canada, you’re spending money in USD or another currency. Your cash will need to be converted from CAD to the foreign currency at the exchange rate. Furthermore, most credit cards also charge a foreign transaction fee of 2% to 3% on the purchase total. This can add to the expense of shopping online, especially if you regularly make large purchases with your credit card from foreign retailers. By choosing a credit card with no foreign transaction fees you can save money when shopping online.
Many cards will provide you with cash back for your spending, or rewards points that can be converted to cash back or redeemed for merchandise. While it’s nice to earn cash back on all your spending, especially online, you don’t necessarily need a cash back card to do it. You could also use cash back apps or sites and earn there.
If you regularly buy electronics, home appliances, or other expensive purchases online, a credit card that offers an Extended Warranty feature is a must-have. This doubles the manufacturer's warranty by up to one additional year, extending the life of your purchase. However, if most of your online spending is for items like clothing or consumables, you might find you don't need this feature and can look for a credit card offering a more relevant perk to your spending.

Author Bio

Bridget Casey
Bridget Casey is the award-winning entrepreneur behind Money After Graduation, a Canadian financial literacy website aimed at 20 and 30-somethings. She holds a BSc. from the University of Alberta, and an MBA in Finance from the University of Calgary. She has been featured as a millennial financial expert by Yahoo! Finance, TIME Magazine, Business Insider, CBC and BNN. Bridget was recognized as one of Alberta's Top Young Innovators in 2016.

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