In Canada, online shopping accounts for purchases in the billions annually, and it’s easy to see why. Instead of pounding the pavement, braving fitting rooms or standing in lines, online shoppers make their purchases with a few clicks and taps. Plus, who doesn’t like getting mail?
When it comes to picking a credit card for online shopping, things get a little bit more complex. If you collect points or cash back, you may be well-versed in your spending categories. But sometimes (not always) an online purchase doesn’t “reward” you as you’d expect. If, for example, your card offers rewards on groceries, you may expect bonus credits when you order groceries online. Depending on your credit card, however, your online grocery spend might show up in the generic “everything else” category. When shopping online, not all cards are created equal. These picks will earn you more than the standard 0.5% to 1% in rewards.
Best credit cards for online shopping
With a standard cash back rate of 2% on everything—including online purchases—the American Express SimplyCash Preferred card will accelerate earnings on each and every purchase. Even better, they’re offering a juicy introductory rate of 5% to new members for the first six months. And, at $99 annually, this card costs a little less than the typical $120 charged by most cards in this category.
- Annual fee: $99
- Earn rate: 2% cash back on everything
- Welcome offer: 5% cash back for new members for six months up to $6,000 in purchases ($300 in cash back)
- Income requirement: None specified
The MBNA Rewards World Elite card allows you to earn 2 MBNA Rewards points per dollar spent on everything you buy with your card, including online purchases. MBNA Rewards can be redeemed for travel and the points never expire. When used against travel purchases, 100 points are worth $1—letting you pocket an impressive 2% in travel rewards on every dollar spent. The welcome offer alone is a solid start, worth $300 toward travel.
- Annual fee: $120
- Earn rate: 2 MBNA points per $1
- Welcome offer: Earn up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards points (20,000 after $2,000 in eligible purchases within the first 90 days plus 10,000 points with paperless e-statement enrolment). Offer valid until April 30, 2020.
- Income requirement: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household
Rogers World Elite Mastercard
The Rogers World Elite Mastercard is a no-fee cash-back option that’s available only to those with a personal annual income of $80,000 or $150,000 for the household. Currently, this card delivers an impressive 1.75% cash back on every purchase and 4% purchases from international websites. A welcome bonus of $25 when you make a purchase within three months is a great way to start.
As you consider your options, it’s important to note that the card’s features will undergo some changes in the near future that may make it less appealing to you: the earn rate will drop to 1.5% from 1.75% on Canadian purchases; the savings on foreign transaction fees will only apply to purchases made in U.S. currency; and you’ll need to spend at least $15,000 per year on the card in order to continue qualifying to use it.