If you’re going to make the most of your shopping holiday, you’re going to need to equip yourself with the right cards and the best tips and tricks.
Cyber Monday is the biggest online shopping day of the year – which means it’s time to make a list, check it twice and get ready to fill your online shopping carts.
It’s also time to make sure you have the right credit cards in your wallet, whether that wallet is stored in your pocket, in your purse or on your phone. There are a lot of great rewards cards for online shopping, but Cyber Monday isn’t like any other shopping day. If you’re going to make the most of your shopping holiday, you’re going to need to equip yourself with the right cards and the best tips and tricks.
See related: Holiday shopping and credit card guide 2019
1. Choose a card with an online shopping bonus
If you’re a savvy Cyber Monday shopper, you probably already know that you should always shop with a credit card, not a debit card. Although some people prefer to shop with debit as a way to avoid credit card debt, the truth is that credit cards offer a lot of fraud protections that debit cards don’t – and that makes credit the better choice if you’re shopping online.
But which credit card should you use for your Cyber Monday purchases? Your best choice might be a rewards credit card that offers an online shopping bonus. If you’re going to be shopping at Amazon.com, Target.com or Walmart.com, why not use a card that specifically rewards those purchases?
Best credit cards for Cyber Monday
|Card name||Rewards on online purchases||Annual fee|
|Discover it® Cash Back||5% cash back on Amazon.com, Target and Walmart.com for Q4 2019 for up to $1,500 in purchases (1% thereafter); activation required||$0|
|Chase Freedom®||5% cash back on PayPal, Chase Pay and department stores for Q4 2019 on up to $1,500 in purchases (1% thereafter)||$0|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases||$0, but $119 Prime membership required|
|Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard||5% cash back on Walmart.com purchases, including grocery pickup and delivery orders||$0|
|Target RedCard™||5% discount at Target and Target.com||$0|
|Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card||3% cash back on a category of choice (including online purchases) on up to $2,500 combined purchases quarterly||$0|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay)||$0|
|Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card||2 miles per dollar||$95, waived first year|
2. Stack your card rewards with rebate site rewards
Another good way to get the most out of your Cyber Monday shopping is to stack your credit card rewards with rebate site rewards. If you have an American Express credit card, for example, use your Amex to shop through the Ebates portal. You’ll earn American Express Membership Rewards points on every purchase and you’ll be able to convert your Ebates earnings into Membership Rewards points. From there, you can redeem those Membership Rewards points for statement credits, travel, merchandise or gift cards – all of which can help save you money over the holidays.
3. Go through an online shopping portal
You can also maximize your credit card rewards by doing your holiday shopping through your credit card’s online shopping portal. For instance, if you have a Chase card, you can use Chase’s shopping portal to earn extra points on your purchases at participating merchants. All you have to do is log in to your account and click through to a merchant’s site from the “Shop through Chase” option at the bottom of the screen, and do your shopping as usual. You can earn between 2-6 points from over 500 major retailers, such as Macy’s and Cabela’s, and these points will stack with your other credit card rewards as well as with coupons and offer codes. While you’re at it, visit your Chase Mobile App to see if your purchase qualifies for any special offers.
Aside from credit card issuers, a large number of airline and hotel loyalty programs offer shopping portals that award points and miles that can stack on top of your credit card rewards. Be sure to browse all your options to see which shopping portals will give you the best return on your Cyber Monday purchases.
4. Get free shipping on your purchases
There are a lot of ways to get free shipping on your Cyber Monday purchases. Many retailers offer free shipping once your shopping cart hits a certain dollar amount, for example – but if you don’t want to have to hit a spending threshold to unlock free shipping, you can shop with a credit card that automatically awards you free shipping on your purchases.
Some store credit cards include free shipping as one of their perks. The Target RedCard™, for example, offers free shipping on all Target.com purchases with no minimum purchase requirement, as well as free two-day shipping on hundreds of thousands of eligible items.
Other credit cards, including all American Express credit cards, offer free shipping by way of a free ShopRunner membership. ShopRunner is a service that provides members with free two-day shipping and free returns at over a hundred retailers, including Burberry, Ann Taylor and Kenneth Cole.
Store cards with free shipping
|Card name||Free shipping details|
|Target RedCard™||Free shipping on Target.com purchases|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||Free shipping through Amazon Prime|
|Capital One® Walmart Rewards™ Mastercard||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
|American Express® Green Card||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
|American Express® Gold Card||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Free shipping through ShopRunner|
5. Use a card with purchase protections
Cyber Monday is a great day to get your holiday shopping done without leaving the house – but what if something happens to your newly purchased items before they reach your house? What if they get damaged during shipping? What if the packages arrive safely but someone steals them off your porch? What if your child unwraps their brand-new toy and then accidentally breaks it?
That’s where purchase protection and extended warranties can be extremely helpful. With purchase protection, you’ll be covered against lost, stolen or damaged products. With an extended warranty, you can add an extra year to your manufacturer’s warranty on a qualifying purchase (or even double the period of your warranty with some cards).
Note that purchase protection is slightly different from the fraud protection that comes with nearly every credit card. Think of it more like insurance. If you buy something that gets stolen or damaged within the purchase protection coverage period, you can put in a claim with your credit card issuer and receive your money back.
Examples of cash back cards with purchase protections
|Card name||Rate on online purchases||Types of purchase protections|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2% cash back (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay)|
|Chase Freedom®||5% cash back on PayPal, Chase Pay and department stores for Q4 2019 on up to $1,500 in purchases (1% thereafter)|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||1.5% cash back|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||5% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card||1.5% cash back|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions|
If you want to maximize your credit card rewards this Cyber Monday, use a credit card that is designed to reward online purchases. Whether you choose a card that comes with an online shopping bonus, use rebate sites and online shopping portals to stack and redeem your points, take advantage of free shipping or use a card that offers purchase protection, you’ll be able to get more out of your Cyber Monday shopping – and the more you get out of every dollar you spend, the more you’ll be able to give.