Shopping online with a credit card has many advantages. Sure, if you spend more than you can pay off you will find yourself in debt, but the advantages of credit cards outweigh the negatives (at least for responsible spenders).
Here is why credit cards are the preferable way to make online purchases:
Credit cards give you more protection against fraudulent purchases. If someone somehow gets your credit card number while you are shopping online, you can easily dispute any of the fraudulent purchases without having to pay anything. That is an advantage over using a debit card, where the money is drawn from your checking account and you have to dispute the payment and hope the money is returned rather than disputing the payment with your credit card company before you actually pay your credit card bill.
Credit cards also offer purchase protection. If you want to return an item or if it is somehow broken or un-usable, you can ask the credit card to take the charge off of your bill. If you have a legitimate case, they will do so, even if the online retailer does not accept the return. Of course, you must take action quickly, within a week after receiving your un-usable item, in order to have a good chance of getting your money back. This is useful because the credit card company can act as a kind of go-between, meaning you do not have to argue directly with the seller.
Some cards offer purchase protection in the form of a warranty on certain items. Not all cards do this, so you have to take a peek at the fine print to make sure your card indeed covers your purchase. If you are purchasing electronics and your card provides extended purchase protection, then you can opt out of any extended warranties offered by the store (which can be quite expensive).
Finally, of course, there are rewards cards that can give you cash back for online purchases or rewards points that can be redeemed for airfares or other perks. Some rewards cards offer additional bonuses or higher rewards per dollar ratios for people who shop at certain online retailers.
Here are some of the best cards for online shopping:
If you frequently shop online, the Discover® Motiva Card could be a good card for you. It offers Discover’s usual cash-back bonuses with an additional perk: users can earn up to 20% Cashback Bonus at popular retailers when you shop online through Discover.com. In addition, any interest payments are reduced by 5% every month that users make an on-time payment that does not pay off the entire balance. This is one of the better deals for no-annual-fee cards.
The Chase Freedom® Visa has an extensive network of online retailers that offer bonus points to card users who shop on the sites. The bonuses can be between 2% and 5%. The Chase Freedom® Visa also has other perks, like giving users bonus points when they make their payments on-time each month.
All American Express card-holders are qualified for rewards point deals when they shop on the Shop AmEx network. Card-holders can double, triple or even quadruple their rewards points when shopping with AmEx affiliates through Shop AmEx. In addition, card-holders are eligible for special deals on travel that are only offered to American Express customers.