The best credit cards for buying clothes
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information. Whether you’re updating your wardrobe for a new season or investing in the best athleisure for travel, there’s always a good reason to buy new clothes. But it can add up. The typical U.S. household spends around $1,500 a year on clothing, according …
Editor’s note: This is a recurring post, regularly updated with new information.
Whether you’re updating your wardrobe for a new season or investing in the best athleisure for travel, there’s always a good reason to buy new clothes. But it can add up. The typical U.S. household spends around $1,500 a year on clothing, according to one study.
Sadly, there are no “clothing” bonus categories on any of our favorite credit cards, so we have to get creative to maximize our earnings on these purchases.
Below, we’ve rounded up our favorite strategies to earn rewards on all your clothing purchases, so you can feel as good about your earning strategy as you do your new outfit.
Best credit cards for shopping
- Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate travel rewards.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for flat-rate earning and transferring points.
- Citi® Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate cash rewards.
- Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for online purchases.
- Chase Freedom Flex℠: Best for rotating rewards.
- Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature: Best for Amazon purchases.
Comparing the best credit cards for shopping
Since most of your clothing purchases won’t fall in a bonus earning category for your favorite credit card, you’ll want to use a card with a solid return on all your purchases.
However, sometimes a card with rotating quarterly categories will include stores where you can buy clothes, so we recommend checking those as well.
Here are our favorites:
|Credit Card||Earning rate||Welcome bonus||Annual fee|
|Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card||5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 2 miles per dollar spent on all purchases.||Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening.||$95.|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, 1.5% on all other purchases.
|Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on all purchases in the first year from account opening (up to $20,000 spent).||$0.|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||2% cash back (1% when you buy, 1% as you pay) on all purchases with no limit on cash-back earnings.||None.||$0.|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||3% cash back on supermarket, gas and U.S. online retail purchases (on up to $6,000 spent in each category); 1% on all other purchases.||Earn $200 cash back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months of card membership. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.||$0 (see rates and fees).|
|Chase Freedom Flex℠||5% cash back on quarterly bonus categories (on up to $1,500 in purchases), 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on restaurant and drugstore purchases, 1% on all other purchases.||Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 within the first three months from account opening.||$0.|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature||5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases, 2% back on restaurant and gas station purchases, 1% back on all other purchases.||Get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.||$0.|
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer.
The information for the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. TPG values this bonus at $1,388.
Annual Fee: $95.
Why we like it: With this card, you’ll earn an unlimited 2 miles per dollar on every purchase. And Capital One miles are easy to redeem, since you can apply your miles toward a travel purchase on your card. When you use this card to pay for your refreshed look, you can feel great knowing you’ll be able to use your rewards to cover your next adventure.
For more details, check out our full review of the Venture Rewards Card.
Apply here: Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Welcome bonus: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back (or 1.5 points per dollar) on all purchases up to $20,000 spent in the first year.
Annual fee: $0.
Why we like it: The Freedom Unlimited earns 5% back on travel booked through the Chase portal, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
This earning structure alone makes this card superior to cards that would only earn 1 point per dollar on your clothing purchases, but it really shines if you also have the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you do, you can transfer your points to that account and redeem them with the full range of Chase’s travel partners.
For more details, check out our full review of the Freedom Unlimited.
Apply here: Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Citi® Double Cash Card
Welcome bonus: N/A
Annual fee: $0.
Why we like it: The Double Cash earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% when you buy and 1% as you pay), so you’ll earn a solid cash return on all your spending without having to worry about where you’re shopping.
For more details, check out our full review of the Citi Double Cash.
Apply here: Citi® Double Cash Card
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Welcome bonus: Earn $200 cash back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months of card membership.
Annual fee: $0 (see rates and fees).
Why we like it: This card earns an impressive 3% cash back on U.S. online retail purchases (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), so it gives you the highest return for online shopping that doesn’t fall into any other card bonus categories.
It also earns 3% at supermarkets and at U.S. gas stations (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases for each category, then 1%), making this an excellent go-to card for a large chunk of your daily spending.
Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday.
Apply here: Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Welcome bonus: Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
Annual fee: $0.
Why we like it: This card earns 5% back on rotating quarterly categories (up to $1,500 spent, then 1%) after activation. In the first quarter of 2023, Target is one of the bonus categories, so you can earn 5% back on your clothing purchases there. In the past, PayPal has been a rotating category too, allowing you to earn on clothes and anything else you purchase when you check out with PayPal.
And even if you don’t buy clothes from any of the places in the quarterly categories, you can often buy gift cards for your favorite clothing stores from a store in one of the bonus categories. An example of this might be buying a H&M gift card from an office supply store or supermarket when one of those are a rotating category.
For more details, check out our full review of the Freedom Flex.
Apply here: Chase Freedom Flex℠
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature
Welcome bonus: Get a $100 Amazon gift card instantly upon approval.
Annual fee: $0, but Prime membership ($139 annually) is required.
Why we like it: Is there anything we can’t get from Amazon? It’s hard to believe that you can find a favorite new outfit from the same place that provides your toothpaste and packing cubes, but more and more people are finding that to be the case. If you’re among them, use this card to earn a solid 5% cash back on all your Amazon purchases, clothing and otherwise.
You’ll also earn 5% back at Whole Foods Market and 2% back at restaurants and gas stations.
For more details, check out our full review of the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature.
If you’re planning on doing some major shopping or purchasing expensive items, you may want to consider the purchase protections a card offers in addition to its welcome bonus and earning structure.
Should I get a store credit card?
In short, probably not. We typically aren’t a fan of store credit cards because they rarely measure up to our favorite cash-back cards. However, there are some exceptions. Just make sure you do your research and don’t fall for a tempting offer when you’re in the checkout line.
Other ways to earn on clothing purchases
Buy gift cards
If you have a credit card that earns bonus points for shopping at grocery or office supply stores, look at the gift cards available at the stores around you. You can purchase gift cards for stores like Gap or TJ Maxx and then use them to buy clothes and earn bonus points.
Use a shopping portal
Always check your favorite shopping portal when shopping online to earn even more on your clothing purchases.
Check merchant offers
Many cards regularly have merchant offers for clothing stores. Make sure to check the offers on all your cards regularly and add any that you think you might use. Then, use the card with the offer and shop at the places that earn money back before the offer expires.
We recommend using a note on your phone to keep track of which offers are on which cards, so you can easily reference it when you’re ready to make a purchase.
Buying clothes can be a major expense, so make sure you earn as many rewards as possible on those purchases. Use one of these best credit cards for clothes purchases, buy gift cards at places that earn you extra rewards and always use a shopping portal for your online purchases. That way, you can ensure that your rewards balance looks as sparkly as your new outfit.
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For rates and fees of the Amex Blue Cash Everyday, click here.
Additional reporting by Mike Cetera and Liz Hund.