PeopleImages / Getty Images

Best flat-rate cash back credit cards

Want to score generous cash back earnings without the hassle of juggling multiple cards or category bonuses? We have you covered

Summary

Flat-rate cash back cards offer the same cash back bonus on all purchases across the board. These are the best in the market, so pick the one that best fits your financial habits.

The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of our partner offers may have expired. Please review our list of best credit cards, or use our CardMatch™ tool to find cards matched to your needs.

There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, especially when it comes to cash back credit cards.

Flat-rate cash back cards feature the simplest rewards structure you can find — offering the same amount of cash back on every purchase you make. That makes it easy to earn rewards on a wide variety of purchases without having to keep track of spending categories or bonus rewards. Simply swipe your card wherever you go and watch cash back stockpile. The majority of flat-rate cash back cards offer between 1 percent and 2.5 percent cash back.

Below, you’ll find the best options available for flat-rate cash back cards that offer consistent rates of cash back on all purchases all the time.

Alliant Visa Signature Card: Best for premium flat-rate cash back card

Why we picked it: The Alliant Visa Signature Card* has the highest cash back rate on this list, making it the card you want to put all your credit card spending on. You can earn up to 2.5 percent cash back on your first $10,000 of qualifying eligible purchases and then unlimited 1.5 percent cash back after that if you qualify for Tier One Rewards. It’s a great choice for members of Alliant Credit Union who want to earn cash back without sacrificing premium features like roadside assistance, concierge services and theft protection.

Pros

  • Deposit rewards into any Fidelity account or the account of a loved one
  • Travel and purchase protections
  • No foreign transaction fee

Cons

  • Maximum cash back earnings of $250 ($10,000 in qualifying purchases) per billing cycle
  • Rewards expiration after four years
  • No other redemption options like gift cards, merchandise, etc.

Who should apply: It’s recommended for those who spend at least $20,000 a year on their credit cards because there is no sign-up bonus. The card may be best for Alliant banking customers since it can only be redeemed (in $50 increments) as a direct deposit into an Alliant savings account beyond the customary statement credit.

Who should skip: If you’re planning on making purchases across multiple cards, you’ll likely be better off opting for another card. Additionally, you must be a member of Alliant Credit Union to be eligible for the card, so it’s not accessible to all consumers.

Citi Double Cash Card: Best for everyday flat-rate cash back card

Why we picked it: The Citi®Double Cash Card is great for people who pay their balance off every month because it offers 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and 1 percent cash back when you pay off those purchases. Plus, the amount of cash back you can earn is unlimited.

Citi Double Cash is also a great card to have if you plan on paying down a balance over time, as it has no annual fee and a 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (and a 16.24 percent to 26.24 percent variable APR after that). But beware, there’s no cash back on balance transfers.

Pros

  • No category restrictions
  • Points redeemable for checks, statement credit, gift cards, checking or savings accounts

Cons

  • Cash back expiration in 12 months
  • No sign up bonus
  • No 0 percent intro offer on new purchases

Who should apply: If you’re looking for a card that can help you pay off existing debt while still earning cash back, the Citi Double Cash Card is a great choice. Its 0 percent introductory APR offer for 18 months on balance transfers gives cardholders a generous amount of breathing room to avoid interest rates when paying down balances.

Who should skip: If you’re set on opening a card that has a welcome offer because you want to get as much value as possible from a single card, consider other options. And while there is a substantial welcome offer for balance transfers, those looking to avoid interest rates on new purchases will be disappointed to know that the Citi Double Cash Card offers no such benefit.

Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for credit builders

Why we picked it: The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card for credit builders. Not only does it allow unlimited access to your credit score and provide tools to help you monitor it, it considers you for an increase in your credit limit after six months of on-time payments. You’ll also get 5 percent cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.

Pros

  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • Consideration for a higher credit line after making six consecutive on-time payments
  • Unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit
  • Emergency card replacement

Cons

  • High APR (26.99 percent variable APR)
  • No introductory bonus

Who should apply: If you don’t have great credit, you should apply for the Capital One QuicksilverOne because it is one of the highest-earning flat-rate cash back cards available for cardholders with just fair credit scores.

Who should skip: Since this card has a higher than average APR, cardholders looking to carry a balance should opt for a card with a lower interest rate or one with a 0 percent introductory APR offer.

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One: Best for students

Why we picked it: Just because you’re a student who’s establishing a credit history doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get some cash back.

That’s the philosophy behind Journey Student Rewards from Capital One, which offers 1 percent cash back on all purchases, and boosts it to 1.25 percent when you pay your monthly bill on time.

If you manage to pay your bill on time for six consecutive months, you may be eligible for a credit increase. You also don’t need to be a student to qualify for this card. Sure, the amount of cash back is not the highest on the market, but you have limited options when you have limited credit.

Pros

  • Up to $60 in streaming subscription credits when you pay on time
  • 25 percent bonus when you pay on time for that month
  • Rewards redemption: statement credits, checks or gift cards
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus
  • High APR (26.99 percent variable APR)

Who should apply: With this card, you’ll have access to credit tracking tools and the ability to set email and text alerts for payment due dates, plus you’ll get rewarded for paying on time. It’s a solid pick for those who are new to their credit journey and are looking to lay the foundation for good credit habits.

Who should skip: Cardholders who are prone to missing payments should probably skip this one since the APR is one of the highest on the market for a student card. Additionally, if you manage your credit well already,  you may be better off opening a card with a higher rewards rate.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Card: Best for 2% cash rewards

Why we picked it: The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is the perfect credit card for people who want a  cash back credit card without quarterly spending categories or other complications.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash offers 2 percent cash rewards on purchases with no cap on how much you can earn. Not only is it one of the highest earning flat-rate cash back cards, it comes with extensive perks, including an introductory bonus of $200 if you spend $1,000 in the first three months of owning the card.

Pros

  • 0 percent intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers made in the first 120 days (then 17.24 percent, 22.24 percent or 27.24 percent variable APR)
  • Cellphone insurance
  • Extended warranty protection

Cons

  • Can only redeem rewards for cash back
  • Can’t transfer rewards to other programs

Who should apply: If you want to earn cash back but don’t want to go through the trouble of enrolling in bonus categories, this card could be a good fit. You’ll be able to take advantage of a high rewards rate on all of your purchases, receive a welcome bonus and save on interest rates due to the intro APR offer.

Who should skip: While the Wells Fargo Active cash card offers a generous rewards rate, if the majority of your spending falls into specific categories each month, you may be better off opening a card with a more specialized reward structure.

Comparing the best flat-rate cash back credit cards

Before applying for a credit card, it’s best to compare your options and determine which one is the right fit for you. Below are key details of each of the above cards to give you an overview of their main details.

CardBest forCash back rateAnnual feeIntro bonus
Alliant Visa Signature Card*Premium flat-rate cash back card2.5% cash back on every purchase$0None
Citi Double Cash CardEveryday flat-rate cash back card1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% cash back as you pay off those purchases$0None
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit CardCredit builders1.5% cash back on every purchase

5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

$39None
Journey Student Rewards from Capital OneStudents5% back on hotel and rental car bookings made through Capital One Travel

1% back on general purchases

25% bonus points when you pay on time

$0None
Wells Fargo Active Cash Card2% cash rewards2% cash rewards on purchases$0$200 if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months of owning the card

How to choose a flat-rate cash back credit card

There are many flat-rate credit cards that offer attractive features. However, when choosing a card, it’s important to compare the key details listed below:

  • Cash back rate: When deciding on a card, it’s important to choose a rewards rate that brings you the most value. While some flat-rate cards have higher earning potential than others, many carry annual fees that may be hard to offset, potentially lowering their worth.
  • Annual fee: Check to see whether your spending habits will generate enough value to offset a card’s annual fee. If not, you may want to choose a more affordable card.
  • Welcome bonus: Many hope to get the most value they can out of a card, and for many, this means opting for a card with an attainable and generous welcome bonus.
  • Additional benefits: Apart from the rewards rate of a card, you may be looking for a specific benefit, which might include purchase protection, rental insurance or concierge access. When making a decision, check to see where each card stands in terms of benefits.

Bottom line

Having a flat-rate cash back credit card keeps earning rewards simple. With flat-rate cash back, you’ll be able to earn the same amount across all purchases, which is perfect if you prioritize simplicity in your card’s rewards structure. While flat- rate cards don’t offer any bonuses on rotating categories each quarter like some cash back cards do, they still offer an easy way to earn back on all of your everyday purchases.

Since there are so many cards on the market, it might be hard to choose which is the best one for flat-rate cash back. Make sure you do your homework so you can earn the most cash.

*All information about the Alliant Visa Signature Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

Credit Card Rate Report
Reward
18.00%
Student
18.66%
Airline
17.81%
Business
16.07%
Cash Back
17.95%

Questions or comments?

Contact us

Editorial corrections policies

Learn more