Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a useful tool to get paid back for the things you buy every day. Cash back is typically easy to understand and redeem, which is great for on-the-go folks who like to keep it simple. Cash back is also the most flexible form of rewards, allowing you to spend your earnings however you’d like.

For the simplicity lover, some cards offer a flat cash back rate on all purchases – usually between 1% and 2%. Other cash back cards offer a higher rewards rate on specific purchase categories like dining or groceries.

We analyzed 682 cash back card offers and narrowed them down to our top recommendations for a variety of lifestyles. Browse our picks for the best cash back offers from our partners and find a card that fits your spending habits.

Cash back credit cards are a useful tool to get paid back for the things you buy every day. Cash back is typically easy to understand and redeem, which is great for on-the-go folks who like to keep it simple. Cash back is also the most flexible form of rewards, allowing you to spend your earnings however you’d like.

For the simplicity lover, some cards offer a flat cash back rate on all purchases – usually between 1% and 2%. Other cash back cards offer a higher rewards rate on specific purchase categories like dining or groceries.

We analyzed 682 cash back card offers and narrowed them down to our top recommendations for a variety of lifestyles. Browse our picks for the best cash back offers from our partners and find a card that fits your spending habits.

Written by: Mariah Ackary | Reviewed by: Ted Rossman

|

April 2, 2021

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of April 2021

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

3%
Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
2%
Earn automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases).
1%
Earn unlimited 1% on all other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

$200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase.
3%
Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores
1.5%
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% variable
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

1.5%
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% variable
Discover it® Cash Back

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™

Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
11.99% - 22.99% variable
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

3%
Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment
2%
Earn 2% at grocery stores
1%
Earn 1% on all other purchases

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 25.49% variable
Citi® Double Cash Card

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

2%
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
No current offer
Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Jasper Cash Back Mastercard®

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

Up to 6%
Up to 6% cash back by referring friends! Limited time only: Start with 1%, get to 3% cash back by successfully referring just two friends! Promotional cash back rate lasts for a full year.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$100

$100 signup bonus! Apply by May 31, 2021 using promo code RVPROMO to receive a $100 statement credit upon first eligible purchase, if approved. Terms apply.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
15.49% - 24.99% variable
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
See Rates & Fees, Terms Apply

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

3%
3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
2%
2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores.
1%
1% Cash Back on other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
13.99% - 23.99% variable
Chase Freedom Flex℠

Good to Excellent

Credit Recommended (670-850)

CreditCards.com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.
Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
5%
Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase.
3%
Earn 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores.
1%
Earn 1% on all other purchases.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
$200

Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
14.99% - 23.74% variable
Discover it® Student Cash Back

No Credit History

Apply Now

Rewards Rate

5%
Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
1%
Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.

At A Glance

Intro Bonus
Cashback Match™

Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match - only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There's no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.

Annual Fee
$0
Regular APR
12.99% - 21.99% variable

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Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank's website for the most current information.

All information about Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.


Deciding which cash back credit card is right for you

It’s clear that Americans love their cash back cards, according to our cash back poll. Of those surveyed, 49% said cash back was their favorite type of credit card.

With so many credit card offers on the market, it can be tough to decide which cash back card is going to give you the most value. To make it easier for you, our experts at CreditCards.com have pulled together the best cash back credit cards for every lifestyle. Choosing a credit card is an important financial decision, so we lay out the pros and cons for you all in one place.


best cash-back credit cards of 2021

Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: Best for U.S. supermarkets

Offering supreme cash back rates (6% for up to $6,000 each year, then 1%) for purchases at U.S supermarkets, this is a fantastic option for those who frequently cook at home. Plus, the introductory offer of a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months is a great way to easily pay for a trip or two to the grocery store. The annual fee of $95 (waived for the first year) could be a setback for some people, but it’s to be expected for a card with such high rewards rates.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card: Best for flexible cash back categories

For most people, spending is cyclical. You might do a lot of online shopping during the holiday months, but your summer budget may skew more heavily toward gas or travel. With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards, you have the freedom to change your bonus category once per calendar month, allowing you to tailor your rewards to your spending habits. Bonus categories include gas, online shopping, travel, drug stores, dining and home improvement/furnishings. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on the category of their choice, plus 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%). If you plan ahead, this card can be exceptionally valuable, especially since there’s no annual fee.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for introductory APR on purchases

It’s safe to say you have plenty of opportunities to earn cash back with the Chase Freedom Unlimited. You’ll earn a standard 1.5% on all purchases, plus boosted rewards in several categories, including travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, dining, drugstores and Lyft purchases. As a welcome bonus, you can earn $200 after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months of opening an account.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for unlimited rewards

Cardholders get unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, and the rewards don’t expire for the life of the account. With no annual fee, this is a great, gimmick-free option designed for simplicity lovers. However, there are flat-rate cash back cards with higher rates. For example, there’s the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns 2% cash back, 1% when you buy and 1% as you pay off your purchase.

Discover it® Cash Back: Best for rotating categories

With the Discover it Cash Back, you’ll have the opportunity to earn a generous 5% cash back bonus on everyday, useful categories (up to $1,500 upon enrollment each quarter, then 1%) that rotate each quarter. Also, Discover will automatically match all of your cash back earnings at the end of the first year. However, if you anticipate spending far more than the $1,500 quarterly limit, then a flat-rate cash back card like the Citi Double Cash Card may be a better option for you.

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and entertainment

If you consider yourself a foodie or a thrill-seeker, you might like the SavorOne for its generous 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases. Plus, even when you feel like eating in, you’ll earn 2% cash back at grocery stores. The fact that there are no spending caps for these categories makes this card even more exciting for big spenders. If you like the sound of 3% cash back on dining, you might also consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠, which offers that and rewards on several other everyday categories.

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

Offering 1% on general purchases (excluding gift cards) and then an additional 1% cash back as you pay off those purchases, the Citi Double Cash boasts one of the most competitive rewards rates of all cash back cards. Cash back rewards can also be converted to ThankYou points, which can be redeemed for travel purchases, gift cards and more for a rate of $1 cash back to 100 ThankYou points. While the long-term value is great, the lack of a sign-up bonus does detract from some of this card’s appeal. Also, the rewards will expire if the card isn’t used in more than 12 months, so you need to remember to use the card every so often if you don’t want your rewards to go to waste.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express: Best for tiered cash back

The Blue Cash Everyday is all about rewarding essential purchases, which is why it’s a great addition to nearly anyone’s wallet. This card offers 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 in purchases annually, then 1%), 2% at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores and then 1% on general purchases. Plus, there’s no annual fee. On the flip side, the yearly $6,000 limit on the 3% purchase category could cut into your potential earnings.

Chase Freedom Flex℠: Best for cash back on eligible travel

Those who travel often will really benefit from earning 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards ®. You can also earn 5% cash back on eligible purchases in rotating categories (quarterly activation required) and 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants. If the idea of keeping track of all of the cash back categories and the rules that come with each makes your head spin, you might want to look for a different cash back card. That, along with remembering to enroll in the 5% bonus category each quarter, requires some attention and may not be ideal for everyone.

Discover it® Student Cash Back: Best for students

This product is a top-notch student card: Earn a $20 statement credit each year for up to the next 5 years that you have a 3.0 GPA or better. In addition, earn 5% cash back on rotating categories (then 1%; activation required each quarter and $1,500 limit each quarter), up to $300 a year on the 5% offer. Then, match your earnings to get $600 at the end of your first year. There’s no annual fee, and there’s no foreign transaction fee.

Discover it® chrome: Best for gas purchases

This is a great card for on-the-go consumers because of the 2% cash back on restaurant and gas station purchases (on up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter, then 1%). That means you can earn up to $80 a year on the boosted rewards. As an added bonus, that $80 would become $160 at the end of your first year, thanks to Discover’s first-year cash back match for new cardholders. Also, there’s no annual fee, and there’s no foreign transaction fee. Keep in mind, however, that although the Discover it chrome rewards some everyday purchases, it is missing one key category for boosted rewards: groceries, which earn just 1% cash back.

Summary of the Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Credit cardBest for:Cash back %Annual feeCreditCards.com rating
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressGroceries/ U.S supermarkets6% at U.S supermarkets For the first $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% cash back $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $954.3 / 5
Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit cardFlexible cash back categories3% on category of your choice Also 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases $04.0 / 5
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Introductory APR on purchases3% cash back on dining 5% cash back on travel through Chase; 3% cash back on drugstore purchases; 5% cash back on Lyft purchases (through March 2022); 1.5% cash back on all other purchases $04.7 / 5
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit CardUnlimited rewards1.5% cash back on every purchase$03.4 / 5
Discover it® Cash BackCash back5% in rotating categories On up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly, then 1% cash back, activation required $04.3 / 5
Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit CardDining and entertainment3% on dining and entertainment$03.7 / 5
Citi® Double Cash CardFlat rate cash back2% 1% on purchases; 1% as you pay off the purchases $03.8 / 5
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressTiered cash back3% at U.S supermarkets For the first $6,000 in purchases per year, then 1% cash back $04.3 / 5
Chase Freedom Flex℠Cash back on eligible travel5% in rotating categories On up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly, then 1% cash back, activation required $03.9 / 5
Discover it® Student Cash BackStudents5% in rotating categories On up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly, then 1% cash back, activation required $04.2 / 5
Discover it® chromeGas purchases2% on restaraunt and gas station purchases On up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter, then 1% $04.1 / 5

What are cash back credit cards and how do they work?

Cash back credit cards are a type of rewards credit card. Unlike other rewards credit cards, which offer redeemable points or miles on purchases, cash back credit cards give a particular dollar amount of each eligible purchase back to the cardholder. Cash back essentially works like a rebate. Because reward points often come with a lot of restrictions in terms of how they can be redeemed, some people may prefer the simplicity of a cash back rewards card.

Exactly how much cash you earn back per purchase will vary depending on the terms of your card and the type of purchase you make. Let’s say you spend $500 each month in a category with a cash back rate of 5%. That means you earn $25 a month, just for card loyalty ($500 X .05 = $25). Sometimes there are spending limits, which is why it’s important to read through a card’s terms before applying.

When you redeem your cash back, you’ll probably have several options. Most cards allow you to redeem your cash back as a statement credit, which will lower your credit card balance. Direct deposits to your bank account, gift cards and checks are also common redemption options.

You’ll usually need at least fair credit to get a cash back card, so make sure you meet the credit requirements before applying. Cash back cards are best for people who can spend responsibly and pay their bill in full each month. If there’s a chance you might carry a balance from time to time, you’re probably better off with a low interest credit card.

Read our full guide to how cash back credit cards work to learn more.

Types of cash back credit cards

Nearly every cash back card on the market falls into one of three categories, each with its own benefits.

Flat-rate

Flat-rate cash back cards are probably the simplest type of rewards card you can get. With a flat-rate card, you’ll earn a set amount of cash back, usually between 1% and 2%, on every purchase. Since there’s no need to strategize spending, this type of cash back card is great for first-time cardholders and those who want to use just one credit card for the majority of their expenses. Simply set and forget until you want to redeem your rewards.

Read more: The top 1.5% cash back credit cards

A great option: the Citi® Double Cash Card. Earn 1% cash back on general purchases (excluding gift cards) and an additional 1% as you pay off those purchases, effectively 2%.

Tiered categories

This type of credit card will offer higher cash back rates – usually anywhere from 2% to 6% – in one or more categories, then 1% cash back on all other purchases. Common cash back categories include dining, groceries, travel and gas. Credit card issuers use merchant category codes to classify and reward your purchases.

A cash back card with tiered categories is a great choice if you have regular expenses within particular categories, like gas or groceries. One of the best ways to maximize your cash back earnings is to use a tiered card for your most common purchases while using a flat-rate card for miscellaneous expenses. That way, you get the best of both worlds and you never have to settle for a low rate of cash back.

A great option: the Chase Freedom Flex℠. Earn 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories that you must activate each quarter (on up to $1,500 per quarter), 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining and 3% cash back on drugstore purchases.

Rotating or customizable bonus category

This type of cash back card is very similar to a tiered category card, the main difference being that the categories change, usually each quarter. There are even cards that allow you to choose and change your own bonus category once per calendar month, like the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card. Rotating categories often correspond with the time of year, which can help you make the most of seasonal expenses, like holiday purchases or a summer road trip.

A great option: the Discover it® Cash Back. Enroll every quarter to earn 5% cash back in a new category (on up to $1,500 per quarter, then 1%).

Common cash back categories

Each credit card offers unique perks, and the rewards landscape is always expanding. In fact, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, some credit cards have added new rewards categories like streaming service subscriptions and food delivery services.

That said, there are a few fan-favorite bonus categories you can find with many rewards credit cards. Here are some of the most popular rewards categories.

  • Groceries – This is one of the most common and useful categories, especially for large families. Just be sure that your grocery store of choice actually qualifies for the rewards category; some grocery rewards programs exclude wholesalers like Costco and superstores like Target and Walmart.
  • Gas – Unless you use public transportation, gas is one of those unavoidable expenses. Why not earn cash back on those purchases?
  • Travel – If your idea of fun involves boarding a plane, there’s good news: Plenty of credit cards will reward your travel purchases with points or miles you can redeem for more travel.
  • Dining – Whether you prefer a drive-through, sit-down, or takeout experience, there are lots of credit cards that reward restaurant purchases.

How to choose a cash back credit card

With so many cash back cards to choose from, it helps to know how to compare them. Here are a few of the most important factors to consider:

  • Rewards rates and categories: It may seem obvious, but you should choose a card with a rewards structure that fits your lifestyle and spending habits. For some, that might mean a flat-rate card that rewards all purchases at 1.5%. For others, that might mean a tiered rewards card that gives a higher cash back rate at grocery stores and then just 1% on everything else. To decide which cash back categories are going to be the most useful to you, take a look at your expenses over the last month. You might be surprised to learn that you’re spending more on takeout than groceries or that your gas station fill-ups cost more each month than your online shopping habit. Whatever you find, looking at an entire month of expenses can help you confidently pick the best cash back card for you.
  • Annual fee: Luckily, there are plenty of lucrative cash back cards that come without an annual fee. These are great for credit card beginners and those who don’t plan to spend a lot on their card. However, big spenders might find the higher rewards rates offered by annual fee cards to be worth it.If you’re trying to decide, some quick math can give you an idea of whether it makes sense to choose a card with an annual fee. For example, if the annual fee is $100 and the cash back rate is 5% at restaurants, you would have to spend $2,000 at restaurants before making up the cost of the annual fee (2,000 X .05 = 100). Since most cash back cards have more than just one bonus category, you might need to do the math for each to get the full picture.
  • Welcome bonus: Most cash back cards have a welcome bonus, usually around $150 after a set amount of spend within a specific timeframe. Cash back cards with an annual fee may have higher offers.
  • Other perks and benefits: Some cards come with extra perks that add long-term value. For example, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® card is famous for offering up to $600 worth of cellphone protection against covered damage and theft (subject to a $25 deductible) to cardholders who use the card to pay their monthly phone bills. Other common perks to look out for include auto rental insurance, price protection and travel insurance.

Pros and cons of using a cash back card

Cash back cards are appealing for a number of reasons, but two of the biggest benefits are simplicity and flexibility.

While many people love cash back cards, they do have limitations. If you’re contemplating whether a cash back card is right for you, here are some advantages and disadvantages of cash back cards to keep in mind as you make a decision.

Pros

Earning rewards is straightforward. Rather than keeping track of the monetary value of point or mile conversions, cash back cards simply give a percentage of your purchase back. This makes them great for credit card beginners and those who like to keep it simple.

Rewards are flexible. Once you redeem your cash back for a statement credit or direct deposit, that money can go toward buying anything you want.

They often come with welcome bonuses. Welcome bonuses for cash back cards are often $150 or more, some even as high as $300. While a welcome bonus isn’t something you should base your entire decision on, it can be a good tie-breaker if you’re deciding between a few cards.

Earn rewards for the purchases you’re already making. With so many cash back cards on the market – rewarding everything from groceries to streaming services – you have the freedom to choose one that matches the way you already spend. That way, you don’t feel like you have to spend more money than you normally would to earn rewards.

Build and maintain your credit score. Cash back cards encourage healthy credit behavior by rewarding a paid balance with cash rewards. Your positive activity is then reported to credit bureaus, which can help your credit score climb over time.

Many have no annual fee. While some cash back cards do offer premium rewards rates in exchange for an annual fee, you can find plenty of great offers with no annual fee. That way, you can carry the card without worrying whether it’s actually costing you money to have. This is different from travel rewards cards, which more often do come with annual fees.

Cons

Cash rewards are often less valuable than travel rewards. While the value of cash back is pretty straightforward, the value of travel rewards depends on what card you have and how you redeem your points or miles. However, in terms of dollar value, you can usually get more bang for your buck using a travel rewards card – but keep in mind that those rewards will be less flexible than cash back.

They lack travel benefits. Don’t expect many travel benefits outside basic car rental insurance with cash back cards.

Some cash back cards have spending limits on rewards categories. Some tiered rewards cards have a quarterly or annual spending cap for their boosted cash back rate. For example, you might earn 5% cash back on only the first $1,500 you spend each quarter. After that, you would earn just 1% cash back until the next quarter.

You may have to sign up each quarter to qualify for boosted cash back rewards. Activating your rewards category each quarter is common for bonus category cards. Cardholders who could forget quarterly deadlines – or don’t like dealing with them – may not find these higher-earning cards to be worthwhile.

Carrying a balance negates any rewards you earn. Because rewards credit cards do pose an interest rate higher than the rewards rate, it’s critical that you pay off your balance each month or your interest will surpass your cash back.

Research methodology: How we picked the best cash back credit cards

Cash back credit cards analyzed: 682

Criteria used:

Cash back rate and categories

Of course, the best cash back credit cards make it easy to earn cash back. That’s why we chose credit cards that offer high rewards rates on common purchases. We understand that “everyday spending” looks different for various lifestyles, so we chose a variety of bonus categories, from travel to groceries to entertainment.

Redemption options

What’s the use of cash back if you can’t redeem it in a way that’s valuable to you? Most cash back cards allow the option to redeem as a statement credit, but some also allow you to redeem as a bank direct deposit, gift card, charitable donation or even a credit toward a loan balance. Since these alternative redemption methods can sometimes add value to your cash back earnings, we weighed all methods of redemption. We also considered ease of redemption since some cards require a minimum cash back balance in order to redeem.

Sign-up bonus

When analyzing a credit card’s overall value, we always think long-term: ongoing rewards rate, fees, etc. But a sign-up bonus is a nice way to kickstart your cash back earnings. The ideal sign-up bonus rewards you generously for a low spending threshold.

Rates and fees

Here, we dug into a few costs that may cut into the card’s potential value. When assessing cards with annual fees, we did the math to ensure that cardholders’ cash back and other benefits could likely surpass that cost. We also avoided cards with sky-high interest rates.

Miscellaneous benefits and features

Additional perks and benefits are rarely the main attraction, but they can be tie-breakers when comparing two similar offers. Features like auto rental insurance and price protection are often overlooked but can save you hundreds if you remember to use them.


Check out our reviews

Interested in learning more about each card? We’ve reviewed several cash back credit cards – check them out in our reviews section.


Frequently Asked Questions