Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards can be a great way to earn rewards for the things you buy every day. Our list of cash back offers is updated monthly to make it easy to find the card that will maximize your savings. The top flat-rate cash back cards will pay you up to 2% cash back on all purchases, while rotating category cards have cash back rates up to 6% in select spending categories. Additionally, the best cash back credit cards can have introductory offers up to $150. Review this list of offers from our partners to find the card that best fits your personal spending profile.

Our up-to-date list of cash back offers makes it easy to find a card that will maximize your savings. See offers from our partners below.

Estimated savings is based on on a total credit card transfer balance of $2,500, current APR of 15.00%, and a monthly repayment of $56.25 for the first 24 months.

Estimated Savings is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might save by transferring your balances to a new card after factoring in fees, length of promotional periods and interest charges. This amount is based on the transfer amount, assumes you make fixed monthly payments on time, and does not assume rewards or purchases, since those will vary per individual.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

see terms

Intro Bonus Value

$100
?

$100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.

Annual Reward Value

$294
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

APPLY BY PHONE

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees

Rewards Rate

see terms

Intro Bonus Value

$100

Annual Reward Value

$294

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

Cardholders earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores as well as 1% back on other purchases.

Card Details

  • $100 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% on Purchases for 12 months
Regular APR 13.99%-24.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% on Balance Transfers for 12 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at American Express's
secure site

or call American Express at

877-915-6432 See Rates & fees
Terms Apply
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1.5%
?

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on virtually every purchase

Intro Bonus Value

$200
?

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Annual Reward Value

$307
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro Bonus Value

$200

Annual Reward Value

$307

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

If you're looking for a basic cash back card to use on general purchases and don't want to bother with bonus categories, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card is a good choice — particularly if you bank with Wells Fargo.

Card Details

  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified mobile wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Android Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a 13.99%-25.99% variable APR; balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee
  • Select "Apply Now" to learn more about the product features, terms, and conditions

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 12 months
Regular APR 13.99%-25.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 12 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Cellphone Insurance
View More Details

at Wells Fargo's
secure site

Discover it® Cashback Match™

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

5%
?

Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.

Intro Bonus Value

$229
?

Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Annual Reward Value

$229
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Discover it® Cashback Match™

(25,570 Reviews)

Rewards Rate

5%

Intro Bonus Value

$229

Annual Reward Value

$229

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

The Discover it® Cashback Match™ is a good no-fee card with one very enticing feature: It matches all your cash back at the end of your first year of membership. The card also offers 5% back on quarterly rotating categories and flexible redemption terms on your cash back.

Card Details

  • New! Free Social Security Number alerts, we'll monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.*
  • You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your FICO® Credit Score for free on monthly statements, on mobile and online.
  • No annual fee.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 14 months
Regular APR 11.99% - 23.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 14 months

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
View More Details

at Discover's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Citi® Double Cash Card

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1%
?

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

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Annual Reward Value

$318
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Citi® Double Cash Card

APPLY BY PHONE

or call Citi at

888-252-3753

Rewards Rate

1%

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Annual Reward Value

$318

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a great cash back card that lets you earn cash back twice — you earn 1 percent on every dollar you spend and 1 percent when you pay your bill on time, with no caps or restrictions.

Card Details

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0*
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 14.49% - 24.49%* (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 18 months*

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
Free Credit Score
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Trip Cancellation Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Presale Tickets
View More Details

at Citi's
secure site

or call Citi at

888-252-3753
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1.5%
?

Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

Annual Reward Value

$296
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

(8,829 Reviews)

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Annual Reward Value

$296

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

The Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is a great option for cardholders who want to earn a high general rewards rate without having to track or opt in to bonus categories. The card offers a large $150 sign-up bonus and a high general rewards rate of 1.5 percent back.

Card Details

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase — it's automatic
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99% - 24.74% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at Chase's
secure site

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1.5%
?

Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase

Intro Bonus Value

$200
?

Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening

Annual Reward Value

$317
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro Bonus Value

$200

Annual Reward Value

$317

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

The Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® offers a generous cash back program with 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase and a 5% bonus when you redeem rewards.

Card Details

  • Get a $200 cash rewards bonus after you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days after account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase. Every time you redeem, get a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus to use toward your next redemption
  • Redeem your cash rewards for a deposit into a U.S. checking or savings account, a statement credit or gift cards. Redemptions start at $50
  • Cash rewards do not expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing
  • Enjoy a 0% introductory APR for the first 15 months on purchases.
  • Plus, you'll get a 0% introductory APR for 15 months for each balance transfer made within 45 days of account opening. After that a variable APR will apply, 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Please note, there is a fee for balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Recommended Credit Score

740 850
Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% for 15 months
Regular APR 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99% Variable
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% for 15 months (on balance transfers made within 45 days of account opening)

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
MasterCard World
View More Details

at Barclaycard's
secure site

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1%

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

$150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual Reward Value

$318
?
$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

(27,105 Reviews)

Rewards Rate

1%

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Annual Reward Value

$318

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

With the opportunity to earn 3% cash back on gas, plus the ability to earn a $150 bonus on qualifying purchases, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card lets you earn a large amount of cash back on your everyday purchases.

Card Details

  • No annual fee
  • $150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25% - 75%

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Intro Purchase APR 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
FICO Score
View More Details

at Bank of America's
secure site

See Rates & fees
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1.5%
?

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

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Reward Value

$288
?

Annual Reward Value is a CreditCards.com calculation that is used to provide an example of how much you might earn with your new card based on your spending habits. This amount is based on average monthly spend, and actual results will vary by user.

$1,325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Rewards Rate

1.5%

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Annual Reward Value

$288

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

With the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, cardholders earn a simple, unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The card also has 9 months of 0% interest on both balance transfers and new purchases, then a variable APR of 13.99 – 23.99% applies. A 3% fee applies to each balance transferred.

Card Details

  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your Quicksilver card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that
  • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR for 9 months; 13.99%-23.99% variable APR after that; a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR 0% intro on purchases for 9 months
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR 0% intro on balance transfers for 9 months

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Purchase Protection
Roadside Assistance
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at Capital One's
secure site

MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard®

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

1%

Intro Bonus Value

$150
?

$150 online cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.

Annual Reward Value

$318
?
$1325 monthly spend
Groceries
23%
Restaurants
14%
Travel (airline only)
4%
Travel total
8%
Hotel
2%
Gas
15%
Entertainment
5%
Other
33%

Annual Fee

$0

MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard®

Rewards Rate

1%

Intro Bonus Value

$150

Annual Reward Value

$318

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

The MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard® offers a customized card with your favorite team’s colors and logo, plus the same cash rewards value and features as the regular Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card.

Card Details

  • $150 cash rewards bonus after you spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • All 30 team cards are available, customized with your favorite team's colors and logo
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
  • No annual fee
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days, then, 13.99% - 23.99% variable APR. 3% fee (min $10) applies to balance transfers

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Intro Purchase APR 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 12 billing cycles
Regular APR 13.99% - 23.99% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers
Intro Balance Transfer APR 0% Intro APR for 12 billing cycles for balance transfers made in the first 60 days

Features

EMV
No Annual Fee
0% Introductory APR
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
Price Protection
Travel Accident Insurance
Travel Assistance
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
FICO Score
View More Details

at Bank of America's
secure site

See Rates & fees
USAA Limitless™ Cashback Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

APPLY NOW

Rewards Rate

see terms

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Annual Reward Value

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

USAA Limitless™ Cashback Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card

Rewards Rate

see terms

Intro Bonus Value

N/A

Annual Reward Value

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Why should I get this card?

Cardholders earn 2.5% cash back on credit card purchases when you have a USAA Bank checking account with a qualifying direct deposit of at least $1,000 every month as well as unlimited cash back on the amount you can earn. Plus there's no foreign transaction fee!

Card Details

  • Earn 2.5% cash back on credit card purchases when you have a free* USAA Bank checking account with a qualifying direct deposit of at least $1,000 every month.*
  • Enjoy unlimited cash back on the amount you can earn.
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on credit card purchases without a direct deposit.
  • Pay no foreign transaction fee when you travel outside of the United States.

Recommended Credit Score

670 850
Good to Excellent

Rates & Fees

Annual Fee $0
Purchase Intro APR N/A
Regular APR 14.90%-20.90% (Variable)
Balance Transfers Intro APR N/A

Features

EMV
No Foreign Transaction Fees
No Annual Fee
Auto Rental Insurance
Concierge Service
Extended Warranty Program
Purchase Protection
Zero Fraud Liability
Mobile Pay Ready
Visa Signature
View More Details

at USAA's
secure site

Show More Results

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.


Compare Cash Back Credit Card Offers

Updated: September 1, 2017

Card Welcome Bonus Bonus Requirement Rewards Rate
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card $200 Cash Rewards Bonus Spend $1,000 in the first 3 months Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on purchases
Discover it® Cashback Match™ Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically Automatic Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants, Amazon.com, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate

Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
Citi® Double Cash Card N/A N/A Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited® $150 Bonus Spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® $200 Cash Rewards Bonus Spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days after account opening Unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on every purchase
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card $150 Online Cash Rewards Bonus Spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card $150 Cash Bonus Spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
MLB™ BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Mastercard® $150 Cash Rewards Bonus Spend at least $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of account opening Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter
USAA Limitless™ Cashback Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card N/A N/A Earn 1.5% cash back on credit card purchases

Choose the Right Cashback Card for You

There are few credit cards as versatile as the cashback card.

No matter your purchase habits, there's likely a cashback card for you. You can earn cash without having to think about it. You can max out rewards by pairing this kind of card with a travel rewards card, such as a Chase Freedom or Freedom Unlimited card and a Chase Sapphire Preferred. With a few cashback cards, you can even build your credit when it's not at its best while earning cash back.

Many have no annual fee. There is also the option of rotating categories or flat cashback percentages. We'll explain all that in easy-to-understand language. Here's what you need to know:

What is a cashback credit card?

A cashback credit card is a card that allows you to earn cash for making purchases. Most require good or excellent credit, which means you need at least a FICO score of 700 before you even think about applying. FICO, the credit scoring model most used by lenders, rates on a scale of 300-850, with 850 as the best.

Cashback cards are an excellent gateway card into travel cards, which can be more complicated to maneuver and typically have an annual fee. Because cashback cards often don’t have annual fees, you don’t have to worry about a minimum spend to make the card worth your while.

Once you’ve built your credit, pick out a cashback card and practice good money-management habits with it. That means keep a budget, plan what you’ll use your card for (only spend what you have the money to repay), and pay in full and on time each month.

After you’ve successfully managed your cashback card for about a year, then it’s time to look at possibly upgrading to a travel or rewards card for more intense benefits.

Why use cashback credit cards?

You may be wondering why you should use a cashback credit card. If you can pay your balance in full and on time each month, you can earn cash back in the hundreds each year. Say you have a card that pays 2% back on everything, and there is no annual fee. If you spend $1,000 a month for a year, you will get $240 back at the end of that year.

Also, by paying in full and on time each month, you will improve your credit, because FICO, the dominant scoring model, loves it when you don't carry a balance on your credit cards, and it really loves when you pay on time.

How do I get a cashback credit card?

When you apply for a cashback credit card, the card issuer will gather some information, including Social Security number, name and address, and income. Fill out the form honestly, because you can have the card revoked if you’re caught in a lie. Income can be money you have access to, rather than just your salary, so if you and your spouse are employed, you can combine the incomes. This is helpful if you are an at-home parent and the family has just one income.

Many cards will approve or decline you within minutes. If you are approved, you may be able to shop online with your new account. Your card will arrive within a few days in the mail.

How do cashback credit cards work?

Cashback credit cards work in a variety of ways, usually offering a percentage back for your purchases.

Say you have a Wells Fargo Cash Wise card, which gives 1.5% back on everything. That means if you spend $1,000 a month on groceries, gas and other expenses, at year end, you'll earn $180 back. And because many cashback cards don't have annual fees, you're not having to clear that “fee hurdle.”

Some cashback cards are a little more complicated. They might pay for quarterly categories, for example, such as the Discover it Cashback Match. Categories can have reward limits -- for example, the Cashback Match gives you 5% back for up to $1,500 a quarter. Categories can include wholesale clubs, restaurants, gas and more. The advantage with a card that has quarterly categories is that you get a higher reward. However, there are usually signups, limits and you have to keep track of which categories qualify.

Depending on the card, cash back can be in the form of credit statements, bank deposit, checks, even merchandise through shopping portals. For example, Discover Deals allows you to get cashback bonuses or money off your purchases. Through these shopping portals, you can shop for clothing, gifts, health and beauty aids, travel and more. Some cards, such as the Wells Fargo Propel, allow you to redeem for gift cards.

What are signup bonuses on cashback cards?

Many cashback cards offer a signup bonus, typically between $100 and $200, with a required spend within a certain amount of time, usually 90 days or 3 months.

The required spend is usually below that of a travel card, typically $1,000 or less. This makes it easier to meet the requirements and earn the cash bonus. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers $150 after a $500 spend within your first 3 months of card membership.

Make sure you have the cash to pay back the required spend, because if you carry the charge over month-to-month, you basically undo the benefit of the bonus by paying interest fees.

How do you use a cashback credit card to save money?

Using a cashback card to save money only works if you use your card for purchases you plan to make anyway and if you pay your card bill in full and on time each month. That way, you avoid late fees and interest charges. You also want to make sure that your planned spending will put your cash back above any annual fee. So, if you have an annual fee of $95, and the redemption is at 2% on every dollar spent, you want to make sure you plan to spend at least $4,750 in a year.

Ideally, you want to focus on your best cashback, travel or rewards card, and put as many purchases as possible on it so that you earn maximum miles.

How do you strategically use a cashback credit card?

7 strategies to maximize cashback rewards:

What do you look for in a cashback credit card?

Here are 4 things to look for in a cashback credit card:

Why do creditors offer cashback cards?

On the surface, it doesn't make sense why creditors or credit card issuers offer cashback credit cards. Used correctly, you can get hundreds of dollars back each year. But it makes sense, once you understand the issuer business model. Here's how it works:

With all these fees floating around, what do you do? First off, pay in full and on time each month. That will keep you from paying late fees and interest fees. Also, keep an emergency fund so you won't be tempted to take out a cash advance. Finally, ask the merchant if you are being charged a checkout fee for using your Visa or MasterCard. If so and it's a big purchase, you may want to think about shopping elsewhere.

What are typical cashback rates?

There is no typical cashback rate. Cards can pay out a flat 1.5% or 2% or they can give a higher rate for specific types of purchases. For example, the Blue Cash Everyday offers 3% back on purchases made at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 a year. (It's 1% after that.) That comes to $180 back. Terms apply.

Some cards, such as the Chase Freedom, pay out for categories that you sign up for each quarter. The Freedom, for example, offers 5% back on quarterly categories for up to $1,500 spend, or $75 back each quarter.

How to compare cashback credit cards

Here's how to compare cashback credit cards:

Track your spending for 2 months. You'll want to see how much you spend on items such as groceries and gas. Also, look at how much you spend at specific stores, such as Sam's Club or Amazon.com.

Study a mix of cashback cards, including Discover it Cashback Match, Blue Cash Preferred and Chase Freedom Unlimited. Each has a specific type of model: The Cashback Match offers quarterly categories (as does the Chase Freedom); Blue Cash Preferred offers yearlong rewards for specific categories; and the Chase Freedom Unlimited (as well as the Wells Fargo Cash Wise) offers a percentage for all purchases.

If Amazon is a go-to for you, the Cashback Match may be a good choice for you. If you have a family and spend a lot on groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred can be a good option. And if you don't want to be pinned down by what you use your card for, the Cash Wise might be the one to choose.

What are rotating categories?

Cards with rotating categories usually give you a higher percentage back than other cards, but only for a quarter. Categories can be restaurants, groceries, gas and more. In the last year, Amazon.com and warehouse clubs have increased in popularity.

You usually have to sign up each quarter, but if you don't mind tracking which categories you'll use each month, you can get as much as 10% back at the end of your first year. One thing, there is usually a limit to how much you can spend toward the quarter, typically $1,500 a quarter. After that it's 1%.

An alternative is the flat rate, which gives you the same amount back regardless of the purchase. The amount is usually 1.5%-2% back. So, if you get 2% back on everything, it doesn't matter what you are using your card for — groceries, clothes shopping, whatever. If you spend $1,000 a month with your card, you get $240 back at the end of your year. And there is no maximum spend.

What are common cashback categories?

There’s no guarantee, and categories change from year to year, but here are common cashback categories:

Restaurants

The Cashback Match is generous with this category, as is the Chase Freedom. This is a good category for the millennial to target if your evenings center around trying out new restaurants or during the workweek checking out the latest lunch spot.

Amazon.com

Do a lot of shopping online? The Cashback Match has featured this category, giving you 5% back on Amazon shopping for up to $1,500 in the selected quarter, up to $75 back -- $150 back at the end of your first year.

Wholesale clubs

This is an increasingly popular category for cashback cards, sometimes as a quarterly category and sometimes in a limited time offer.

Grocery stores

Groceries are a favorite category for cashback cards. In addition, during the quarter when grocery stores were featured, Chase Freedom included drugstores. If you shop for a family, this can be a good category — with the Discover it Cashback Match, for example, you can spend $500 a month on groceries and max out the spend, giving you back $75 for that quarter. And don't forget the additional $75 back at the end of your first year.

Transportation

Some cards give a higher percent for gas, such as the Blue Cash Preferred. Others, such as the Chase Freedom, also give 5% back during specific quarters on parking, tolls and Amtrak purchases. This category is a good choice for the daily commuter or if you do a whole lot of shuttling the kids and the soccer team.

Advantages for cashback credit cards

Cashback credit cards have a number of advantages, including:

A cashback card gives you, well, cash back, sometimes hundreds of dollars a year. If you use it strategically as your card of choice, you can enjoy not only statement credits, but shopping deals as well, depending on the card. By using the card for everything from grocery shopping to furniture purchases, the cash back can add up. Just don’t make purchases you don’t have the money to pay back – remember, a credit card isn’t designed to be a long-term loan.

Another, lesser-known advantage is that cashback cards can be great practice for a travel or rewards card. These cards typically have an annual fee, which you have to factor in when calculating how much money you need to spend in a year to make the card worth your while. Also, travel cards can require some maneuvering to make it worth your while, such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred’s Chase Ultimate Rewards portal. The portal is an excellent way to maximize your points, but it’s a bit more complicated than just spending and getting your periodic statement credit.

Cashback cards also offer variety in structure. If you want something simple and straightforward, you can get a flat-rate card, such as the Wells Fargo Cash Wise. Want to maximize cash back? The Discover it Cashback Match is a great choice. There are also cards that are a mix of the two – such as the Blue Cash Preferred and the Blue Cash Everyday. These cards give you extra cash back for specific categories year-round, plus a minimum cash back for everything else.

Disadvantages to cashback credit cards

From incurring additional debt to impacted credit, there can be disadvantages to cashback credit cards, none of which are insurmountable.

On the plus side, you can earn cash back for using your cashback card. On the downside, you can end up owing more than you can pay off or even harming your credit. Here are possible disadvantages to cashback cards and what you can do about them:

How do you redeem cash rewards?

You can redeem cash rewards a number of ways, depending on the card. In most cases, you get a statement credit, but some issuers allow you to spend your cash back on shopping or gift cards. In some cases, you can deposit the cash back in a bank account or get a check cut. Issuers might give a better deal for the statement credit, though, so check. Some Bank of America cards give you 10% back when you deposit your credit in a Bank of America checking or savings account. If you have a preferred account, your cash back for deposits increases to 25% and even up to 75%.

What is a statement credit?

Most cashback credit cards give you your cash in what's called a statement credit. That means that on your monthly statement, you'll see a positive balance that you can use toward your monthly bill. Some issuers also allow you to deposit your cash back into a bank account or even get a check cut, however, there can be financial incentives to opt for a statement credit. Some issuers, such as Bank of America, give you incentives to deposit your cash back into a checking or saving account held with that bank. Others give you the option of using your cash back toward an online shopping portal.

Are there limitations on where I can spend my cashback rewards?

There can be limitations on where you can spend your cashback rewards, because issuers have different rules for how you can get your cash back. You usually get your cash through statement credits, but some issuers offer you the option to park your cash in a savings or checking account (you can get a 10% bonus when you do this with your BankAmericard Cash Rewards, provided it's a Bank of America account), while other issuers allow you to redeem with gift cards, such as the Barclaycard CashForward.

Some issuers, such as Discover, also have portals where you can shop with your cash back while getting discounts on goods and gift cards.

Are cashback rewards taxable as income?

Cashback rewards are usually not taxable as income; they are typically considered a discount by the IRS. The same is true of rewards points and miles.

“However, there may be times when you need to reduce the amount of a [business] deduction to reflect the discount that a cash back reward provides you with,” says TurboTax.

TurboTax gives the example of when you are self-employed and you purchase a cellphone that you only use for business. Although your phone is deductible on your taxes, TurboTax points out that you can only deduct your actual cost. So, if you get a $150 rebate for your $200 phone, you really only paid $50 for the phone, and that's how much you can deduct.

How can I maximize my cashback rewards?

There are a number of ways you can maximize your cashback rewards. It starts with choosing your card.

  1. Make a list of your spending habits for a month. Write everything! Then, categorize by type of store — grocery stores, gas stations, wholesale clubs, Amazon.com, restaurants.
  2. Do you see a pattern? If you are spending a lot on groceries, you might want the Blue Cash Preferred. If you spend a fair amount on a mix, such as wholesale clubs and Amazon.com, the Cashback Match may be a good choice. And if your shopping is truly eclectic, or you don't want to get strapped to categories, you'll want to look at a fixed-rate card, such as the Cash Wise.
  3. Look at ways to put charges on the card that you make anyway. Check if you can charge your rent, insurance and utilities, for example.
  4. Figure out how much you will be spending on your card, if this is your go-to card. Just make sure you have it in your budget to pay off the card in full and on time each month.
  5. Don't apply for multiple cards at once. That can sabotage your credit. Pick a card, looking at the annual fee, and any other benefits, such as balance transfer offers. Also, make sure you will earn more than the annual fee.
  6. Some cards, such as the Freedom cards, can be paired with other cards to maximize rewards. For example, you can pair the Freedom products with the Chase Sapphire Preferred, allowing you to fully maximize the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal for travel.

Is a cashback card right for me?

If you’re wondering whether a cashback card is right for you, ask yourself these 4 questions:

What is your FICO score? If it is below 700 on a scale of 300-850, don’t bother to apply except in a few cases. In some cases, a score higher than 750 is required, so do your research. Check your credit at MyFICO.com. If it’s below 700, take out one of your free credit reports at AnnualCreditReport.com and check it for accuracy. Get the credit bureau to correct any inaccuracies, and consider getting a credit-builder card to build your credit. Within months, you’ll see a difference.

Do you have a budget? This is a must to ensure you don’t go over on your spending. You’ll want to only spend on your card what you already have in the bank. Credit cards are for credit building, convenience, and in this case, cash back, not to be used as a long-term loan.

Do you pay your bills on time? If you have any trouble paying your bills on time, having a credit card can be problematic. That’s because you can face late fees and hurt your credit. Instead of a card with rewards or cash back, which takes a little organization, see if you can get a credit-builder card to practice on.

Are you intrigued by travel and rewards cards, but not sure if you have the organizational skills to manage them? A cashback cards might be a good choice. If you choose a simple, flat-rate cashback card, you can use it and forget it. It gives you the opportunity to earn money back while focusing on spending and paying the monthly bill. If you want something that gives you a little more in rewards and practice tracking your spending, choose one with quarterly categories or category spending limits.

Think a cashback card is right for you? Our cash back credit card reviews can help. Take a look and compare today.

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