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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. Pick the one that best fits your financial habits.

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

This is because for some credit cards, the highest rate of cash back offered is only available through a series of specific product categories that change every quarter – and if you forget to pick your category, your card defaults to the lowest rate of cash back on every purchase.

For example, let’s say your card offers 5 percent cash back on grocery purchases for the next three months, but if you forget to choose that category before the selection window closes, not only do you miss out on the high rate of cash back when you grocery shop, but you only get 1 percent cash back on that category.

Not everyone wants to juggle multiple product categories – or multiple cards, each one for a specific category bonus – remember to change them or try to recall which of their purchases gives them what rate of cash back. People have busy lives.

If you want to earn a generous amount of cash back without any of the hassle that may come with it, 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 of the time.

See related: Best cash back credit cards

Best flat-rate cash back credit cards

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

With the highest unlimited cash back rate on this list, the Alliant Visa Signature Card is the card you want to put all your credit card spend on.

It’s recommended for those who spend at least $50,000 a year on their credit card because there is no sign-up bonus. The card may be best for Alliant banking customers, since it can only be redeemed as a direct deposit into an Alliant savings account beyond the customary statement credit. The card also carries an annual fee beyond the first year.

Here’s more about the Alliant Signature Visa Card:

  • 2.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • 3 percent unlimited cash back in your first year.
  • Redeem cash back as statement credit or as cash deposits in an Alliant savings account.
  • $0 annual fee in the first year, $99 after that.
  • Rewards expire after four years if you don’t redeem them.

Alternative: Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card also offers 3 percent cash back for the first year, but redeemed cash back doesn’t have the same savings account restrictions as the Alliant Signature Visa.

Plus, if you also own a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or a Chase Sapphire Reserve card, you can transfer your cash back between cards in the form of Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Chase Ultimate Rewards gives you a 50-percent bonus on travel purchases with the Reserve and 25 percent on the Preferred.

And while the Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t charge an annual fee, its flat rate drops to 1.5 percent cash back after the second year.

Here’s a quick recap of what the card offers:

  • 3 percent cash back on all purchases in the first year, up to $20,000.
  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • 0 percent intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months (then 16.99 percent – 25.74 percent variable)
  • No annual fee.

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

The Citi Double Cash Card is a great card for those who pay their balance off every month because it gives you 1 percent cash back when you make a purchase and 1 percent when you make a payment.

The amount of cash back you can earn is unlimited, but cash back does expire if you don’t use the card in 12 months and there’s a $25 redemption minimum. However, with no annual fee and 0 percent APR on balance transfers for 18 months, Citi Double Cash is also a great card to pay down if you carry a balance.

Beyond cash back, Citi Entertainment also gives you access to exclusive concerts and events.

Here’s a recap of what the Citi Double Cash Card offers:

  • 2 percent cash back on all purchases – 1 percent when you buy and 1 percent when you pay.
  • 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 15.99 percent – 25.99 percent variable)
  • Redeem cash back for checks or statement credit.
  • No annual fee.
  • Special access to concert and event tickets.

Alternative: Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card

If you want 2 percent cash back, but don’t want it split between purchase and payment, Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card is a great alternative as long as you or a loved one has a Fidelity account.

This is the card for you if you’re more interested in saving money than external rewards, but needing a Fidelity account certainly makes it more restrictive than other cards on the market. Still, with no annual fee and a lower-than-average 16.24 percent APR (the average card APR currently stands nearly at 18 percent), opening a Fidelity account might be worth it for this card.

Here are the benefits of the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card:

  • 2 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Deposit rewards into any Fidelity account or the account of a loved one.
  • Travel and shopping discounts.
  • Visa Signature concierge.

Best flate rate cash back card for credit builders: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card for credit builders because not only does it give you unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor it, but it also gives you an opportunity to increase your credit limit after five months of on-time payments.

Plus, 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases is the highest cash back rate you can get on a card for those with thin credit files. However, you probably don’t want to carry a balance on this card since the APR is high.

Check out more details and see if Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards is right for you:

  • 1.5 percent unlimited cash back on all purchases.
  • Access to a higher credit line after making five consecutive payments on time.
  • Unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit.
  • $0 fraud liability.

Alternative: Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

Just because you’re a student who is 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 that will get boosted to 1.25 percent when you pay for those purchases on time.

If you manage to pay the bill on time for five consecutive months you will 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 when you have limited credit, you have limited options.

Here are all the benefits Journey Student Rewards from Capital One has to offer:

  • 1 point per dollar spent on general purchases.
  • 25 percent bonus points when you pay on time.
  • Redeem miles for statement credits, checks or gift cards.
  • No annual fee.
  • No sign-up bonus.

What’s up next?

In Cash Back

Investing: The ultimate way to maximize your cash back

Getting a good cash back card and investing the rewards can be a nearly effortless way to save for your child’s college education, your own retirement or a dream purchase in the future.

Published: August 30, 2019

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Credit Card Rate Report Updated: September 18th, 2019
Business
15.45%
Airline
17.38%
Cash Back
17.52%
Reward
17.39%
Student
17.58%

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