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.
There’s something to be said for keeping it simple, especially when it comes to cash back credit cards.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% cash back on grocery purchases for the next three months. 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% cash back on that category.
Not everyone wants to juggle multiple product categories and remember to change them or try to recall which of their purchases gives them what rate of cash back. People have busy lives.
Want to earn a generous amount of cash back without any of the hassles 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.
Best flat-rate cash back credit cards
- Best premium card: Alliant Visa Signature Card
- Best everyday card: Citi® Double Cash Card, Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card
- Best card for credit builders: Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, Journey Student Rewards from Capital One
- Best no-nonsense flat-rate card: Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card
What is flat-rate cash back?
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 spend categories or bonus rewards. Simply swipe your card wherever you go and watch cash back stockpile.
Most flat-rate cash back cards offer between 1% and 2.5% cash back. Check out our favorites below.
Best premium flat-rate cash back card: Alliant Visa Signature Card
With the highest cash back rate on this list, the Alliant Visa Signature Card is the card you want to put all your credit card spending on.
It’s recommended for those who spend at least $20,000 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 (in $50 increments) as a direct deposit into an Alliant savings account beyond the customary statement credit.
- 2.5% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $250 cash back per billing cycle on $10,000 in qualifying purchases per year)
- Redeem cash back as a statement credit or as cash deposits in an Alliant savings account
- $0 annual fee in the first year
- Rewards expire four years after the year they were earned if you don’t redeem them
Best everyday flat-rate cash back card: Citi® Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card is a great card for people who pay their balance off every month because it offers 1% cash back when you make a purchase and 1% cash back as you pay off those purchases.
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% APR on balance transfers for 18 months – and a 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR after that – Citi Double Cash is also a great card to pay down if you carry a balance. But beware, there’s no cash back on balance transfers.
Here’s a recap of what the Citi Double Cash Card offers:
- 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay; You must pay at least the minimum on time
- 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR)
- Redeem cash back for checks, direct deposit, statement credit or convert to ThankYou points
- No annual fee
- Special access to concert and event tickets
Alternative: Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card
If you want 2% cash back but don’t want it split between purchase and payment, the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card is a great alternative as long as you have 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 13.99% APR (the average card APR currently stands above 16%), opening a Fidelity account might be worth it for this card.
- 2% unlimited cash back on all purchases (plus an extra 1% on top of that for Fidelity Rewards Plus members who have at least $250,000 in assets under management)
- Deposit rewards into any Fidelity account or the account of a loved one
- Travel and shopping discounts
- Visa Signature concierge
Best flat-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. Not only does it allow unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor it, but it also allows you to increase your credit limit after six months of on-time payments, with responsible use.
Plus, 1.5% 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% unlimited cash back on all purchases
- Consideration for a higher credit line after making six consecutive payments on time
- Unlimited access to your credit score and tools to help you monitor your credit
- $0 fraud liability
- $39 annual fee
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% cash back on all purchases and that will get boosted to 1.25% when you pay for those purchases on time.
If you manage to pay the 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.
- 1% cash back on general purchases
- 25% bonus cash back when you pay on time
- Redeem rewards for statement credits, checks or gift cards
- No annual fee
- No sign-up bonus
- No foreign transaction fees
- Pay your bill via text using Eno, the Capital One assistant
Best no-nonsense flat-rate cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash
Wells Fargo Active Cash is the perfect credit card for people who want a high flat-rate cash back credit card without quarterly spending categories or getting part of the cash back when you purchase the item and then the other part of the cash back when you pay the bill.
Unlike the Citi Double Cash, which splits its 2% cash back in this way, Wells Fargo Active Cash gives you 2% cash back on every item, upfront, with no limits on how much cash back you can earn. Other benefits include:
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on qualifying purchases and balance transfers
- $600 cell phone protection against damage or theft when you pay your cell phone bill with the Wells Fargo Active Cash (subject to a $25 deductible and terms apply)
- No annual fee
- Zero liability for promptly reported unauthorized purchases
Which flat-rate cash back card is right for you?
All of these cards offer competitive flat rates of cash back and are best suited for a particular spender. While students may have an easier time qualifying for the Journey Student Rewards card from Capital One, cardholders with more credit history and a good credit score can potentially earn more from a card like the Citi Double Cash Card. Beyond the rewards rate, be sure to consider each card’s annual fee and additional benefits to make sure it aligns with your lifestyle long-term.
Comparing flat-rate cash back cards
|Card||Rewards rate||Annual fee|
|Alliant Visa Signature Card||$0 (waived first year)|
|Citi Double Cash Card||$0|
|Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card||2% cash back on all purchases||$0|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||1.5% cash back on all purchases||$39|
|Journey Student Rewards from Capital One||$0|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash||2% cash back on all purchases||$0|