Earning 1.5 percent back on all purchases makes for a simple way to earn additional rewards each month. But just because these cards offer the same amount of cash back doesn’t mean they’re all created equal.
The Bank of America content was last updated on January 3, 2023.
If you prefer earning cash or statement credits over points and miles, a cash back credit card is your best choice. Plenty of cards offer cash back bonuses on specific purchases, such as dining and gas. But for those who want to earn cash back on every purchase without dealing with rotating categories or complicated rewards structures, a flat-rate credit card is a smart option.
There are several credit cards that offer 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase you charge. That doesn’t mean, though, that each of these cards offers the same value. Read on to learn more about 1.5 percent cash back cards and which one might be the best choice for your everyday purchases.
Comparing 1.5% cash back cards
Decided that a flat-rate, 1.5 percent cash back card is the right fit for you? Now it’s time to find the right option for your wallet. As you’ll see below, most cards that offer 1.5 percent cash back don’t charge annual fees.
Here’s what we found when comparing the top 1.5 percent cash back cards available today:
|Card||Rewards rate||Welcome bonus||Annual fee|
|American Express Cash Magnet® Card*||$200 statement credit if you spend $2,000 in the first six months||$0|
|Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card||$200 online cash rewards bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days||$0|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited||Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year)||$0|
|Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card||$200 if you spend $500 in the first three months||$0|
|Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||None||$39|
|Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Card*||$200 bonus cash back when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of account opening||$0|
|The Ultimate Cash Back Card from Santander Bank*||3% cash back on qualifying purchases for the first 12 months (on up to $20,000 in purchases)||$0|
|M&T Visa Signature card*||10,000 bonus points after you make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months||$0|
|USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card*||None||$0|
Which 1.5% cash back card is best for you?
Choosing the best card for you depends on what kind of benefits you’re most interested in. If you’re set on earning a sign-up bonus, for example, the USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature and QuicksilverOne likely aren’t the right fit for you. To make it easier, we’ve broken down which options to consider based on factors most important to you.
Best for the highest yearly rewards value
If you’re interested in earning the highest yearly rewards value from a 1.5 percent cash back card, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is your best bet. Not only does this Chase card offer 1.5 percent back on all non-category purchases, but you can also earn 5 percent back on travel booked through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal and 3 percent back on dining and drugstore purchases — not to mention its 5 percent rate on Lyft purchases through March 2025.
Its sign-up bonus and additional cardholder perks aren’t too shabby either. For one, Chase will automatically give you an additional 1.5 percent back on everything you buy in your first year, on up to $20,000 in spending. There’s also a few travel and purchase-related benefits, as well as a complimentary DashPass membership for three months (then a 50 percent discount on the membership for the next nine months, so long as you activate before the end of December 2024).
Best for paying off purchases — or completing a balance transfer
If you want to purchase a big-ticket item and pay it off over time, or you’re in the market to pay off existing credit card debt at a 0 percent APR while earning 1.5 percent back on purchases, the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards, Capital One Quicksilver or Chase Freedom Unlimited should be your pick.
All three of these cards offer zero-interest offers for 15 months or longer on both purchases and balance transfers, though with different variable interest rates after the fact.
- Chase Freedom Unlimited: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months (19.24 percent to 27.99 percent variable APR after)
- Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards: 0 percent intro APR for 18 billing cycles (18.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR after)
- Capital One Quicksilver: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months (19.24 percent to 29.24 percent variable APR after)
One exception to note is that, with the Bank of America card, balance transfers must be made within the first 60 days from account opening, or else you lose the introductory rate.
Lastly, the Amex Cash Magnet also offers an intro APR, but only on purchases:
- American Express Cash Magnet: 0 percent intro APR for 15 months (15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable APR after)
Best for an easy-to-earn sign-up bonus
If you don’t want to spend a lot of money up front but are very much interested in earning a welcome bonus with your new card, you have a few options.
Among the cards listed above, the Quicksilver requires the lowest spending threshold to earn its $200 sign-up bonus — $500 in the first three months of card membership. The Freedom Unlimited’s bonus may also intrigue you, though you won’t earn it up front.
Should you consider a 2% cash back card instead?
It’s important to note that there are a few flat-rate rewards cards that offer a higher rate than 1.5 percent cash back — namely, 2 percent cash back cards.
Citi Double Cash
The Citi® Double Cash Card effectively offers up to 2 percent cash back on all purchases: 1 percent when you make a purchase and another 1 percent when you pay off that purchase. The full 2% rewards rate depends on you making sufficient payments, so if you tend to carry a balance this may not be the card for you. If you’re looking for a great cash back card for the long haul, it’s an excellent option.
Wells Fargo Active Cash
With the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, you earn 2 percent cash rewards on purchases — and there’s the opportunity to earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first three months, to boot. And unlike the Citi Double Cash, the Active Cash doesn’t require you to jump through any hoops to earn your 2 percent cash rewards — you’ll earn as you spend.
A 1.5 percent cash back rate is pretty standard among flat-rate cash back credit cards, and as you can see, there are a variety of options to choose from.
If you’re ready to take the next step, consider using a tool like CardMatch to see prequalified offers and other matched products that you might qualify for. While using this tool isn’t a guarantee of approval, it can give you a good idea of which cards fit your credit profile — and with no ding to your credit score.
*All information about the American Express Cash Magnet Card, Navy Federal Credit Union cashRewards Card, The Ultimate Cash Back Card from Santander Bank, M&T Visa Signature card and USAA® Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com. The issuer did not provide the content, nor is it responsible for its accuracy.