Best Cash Back Credit Cards

If you’re serious about rewards, the credit card you choose should offer cashback. These types of credit cards offer a way to earn cashback on your purchases, and this can add up to some serious savings. While you need to use any credit card smartly, by choosing a card aligning with your spending habits and credit history, you could enjoy substantial rewards.

→ Related reading: How to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards and Cashback

The Types of Cashback Cards

The average American has four credit cards, and with hundreds of options in the marketplace, it is crucial to choose the right cards to suit your unique circumstances. So, before you jump straight to an application, you need to understand the different types of cashback cards to make the right choice for you. Broadly speaking, cashback credit cards can be divided into four categories. These are:

Flat Rate

These cards offer a fixed percentage of cashback on all your purchases, regardless of amounts or spending categories. For example, the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers 1.5% on every purchase as unlimited cashback.

Tiered

With these cards, the amount of cashback will vary depending on a fixed spending category. This could mean that you get 6% on your supermarket purchases, but only 1% on all your other purchases.

Rotating

These credit cards offer a flat rate on all purchases, but there are bonus cashback offers on any purchases made in a category designated in that quarter. Generally, the cardholder needs to activate quarterly to receive the bonus cashback. These bonuses are often capped at specific spending levels, but as the categories change each quarter, you can gain some significant rewards. A good example of this is the Chase Freedom card. This card offers 5% cash back on the first $1500 spent in the bonus category with 1% on all other purchases.

Cardholder’s Choice

These are not common, but there are more and more of these cards being launched. Cardholder’s choice cards are a combination of tiered rewards and rotating categories with some customer choice as an added extra.

Generally, the reward structure involves tiers, with spending caps, but you may also be able to choose a couple of categories where you can earn extra rewards. A good example is the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card. This allows the cardholder to earn 5% cashback in purchases in two categories of the customer’s choice. Additionally, the cardholder can choose another category to earn 2% cashback, and all other purchases earn 1% cashback.

See our other top credit card recommendations here:

The Best Cashback Credit Cards

Now, let’s take a look at our favorite cashback credit cards. This list includes cards from all four of the categories mentioned above.

1. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver

This is a flat-rate cashback reward card that is great for those who enjoy cashback on autopilot. You don’t need to plan your purchases to fit in a particular category as you’ll just receive a set percentage. The Quicksilver offers 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no spending cap.

Another feature that makes the Quicksilver one of the best cashback credit cards is that there are no foreign transaction fees. This makes this a great choice of card for those who enjoy traveling abroad.

The Quicksilver has a 0 percent interest introductory offer for 15 months, and there is a $150 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months of membership.

This card has no annual fee.

Highlights:

  • Flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

Learn more about the Quicksilver Cash Rewards Card

2. Chase Freedom

Chase Freedom

The Chase Freedom offers rotating rewards. The categories rotate each quarter, and you can enjoy 5% cashback in the specific category that is featured for that quarter. So, if you plan your spending strategically, you can enjoy some serious savings. This card also allows you to accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be combined with your other Chase cards for maximum benefits. You can earn 5% cashback on purchases up to $1,500 in the quarterly bonus categories and 1% on all other purchases.

There is an introductory period of 15 months from the account opening with 0 percent APR on all purchases and balance transfers. There is also a $150 bonus if you spend $500 during the first three months.

Highlights:

  • 5% cash back on purchases in rotating categories
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Compare this card to other cashback cards

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Freedom Unlimited card exemplifies the flexibility and other benefits of flat-rate reward cards, hence its inclusion on this list of the best cashback credit cards.

Like the Chase Freedom, this card offers a $150 signup bonus if you spend at least $500 within the first months after opening the account. Where it differs from the Chase Freedom card is the cashback details. Instead of using revolving categories, the Chase Freedom Unlimited offers a flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases, making it a great everyday card for the majority of your purchases.

There is also a 0% interest rate for the first 15 months on all purchases and balance transfers, but a balance transfer fee does apply.

Like the Chase Freedom card, you’ll be able the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal to get more value out of your rewards/cashback.

Highlights:

  • Flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases after the first year
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited

4. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Savor Card

This tiered cashback card makes the list of the top cashback cards because it offers great rewards for both cooking at home and dining out. With the Savor Cash Rewards Card you can earn an unlimited 4% cashback on all dining and entertainment purchases with 2% cashback on grocery store purchases and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Capital One offers a $300 bonus if you spend $3,000 in the first three months, and there are no foreign transaction fees. The annual fee is set at $0 for the first year, but it increases to $95 per year after that first year.

Highlights:

  • Earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • $300 signup bonus
  • $95 annual fee (waived for the first year)

Learn more about the Savor Cash Rewards Card

5. Capital One SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One SavorOne

The Capital One SavorOne is fairly similar to the Savor card, but with some key differences. The SavorOne card comes with slightly lower rewards, but also has no annual fee. Determining which card is best for you will depend on your spending habits and how much cashback you can earn with the card.

For starters, the SavorOne’s signup bonus is $150 if you spend $500 in the first 3 months (compared to a potential $300 from the Savor card). With the SavorOne, you’ll earn 3% cashback on dining and entertainment, 2% cashback at grocery stores, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3% cashback on dining and entertainment
  • Earn 2% cashback at grocery stores
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the SavorOne Cash Rewards Card

6. U.S Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

U.S. Bank Cash+

This innovative card allows you to decide where you’ll earn the highest percentages of cashback. This means that you can tailor your U.S Bank Cash+ card to fit your spending habits perfectly, with the option to change your settings each quarter. There is no annual fee and you can receive a $150 signup bonus if you spend $500 in purchases in the first 90 days.

The reward structure is 5% cashback on $2,000 of combined purchases in two categories of your choice, with 2% cashback on one “everyday” category of your choice, such as groceries or gas. Any additional purchases attract a 1% cashback reward.

Highlights:

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in two categories that you choose (up to $400 in cashback per year)
  • Earn 2% cashback on purchases in one “everyday” category
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash+ Card

7. Citi Double Cash

If you’re good at paying your credit card balance off each month, then the Citi Double Cash could be a great card for you. If you have excellent or good credit, this is a fantastic flat-rate card that could help you to rethink the best ways to earn rewards.

You can earn 1% cashback on every purchase with an additional 1% cashback as you pay the balance, for a total of 2% cashback. To earn your cashback, the minimum due amount must be paid on time. There is no annual fee, and you can enjoy a 0% introductory rate for the first 18 months on balance transfers. This is more generous than the standard one year or less introductory rates offered with most cards for balance transfers. The 18 month period could be helpful if you are planning a major purchase and need time to make payments.

This double cash reward is a different structure compared to most reward cards, so you will be able to think about how you accumulate points differently.

This card also provides access to the Citi Price Rewind Program. This involves Citi searching for lower prices, and if the same item is found at a retailer’s site within 60 days, you will be refunded the price difference. This is limited to $300 per item and $1,200 per year, but it is an excellent bonus for accumulating rewards.

Highlights:

  • Earn 2% cashback on every purchase (as long as you make at least the minimum payment on time each month)
  • Currently, no signup bonus offered
  • No annual fee

8. Wells Fargo Cash Wise

Wells Fargo Cash Wise

This card is a flat-rate cashback credit card with the added bonus of cell phone protection covering you against theft to your phone and eligible damage when you pay your cell phone bill with your Cash Wise card.

If you spend $500 in the first three months, you’ll earn a $150 bonus, and you can earn an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all your purchases. You can also earn 1.8 percent cash back on your qualifying digital wallet purchases such as Apple Pay or Google Pay throughout the first 12 months.

Highlights:

  • Flat 1.5% cashback on all purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Compare this card to other cashback cards

9. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Every Day

The Blue Cash Everyday Card has no annual fee and a $150 bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

The amount of cashback that you’ll earn will vary depending on what you are purchasing. You’ll get 3% cashback at grocery stores (on spending up to $6,000 per year), 2% cashback at gas stations and select department store, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

There is also a 0% APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

Highlights:

  • Earn 3% cashback at grocery stores
  • Earn 2% cashback at gas stations and select department stores
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $150 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Blue Cash Everyday Card

10. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred

The Blue Cash Preferred Card may be the right card for you, depending on your spending. The cashback offerings are very generous, but there is an annual fee of $95 that you will need to keep in mind. In order for this card to work for you, you’ll need to spend enough that the cashback more then compensates for the annual fee.

You’ll earn a whopping 6% cashback on up to $6,000 spent at grocery stores each year. If you do spend the full $6,000, that would equal $360 in cashback. You’ll also earn an unlimited 3% cashback at gas stations, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

New cardholders are also able to earn a $250 signup bonus by spending $1,000 within the first 3 months.

Highlights:

  • Earn 6% cashback at grocery stores (capped)
  • Earn 3% cashback at gas stations (unlimited)
  • Earn 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $250 signup bonus
  • $95 annual fee

Learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card

11. Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey Student Rewards from Capital One

The Journey Student Rewards is a great card for students looking to build credit and earn a few rewards. This card rewards good behavior to help develop lifelong, healthy financial habits. However, if you’re going to use this card, you should plan to pay the balance in full each month as the APR is higher than many other cards.

Another attractive feature of the Journey Student Rewards card is you can set up the account to receive email reminders and text alerts to help you to keep track of all your spending. You can earn 1% cashback on all purchases with 1.25% cashback when the monthly bill is paid on time. You can also access a higher line of credit when your first five monthly payments have been paid on time. This card is also available to those with average or fair credit.

Highlights:

  • Specifically for students
  • Earn 1% cashback on all purchases
  • Earn 1.25% cashback when the monthly bill is paid on time
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Journey Student Rewards Card

Best Practices for Using a Cashback Credit Card

Now that you’ve had access to the information on the top cashback credit cards, you should be aware of the best practices for your new card. Here is some expert advice to help you rack up rewards and make the best use of the card.

Consider Change

Your circumstances are likely to change constantly, so you’re likely to need a card that can change too. You should review your spending periodically to ensure that your card is still working for you. If things aren’t working out, look around for a card that is better suited to your circumstances.

For example, if you’ve changed jobs and no longer drive miles and miles to work, a card offering high cashback rewards on your gas station purchases may no longer be the best deal for you. You may be better suited to a card that offers higher rewards on other areas of spending.

Use the Best Card for Each Purchase

This sounds simple, but there are different cards that are better for different things. So, before you pay for your purchase, think about which is the best card for that situation. Don’t just grab the first card in your wallet, and use the card that will offer the most rewards for that purchase.

→ Related reading: 11 Ways to Maximize Your Credit Card Rewards and Cash Back

Pay the Balance with Each Billing Cycle

Nothing offsets rewards as quickly as allowing interest charges to mount up. If you want to make the most of the cashback rewards, you’ll need to be responsible with your credit card and ensure that the balance is paid in full each month. Don’t spend more than you can afford just to accumulate rewards, as it will end up costing you far more in the long term.

Cash, Points, or Miles?

Whether you choose a card offering cash, points, or miles will depend on your goals and lifestyle. Just remember to compare apples to apples, so look at dollar equivalents of the rewards to determine which is best for you.

For example, if you don’t fly frequently or stay in hotels, you’re not likely to enjoy the benefits of an airline-branded credit card as much as a jet setter would. In this scenario, a cashback program will be far quicker and better than trying to accumulate miles for flights or hotel stays. You’ll also be able to spend the money on anything you want.

Cash back credit cards can offer fantastic benefits and fit seamlessly into your habits and lifestyle. If you want to compare cashback credit cards to find the best option for you, please visit this page at CardRatings.com.

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Best Cash Back Credit Cards