The Best Cashback Credit Cards (2021)

Vital Dollar may receive compensation from companies, products, and services covered on our site. For more details, please read about how we make money.


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 cash back on your purchases, which adds up to significant savings. While you need to use any credit card wisely, by choosing a card that aligns with your spending habits and credit history, you can enjoy substantial rewards.

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

The Best Cashback Credit Cards

Citi Double Cash
Chase Freedom Flex
Discover It

Citi Double Cash

Chase Freedom Flex

Discover It

Vital Dollar rating

Vital Dollar rating

Vital Dollar rating

2% cashback on every purchase

5% cashback in rotating categories, 1% cashback on all other purhcases

5% cashback in rotating categories, 1% cashback on all other purhcases

No annual fee

No annual fee

No annual fee

The Types of Cashback Cards

It’s 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. Broadly speaking, cashback credit cards can be divided into three categories:

Flat Rate

Flat rate cards offer a fixed percentage of cashback on your purchases, regardless of amounts or spending categories. For example, the Citi Double Cash card offers 2% cash back on every purchase, which is the highest percentage you’ll find among flat rate cards.

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 significant rewards. The leading cards in this category are the Chase Freedom Flex card and the Discover It card. These cards offer 5% cashback on the first $1500 spent in the bonus category each quarter, and 1% on all other purchases.

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. Citi Double Cash

Citi Double Cash

The Citi Double Cash is our top-rated cashback. This one should be in your wallet if you’re interested in maximizing your cashback and rewards.

You’ll earn 1% cashback on every purchase with an additional 1% cashback as you pay the balance, for a total of 2% cashback on every single purchase. To earn the second half of the reward, the minimum due amount must be paid on time. However, that’s not a big deal because you should be paying your bill every month anyway.

Due to the industry-leading 2% cashback, the Citi Double Cash is the perfect everyday card to use for the majority of your purchase (I use it more than any other credit card).

There is no annual fee, and you can enjoy a 0% introductory rate for the first 18 months on balance transfers, which also makes this the top-rated card for balance transfers. The 18 month period could be helpful if you’re planning a major purchase and need time to make payments.

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
  • Industry-leading offer of 0% interest on balance transfers for 18 months

Learn more about the Citi Double Cash card

2. Chase Freedom Flex

Chase Freedom Flex

The Chase Freedom Flex offers rotating rewards. The categories rotate each quarter, and you can enjoy 5% cashback in the specific category that’s featured for that quarter. If you plan your spending strategically, you can enjoy some serious savings.

The rotating categories will offer 5% cashback on things like groceries, gas, warehouse club purchases, restaurants and more. During some quarters, there will be multiple 5% offers.

You can earn 5% cashback on purchases up to $1,500 in the quarterly bonus categories and 1% on all other purchases.

The Chase Freedom Flex is another card that is highly recommended for anyone looking to maximize rewards. I love when the rotating category is groceries or gas because I rack up a lot of rewards very quickly.

This card also allows you to accumulate Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be combined with your other Chase cards for maximum benefits. If you also hold the Chase Sapphire Preferred (our-top recommended travel rewards card) or the Chase Sapphire Reserve, your points will be worth 25% or 50% more respectively when they’re redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Currently, there’s also a $200 bonus if you spend $500 during the first three months. It’s also worth noting that this card has no annual fee.

Highlights:

  • 5% cashback on purchases in rotating categories
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • $200 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex card

3. Discover It

Discover It Card

The Discover It is another rotating card. Just like the Chase Freedom Flex, Discover It offers 5% cashback on purchases in a category that rotates each quarter, with 1% cashback on all other purchases. Also like the Chase Freedom Flex, the 5% cashback is capped at $1,500 in spending each quarter. The Discover It has no annual fee.

I carry this card in addition to the Citi Double Cash and Chase Freedom Flex. With both rotating cards in my wallet, I can earn the maximum rewards with more purchases getting 5% cashback (Discover and Chase typically offer 5% cashback in different categories).

Discover doesn’t offer a typical signup bonus with this card. Instead, they’ll match all of the cashback you earn during the first year. Even if you’re only using the card for purchases in the 5% categories, that can still add up to a nice bonus at the end of the first year.

Highlights:

  • 5% cashback on purchases in rotating categories
  • 1% cashback on all other purchases
  • Discover will match the cashback earned during your first year
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Discover It card

4. 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 (waived for the first year) that you’ll 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 $300 signup bonus (statement credit) by spending $3,000 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
  • $300 signup bonus
  • $95 annual fee that is waived for the first year

Learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card

5. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Freedom Unlimited card exemplifies the flexibility and other benefits of flat-rate reward cards.

Like the Chase Freedom Flex, this card offers a $200 signup bonus if you spend at least $500 within the first 3 months after opening the account. Where it differs from the Chase Freedom Flex 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 (although not as good as the 2% you can get from the Citi Double Cash).

There is also a 0% interest rate for the first 15 months on all purchases, and there is no annual fee.

Like the Chase Freedom Flex 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
  • $200 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited

6. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver

This is a flat-rate cashback reward card that is another solid option as an everyday card. 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 $200 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

American Express Cash Magnet

Highlights:

→ Learn more about the American Express Cash Magnet card

7. 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.

The Cash Wise card also offers 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, making it one of the better balance transfer credit cards.

Highlights:

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

Learn more about the Wells Fargo Cash Wise card

8. Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express

Blue Cash Every Day

The Blue Cash Everyday Card has no annual fee and a $200 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’re purchasing. You’ll get 3% cash back at grocery stores (on spending up to $6,000 per year), 2% cash back at gas stations and select department store, and 1% cashback on all other purchases.

There is also a 0% APR on 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
  • $200 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the Blue Cash Everyday Card

9. 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

10. 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 $200 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
  • $200 signup bonus
  • No annual fee

Learn more about the SavorOne Cash Rewards 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 cards are 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.

Carry Multiple Cards

If you’re serious about maximizing rewards, it’s best to have a combination of the different types of cards accessible.

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.

The Best Cashback Credit Cards

Citi Double Cash
Chase Freedom Flex
Discover It

Citi Double Cash

Chase Freedom Flex

Discover It

Vital Dollar rating

Vital Dollar rating

Vital Dollar rating

2% cashback on every purchase

5% cashback in rotating categories, 1% cashback on all other purhcases

5% cashback in rotating categories, 1% cashback on all other purhcases

No annual fee

No annual fee

No annual fee

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.

READ NEXT: How to Stack Rewards and Cash Back




Similar Posts

Disclosure: Information presented on Vital Dollar and through related email marketing is intended for informational purposes only and is not meant to be taken as financial advice. Please see our Disclosure for further information.