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Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
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Best Cash Back Credit Cards of October 2021

The popularity of rewards credit cards is growing and there are more and more of them on the market. Among all types of rewards credit cards, cash back credit cards seem to be the people’s favorite. According to a consumer study, even 80% of them choose cash back when it comes to redeeming rewards. So, what are cash back credit cards, and what’s so great about them? Well, as their name implies, cash back rewards are literally cash you get back from your purchases. Of course, it’s not that simple since they come with many other features, benefits and fees. So, the better you understand them, the more value you’ll get out of them. We recommend to do your research before deciding, to be sure you’re making the right choice. This article is a great start for that!

By Hanna Volkava
Updated October 22, 2021
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Best Credit Cards for Cash Back in October 2021

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Triple Cash Rewards Visa® Upgrade
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On Upgrade‘s website
Our Rating:
3.84 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on Home, Auto and Health categories.
    • 1% Cash Back on everything else.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    8.99% - 29.99% Regular.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Details:

    The Upgrade Triple Cash Rewards Visa® offers 3% Cash Back on home, auto and health purchase and 1% Cash Back on everything else. Plus, the card has no fees.

    The card's APR: 8.99% - 29.99% (Regular APR).

    Apply online and get a credit line from $500 to $25,000 with your Card.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • No Annual fee
    • No extra fees
  • Cons:
    • No Intro APR reriod
    • No welcome bonus
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Cash Back on home, auto and health purchase;
    • 1% Cash Back on everything else;
    • Сontactless card technology.
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Cash Rewards Upgrade
Apply now
On Upgrade‘s website
Our Rating:
2.96 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on payments.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    8.99% - 29.99% Regular.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Details:

    The Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards offers 1.5% Cash Back on payments. Plus, the card has no extra fees.

    The card's APR: 8.99% - 29.99% (Regular APR).

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • No Annual fee
    • No extra fees
  • Cons:
    • No Intro APR reriod
    • No welcome bonus
  • Benefits:
    • 1.5% Cash Back;
    • Сontactless card technology.
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Surge Secured Mastercard® Celtic Bank
Apply now
On Celtic Bank‘s site
Our Rating:
3.3 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% Cash Back rewards for each $1 spent using your Surge Mastercard.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    $69 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    19.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    Celtic Bank
  • Details:

    The Surge Secured Mastercard® is a credit card designed for people with poor credit or none at all. The card earns 1% Cash Back rewards.

    The card's APR: 19.99% (Variable).

    The Surge Secured Mastercard® has an annual fee of $69. There’s also an additional one-time card fee of $30 (if applicable). Plus, the card has a foreign transaction fee of 3%.

  • Pros:
    • Cash Back rewards
    • Free automatic account reviews for credit limit increases
  • Cons:
    • Annual Fee
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
    • No welcome bonus
    • No Intro APR offer
  • Benefits:
    • 1% Cash Back Rewards;
    • Potential Credit Limit Increase;
    • Report to All 3 Major Credit Bureaus.
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Celtic Bank Deserve® EDU Mastercard best for Cash Back, Low Interest, Without SSN, Student

Deserve® EDU Mastercard Celtic Bank
Apply now
On Celtic Bank‘s site
Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair to Excellent (580-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1% Cash Back on all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard. Once approved, you'll automatically start earning Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    18.74% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    Celtic Bank
  • Details:

    The Deserve EDU Mastercard for Students makes it easy for students to start building credit.

    The card's APR is 18.74% (Variable APR). The late payment is up to $25, while the returned payment is up to $37. Balance transfers and cash advances are not available.

    Students who make purchases totaling $500 within the first three statement cycles of card membership qualify to have their Amazon Prime Student subscription reimbursed (a $59 value).

    Students spend a significant amount on school supplies, textbooks and gear each year, and the Deserve EDU Mastercard can earn Cash Back on all of these purchases.

  • Pros:
    • No prior credit history required
    • No SSN Required
    • No Annual Fee
    • No Foreign Transactions Fees
    • No Co-Signer/ Deposit Required
  • Cons:
    • Relatively High APR
    • Fairly Low Rewards
    • Only for Students
  • Benefits:
    • Cellphone Protection;
    • Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Concierge Service;
    • No International Transaction Fees;
    • Priority Pass™ Membership;
    • Mastercard Benefits;
    • No Social Security Number required for international students to apply.
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Evolve℠ Sallie Mae Bank
Apply now
On Sallie Mae Bank‘s site
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back on your two highest-spending eligible categories per month.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on everything else.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 cash back reward after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for 15 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    12.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.
  • Issuer name:
    Sallie Mae Bank
  • Details:

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card offers 2% Cash Back on your two highest-spending eligible categories per month and 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases. Plus, earn a $200 Cash Back reward after you spend $1,000 in the first 3 months.

    The card offers 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months, then 12.99% - 24.99% (Variable APR).

    The Sallie Mae Evolve℠ card has no annual fee.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • 0% Introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fees
  • Benefits:
    • $200 Cash Back reward;
    • 2% Cash Back;
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases;
    • 25% on Сash Back rewards;
    • $0 liability;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • Cell Phone Protection.
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American Express Blue Cash Preferred® best for Gas, Groceries, Streaming services, Daily use

Blue Cash Preferred® American Express
Our Rating:
4.56 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 6% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
    • 6% Cash Back on streaming.
    • 3% Cash Back on transit. Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more.
    • 3% Cash Back on gas.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 20% Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back.
    • $200 Earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee:
    $0 for the first year. $95 for the rest years.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 12 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The Blue Cash Preferred provides high rewards at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations, and for streaming services and transit expenses. It has a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.

    The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express offers a 0% introductory APR promotion. You’ll pay no interest on purchases for 12 months and then an APR of 13.99% - 23.99% Variable. The Blue Cash Preferred Card's Penalty APR is 29.99%.

    The Card also has 0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 12 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    The Blue Cash Preferred has a welcome bonus where cardholders earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on the new card within the first six months of card membership.

    When you purchase a product with your Blue Cash Preferred card, return protection covers you if the seller won’t accept a return for the item, up to 90 days from the date of purchase.

    The card’s Pay It Plan It feature can be helpful in paying down small balances but dangerous for larger purchases. With Pay It, you can quickly tap a purchase in the mobile app that is for less than $100 to make payments throughout the month. Plan It is the reverse of this: You can select purchases that are $100 or more and have them split up to make monthly payments for a fixed monthly fee instead of interest charges. This can be a good deal if the monthly fee is less than you would pay in interest. Of course, an even better strategy would be to pay off your balance in full every month so you never have to pay more than necessary for your purchases.

  • Pros:
    • Excellent cashback bonuses
    • 0% purchase APR in the first 12 months
    • Great introductory bonuses
  • Cons:
    • Cashback cap
    • Annual fee
    • Foreign transaction fee
  • Benefits:
    • Up to $400 Back;
    • 6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets;
    • 6% Cash Back on streaming subscriptions;
    • 3% Cash Back on transit;
    • 3% Cash Back on gas;
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases;
    • $300 statement credit;
    • Extended warranty;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Return Protection;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Global Assist® Hotline;
    • Pay It Plan It®;
    • American Express Experiences.
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Chase Freedom Flex℠ best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Flex℠
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • 5% Cash Back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Flex card offers Cash Back in a wide variety of categories.

    You’ll earn 5% Cash Back on travel (through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel service, and also for Lyft rides). Plus, earn 5% Cash Back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. You’ll also get 3% Cash Back on restaurant purchases, on drugstore purchases and 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.

    Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

    The card offers a 15-month 0% annual percentage rate for purchases, after which the APR is 14.99% - 23.74% Variable. Unfortunately, the card does not offer an introductory APR on balance transfers. The card charges no annual fee but 5%, or a $5 minimum fee, on balance transfers.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is 0% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

  • Pros:
    • $200 sign-up bonus
    • High cash back rewards on quarterly rotating bonus categories
    • Decent cash back rewards on select spending categories
    • 0% intro APR on purchases
    • No annual fee
  • Cons:
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Rotating spending categories require activation
    • No intro APR on balance transfers
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on grocery store purchases;
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories;
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards;
    • 3% Cash Back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services;
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $200 Cash Back;
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • Extended Warranty Protection;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Cell Phone Protection;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services.
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Chase Freedom Unlimited® best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
    • 3% Cash back on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
    • 3% Cash Back on drugstore purchases.
    • 1.5% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
    • 5% Cash Back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for the first 15 months that your Account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    14.99% - 23.74% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Chase
  • Details:

    The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers 0% introductory APR period (14.99% to 23.74% Variable after that) and a sign-up bonus that’s worth far more than most Cash-Back cards offer — all for an annual fee of $0.

    My Chase PlanSM Fee is (monthly fee) of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan while in the 0% Intro Purchase APR period. After that, monthly fee of 1.72% of the amount of each eligible purchase transaction or amount selected to create a My Chase Plan. The My Chase Plan Fee will be determined at the time each My Chase Plan is created and will remain the same until the My Chase Plan is paid in full.

    The card offers 3% Cash Back on restaurants and drugstore purchases, 5% back on travel booked through Chase and 1.5% back on other purchases.

    Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Enjoy 5% Cash Back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Generous rewards
    • 0% intro APR
    • Sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Benefits:
    • Zero Liability Protection;
    • $200 intro bonus;
    • 5 percent Cash Back on all travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal;
    • 3 percent back on dining;
    • 3 percent back at drugstores;
    • 1.5 percent Cash Back on general purchases;
    • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver;
    • Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance;
    • Travel and Emergency Assistance Services;
    • 24/7 Fraud Protection;
    • Redeem for Cash Back;
    • Gift cards.
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Citi Double Cash best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Double Cash Citi
Our Rating:
4.79 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Citi
  • Details:

    The Citi® Double Cash Credit Card offers a few concrete ways in which you can better your financial situation, improve your credit card habits and enjoy cash back rewards without the fuss of tracking rotating categories.

    In order to receive an additional 1 percent cash back rewards for your purchases (on top of the automatic 1 percent cash back you earn), you must pay off the balance you owe.

    In addition to being a cash back card, the Citi Double Cash doubles as a balance transfer credit card. The 18-month 0 percent introductory APR offer on balance transfers (13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable APR after) is one of the longest balance transfer periods currently available. Keep in mind, if you take advantage of the offer, you’ll still owe either $5 or a 3 percent fee, whichever is greater. Additionally, balance transfers must be made in the first four months of account opening to qualify for the rate.

    For reference, if you had $2,000 in credit card debt and transferred it to the Citi Double Cash, you could pay just over $111 a month for 18 months and completely wipe out your debt — all without paying a dime in interest. Bear in mind, you’d also owe a balance transfer fee.

    The Citi Double Cash extends a myriad of security and fraud protections.Get $0 fraud liability, 24-hour fraud protection, Citi Identity Theft Solutions and Lost Wallet Service — meaning Citi will replace your lost card within 24 hours and provide you with emergency cash in the meantime.

    Citi Entertainment gets you access to presale tickets, events and more, whether it be a music festival, professional football game or high-end restaurant experience.

  • Pros:
    • Flat-rate Cash Back Rewards on Everything
    • High Rewards Rate
    • No annual fee
    • Attractive Intro APR on Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • No welcome bonus offer or introductory APR on purchases
    • Losing your 1% Cash-Back Is Pretty Easy
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • Balance Transfer Fee
  • Benefits:
    • Citi Entertainment;
    • 2% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • The Lost Wallet Service;
    • $0 Liability for Unauthorized Charges.
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Bank of America Cash Rewards best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Single mom

Bank of America® Cash Rewards
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back rewards in a selected purchase category.
    • 2% Cash Back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 Statement Closing Dates following the opening of your account.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Bank of America
  • Details:

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards Card earns 3% Cash Back in a selected purchase category. Additionally, you’ll earn 2% at supermarkets and wholesale clubs, and 1% everywhere else. If you really want to max out your Cash Back rewards, you’ll need to qualify for a Bank of America Preferred Rewards membership. As a Preferred Rewards member, you can unlock an additional 25% to 75% Cash Back on your purchases.

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card offers a modest $200 Cash-Back bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first 90 days of account opening.

    New cardholders also enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. To qualify for 0% APR, balance transfers must be completed within 60 days of opening your new account.

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards might be the right card to help you earn some Cash Back on the kinds of purchases you make every week.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • 0% intro APR for purchases and balance transfers
    • Flexible selection of 3% cashback category
    • Preferred Rewards program for Loyal Bank of America customers
    • Intro Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Bonus Category Spending Caps
    • Foreign Transaction Fee
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Cash Back in your choice category;
    • 2% Cash Back at grocery stores & wholesale clubs;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • $200 cash rewards bonus;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Overdraft Protection;
    • Digital Wallets;
    • FICO® Score.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use

Discover it® Cash Back Discover Bank
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x New cardmembers get double Cash Back in the first year (awarded after the first year).
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 14 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    11,99% - 22,99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card offers 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter on rotating bonus categories like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, each time you activate them. However, you’ll only receive 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. Instead of extending a traditional sign-up bonus to new cardholders, Discover will match all the Cash Back you earn during the first year.

    Discover it Cash Back doesn’t offer some of the benefits that come standard with many other credit cards, including price protection and extended warranty coverage. However, as a cardholder, you have zero-liability fraud protection, plus free access to your FICO credit score and alerts if your Social Security number shows up on a risky website. If someone steals your credit card or you lose it, you can freeze your account from your mobile app or online account, plus get free overnight delivery for your replacement card.

    The Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card has a generous introductory offer: 0% intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR. The balance transfer fee is an introductory 3% of the amount transferred, but can be as high as 5% on future balance transfers (see terms). That's on par with other balance transfer cards.

  • Pros:
    • No Foreign Transaction Fee
    • Bonus Cash Back categories
    • No annual fee
    • Intro APR period on Purchases and Balance Transfers
  • Cons:
    • Extra Fees
    • Low rewards rate for most purchases
  • Benefits:
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Only Discover® Cashback Match;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • FICO® Credit Score;
    • 24/7 customer service line.
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American Express Blue Cash Everyday® best for Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries

Blue Cash Everyday® American Express
Our Rating:
3.5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 3% Cash Back on groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
    • 2% Cash Back on gas.
    • 2% Cash Back at select department stores.
    • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 20% Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $150 back.
    • $100 Earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express offers strong, year-round cash back on crucial bonus categories like groceries and gas.

    0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    Your Card gives you the option to carry a balance with interest or pay in full each month. So, whether you're managing your monthly expenses or making a large purchase, you can have the payment flexibility you need while continuing to earn rewards.

    You’ll be eligible for 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com on the card in the first 6 months (up to $150 back). Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.

    When you use your Card to reserve and pay for the Entire Rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental Company counter, you can be covered for Damage to or Theft of a Rental Vehicle in a Covered Territory.

    Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you. Check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more.

  • Pros:
    • No Annual Fee
    • Provides Gas and Grocery Rewards
    • 0% Intro Offer
    • Welcome Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Balance Transfer Limited
    • Limited Redemption
    • Bonus Cash Backs Capped
    • Card not Ideal for Travelling Abroad
  • Benefits:
    • 3% Сash Back at U.S. supermarkets;
    • 2% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations and select department stores;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Earn 20% back on purchases at Amazon.com (up to $150 back);
    • $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your card within the first 6 months;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • 24/7 Global Assist® Hotline;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • Fraud Protection;
    • Pay It Plan It;
    • Additional Cards.
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Capital One Savor Cash Rewards best for Restaurants, Entertainment

Savor Cash Rewards Capital One
Our Rating:
3.66 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 4% Cash Back on dining and entertainment.
    • 3% Cash Back on groceries.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $300 Cash Bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    $95 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    15.99% - 24.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.99% - 24.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has a generous welcome offer and a high return on entertainment and dining.

    The Capital One Savor doesn’t have an interest-free period, so you’ll pay the regular APR on purchases, which can range from 15.99 percent to 24.99 percent variable, depending on your creditworthiness.

    This card offers an impressive 4% Сash Back on dining and entertainment, plus 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on everything else.

    Capital One Savor also charges a $95 annual fee and up to a $40 fee for late payments. But on the plus side, there are no balance transfer fees when transfers are made with the regular transfer APR and no fees for foreign transactions.

  • Pros:
    • High rewards rate on entertainment and dining
    • Decent welcome offer
    • No fees for foreign transactions
    • Access to special entertainment, events and dining
  • Cons:
    • No intro APR on purchases or balance transfers
    • Annual fee
  • Benefits:
    • $300 Cash Bonus;
    • 4% Cash Back on dining and entertainment;
    • 3% Cash Back at grocery stores;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Extended Warranty;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • Complimentary Concierge Service;
    • 24-hour Travel Assistance Services;
    • Shop With Your Rewards.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Student Cash Back best for Student

Discover it® Student Cash Back Discover Bank
Our Rating:
5 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
No Credit History to Fair (0-669)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • $20 Earn statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next five years.
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases during the school year (and all year long) at different places each quarter, such as Amazon, Grocery stores, Restaurants, Gas stations.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! So you could turn $50 cash back into $100. Or turn $100 into $200. There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Intro APR for 6 months from date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    12,99% - 21,99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    10,99% The APR for 6 months from date of first transfer. 12,99% - 21,99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back card gives you 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases during the school year (and all year long) at different places each quarter and 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. With Cashback Match, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the Cash Back you've earned at the end of your first year.

    The card gives a $20 statement credit each year if you maintain a 3.0 GPA, free access to your FICO score, and an annual fee of $0.

    The Discover it® Student Cash Back offers 0% Intro purchase APR and 12.99% to 21.99% variable APR (after 6 months).

  • Pros:
    • High rewards on rotating spending categories
    • Double rewards in the first year
    • Good grades rewards
    • Intro 0% APR for on purchases
    • Low approval requirements for a card
    • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cons:
    • Spending categories rotate every quarter
    • Manual activation of spending categories
    • Limited international acceptance
    • Not available for international students
  • Benefits:
    • Good Grades Reward;
    • Free access to FICO score;
    • Designed just for students;
    • $20 Statement credit;
    • 5% Cash Back on everyday purchases, 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • 24/7 U.S.-based customer service.
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American Express Cash Magnet® best for Cash Back, 0 APR

Cash Magnet® American Express
Our Rating:
3.9 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Good to Excellent (670-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Earn unlimited Cash Back on all purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Earn $200 Back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. You will receive the $200 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months from the date of account opening.
  • Regular APR:
    13.99% - 23.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    None
  • Issuer name:
    American Express
  • Details:

    The American Express Cash Magnet® Card is one of the best cash back credit cards. You’ll earn Cash Back on every purchase at a flat rate of 1.5 % back, no matter what you buy. The card also carries a nice welcome bonus and no annual fee.

    0% introductory plan fee on each purchase moved into a plan during the first 15 months after account opening. After that, your plan fee will be up to 1.33% of each purchase moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase and other factors.

    Whenever you travel more than 100 miles from home, Global Assist Hotline is available for 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services, such as medical and legal referrals, emergency cash wires, and missing luggage assistance. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.

    Stay in the know with exclusive access to ticket presales and Card Member-only events in a city near you. Check out Broadway shows and concert tours, family and sporting events, and more.

  • Pros:
    • No annual fee
    • 0% Intro APR
    • Uniform Bonus Tier
    • $200 Welcome Bonus
  • Cons:
    • Relatively Low Cash Back Rate
    • Limited Cash Back Reward Redemption
    • Limited Acceptance Globally
    • Foreign transaction fee
    • APR Penalty
  • Benefits:
    • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back;
    • 0% intro APR;
    • American Express Experiences;
    • 24/7 Travel Assistant;
    • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance;
    • Purchase Protection.
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Capital One Quicksilver best for Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use

Quicksilver Capital One
Our Rating:
4.47 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Excellent (740-799)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • $200 Cash Bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    0% Introductory APR for the first 15 months that your account is open.
  • Regular APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    15.49% - 25.49% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The Quicksilver from Capital One credit card offers a flat 1.5% Cash Back on all purchases with a $0 annual fee. It also offers a 0% intro on purchases for 15 months, followed by the standard APR of 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable).

    New cardholders will have the opportunity to earn a bonus: One-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

    The Capital One Quicksilver card maintains its simplicity with redeeming rewards, too. Customers can request cash back at any amount, redeemable as a check or statement credit. Cardholders also have the option of setting up automatic redemptions, beginning with a $25 minimum cashout. You can also link your rewards account with Amazon.com to apply rewards towards Amazon purchases at a penny a piece in value.

    Cardholders can also redeem rewards for gift cards at variable rates. Like the Amazon option, you’d be better off buying the gift card you need instead of redeeming rewards directly.

    You’ll be able to snag exclusive travel and entertainment opportunities like pre-sale tickets through Capital One Access. Plus, you can access a variety of 24/7 services like travel assistance, roadside assistance and complimentary concierge assistance.

  • Pros:
    • No minimum redemption is required
    • No annual fee
    • No foreign transaction fees
    • Intro APR period on Purchases
    • Generous sign-up bonus
  • Cons:
    • No bonus rewards categories
    • Other cards offer longer intro APR periods and/or lower APR
    • You need a good credit score to get this card
  • Benefits:
    • $200 Cash Bonus;
    • Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Complimentary Concierge Service;
    • Travel Accident Insurance;
    • 24-hour Travel Assistance Services;
    • Capital One Shopping;
    • Shop With Your Rewards.
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Capital One QuicksilverOne best for Fair credit

QuicksilverOne Capital One
Our Rating:
3.42 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
Fair (580-669)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • Intro Offer:
    • No current offer.
  • Annual Fee:
    $39 annually.
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    22.99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    22.99% Variable.
  • Issuer name:
    Capital One
  • Details:

    The QuicksilverOne Card from Capital One is unlimited.

    Enjoy 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase and get access to valuable benefits.

  • Pros:
    • Unlimited high rewards rate
    • Average credit score required
    • Automatically considered for a higher credit line after 6 months
    • No foreign transaction fees
  • Cons:
    • Annual fee
    • High APR
    • No bonus rewards categories
  • Benefits:
    • Cash Back;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • Autopay;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • Card Lock;
    • ATM Location Services.
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Discover Bank Discover it® Secured best for Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit

Discover it® Secured Discover Bank
Our Rating:
4.13 out of 5
scorer
Recommended credit score
No Credit History to Poor (0-579)
  • Rewards Rate:
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases.
  • Intro Offer:
    • 2x Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year.
  • Annual Fee:
    None
  • Purchase Intro APR:
    None
  • Regular APR:
    22,99% Variable.
  • Balance Transfer APR:
    10,99% The APR for 6 months from date of first transfer. 22,99% The APR after 6 months from date of first transfer.
  • Issuer name:
    Discover Bank
  • Details:

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card offers 2% Cash Back on gas stations and restaurants up to $1,000 in combined spending per quarter, and 1% on everything else, but Discover will match dollar-for-dollar all those rewards at the end of the first year.

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card requires you to put down a refundable security deposit. That deposit becomes your credit line. Minimum deposit is $200. The maximum credit limit is $2,500.

    The Discover it® Secured Credit Card reports to the three major credit bureaus (TransUnion, Equifax and Experian).

    The interest on the Discover it® Secured Credit Card is not very attractive: It comes with 10.99% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 6 months, and then 22.99%.

  • Pros:
    • Multiple rewards programs
    • No annual fee
    • Monthly credit reviews
    • Double cashback for the first year
    • Upgrade to an unsecured credit card
  • Cons:
    • High APR
    • Minimum deposit requirement
    • Not widely accepted internationally
  • Benefits:
    • Refundable security deposit;
    • $0 Fraud Liability;
    • No Foreign Transaction Fees;
    • 2% Cash Back at gas stations and restaurants;
    • 1% Cash Back on all other purchases;
    • Unlimited Cashback Match;
    • 99% nationwide acceptance.
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Short Review of Best Credit Cards for Cash Back

NameBest forCash BackAnnual FeeAPRApply
Triple Cash Rewards Visa®
3.84
  • 3% On Home, Auto and Health categories.
  • 1% On everything else.
  • $08.99% - 29.99% Regular.Apply now
    On Upgrade‘s website
    Cash Rewards
    2.96
  • 1.5% On payments.
  • $08.99% - 29.99% Regular.Apply now
    On Upgrade‘s website
    Surge Secured Mastercard® from Celtic Bank
    3.3
  • 1% For each $1 spent using your Surge Mastercard.
  • $6919.99% Variable.Apply now
    On Celtic Bank‘s site
    Deserve® EDU Mastercard from Celtic Bank
    3.5
    Cash Back, Low Interest, Without SSN, Student
  • 1% On all purchases with your Deserve EDU Mastercard.
  • $018.74% Variable.Apply now
    On Celtic Bank‘s site
    Evolve℠ from Sallie Mae Bank
    5
  • 2% On your two highest-spending eligible categories per month.
  • 1.5% On everything else.
  • $012.99% - 24.99% Variable APR.Apply now
    On Sallie Mae Bank‘s site
    Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express
    4.56
    Gas, Groceries, Streaming services, Daily use
  • 6% On groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
  • 6% On streaming.
  • 3% On transit. Transit includes taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more.
  • 3% On gas.
  • 1% On other purchases.
  • $9513.99% - 23.99% Variable.Learn more
    Freedom Flex℠ from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 5% On up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
  • 5% On travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% On dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% On drugstore purchases.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $014.99% - 23.74% Variable.Learn more
    Freedom Unlimited® from Chase
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 5% On travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • 3% On dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services.
  • 3% On drugstore purchases.
  • 1.5% On all other purchases.
  • $014.99% - 23.74% Variable.Learn more
    Double Cash from Citi
    4.79
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 2% On every purchase with unlimited 1% Cash Back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for purchases.
  • $013.99% - 23.99% Variable.Learn more
    Cash Rewards from Bank of America
    5
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Single mom
  • 3% In a selected purchase category.
  • 2% At grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $013.99% - 23.99% Variable.Learn more
    Discover it® Cash Back from Discover Bank
    5
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Young couples, Daily use
  • 5% On everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $011,99% - 22,99% Variable.Learn more
    Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express
    3.5
    Cash Back, Gas, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Families, Shopping, Groceries
  • 3% On groceries, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases.
  • 2% On gas.
  • 2% At select department stores.
  • 1% On other purchases.
  • $013.99% - 23.99% Variable.Learn more
    Savor Cash Rewards from Capital One
    3.66
    Restaurants, Entertainment
  • 4% On dining and entertainment.
  • 3% On groceries.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $9515.99% - 24.99% Variable.Learn more
    Discover it® Student Cash Back from Discover Bank
    5
    Student
  • 5% On everyday purchases during the school year (and all year long) at different places each quarter, such as Amazon, Grocery stores, Restaurants, Gas stations.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $012,99% - 21,99% Variable.Learn more
    Cash Magnet® from American Express
    3.9
    Cash Back, 0 APR
  • 1.5% Earn unlimited Cash Back on all purchases.
  • $013.99% - 23.99% Variable.Learn more
    Quicksilver from Capital One
    4.47
    Cash Back, 0 APR, No Annual Fee, Daily use
  • 1.5% On every purchase.
  • $015.49% - 25.49% Variable.Learn more
    QuicksilverOne from Capital One
    3.42
    Fair credit
  • 1.5% Cash Back on every purchase.
  • $3922.99% Variable.Learn more
    Discover it® Secured from Discover Bank
    4.13
    Cash Back, No Annual Fee, Young couples, For bad credit
  • 2% At gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in purchases each quarter.
  • 1% On all other purchases.
  • $022,99% Variable.Learn more

    American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

    The Blue Cash Preferred® Card is ideal for families who often shop at supermarkets because it offers a superior 6% cash back rate on food (up to $6,000 annually, then it’s 1%) and streaming services. There is also a generous 3% cash back on gas and transit. A great welcome offer is part of the deal too - $300 statement credit after $3,000 spent in the first 6 months. The $95 annual fee (after the first year) shouldn’t come as a surprise for a card with such rewards and a 0% APR intro period.

    Read more about American Express Blue Cash Preferred®

    Chase Freedom Flex℠

    The 5% cash back rate on travel purchases (made through Chase Ultimate Rewards®) is the highlight of this credit card. Then, there are the quarterly rotating categories in which you earn a 5% cash back on eligible purchases, 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. All this makes for an excellent no-annual-fee card, even before adding in the $200 sign-up bonus and the 0% APR intro period.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Flex℠

    Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    This card is the sister card of the Chase Freedom Flex℠, it also offers 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, but it has a higher rate of 1.5% for all other purchases. However, this one lacks the rotating bonus categories. It also goes without an annual fee and with a $200 bonus for new cardholders.

    Read more about Chase Freedom Unlimited®

    Citi Double Cash

    The Citi Double Cash is the most straightforward credit card with an unrivaled flat cash back rate. It earns you 1% cash back when you make a purchase and an extra 1% when you pay for it. As simple as it gets for a card without an annual fee. Nothing’s perfect so it lacks some standard rewards credit card benefits (like a sign-up bonus offer) , but it does have an intro 0% APR on balance transfers.

    Read more about Citi Double Cash

    Bank of America Cash Rewards

    The Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card offers you flexibility by letting you decide your bonus category. You can choose one of six categories for 3% cash back and there is a decent 2% cash back rate for purchases in grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Both rates are applied on the first $2,500 spent per quarter in total bonused-category purchases. For a no annual fee cost, you also get an easily achievable $200 welcome bonus and an 0% intro APR period.

    Read more about Bank of America Cash Rewards

    Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    With the Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card you’ll get a 5% cash back rate in numerous quarterly rotating categories, including grocery stores, gas, hotel stays, PayPal, and Amazon.com. On top of that, Discover it will double the cash back you earned in the first year. By tracking the categories and taking advantage of the 0% intro APR period you can get a really great value out of it, especially since there is no annual fee.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Cash Back

    American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    The Blue Cash Everyday® Card has great rewards in popular spending categories and no annual fee. It earns you 3% cash back on supermarket purchases (up to the first $6,000 in a year) and 2% at gas stations and some department stores. New cardholders can also earn themselves a $250 bonus, by spending $1,000 in the first three months.

    Read more about American Express Blue Cash Everyday®

    Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

    If you enjoy dining out and also spend a lot on entertainment, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is your match. This card will earn you an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment together with 2% at grocery stores and 1% on everything else. Throw in the $300 cash bonus and you’ve got yourself a great card for a small annual fee of $95.

    Read more about Capital One Savor Cash Rewards

    Discover Bank Discover it® Student Cash Back

    A great choice for students, the Discover it® Student Cash Back offers a generous 5% cash back rate in quarterly rotating categories. An additional great feature is the Discover It signature cash back matching at the end of the first year. Students will also appreciate that this card doesn’t charge an annual fee and they can use the 0% APR intro period if they’ve planned some big purchases.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Student Cash Back

    American Express Cash Magnet®

    Anyone who wants a simple cash back card with a high flat rewards rate and no annual fee should consider the American Express Cash Magnet®. Apart from the unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, it also offers a $200 bonus for new cardholders and a 15-month 0% APR period.

    Read more about American Express Cash Magnet®

    Capital One Quicksilver

    The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards makes for an effortless card with a great flat rate that doesn’t charge an annual fee. It earns you an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, plus you can get a $200 bonus by spending only $500 on purchases.

    Read more about Capital One Quicksilver

    Capital One QuicksilverOne

    Cardholders will get the same features as those who have the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards, a 1.5% cash back on all purchases for no annual fee. However, this one doesn’t have the $200 sign-up bonus.

    Read more about Capital One QuicksilverOne

    Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

    Secured cards are for people with bad credit and they don’t usually offer good rewards rates. But the Discover it® Secured offers its cardholders a 2% cash back rate at gas stations and restaurants. It makes for an excellent option for people with bad credit who can’t afford an annual fee.

    Read more about Discover Bank Discover it® Secured

    What are cash back credit cards and how do they work?

    Cash back credit cards are a type of rewards cards (the other two types being points and travel). When you pay for your purchases with your cash back credit card, you get a rebate of the purchase amount as moneyback. Cash back is usually expressed in percentages.

    icon-search

    For example, take the Capital One QuicksilverOneCredit Card that offers a fixed 1.5% cash back rate on all purchases. If you buy an item for $100, you’ll get $1.5 back.

    The biggest advantage of cash back credit cards is their flexibility. It’s up to you to decide what you’ll spend that cash on. You also have a number of redemption options to choose from, the most common one being statement credit. The cash back earned is applied toward your account and reduces your credit card debt. Other options are a direct deposit to a linked checking account or you can request a check.

    This type of credit cards sometimes has certain limitations or capped amounts when earning and redeeming rewards.

    icon-search

    With the Chase Freedom Flex℠Credit Card the 5% rewards rate in the quarterly rotating bonus categories is applied on the first $1,500 spent each quarter on combined bonus purchases. The Citi Double Cash Card earns you great cash back, but you have to pay at least the minimum due on time. Also, there is a minimum redemption amount of $25 when you’re redeeming for check or a statement credit.

    Finally, some credit cards have annual fees and it’s usually the ones with the best rewards rates. The Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express has an annual fee of $95$, but offers an unmatched 6% rewards rate on grocery purchase and streaming services subscriptions. It’s on you to determine whether the card’s annual fee will be worth it.

    How to compare and choose a cash-back credit card?

    Choosing the best credit card for your goals and needs is not an easy thing. It also can take a lot of time as there is a wide variety of options on the market and they all claim to be the best. We’ll help you with a few tips on how to make a comparison between different cash back credit cards and to find the one that fits your lifestyle best.

    First, consider your credit score. Cash back credit cards usually require a fair to excellent credit score to get approved. The higher your credit score, the more credit cards you can choose from. Those with the highest rewards rates, like the Citi Double Cash, require a credit score of at least 740. Still, there are some great cards people with fair to good credit have a chance at, like Capital One QuicksilverOne (580+), or Chase Freedom Unlimited® (670+). Some, like the Discover it® Secured, earn rewards for people with bad credit.

    After you narrow your options a bit, you can continue with the system of elimination method. Of course, you should start with the rewards program and its rates. Ask yourself what you spend most of your earnings on and then review your spending. If you’re a young adult who drives to work and goes often on dates, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® is one to consider as it will earn you 3 points for every dollar spent on gas and dining out. If tracking quarterly categories is not a problem for you, the Discover it® Cash Back with its 5% cash back in rotating categories will give you a great value.

    In case you’re a simplicity lover and prefer low-maintenance cards, you should go for one that offers a flat cash back rate and doesn’t require you to track categories. Great choices are the Citi Double Cash and the American Express Cash Magnet®. The first one offers a 2% cash back which is higher than the 1.5% of the American Express Cash Magnet®, though it lacks the $200 welcome bonus. That leads us to another thing to consider, the sign-up bonus. Many cards have a one-time initial offer for new cardholders that enables them to earn a bonus by spending a certain amount of money, usually in the first few months of account opening. Consider also the amount you need to spend in order to earn it, not only the bonus amount.

    icon-search

    With the Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards, you can earn $300 if you spend $3,000 in the first three months. While with the Capital One® Quicksilver you only need to spend $500 to get the $200 bonus.

    Another very important thing to take into account is the annual fee. There are a lot of great cash back credit cards that don’t charge an annual fee, like the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express or the Wells Fargo Propel American Express®. These are a great option for low spenders who are not sure whether they’ll earn enough rewards to justify the cost of an annual fee.

    At last, you should consider other perks and features that might work to your benefit. If you have a big purchase coming up a card with a 0% APR intro period will work great for you. The Bank of America Cash Rewards offers an intro APR period on both purchases and balance transfers. So, you can also use it to pay off debt on another credit card, if you do the balance transfers within 60 days after account opening. Then, if you plan on using your credit card for international travel look out for foreign transaction fees and maybe opt for a card that’s Visa® or Mastercard® rather than American Express, which is widely accepted nationwide, but not worldwide.

    Types of cash-back credit cards

    Generally, there are three types of cash-back credit cards:

    • Flat-rate cash back credit cards are the simplest type, you get a single rewards rate for all purchases. They’re suitable for those whose spending is evenly spread across several categories. Great flat-rate cards are the Citi Double Cash and the Capital One Quicksilver.
    • Tiered cards offer higher rewards rates for purchases in certain bonus categories. Fine choices within this type are the Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards which offers 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, and the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express which earns an outstanding 6% cash back on grocery stores and streaming services, and a 3% cash back on gas and transit.
    • Rotating bonus categories is very similar to tiered categories, except that here the bonus categories change quarterly. Each quarter you earn the tiered cash back rate on purchases in different categories. The Discover it® Cash Back and the Discover it® Student Cash Back both offer 5% cash back in rotating categories. Some cards, like the Bank of America Cash Rewards, let you choose the bonus category.

    Common cash-back bonus categories

    The most common cash back bonus categories are the following:

    • Groceries – probably the most useful category because who doesn’t spend on groceries? Even those who don’t often prepare their food at home, still shop for groceries (milk, coffee, snacks). The best reward rate for this category is the 6% cash back offered by the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express. Check our top picks for credit cards for groceries to know more about them.
    • Gas – another great category, as many Americans spend a considerable amount of money on gas. The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® offers great rewards for this category with three points per dollar spent on gas purchases. Check our top picks for credit cards for gas to know more about them.
    • Dining – everyone who likes dining out at restaurants should opt for a card that has a high rewards rate for this category, like the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards (4% on dining). Check our top picks for credit cards for dining and restaurants to know more about them.

    Other popular categories include travel, transit, entertainment, subscriptions to streaming services, food delivery, etc.

    Cash back vs. travel cards

    When deciding between a cash back or a travel credit card, it all comes down to your lifestyle. If you travel regularly, it will make sense to get a travel card, as it will be far more worth it, since they usually offer higher value per dollar spent. You’ll have to do a research and compare several redemption options to find the one that offers the most value. On the other hand, cash back cards are more straightforward and flexible. Also, with travel cards, you’ll mostly find perks like travel insurance or concierge service. Cash back credit cards usually lack those, but they have interest rate free periods on purchases and balance transfers.

    Both types have their benefits and drawbacks, but you can’t have it all. Unless, of course, you take both, a travel card and a cash back card.

    Cash back credit cards that require a membership

    In order to apply for some cash back credit cards, you’ll need to have a certain membership. These are usually store credit cards like the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi (4% on gas, 3% on restaurants, and 2% at Costco) or the Sam’s Club® Mastercard® (5% on gas and 3% on restaurants and travel). Both don’t have an annual fee but require a membership at the respective stores. You can earn rewards everywhere with them, but you have to redeem that at the corresponding stores, Costco and Sam’s Club.

    Which Credit Card Gives The Most Cash Back?

    The credit card that will give you the highest returns in cash back is the one that fits your personal spending habits the best. If you’ve heard a colleague talking about how the Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards credit card is great, it doesn’t mean it will be great for you too. It may be for someone who often dines out and spends free time at events, but if you prefer cooking at home and watching Netflix instead, the Blue Cash Preferred® will be a better fit as it offers higher rewards rates on groceries and streaming services.

    So, our advice is to look at your receipts and statements to see what you spend the most on and then take a credit card that has higher rewards rates in those categories.

    Pros and cons of using a cash back card

    Go over this pros and cons list to better understand cash back credit cards.

    Pros

    • Simple and flexible cash back rewards – whether you own a simple, flat-rate credit card or a tiered one with bonus categories, the cash back is the highlight of these credit cards. You can take a card that has high rewards rates in the categories you usually spend a lot and you’ll earn cash back effortlessly, without having to make any changes in your spending.
    • Sign-up bonuses – most cash back credit cards have a promotional offer for new cardholders which gives them the opportunity to earn a cash back bonus with the condition they spend a certain amount in the first few months.
    • Intro APR periods – you can use the 0% APR periods to go through with a large purchase or pay off another credit card’s debt.
    • No annual fee – if you have read our credit card descriptions you must’ve noticed that many of them have no annual fees, but still offer great rewards.

    Cons

    • High ongoing APRs – after the intro period most cash back cards have high APRs and you have to be careful not to carry a balance because the cost can offset your rewards fast.
    • Less value and no travel benefits – compared to travel rewards cards, cash back offers less value per dollar spent. With travel rewards you can really max your points by, for example, purchasing through a loyalty program that values them more highly.
    • Spending restrictions in rewards categories – some cards allow you to earn high cash back rates only on a limited amount spent. The Blue Cash Preferred® earns you 6% on groceries for the first $6,000 annually, after that it’s 1%.

    Making the most of your cash back card

    To make the most out of your cash back credit card you should use it for all your purchases. If you can, get more than one card and use them strategically to maximize your rewards. Pay for your travel with the Chase Freedom (Flex or Unlimited), at restaurants use the Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards, and don’t go for grocery shopping without the Blue Cash Preferred® from American Express.

    Of course, don’t forget to seize the sign-up bonus, if there is one.

    Does Cash Back Expire?

    More often than not, you’ll find that the rewards don’t expire as long as the account remains open. While some credit cards do have rewards that expire and they can have a particular deadline until which you have to use them or they’ll expire after a certain period of card inactivity. For example, your rewards with the Citi Double Cash will expire only if you haven’t earned any cash back on purchases in the last 12 months.

    Are cash back credit cards worth it?

    This is not a yes/no question. We cannot tell for sure whether a certain cash back credit card will be worth it without details on your financial goals and needs. What we can recommend is that you don’t carry a balance on these credit cards. The ongoing APRs are usually high and even if you earn a great return in cash back, it can end up being very costly.

    Before deciding on a card with an annual fee, analyze whether all the benefits the card offers offset the annual fee, consider cash back rewards, bonuses, and other perks. The Capital One® Savor Cash Rewards has a $95$ annual fee which you can justify by spending $2,375 in the dining and entertainment categories.

    FAQ

    • What are other credit cards to consider?

      Some great cards that didn’t make our list are Citi Costco Anywhere Visa® and Chase Ink Business Cash®.
    • What credit score do I need to apply for a cash back credit card?

      Generally, cash back credit cards require a fair to excellent credit score, with those requiring the highest credit scores also offering the best rewards. However, there are also options for people with bad credit.
    • Is it bad to redeem cash back?

      It’s actually smart to redeem your cash back as soon as you can, because otherwise, it will lose value from year to year, due to inflation.

    Financial and product expert

    hv@myfin.us