Top cash back cards

Big spenders can easily earn hundreds of dollars per year in cash back. Cash back comes in different forms, depending on your card.

Typical options are:. A statement credit making your next credit card bill lower. The main downside of cash-back cards is you can't strategize to get outsized value, like plotting to use airline miles for a first-class ticket that would otherwise cost thousands of dollars.

Like all rewards cards, cash-back cards are best for those who pay off their monthly balances in full. Paying interest on balances will wipe out the value of your cash back.

Flat-rate: Lowest hassle, lower cash-back rate but on everything you buy. Fixed bonus categories: Medium hassle, higher cash-back rate on some purchases. Changing bonus categories: High hassle, highest cash-back rate on some purchases.

Choose a flat-rate cash-back card if simplicity is paramount. A slew of cards offer 1. With many flat-rate cards, you can earn an unlimited amount of cash back. A good example is the Citi Double Cash® Card. Compared with bonus-category cards, detailed below, here are typical advantages and disadvantages of flat-rate cards.

Lower cash-back rate on some spending. Bonus-category cash-back cards come in two main flavors: Bonus categories that stay the same and those that change. An example of a fixed category card is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Terms apply see rates and fees.

Fixed-category cards are more complicated than flat-rate cards, but at least you know the bonus categories are always the same.

These cards are the most complicated because they not only have bonus categories to remember, but those categories also can change. Sometimes you can choose to change the categories, picking from a list. The payoff for dealing with that hassle?

Bonus categories in the past have included things like restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon. com and more. Compared with flat-rate cards, here are typical advantages and disadvantages of bonus-category cards. Higher rewards rates on some purchases.

Cash-back credit cards for small businesses come in the same types: flat-rate, fixed bonus categories and changing categories. In choosing a type of card, know yourself. Are you a person who will use credit cards strategically?

And if others in the household use the same card, will they use it strategically? If you don't remember to use the right card for specific purchases, the higher rewards rate on a bonus-category card may not pay off.

And you might do better overall with a flat-rate card. After you know which type of cash-back card is right for you, choose based on these criteria to get the most cash back:. High rates for certain categories are great, but all categories aren't created equal.

Consider how much you spend in the category regularly. Minimum goals:. A one-time cash bonus is nice because it essentially boosts your rewards in the short term if you can meet the required spending to earn it.

But the rewards rate is more important over the long term. A card without a bonus could still be the right one for you. And some do. If a cash-back card has an annual fee, it has to be so good that it easily makes back that fee every year.

Think of it as a reduction in your annual cash-back total. The Discover it® Secured Credit Card is one of the best examples. Ryan Noonan. Ryan Noonan Ryan Noonan is a former writer for Bankrate and CreditCards.

com and is a graduate of the School of Journalism at Ohio State University. Jeanine Skowronski. Jeanine Skowronski is a credit card expert, analyst, and multimedia journalist with over 10 years of experience covering business and personal finance.

She has previously served as the Head of Content at Policygenius, Executive Editor of Credit. com, Deputy Editor at American Banker, Staff Reporter at TheStreet and a columnist for Inc.

Jason Steele. Jason Steele is a professional journalist and credit card expert who has been contributing to online publications since He was one of the original contributors to The Points Guy, and his work has been appearing there since He has also contributed to over of the leading personal finance and travel outlets.

Jason is passionate about travel rewards credit cards, which he uses to earn rewards that he can redeem for him and his family to travel around the world. Remove a card to add another to compare. Add at least 2 cards to compare. com is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditCards.

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Your answer should account for all personal income, including salary, part-time pay, retirement, investments and rental properties. You do not need to include alimony, child support, or separate maintenance income unless you want to have it considered as a basis for repaying a loan.

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Instead, you'll see recommended credit ranges from the issuers listed next to cards on our site. Pros and cons How to choose a cash back credit card Make the most of your cash back card Our methodology Frequently asked questions. On this page Jump to Our top picks Cash back credit card details What are cash back credit cards?

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of January Written by: Ryan Noonan Edited by: Jeanine Skowronski Reviewed by: Jason Steele. Why trust us? Learn more. Our editorial team and our expert review board provide an unbiased analysis of the products we feature. Our comparison service is compensated by our partners, and may influence where or how products are featured on the site.

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Show More Less Show More Less A straightforward rewards structure and flexible redemption options are just some of what make cash back credit cards great.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. Our rating: 4. Credit card issuers have no say or influence on how we rate cards. The score seen here reflects the card's primary category rating.

For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards. Add to compare. Approval Odds serve as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

More information Close. Apply now at Wells Fargo's secure site. com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application. Editor's take.

Overall rating Our rating: 4. Rewards Value: 4. APR: 1. Rewards Flexibility: 4. Features: 3. Issuer Customer Experience 2. Pros There are no rotating categories and no enrollment requirements. Rewards never expire as long as your account remains in good standing.

Card details. Select "Apply Now" to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions. No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open. Regular APR View All Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Details.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. Apply now at Bank of America's secure site. Rewards Value: 3. Annual Percentage Rate: 3. Rewards Flexibility: 2. Issuer Customer Experience 5. That means you could earn 3.

Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

View All Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Details. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Apply now at Capital One's secure site. Annual Percentage Rate: 1. Issuer Customer Experience 4.

Pros You can earn elevated cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores, which can be popular and costly everyday expenses.

Generous intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and no annual fee. View All Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Details. BEST FOR FLAT-RATE CASH BACK. Citi Double Cash® Card. Apply now at Citi's secure site.

To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Issuer Customer Experience 3. Excellent intro balance transfer APR and low ongoing interest rate. No intro APR for purchases, which would be especially helpful for a flat-rate cash back card.

After that, the variable APR will be Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases. If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance including balance transfers by the due date each month. View All Citi Double Cash® Card Details.

BEST FOR U. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Apply now at American Express's secure site. streaming subscriptions. Rewards Value: 5. Rewards Flexibility: 3. Pros Offers perhaps the highest cash back rate for U.

supermarkets available, in addition to a rich platter of other everyday categories. One of the few premium rewards cards to come with an intro purchase and balance transfer APR offer.

Worthwhile reward redemption options are limited to statement credits. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of Variable APRs will not exceed gas stations. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.

com checkout. com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required. Terms Apply. View All Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Details. BEST FOR GROCERY, GAS AND ONLINE REWARDS. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Why we like this card The recently-updated Blue Cash Everyday Card makes it easier for household shoppers to earn more cash back on their everyday spending.

Many other cash back cards offer unlimited cash back rates in their bonus categories. supermarket bonus category, which may disappoint people who like to shop around for the best deals.

Bottom Line The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a top choice if your spending and lifestyle habits line up with the rewards and perks. No Annual Fee. Balance Transfer is back! After that, View All Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Details. BEST FOR CASH BACK FOR PREFERRED REWARDS MEMBERS.

Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. Our rating: 3. Rewards rate 1. Overall rating Our rating: 3. Rewards Value: 2.

Learn more about maximizing cash back rewards. If you rely on credit cards to manage your expenses, using a cash back card is a smart way to earn money back on the spending you have to do anyway.

There is no downside to earning cash back. Missing payments results in late fees and harm to your credit. To bring you our top picks for the best cash back credit cards, the Fortune Recommends TM team compared approximately 40 cash back rewards cards available from major issuers.

Keep in mind that the rewards, interest rates, and fee structures for the cards mentioned are available for limited periods and subject to change, which could impact how much cash back you earn. Additionally, only cards with an explicit cash back rate were considered; cards offering points or other non-cash back rewards were excluded from our rankings.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying.

Follow Fortune Recommends on Facebook and Twitter. This content has not been reviewed or endorsed by any of our affiliate partners or other third parties.

We may earn affiliate revenue from links in this content. Learn more. Home Page. BY Casey Bond. REVIEWED BY Dia Adams. Best cash back credit cards. Best overall Best for value Best for the household CFO Best for students Best for foodies Best for big-ticket purchases Best for customer experience.

Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards

Top cash back cards - U.S. News' Best Cash Back Cards of February · Discover it® Cash Back · Instacart Mastercard® · Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Discover it® Chrome · Blue Cash Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards

The card features one of the highest year-round reward rates for online shopping at Amazon. com, which includes Whole Foods Market.

Whole Foods shoppers and Amazon Prime members who can take advantage of 5 percent back for both online purchases and groceries, a rare offer. Best for 2. Best for bad credit. Best for customizable rewards. Cash back credit cards reward you for eligible purchases by giving you a percentage of your purchase price back.

The flexibility, simplicity and ongoing value of cash back cards make them one of the more popular types of credit cards on the market. Chances are if you frequently spend on groceries , gas or other essentials, there's a cash back card that's a great fit for your wallet.

While cash back cards can put hundreds of dollars per year back into your wallet, they can also come with drawbacks. Here are some advantages and disadvantages of carrying a cash back card. Earn rewards : If you pick a card that fits your spending habits, you can earn some extra cash every month just by using your credit card.

Build credit : Used responsibly, a cash back credit card can help you improve your credit score by adding to your credit history. Sign-up bonuses : A first-year sign-up bonus or welcome offer can be worth a few hundred dollars if you can meet the spending requirement.

Some cards also hit you with a higher penalty APR if you are late making a payment, which can last a year or more. Can be high maintenance : Some cards require you to periodically activate or enroll in your cash back category to earn cash back rewards.

Fewer travel perks : You might not see a ton of travel benefits on cash back cards, like lounge access, free hotel room upgrades or a TSA Precheck application statement credit. Cash back cards come in many forms. The best one for you depends on your spending habits and lifestyle. Before you apply, make sure you know the types of cash back cards available.

Flat-rate cash back cards offer the same rewards rate for each eligible purchase. Tiered cash back cards offer different rates of cash back for different types of purchases, plus a flat rate of cash back on everything else. For example, a tiered card may offer a boosted cash back rate of 3 percent on restaurant purchases, while all other purchases earn 1.

To maximize your cash back earnings, carry multiple tiered cards that reward your most common purchases at high rates. Some credit cards offer bonus categories that change based on your preferences, your spending habits or the time of year.

Here are a few of the most common bonus category structures. Some of the most lucrative cash back credit cards require a paid membership. Co-branded credit cards with membership requirements generally let you earn rewards and extra perks at specific stores or service providers.

Some credit unions also offer cash back card options to their members. Since credit unions are controlled and financed by members themselves, these members will often reap the benefits of more favorable interest rates and fewer banking and penalty fees than a not-for-profit institution.

Membership requirements vary by credit union. Cash back cards differ in the reward categories they offer, though there are a few common categories you can expect to find.

This should be your starting point. Most of the best cash back credit cards require at least good credit. Evaluate your expenses to determine which cards reward the highest for your top spending categories. Be sure the places you shop most are eligible for rewards based on how each card defines its bonus categories.

A card's sign-up bonus can add significantly to its short-term value. Make sure the spending requirement is fairly easy to reach, as carrying a balance will cut into your earnings. Flat-rate credit cards are a great option to earn consistent cash back on all purchases with minimal effort.

Bonus category cash back cards can offer higher cash back rates but require strategic spending to maximize rewards. Factor ongoing costs of keeping the card. For instance, you might decide a card's annual fee is worth it if you can offset the cost with rewards and perks.

Interest rates and common credit card fees , like late charges and balance transfer fees, can also eat into your cash back earnings. Cash back cards may come with an assortment of perks that can add value to your wallet, such as statement credits on select subscription services. Rotating category cards typically require you to enroll in or activate your bonus cash back categories for the upcoming quarter to earn the higher bonus rate.

Welcome bonuses can deliver a substantial amount of value, and some cards are worth getting for the welcome bonus alone. Leaving this value on the table is a missed opportunity. Just make sure you won't have to overspend to meet the spending requirement.

A combination of cards will allow you to maximize your cash back opportunities when making purchases. Shopping portals are common on many cash back cards. When I first got into rewards strategy, I went a little overboard, carrying a card for every spending category I could think of, constantly switching based on where I was shopping or which bonus category was available in a given quarter.

I even had a spreadsheet I used to track my purchases and cash back earnings. It eventually became a headache, though.

Now I take a more streamlined approach, focusing on a few key spending categories as I try to strike a balance between high earnings and low maintenance. Is my stack perfect? Definitely not.

I still have a co-branded airline card, a rotating category card and a specific online retailer card sitting around, and using them could help me squeeze a little more earnings out of my purchases. But for now, five cards is plenty to juggle. People who spend across a wide variety of categories can often combine cards from the same issuer for greater effect.

For example, by having a Chase Freedom Flex, Chase Freedom Unlimited and a Chase Sapphire card, you can use the Chase Trifecta 's bonus categories to maximize rewards. Americans are starting off by breaking records, though not the kind we should celebrate.

Credit card delinquency remains low, according to the Fed, but carrying a balance for any length of time usually means people are paying more for their purchases than the purchase price.

Pay your balances in full and on time at the end of each statement period to avoid carrying interest on your account. This could help you move towards using your cards as a financial tool and not a crutch. When evaluating the best cash back cards, we consider a mix of factors, including how cards score in our proprietary card rating system and whether cards offer features that fit the priorities of a diverse group of cardholders, from earning rewards in popular categories to scoring a large sign-up bonus or high-value perks.

Whenever possible, we also feature cards that are available at various credit levels and price points. In other words, we assess whether the card earns rewards at a high rate in the most popular spending categories.

We also estimate the redemption value of points or miles from various rewards programs. With these calculations complete, we assign each card a score based on how its average rewards earnings, sign-up bonus value, rewards rate and redemption value stack up against other rewards cards.

The better these values, the higher its score will be, making it more worthy of inclusion in our list and increasing its potential ranking. We also score cards based on how much it costs to keep them in your wallet or carry a balance. To start, each card is scored based on whether it offers an intro APR and how its ongoing APR compares to the rates available on other rewards cards.

Cards with an annual fee will always be at a slight disadvantage in our scoring system since annual fees inherently cut into your rewards value. However, if a card offers terrific value via its ongoing rewards and perks, it can earn a high score and a spot in our list even if it carries a high annual fee.

After all, the highest rewards rates and most valuable perks are often found on cards with annual fees. With this in mind, we rate a card based primarily on how its ongoing rewards value and ongoing perk value such as annual credits or bonuses stack up against those of other cards in the category when you subtract annual fees.

That said, we strive to include as many no-annual-fee options in our list as possible since many people would rather not worry about offsetting fees, even if a card carries impressive rewards and perks.

Rewards cards may make it easy to earn a lot of points, miles or cash back, but how easy is it to use those rewards? Flexibility factors include whether a card only allows you to earn a high rewards rate on only a small amount of spending or requires you to meet a certain earning threshold before you can redeem rewards.

We also examine whether your points are worth less when you opt for some redemption options over others and whether a card gives you the flexibility to transfer rewards to travel partners. In evaluating the best cards, we tend to favor cards that offer at least Tier 3 benefits, unless they include other unique features that could make up for less-impressive perks.

Have more questions for our credit cards editors? Feel free to send us an email , find us on Facebook , or Tweet us Bankrate. For Capital One products listed on this page, some of the above benefits are provided by Visa® or Mastercard® and may vary by product.

See the respective Guide to Benefits for details, as terms and exclusions apply. The card details have not been reviewed or approved by the card issuer. The right credit card for you will depend on your spending habits and the perks that matter most to you. Travel cards are great for people who know they want to redeem rewards for travel expenses like airline and hotel bookings.

Travel cards also make sense if you want perks like hotel or airline elite status, free checked bags , free hotel stays or airport lounge access. But even some of the best travel credit cards for beginners charge an annual fee, and the fee for premium travel cards that offer luxury perks can be quite high.

Cash back cards can be simpler to use and offer more flexibility in how you can earn and redeem rewards, with some allowing you to use rewards for cash back, travel spending and more. You may not receive cold, hard cash, but issuers offer redemption options like a direct deposit into a checking account, mailed checks, statement credits or gift cards.

Perhaps the closest you can get to redeeming rewards for physical cash is through a Wells Fargo card that allows you to redeem for cash withdrawals at eligible ATMs.

It depends on how you plan to redeem your rewards. If you plan to deposit your cash rewards into a high-yield savings account, it's best to redeem often so that you don't lose out on interest. However, if you prefer to use your rewards for travel, you might save up your rewards to help cut future travel costs.

In fact, your cash back might be worth more if you redeem through an issuer's travel portal , like Chase Ultimate Rewards. To maximize your earnings, check your issuer's redemption options and be strategic in how and when you redeem. Flat-rate cards do not require any pre-planning, which is great.

You buy what you buy and earn cash back at the same rate for everything. To make the most of cash back cards that have rotating categories, however, you have to pay a bit more attention. For example, if a card offers 5 percent cash back at Amazon in Q4, you may consider doing most of your holiday shopping through that site.

I like to have both a flat-rate and rotating cash back card in my wallet — particularly a flat-rate card that earns at a higher rate usually 1. I have found the most difficult part of maximizing rotating category cash-back cards is keeping track of which categories are currently earning bonus cash back.

Setting reminders and keeping a rewards calendar helps, especially if you have multiple cards of each type.

Of course, you also want to make sure you are putting the right expense on the right card to maximize the rewards. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information.

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You can check out other cards that are a better fit. Credit Cards Cash Back Advertiser Disclosure Advertiser Disclosure Bankrate. Steve Dashiell. Written by Steve Dashiell Arrow Right Editor, Credit cards.

Nouri Zarrugh. Edited by Nouri Zarrugh Arrow Right Senior Editor, Credit Cards. Jason Steele. Reviewed by Jason Steele Arrow Right Former contributor, Credit Cards. Credit Card Search View card list Menu List Table of contents Why choose Bankrate Caret Down User We helped over , users compare cash back cards in Circle Check We valued and compared over 50 cash back programs.

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View card list Collapse Caret Up. Table of contents Collapse Caret Up. Increase your odds of finding the perfect card. Increase your odds of finding the perfect card 1 in 3 people w ho try approval odds find a card they like.

See your approval odds. Featured cash back Card. Apply now Lock on Wells Fargo's secure site. Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. Rating: 4. Bankrate review. appOddsOn { aoProduct.

Apply now Lock. Intro offer. Annual fee. Regular APR. Pros This card offers one of the highest flat cash rewards rates available for a no-annual-fee card. In addition to a lengthy intro APR, you can also take advantage of varied redemption options like redeeming cash rewards at a Wells Fargo ATM.

The 3 percent foreign transaction fee could eat into cash rewards if you use this card abroad. Select "Apply Now" to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.

No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Apply now Lock on Bank of America's secure site. Pros You can swap your choice category once per calendar month to maximize rewards based on your spending habits. Cons The spending cap on your highest earning categories could hamper your earning potential.

It carries a high sign-up bonus spending requirement twice as high as some rivals in the cash back card category. That means you could earn 3. Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center.

You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now. Best for restaurants. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Rating: 5 stars out of 5. Apply now Lock on Capital One's secure site. Pros You can earn additional bonus rewards for purchases made through the Capital One Entertainment and Travel portals.

With no spending caps, your earnings are unlimited. Cons Beware of redeeming cash rewards on Amazon. Its ongoing APR is on the high side and could prove pricey if you tend to carry a balance. Citi Double Cash® Card Citi Double Cash® Card.

Apply now Lock on Citi's secure site. Pros If you pair this card with the Citi Premier® Card, you can transfer points to airline and hotel partners and potentially enjoy a higher redemption value. You don't have to keep track of spending category restrictions or rotating categories.

Cons You could earn more with a card that offers a higher rewards rate in your biggest spending categories. After that, the variable APR will be Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.

Intro APR does not apply to purchases. If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance including balance transfers by the due date each month. Best for groceries. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Apply now Lock on American Express's secure site. Cons Purchases at wholesale clubs, superstores like Walmart , and specialty stores bakeries, farmers markets, etc. supermarket bonus category and only earn 1 percent back. You can only redeem cash rewards as a statement credit, so you don't have much flexibility in redemption options.

Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of Variable APRs will not exceed gas stations. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.

com checkout. com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required. Terms Apply. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. Rating: 3. Rewards details Caret Down 1. The card offers additional features with its intro APR on purchases and balance transfers.

Cons This card is light on benefits and perks compared to other cash back cards. That means you could earn 1. No annual fee. Citi Custom Cash® Card Citi Custom Cash® Card.

You likely won't miss out on cash back rewards because you can earn in popular categories like gas and groceries, in addition to more select picks like fitness clubs and live entertainment. You may need to pair this card with another rewards card since you only earn the elevated cash back rate in one eligible category per month.

No rotating bonus categories to sign up for — as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories. No Annual Fee Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Terms apply 1. The sign-up bonus has one of the lowest spend requirements around, so it's easy to attain.

Take this card abroad without having to worry about foreign transaction fees. Cons Other cards on the market offer a higher flat cash back rate, with several offering 2 percent back or more.

A few no-annual-fee cash back cards offer longer intro APR periods on both purchases and balance transfers. Discover it® Cash Back Discover it® Cash Back. Apply now Lock on Discover's secure site. Pros Discover matches the cash back you earn at the end of the first year — potentially more valuable than the average no-annual-fee card bonus.

Redeem your rewards for cash at any time. Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data.

Then Terms and conditions apply. Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®. Apply now Lock on Upgrade's secure site. Rewards details Caret Down 2. Cons The high-end APR range is much higher than the average card APR and could prove costly if you end up carrying a balance.

If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions. BEST FOR LOW APR. USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Credit Card USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Credit Card. Apply now Lock on USAA's secure site.

Pros You don't have to worry about a complicated rewards program or rotating categories. A flat rewards rate makes earning cash back simple and straightforward.

It charges no foreign transaction fees and comes with a few key travel protections, making it an especially great companion for USAA members who live or frequently travel abroad.

Several competing cash back cards offer a higher flat rewards rate — 2 percent back or higher — while still charging no annual fee. Must be a USAA member, or become a member, to apply. USAA proudly offers membership to current and former military, as well as their spouses and dependents. After this time, the variable regular APR of Cash back rewards never expire.

Redeem cash back your way, on your schedule. No foreign transaction fees. See Rates and Fees for details. Card name Best for Cash back highlights Welcome offer Annual fee. Unsorted Caret Caret Up Caret Down.

Bankrate review score. Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. For more information, you can read about how we rate our cards. Add to compare. Approval Odds serve as a guide to help you find the right credit card and will never affect your credit score.

More information Close. Apply now at Wells Fargo's secure site. com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application. Editor's take. Overall rating Our rating: 4.

Rewards Value: 4. APR: 1. Rewards Flexibility: 4. Features: 3. Issuer Customer Experience 2. Pros There are no rotating categories and no enrollment requirements. Rewards never expire as long as your account remains in good standing. Card details. Select "Apply Now" to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.

No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open. Regular APR View All Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Details. Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Apply now at Bank of America's secure site. Rewards Value: 3. Annual Percentage Rate: 3. Rewards Flexibility: 2. Issuer Customer Experience 5. That means you could earn 3. Contactless Cards - The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap. This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center.

You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now. View All Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Details. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Apply now at Capital One's secure site. Annual Percentage Rate: 1. Issuer Customer Experience 4. Pros You can earn elevated cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores, which can be popular and costly everyday expenses.

Generous intro APR on purchases and balance transfers and no annual fee. View All Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Details. BEST FOR FLAT-RATE CASH BACK. Citi Double Cash® Card.

Apply now at Citi's secure site. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Issuer Customer Experience 3. Excellent intro balance transfer APR and low ongoing interest rate.

No intro APR for purchases, which would be especially helpful for a flat-rate cash back card. After that, the variable APR will be Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.

Intro APR does not apply to purchases. If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance including balance transfers by the due date each month.

View All Citi Double Cash® Card Details. BEST FOR U. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express. Apply now at American Express's secure site. streaming subscriptions. Rewards Value: 5. Rewards Flexibility: 3.

Pros Offers perhaps the highest cash back rate for U. supermarkets available, in addition to a rich platter of other everyday categories. One of the few premium rewards cards to come with an intro purchase and balance transfer APR offer.

Worthwhile reward redemption options are limited to statement credits. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of Variable APRs will not exceed gas stations. Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.

com checkout. com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required. Terms Apply. View All Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Details. BEST FOR GROCERY, GAS AND ONLINE REWARDS.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. Why we like this card The recently-updated Blue Cash Everyday Card makes it easier for household shoppers to earn more cash back on their everyday spending. Many other cash back cards offer unlimited cash back rates in their bonus categories.

supermarket bonus category, which may disappoint people who like to shop around for the best deals. Bottom Line The Blue Cash Everyday Card is a top choice if your spending and lifestyle habits line up with the rewards and perks. No Annual Fee. Balance Transfer is back!

After that, View All Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Details. BEST FOR CASH BACK FOR PREFERRED REWARDS MEMBERS. Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card. Our rating: 3.

Rewards rate 1. Overall rating Our rating: 3. Rewards Value: 2. APR: 3. Issuer Customer Experience: 5. Why we like this card At first glance, the Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card looks a lot like the other flat-rate cash back credit cards on the market — and, candidly, it is.

Cons Depending on your spending habits and financial portfolio, you may be able to earn more with other cash back credit cards. Bottom Line The ability to receive a rewards boost makes this a prime choice for existing Bank of America customers who are looking for a flat-rate cash back credit card.

Earn unlimited 1. That means you could earn 1. No annual fee. View All Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card Details.

Citi Custom Cash® Card. Rewards Value 3. APR 3. Rewards Flexibility 3. Features 3. Makes an excellent partner card to pair with other ThankYou point-earning and cash back Citi cards.

You only earn boosted cash back in one category per billing cycle, so you may need to track your spending in order to maximize rewards. Bottom Line The Custom Cash Card offers a unique way to earn stellar cash back on a range of categories, but its spending cap makes it an even better partner alongside another Citi ThankYou card.

No rotating bonus categories to sign up for — as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.

No Annual Fee Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person. View All Citi Custom Cash® Card Details. BEST FOR UNLIMITED REWARDS. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card. Terms apply 1. Rewards Flexibility: 5. Pros Unlimited 1. Generous introductory APR offer on purchases and balance transfers.

View All Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Details. Discover it® Cash Back. Apply now at Discover's secure site. Intro offer Cashback Match More information Close Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers — only from Discover.

Annual Percentage Rate: 4. Features: 2. Why we like this card Although rotating category cards may seem complicated, Discover makes its card more reliable and lower-cost than competitors. Bottom Line Discover it Cash Back is a lower-cost, more predictable alternative compared to some competing rotating bonus category cards.

Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers — only from Discover. Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.

Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data.

Then Terms and conditions apply. View All Discover it® Cash Back Details. BEST FOR STUDENTS. Discover it® Student Cash Back. Our rating: 5. Just a dollar-for-dollar match. Overall rating Our rating: 5. Introductory Offer 3. Interest and Fees 3. Rewards Program 5.

Features 4. Why we like this card When it comes to rewards and student-centric benefits, the Discover it Student Cash Back is possibly the best student card available.

One of the few student cards to offer an intro purchase APR. Cons Activating the rotating categories each quarter can be cumbersome, especially for those new to credit cards.

No purchase or travel protection benefits and few perks outside the rewards and low fees. Bottom Line The Discover it® Student Cash Back card tops many student cards by offering remarkably high rewards and low costs with no credit history required. No credit score required to apply.

No annual fee and build your credit with responsible use. Intro Balance Transfers APR View All Discover it® Student Cash Back Details. Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa®. Apply now at Upgrade's secure site.

Rewards rate 2. Rewards value 4. APR 2. Rewards Flexibility 2. Features 2. The limited fees and installment payment plan may give you a chance to pay off debt faster while paying less in interest charges than you would with a traditional credit card.

The limited redemption options make this a poor choice for a one-card wallet, especially for travelers who want to earn transferable rewards. Bottom Line The Upgrade Elite is packed with enough features and benefits to make it a strong contender for best flat-rate rewards credit card.

If you previously opened a checking account through Upgrade or do not do so as part of this process, you are not eligible. Payout made within 60 days of meeting the conditions. View All Upgrade Cash Rewards Elite Visa® Details. Back to top. On this page Our top picks Cash back credit card details What are cash back credit cards?

S supermarkets, U. gas stations, U. No rotating categories. No enrollment. No need to think about which card to use for each purchase. Bottom line : The Active Cash Card is a hassle-free credit card for people who value simplicity and consistent flat-rate cash rewards over earning high rewards in specific categories.

Best for flexible cash back categories: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card Best features : The Bank of America Customized Cash card gives you the freedom to change your bonus category once per calendar month, allowing you to tailor your rewards to your spending habits.

Alternatives : If you enjoy choosing your own categories to maximize rewards, the U. While this takes a little more effort to maintain, it also gives you more chances to earn cash back in a variety of categories.

Bottom line : The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card is a solid choice for people looking to earn rewards in a wide variety of categories while avoiding an annual fee.

Plus, its broad entertainment category covers everything from concert tickets to tourist attractions and amusement parks. Biggest drawbacks : Since its bonus categories are focused on food and entertainment, it may not make sense as an all-purpose rewards card.

Learn how to decide what Capital One Savor card is right for you. Bottom line : Food and entertainment enthusiasts will have a hard time finding a no-annual-fee See Rates and Fees credit card that matches the benefits of the SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. Alternatives : The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers the same flat rate of 2 percent cash rewards on purchases but stands out by offering an intro APR on both new purchases and qualifying balance transfers.

Bottom line : This uncomplicated flat-rate cash back card would be a good match for someone who values flexibility. Best for U. Plus, there are no rotating categories or enrollment to worry about. Read more on how our expert, Brady Porche, uses the Blue Cash Preferred card.

It charges no annual fee and offers a decent rewards rate not only at U. supermarkets, but also on U. online retail purchases. Learn how to decide which Blue Cash card is right for you.

Plus this no-annual-fee card has enough additional benefits to give the Blue Cash Everyday Card and even some cards with an annual fee a run for their money. Bottom line : While this card has huge rewards potential, the best rates are reserved for people with sizable account balances.

That should appeal to rewards seekers looking for a no-maintenance credit card. Alternatives: If you like the idea of customized rewards but want a single card that earns in multiple categories at once, a great alternative could be the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards credit card.

Best for unlimited rewards: Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Best features : Ideal for people who prefer to keep it simple, this gimmick-free card has no annual fee See Rates and Fees and offers unlimited 1.

Rewards remain valid for the life of the account and there are no caps on how much you can earn. Read more on If the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is worth it.

Biggest drawbacks : The 1. Alternatives : The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is another relatively simple cash back card. Bottom line : While other cards offer higher cash back rates, the simplicity of unlimited 1. Best for rotating categories: Discover it® Cash Back Best features : Discover will automatically match all of your cash back earnings at the end of your first year.

This is a popular incentive that encourages you to use the credit card often in the first year. Bottom line : The Discover it Cash Back is a solid pick thanks to its generous cash back rate in a wide variety of popular and practical rotating categories.

Read more on how credit card expert, Ana Staples, uses the Discover it® Cash Back card. Biggest drawbacks : The rewards program can be a bit confusing and takes some work compared to flat-rate cards and other cash back cards with a more straightforward rewards structure.

Biggest drawbacks : Rewards are not flexible and are automatically put toward paying off your balance. Alternatives : If you prefer the simplicity of a traditional flat-rate credit card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has a straightforward welcome bonus and earns an unlimited 2 percent cash rewards on eligible purchases.

What are cash back credit cards? How to calculate cash back Exactly how much cash you earn back per purchase will vary depending on the terms of your card and the type of purchase you make.

Simply set and forget earnings until you want to redeem your rewards. Drawbacks: On the flip side, you could also lose out on rewards by not using a card with bonus categories that you would frequently spend more than on everyday purchases.

A great option: The Citi Double Cash® Card. That way, you get the best of both worlds and you never have to settle for a low rate of cash back. Benefits: Cash back rates for tiered categories can be quite high.

There are even cards that allow you to choose and change your own bonus category once per calendar month, like the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. Benefits: Rotating categories often correspond with the time of year, which can help you make the most of seasonal expenses, like holiday purchases or a summer road trip.

Drawbacks: Keeping track of changing categories can be too much work for some users who then risk losing out on rewards. A great option: The Discover it® Cash Back. Pros Flexibility. Earning and redeeming rewards is generally straightforward.

You can typically cash in rewards as a statement credit and there are low-to-no minimums for redemption across popular cards. Many cash back cards carry low-to-no annual fees.

Best cash back credit cards compared Best for no foreign transaction fees: card_name · 10% back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases · 8% back for Capital One Entertainment purchases · 5% back on hotels Cash Back Credit Card Reviews · The Bankrate promise · Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express · Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express · Search: Top cash back cards
















Catds Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a carvs annual fee card that can help Credit counseling for small business owners pay less interest on your credit card debt and earn cash cadh at the same time. caash rated. Top cash back cards you Reduced Loan Term a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance including balance transfers by the due date each month. travel credit cards : Travel credit cards are best for frequent travelers who want to redeem their rewards for flights and hotel stays. This answer will largely depend on how you spend. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. Many other cash back cards offer unlimited cash back rates in their bonus categories. It's also excellent for those who have another Ultimate Rewards® card, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card , as they'll be able to convert their cashback into fully transferrable Ultimate Rewards® points. If your goal is to simply make all your purchases a little cheaper, cash back is the way to go. Other factors, such as our own proprietary website rules and the likelihood of applicants' credit approval, also impact how and where products appear on this site. A big exception: Americans who travel overseas an average of at least once per year are often better off with a travel rewards credit card because of higher point values and no foreign transaction fees. To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time. You don't have to keep track of spending category restrictions or rotating categories. Learn more: Why expert Margaret Wack chose the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a solid option for those looking for a flat- Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Best for Flat-rate cash back: High ongoing rate + incentives ; Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for Bonus rewards: 5 Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: Best for Flat-rate cash back: High ongoing rate + incentives ; Chase Freedom Unlimited®: Best for Bonus rewards: 5 11 Best cash back credit cards for February ; Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Rating: stars out of 5. ; Bank of America® Customized U.S. News' Best Cash Back Cards of February · Discover it® Cash Back · Instacart Mastercard® · Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Discover it® Chrome · Blue Cash Top cash back cards
More flexibility Top cash back cards most Citi Custom Cash® Card. com is bacl independent, advertising-supported cagds service. Christina Ly is a writer at TPG. Best for restaurants. If you like going on road trips, the Blue Cash Preferred will be your new best friend. A straightforward rewards structure and flexible redemption options are just some of what make cash back credit cards great. You should first list the benefits you're looking for and any deal breakers, such as an annual fee. Other considerations. Who doesn't want to be rewarded? Depending on your spending habits, the Chase Freedom Flex could be the most rewarding cash-back card because of its valuable rotating bonus categories and easy-to-earn welcome bonus. Or do you stick to a weekly grocery shop for most of your meals? You usually have to "activate" the category online to qualify for the higher rate. Flat-rate card for everything else. Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards Caption Options · Best overall: Chase Freedom Flex℠ · Best for travel portal redemptions: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for road trippers Cash Back Credit Card Reviews · The Bankrate promise · Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express · Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express · Search Best cash back credit cards compared Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards Top cash back cards
See our full methodology here. But cash-back fards tend to reward Credit score rehabilitation in essential categories for many Americans: cazh, groceries, streaming services, and more. Bakc the closest cas can get Top cash back cards redeeming rewards for physical cash is through a Wells Fargo card that allows you to redeem for cash withdrawals at eligible ATMs. com credit ranges are a variation of FICO® Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application. Otherwise, you'll be hit with interest charges. Thomas Nitzsche Financial Educator, Debt and Credit. For example, a tiered card may offer a boosted cash back rate of 3 percent on restaurant purchases, while all other purchases earn 1. Cons This card is light on benefits and perks compared to other cash back cards. Terms apply. This content has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included in the post. On top of excellent airport lounge access, cardholders can enroll for Marriott Bonvoy Gold status, Hilton Honors Gold status and rental car perks with National, Avis and Hertz. But some cash-back options do offer extra benefits that can help you save even more throughout the year. Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards Best for no foreign transaction fees: card_name · 10% back on Uber and Uber Eats purchases · 8% back for Capital One Entertainment purchases · 5% back on hotels Cash-back credit cards can offer a solid return on your most frequently made purchases, but don't overspend just to earn more. · CNET'S PICK Caption Options · Best overall: Chase Freedom Flex℠ · Best for travel portal redemptions: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for road trippers Best cash-back credit cards · Best overall and best for no annual fee: Chase Freedom Unlimited® Card · Best for flat-rate cash back: Citi Double Best Flat-Rate Cash-Back Card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card is a solid option for those looking for a flat- 11 best cash-back credit cards of February · Browse by card categories · Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Top cash back cards
Terms Apply. APR: 1. Membership vack vary Credit counseling for small business owners credit Forgiveness program limitations. The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is loaded with luxury perks and valuable ongoing benefits baxk can easily make the annual fee worth it. Compare welcome offers A card's sign-up bonus can add significantly to its short-term value. Best Cash Back Credit Cards for February 2024

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Best CashBack Cards 2023 for Simplicity

Top cash back cards - U.S. News' Best Cash Back Cards of February · Discover it® Cash Back · Instacart Mastercard® · Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Discover it® Chrome · Blue Cash Best overall cash back card: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card; Best cash back card for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited More cash-back cards to consider · Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card · Prime Visa · Chase Freedom Unlimited®. The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee Hear from our editors: The best cash back credit cards of February · Best for everyday spending: Chase Freedom Unlimited® · Best for rotating bonus rewards

The Capital One QuicksilverOne card is a solid choice if you're working on improving your credit score and are interested in earning cash-back rewards at the same time.

Cardmembers are also eligible for six months of complimentary Uber One membership through Nov. There are many types of credit cards that offer a range of perks and rewards programs , especially when it comes to cash-back credit cards.

The three main types are flat-rate, bonus rewards and rotating category. It can be hard to select just one cash-back card since there are so many to choose from. To choose the best card for your needs, you'll need to consider several factors.

Here are some tips on how to choose a credit card:. Consider the annual fee: While many cash-back cards have no, or low annual, fees, consider if you're willing to pay for your credit card.

Review your spending habits: Taking the time to consider how you use your card, can help you narrow down the type of cash back you want to earn. If you spend a lot at the supermarket, consider a grocery rewards card , such as the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

But if your spending habits are unclear, stick with a flat-rate cash-back card, like the Citi Double Cash. If you're having trouble narrowing down the best cash-back card for you, it can be helpful to compare credit cards. You should first list the benefits you're looking for and any deal breakers, such as an annual fee.

Then make a list of cards that offer those benefits so you can do a side-by-side comparison. For instance, if you want a simple cash-back card that doesn't require bonus activation, consider the flat-rate Citi Double Cash.

But if you don't mind activating new categories every quarter and want to maximize rewards, opt for the Chase Freedom Flex. To make the most of your cash-back card, you should familiarize yourself with the various credit card benefits and fees. Review the annual fee, foreign transaction fees and the APR.

Plus consider the cash-back rates and redemption options. Once you're familiar with the terms of your card, you can begin to optimize them. Set up autopay to ensure payments are made on time and consider how you want to redeem cash back. If there's an automatic redemption option, that can be a simple way to cash out your rewards.

And if you have multiple credit cards , make sure you know the best time to use each card. Let's say you have the Citi Double Cash Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card. Money matters — so make the most of it.

Get expert tips, strategies, news and everything else you need to maximize your money, right to your inbox. Sign up here. At CNBC Select, our mission is to provide our readers with high-quality service journalism and comprehensive consumer advice so they can make informed decisions with their money.

Every credit card review is based on rigorous reporting by our team of expert writers and editors with extensive knowledge of credit card products. While CNBC Select earns a commission from affiliate partners on many offers and links, we create all our content without input from our commercial team or any outside third parties, and we pride ourselves on our journalistic standards and ethics.

See our methodology for more information on how we choose the best credit cards. To determine which cards will put the most money back in your pocket, CNBC Select evaluated 50 cash-back credit cards offered by the biggest banks, financial companies and credit unions that allow anyone to join.

We compared each card on a range of features, including cash-back rewards, annual fee, welcome bonus, introductory and standard APR, balance transfer fee and foreign transaction fees, as well as factors such as required credit and customer reviews when available.

CNBC Select teamed up with location intelligence firm Esri. The company's data development team provided the most up-to-date and comprehensive consumer spending data based on the Consumer Expenditure Surveys from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. You can read more about their methodology here.

General purchases include items such as housekeeping supplies, clothing, personal care products, prescription drugs and vitamins, and other vehicle expenses. CNBC Select used this budget to estimate how much the average consumer would save over a year, two years and five years, assuming they would attempt to maximize their rewards potential by earning all welcome bonuses offered and using the card for all applicable purchases.

All rewards total estimations are net the annual fee. It's important to note the value of a point or mile varies from card to card and based on how you redeem them. When we calculated the estimated returns, we assumed that cardholders are redeeming cash back for a typical maximum value of 1 cent per point or mile.

Extreme optimizers might be able to achieve more value. Our final picks are weighted heavily toward the highest five-year returns, since it's generally wise to hold onto a credit card for years.

This method also avoids giving an unfair advantage to cards with large welcome bonuses. While the five-year estimates we've included are derived from a budget similar to the average American's spending, you may earn a higher or lower return depending on your shopping habits. Catch up on CNBC Select's in-depth coverage of credit cards , banking and money , and follow us on TikTok , Facebook , Instagram and Twitter to stay up to date.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here. For rates and fees of the Discover it® Student Cash Back, click here.

com and more. Compared with flat-rate cards, here are typical advantages and disadvantages of bonus-category cards. Higher rewards rates on some purchases. Cash-back credit cards for small businesses come in the same types: flat-rate, fixed bonus categories and changing categories.

In choosing a type of card, know yourself. Are you a person who will use credit cards strategically? And if others in the household use the same card, will they use it strategically? If you don't remember to use the right card for specific purchases, the higher rewards rate on a bonus-category card may not pay off.

And you might do better overall with a flat-rate card. After you know which type of cash-back card is right for you, choose based on these criteria to get the most cash back:. High rates for certain categories are great, but all categories aren't created equal. Consider how much you spend in the category regularly.

Minimum goals:. A one-time cash bonus is nice because it essentially boosts your rewards in the short term if you can meet the required spending to earn it. But the rewards rate is more important over the long term. A card without a bonus could still be the right one for you. And some do.

If a cash-back card has an annual fee, it has to be so good that it easily makes back that fee every year. Think of it as a reduction in your annual cash-back total.

One way to compare the monetary value of cards is to examine them over three years, using the factors above. Figure your annual cash back on a card for three years, add any sign-up bonus and subtract three years of annual fee. Consider how complicated one card is versus another.

That will mostly be decided by the type of card — flat-rate cards are easier to use than bonus-category cards. But cards in the same category can offer different hassles. For example, some cards with excellent cash-back rates come from credit unions.

In applying, are you willing to join a credit union? Related articles. Which cash back credit cards offer a sign-up bonus? A multi-card strategy allows you to earn more cash back by using two or more cards together.

Bonus-category card s to earn accelerated cash back on certain purchases. In choosing cards, the advice is the same. Pick bonus-category cards based on where you spend a lot of money and cash-back rates. Then, choose a flat-rate card for all other spending.

Terms apply. Terms Apply. Sign-up bonus: INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers — only from Discover. If you want cards from the same issuer — so you can see your accounts on a single app or webpage:.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns at least 1. Citi Double Cash® Card : Which is better for you? Some cards technically earn points that can be used as cash back. We generally consider them to be cash-back cards if you can redeem points for 1 cent each. Use your card the right way to get the most out of it.

To rack up the most rewards, use the card for everyday purchases and pay your bill in full every month. Some cash-back cards are designed for cardholders who are building credit, but they may not offer as robust rewards as others. Cash-back credit cards work like any other credit card.

As those amounts add up, you can redeem them for statement credits toward your card balance or physical cash. You may get boosted cash back percentages on specific purchases depending on the card you have.

Cash-back cards can offer a simpler rewards structure than some other points-and-miles rewards programs, which make them popular among cardholders who want to maximize their spending without too much extra work.

The best cash-back rewards for you will depend on your spending habits and how you use your cash-back credit card. In many cases, the cash back you earn does not expire until your account is closed. However, individual issuers may have different standards for how long your cash back lasts.

Always make sure to read your card agreement for expiration dates that may apply for your cash-back card. For example, issuers often exclude lottery ticket or gambling chip purchases from earning cash back, as well as items you return or unauthorized spending.

Our list of the best cash-back cards is designed to highlight the best overall cards with cash rewards as well as those with the most potential return on your spending. We began by calculating average annual rewards for more than three dozen cash-back credit cards.

This included every card from major issuers that earn cash back, as well as student and secured options with cash rewards. Retail cards and co-branded card options were excluded to keep this list focused on general cash-back earnings.

To determine average annual rewards, we used the most recent Consumer Expenditure data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics to get an idea of the amount Americans spend each year. From there, we broke out several categories and calculated how much the average spender could earn with each card.

The cash-back totals we found were also integrated into the overall criteria we used to give each cash-back card a rating and determine the final picks on our list. Our final best cash-back picks represent the top rated from this list, as well as the cards with the maximum cash-back value according to spending averages.

Editorial Disclosure: The information in this article has not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser.

The details on financial products, including card rates and fees, are accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty.

This site doesn't include all currently available offers. The offers on this page are from advertisers who pay us. That may influence which products we write about, but it does not affect what we write about them.

Here's an explanation of how we make money. Read full article. Kendall Little. Fri, Feb 9, 28 min read. Link Copied. Best cash-back credit cards Cash-back credit cards are often designed to reward everyday spending.

Best for customizable rewards: U. Why this is the best cash-back card for rotating rewards The Chase Freedom Flex offers a wide range of rotating categories each quarter. Chase Freedom Unlimited® The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another no annual fee card that combines rotating categories with flat cash back for a solid potential max value.

Types of cash-back credit cards Cash-back credit cards can carry a wide range of rewards, but they tend to fall in one of three categories. Flat cash back Flat cash-back cards earn a standard amount of cash back on everything.

Flat cash-back cards usually offer 1. Tiered cash back Tiered cash-back cards may be what you imagine when you think of a cash-back credit card.

Rotating cash back Rotating cash-back cards are unique among rewards credit cards , since your top rewards categories are constantly changing. Annual fee Many cash-back cards charge no annual fee.

Welcome offer Cash-back credit cards often offer cash sign-up bonuses after you meet a spending threshold within a certain amount of time after opening your account.

How to make the most of cash back Here are a few things to consider while you earn and redeem cash-back rewards: Track your rewards Make sure you keep regular track of the cash rewards you earn.

You may even be able to set up automatic redemptions once you meet a certain amount of rewards earned Combine with other cards Cash-back cards can be ideal for pairing with other cash-back cards or travel rewards cards to maximize your earnings. Cash-back cards: Perks and potential drawbacks Perks and benefits of cash-back cards Among different types of reward cards , cash-back credit cards can be some of the simplest to use.

Should you open a cash-back credit card? Frequently asked questions about cash-back cards What credit score do you need for a cash-back credit card?

By Daigal

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