Cash back credit cards give users the chance to earn rewards as they spend, and the rewards can be “free” as long as customers never carry a balance. Many cards in this niche come with no annual fee as well, and rewards tend to be easy to understand.
For example, most cash back credit cards offer a flat rate of rewards on everything you buy, and some also have bonus categories that let you maximize your spending. When it comes to redeeming rewards, cash back credit cards offer options like a check in the mail, statement credits, gift cards, or merchandise. Some cash back cards even let you use your rewards for flights, hotel stays, rental cars, and other types of travel.
If you’re in the market for a cash back card, the sheer number of options can feel overwhelming. There are almost too many excellent rewards cards to choose from regardless of which card issuer you prefer.
To help in your search, we compared all the best options available today based on their rewards rates, welcome offers, annual fees, and more. Before you pick your next cash back credit card, take the time to explore and compare the top cards in our rankings.
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The Citi® Double Cash Card is an excellent option for consumers who always pay their bill off each month. That’s because you earn 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% upfront and another 1% when you pay your balance off.
You won’t get a lot of other benefits from this card, but a low balance transfer APR can help you save on interest if you need to consolidate debt. 0% intro APR on balance transfers lasts for 18 months. We also love the fact there’s no annual fee.
It’s also worth noting that, starting on March 28, 2022, rewards earned with this card will automatically fall within the Citi ThankYou Rewards program. This means they can be redeemed for statement credits or cash back as normal, but they will also be good for gift cards, travel, and more.
The Citi® Double Cash Card gives users the chance to earn 2% cash back on every purchase they make — 1% when they buy something and another 1% when they pay it off. This card doesn’t have any bonus categories, but the high regular earning rate makes up for it.
Best for Groceries and GasRates & Fees
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent card for grocery spending considering you earn 6% in dollar-for-dollar rewards on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back). However, it’s important to note that this card also offers excellent rewards on select streaming services, purchases at U.S. gas stations and transit spending.
You don’t even have to pay an annual fee the first year, and the 0% APR on purchases for 12 months can help you save big on interest. After the first year, there is a $95 annual fee.
The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express makes it easy to maximize rewards at the grocery store, as well as on streaming services, gas, and transit. As the best cash back card for groceries, this card offers 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1% back), 6% back on select U.S. streaming services, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on other purchases.
New customers also get the chance to earn a $250 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases within six months of account opening.
Best for Everyday Spending
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a Visa credit card, so you can use it for purchases nearly anywhere around the world. We love the fact you earn 3% or 5% back in so many day-to-day spending categories, and that other purchases qualify for a higher-earning rate of 1.5% cash back.
There’s no annual fee to carry the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, and cardmembers can even save money with the intro APR of 0% for purchases and balance transfers. Also note that Chase Ultimate Rewards points are flexible, so you can redeem for cash back, a statement credit, gift cards, merchandise, or travel through Chase.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited® lets users earn 5% back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% back on up to $12,000 in grocery store spending the first year, and 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases. All other purchases earn a higher-than-average rate of 1.5% cash back.
New cardmembers are also eligible for a $200 sign-up bonus after spending $500 within three months of account opening.
Best for Dining and Entertainment
The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is hard to beat if you spend a lot of money on dining, entertainment, streaming services and even grocery stores. The fact you can earn 8% back on purchases with Vivid Seats is also a major plus.
Also note that rewards earned with this points-earning card are easy to use. In fact, you can redeem your cash back for a statement credit, gift cards, PayPal purchases, Amazon purchases and more. This card offers a lot of perks, but it’s important to note that there is a $95 annual fee.
The Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a whopping 4% cash back on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services, 3% cash back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cardmembers also earn 8% cash back on purchases made through Vivid Seats.
A one-time welcome bonus of $300 is also available to those who spend $3,000 on purchases within three months of account opening.
A cashback credit card can be a valuable tool if you’re disciplined with your spending and able to pay your credit card bill in full each month. But, how exactly do cash back cards work?
For the most part, cards in this niche work like any other credit card. Upon account opening, you’re given a line of credit you can borrow against, as well as a credit limit that caps your purchases at a certain amount. From there, you can use your card for day-to-day spending and bills, and you’ll earn rewards on each purchase you make.
If you choose to pay your credit card bill in full, you can skip interest charges and avoid getting into debt in the long-term. However, you have the option to make a minimum payment or any other payment up to your statement balance, in which case the regular APR will be charged on revolving balances.
Some rewards credit cards charge an annual fee, whereas others do not. Also note that many cash back credit cards offer perks like third-party travel insurance, memberships for rideshares, a DoorDash DashPass membership, purchase protection, extended warranties, and more.
As you compare all the best cash back credit cards side-by-side, you’ll quickly notice that different types of cards exist.
While some cards aim to offer a higher rate of rewards on all your purchases, others offer bonus categories that help you maximize certain types of spending.
Types of cashback cards include the following:
If you’re planning to sign up for a cashback credit card, taking steps to maximize your rewards is a no-brainer.
The following tips can help you get the most bang for your buck without compromising your finances:
To find the best cash back credit cards on the market today, we compared hundreds of cards based on their rewards rates, their high-value perks, their money-saving benefits, and their welcome offers.
Other benefits we considered include no-fee status, intro APR offers, and the ability to get pre-approved online. Ultimately, we chose cards that offer considerable rewards on purchases and all-around value to the vast majority of consumers.