Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Among the many dizzying array of rewards bank cards, cash-back bank cards stand out for his or her simplicity. The rewards you generate for making purchases on a cash-back bank card do not should be transformed, transferred or strategically redeemed to maximise worth. You simply get money deposited into an account or a press release credit score in your month-to-month invoice. 

The upside of those playing cards is much less trouble and energy. The draw back is your internet reward fee will normally be barely decrease than should you have been to enroll in a bank card with a posh incomes and redemption course of, similar to you get with mileage playing cards. 

Trouble-free, cash-back rewards normally get routinely utilized to your steadiness by bank card issuers after one or two billing cycles and — relying in your spending — can put some huge cash again in your pockets. Most customers can earn wherever from 2% to Four% total utilizing among the finest playing cards. So, should you spend $15,000 yearly, that will translate to between $300 and $600 a 12 months of cash-back rewards.

To determine which money rewards bank card or playing cards make sense for you, I’ve chosen eight high-value choices from the crowded market. Some are no-fee, flat-rate bank cards that earn the identical quantity on all purchases. Some are restricted to particular spending classes (e.g. groceries, eating, fuel, transit or journey) however have a better rewards fee, whereas others cost an annual charge. I’ve additionally outlined necessary info for attain rewards bank card, like whether or not the cardboard has a switch charge, bonus redemption thresholds, introductory APR and credit score necessities (not right down to your particular person credit score rating, however usually talking).

I’ve organized the record by group, beginning with essentially the most simple cluster and ending with essentially the most difficult.

To approximate the worth of every card for a person and assess which spending conditions make sense for every, I leveraged information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Expenditure Survey.  

Finest money again bank cards

Card Finest for Reward charges* New member bonus
Chase Freedom Unlimited Finest flat-rate card with bonus Limitless 1.5% money again on each buy $200
Citi Double Cash Finest flat-rate card for larger spenders Limitless 2% on each buy $zero
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Finest no-fee class card Limitless three% money again on eating, journey, transit and streaming $200
Bank of America Cash Rewards Finest quarterly rewards card / finest for on-line purchasing three% money again in alternative class (fuel, eating, journey, on-line) and a pair of% again on groceries as much as $2,500 per quarter $200
Amazon Prime Rewards Finest for Amazon and Complete Meals consumers 5% Now, Complete Meals; 2% at eating places, fuel stations, drugstores $70 Amazon present card
Apple Card Finest for normal Apple consumers, instantaneous rewards and privateness three% on Apple, Uber and Walgreens purchases, 2% on Apple Pay purchases $zero
CapitalOne Savor Finest for eating and leisure Limitless Four% money again on eating and leisure, 2% at grocery shops $300
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express Finest for large grocery payments 6% money again on groceries as much as $6,000 per 12 months. 6% on streaming companies, three% on transit and fuel $300

* All playing cards listed supply 1% again on all different purchases

The only: No-fee, flat-rate playing cards

Chase

Reward charges: Limitless 1.5% money again on each buy
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $200
Bonus redemption threshold: $500 in first three months
Credit score requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: zero% (15 months)
APR for purchases: 16.49% to 25.24%
APR for steadiness transfers: 16.49% to 25.24%
Stability switch charge: 5% (minimal of $5)

The only money again playing cards are these with flat charges and no charges. The Chase Freedom Limitless card affords a flat, limitless 1.5% money again on all purchases no matter spending class and would not cost an annual charge. It is a good introductory card for the world of money again rewards.

Rewards particulars

The Chase Freedom Limitless affords a $200 bonus after spending $500 in your first three months (one of many lowest bonus thresholds I discovered — see chart), however affords a barely decrease total fee (1.5%) than the Citi Double Money (2.zero%). For cash-back rewards, the half p.c may appear negligible, nevertheless it provides as much as an additional $50 for each $10,000 spent.

When to make use of this card

In your total bank card technique, the Chase Freedom Limitless could be the one card in your pockets should you’re going for simplicity, or your most popular card for everytime you purchase one thing outdoors of one other bonus class, like a aircraft ticket if you do not have a card that provides bonus factors for journey purchases. Remember that playing cards that provide larger percentages on sure classes, just like the Capital One Savor’s Four% for eating and leisure, supply just one% again on all different classes, so it pays to have a flat-rate card just like the Freedom Limitless useful for purchases that do not fall into your different card’s bonus classes.

Redemption particulars

You possibly can redeem any quantity of Chase factors both as a press release credit score in your invoice, or as a direct deposit into your checking account. The redemption flexibility is a pleasant benefit over different playing cards that solely permit redemptions at sure ranges, like 2,500 factors or $25. 

CitiBank

Reward charges: Limitless 2% money again on each buy
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $zero
Bonus redemption threshold: None
Credit score requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: None
APR for purchases: 15.49% to 25.49%
APR for steadiness transfers: 15.49% to 25.49%
Stability switch charge: three% (minimal of $5)

Rewards particulars 

The Citi Double Money card is so simple as the Chase Freedom Limitless, nevertheless it’s one of many few playing cards that does not supply a sign-on bonus. The trade-off with the shortage of a sign-on bonus is an  above-average cash-back fee.

When to make use of this card 

Just like the Freedom Limitless, the Citi Double Money card could be the one card in your pockets, or your most popular card for everytime you purchase one thing outdoors of a bonus class.

Price noting is that this card does have a three% charge for anytime you make a overseas transaction. It does supply a money advance, however the charge is both $10 or 5% of every money advance.

Redemption particulars

Citi’s rewards could be redeemed beginning at $25 and are available within the type of both a examine or assertion credit score. One redemption distinction to notice for the Citi Double Money card is that you just get 1% again while you make a purchase order, and the second 1% while you repay your invoice. Provided that I like to recommend paying off your invoice in full each month, I do not place a lot significance on this cut up.

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The primary distinction between the 2 above playing cards is the cash-back fee and the preliminary bonus. Citi’s card is finest over the long-term, whereas Chase allows you to reap extra rewards factors instantly.

When you spend $40,000 on the Citi Double Money card, you make up for the $200 bonus, and the whole lot after that’s added worth. As much as $40,000, your total return fee is healthier with the Chase Freedom Limitless. So should you’re considering long-term, the additional .5% from the Citi Double Money will repay. In case you’re solely spending $15,000 yearly with a cash-back card and also you’re taking a look at solely the subsequent two years, then the Chase Freedom Limitless makes extra sense. For a graphical illustration of the 2 playing cards, see beneath. ‘

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From this level on, we’re moving into the strategic territory, so I will be evaluating playing cards based mostly on how and while you use them. The entire remaining playing cards have completely different money again percentages based mostly on the kind of buy, so completely different spending habits will internet completely different outcomes. Whereas there could also be a card or two that is sensible as your solely card, most of those can be finest when paired with different cashback playing cards so you are not making too many purchases outdoors of a bonus class.

Wells Fargo

Reward charges: Limitless three% money again on eating, journey, transit and streaming, 1% on the whole lot else
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $200
Bonus redemption threshold: $1,000 in first three months
Credit score Requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: zero% (12 months)
APR for purchases: 15.49% to 27.49%
APR for steadiness transfers: 15.49% to 27.49%
Stability switch charge: 5% (minimal of $5)

Rewards particulars 

Wells Fargo Propel has the very best mixture of rewards fee (limitless three%) and breadth of classes (eating, fuel, transit, journey and streaming companies). The money bonus ($200 after spending $1,000 within the first three months) is correct consistent with the $150-$200 business normal. 

When to make use of this card 

For the reason that bonus classes aren’t rotating and the cardboard covers a whole lot of floor, I like to recommend it paired with the Citi Double Money or Chase Freedom Limitless for non-bonus class spending. Keep in mind that there’s little motive to log a purchase order that solely earns you 1% when no-fee 1.5% and a pair of% earners exist.

Redemption particulars

Propel’s money rewards could be redeemed as both a deposit right into a Wells Fargo account or as a press release credit score. The minimal threshold for redemption is 2,500 factors ($25).

Rewards comparability 

The closest card on the record to the Wells Fargo Propel might be the Capital One Savor card, which earns Four% on eating and leisure, 2% at grocery shops, 1% on the whole lot else and expenses a $95 annual charge. For the additional 1% to cowl the $95 charge, you’d have to spend virtually $800 month-to-month ($9,500 per 12 months) on eating and leisure. So until you are spending that a lot on eating and leisure particularly, the Wells Fargo Propel is the higher alternative for cash-back rewards card.

Financial institution of America

Reward charges: three% money again in alternative class (fuel, eating, journey, on-line) and a pair of% again on groceries as much as $2,500 per quarter
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $200
Bonus redemption threshold: $1,000 in first three months
Credit score requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: zero% (15 months)
APR for purchases: 15.49% to 25.49%
APR for steadiness transfers: 15.49% to 25.49%
Stability switch charge: three% (minimal of $10)

Rewards particulars 

The Financial institution of America Money Rewards card is among the “rotating bonus class” playing cards, that means that the class that generates the three% reward modifications over the course of the 12 months. Nevertheless, not like most different bonus playing cards which have set quarterly rotations or a rewards program, the Financial institution of America model allows you to select your class (as much as as soon as a calendar month) from an inventory of six: fuel, on-line purchasing, eating, journey, drug shops or residence enchancment and furnishings. 

When to make use of this card 

Given the pliability of the rewards program, I like to recommend utilizing this card to fill a niche in your spending technique. When you’ve got a flat-rate card, a card for groceries and one for eating and journey, however you spend over $100 a month purchasing on-line, you possibly can join the Financial institution of America Money Rewards card, select “on-line purchasing” and deal with it as your on-line spending card. I take advantage of the web purchasing class particularly as a result of it is much less frequent than classes like fuel or eating, however you possibly can clearly decide the class that makes essentially the most sense on your spending habits.

I do not suggest this card should you’re doing a whole lot of abroad journey. It has a three p.c overseas transaction charge.

Redemption particulars

You possibly can redeem Financial institution of America money rewards for any quantity at any time and have them deposited right into a Financial institution of America or Merrill account, or redeem them as a press release credit score. 

Rewards comparability

Different bonus class playing cards, just like the Chase Freedom or Uncover It Money Again, rotate by three or 4 completely different classes over the course of the 12 months, making it tough to maximise rewards or pair the cardboard with different playing cards. That makes the pliability and selection of the Financial institution of America card stand out.

Whereas Netflix would not have a bank card (but), a lot of the different FAANG group members have made important efforts in recent times to channel funds by their techniques. Fb goes the cryptocurrency route, Google Pay is a factor and now each Amazon and Apple have their very own money again bank cards. Even Verizon is moving into the bank card recreation.

Amazon

Reward charges: 5% Now, Complete Meals; 2% at eating places, fuel stations, drugstores
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $70 Amazon Present Card
Bonus redemption threshold: Card approval
Credit score requirement: Truthful
Intro APR: None
APR for purchases: 15.99% to 23.99%
APR for steadiness transfers: 15.99% to 23.99%
Stability switch charge: 5% (minimal of $5)

This card is a must have for anybody who outlets recurrently Now. I am not even going to supply a minimal really useful threshold as there isn’t any draw back and few different playing cards supply Amazon-specific reductions.

Rewards particulars 

Given that you may purchase absolutely anything Now, 5% again on the favored on-line retailer is fairly candy. The cardboard additionally throws in 2% at eating places, fuel stations and drug shops, and 1% on all different purchases. Whereas Amazon affords a fundamental, non-Prime member card with three% again Now purchases, I am specializing in the Prime rewards card since I assume that should you’re making a big quantity of purchases every month (over $250) at Amazon or Complete Meals, you are more than likely a Prime member.

When to make use of this card 

In case you store a ton at Amazon and Complete Meals and a lot of the remainder of your spending is at eating places and on fuel, the Amazon Prime Rewards card could possibly be your solely cash-back card. Exterior of that particular spending profile, although, I like to recommend utilizing this card just like the others — as a complement to a flat-rate card to earn money for Amazon and Complete Meals purchases. 

Redemption particulars

You possibly can redeem factors at checkout whereas purchasing Now for any quantity, or redeem them as a press release credit score by Chase beginning at 2,000 factors ($20). Notice that Amazon encourages the Amazon redemption possibility (clearly) and would not point out money, however it’s actually a no-fee possibility that may be redeemed on the similar fee.

Rewards comparability

The one different card you would possibly wish to use for Amazon purchases is the Financial institution of America Money Rewards card, which affords three% again on on-line purchasing (if you choose that bonus class that quarter), which incorporates Amazon and a bunch of different on-line retailers. The share is 2% lower than Amazon’s card, however should you store at quite a lot of on-line retailers, this might make extra sense. With some fast math, you will see that if greater than half of your on-line purchasing is non-Amazon, the Financial institution of America Money Rewards card reaps essentially the most rewards. Alternatively, to get essentially the most money again, join each no-fee playing cards and use the BofA model for non-Amazon purchasing. 

Apple

Reward charges: three% on Apple, Uber and Walgreens purchases, 2% on Apple Pay purchases
Annual charge: $zero
New member bonus: $zero
Bonus redemption threshold: None
Credit score requirement: Truthful
Intro APR: None
APR for purchases: 12.49% to 23.49%
APR for steadiness transfers: Not supplied
Stability switch charge: Not supplied

Rewards particulars

The Apple Credit score Card has a singular rewards program construction, providing three% on Apple, Uber and Walgreens purchases (an eclectic mixture of classes to say the least), 2% on purchases made with Apple Pay and 1% on the whole lot else. However until you are an Apple tremendous shopper and on a regular basis Uber person, the three% class is not going to face out a lot. Plus, having to make use of Apple Pay to hit 2% compares poorly with the Citi Double Money card, which affords 2% on the whole lot, irrespective of the way you pay. There are some benefits to Apple’s card, although.

Different advantages

The Apple Credit score Card’s privacy policy states that they’ll “by no means share or promote your information to 3rd events for advertising or promoting,” a big gesture for these involved with their private information. The Apple Card’s reward construction can be distinct in that the money again seems instantly in your account, hitting your steadiness on the finish of every day. So if you cannot wait a month or two to redeem factors and one other Four-5 days for a press release credit score to put up to your account, the Apple Card’s instantaneous rewards could possibly be interesting. 

When to make use of this card 

If the first three% class (Apple, Uber and Walgreens) applies to a whole lot of your purchases, it is a good cash-back possibility. However, the two% for Apple Pay is somewhat flimsy given not all retailers settle for Apple Pay, whereas the Citi Double Money affords 2% it doesn’t matter what. This card is primarily for many who have an interest within the card’s privateness coverage and instantaneous rewards. 

Lastly, I ought to level out that Apple has made an enormous deal out of the low APR and lack of charges for issues like late funds, however given our working assumption that you just’re paying off your steadiness each month on time anyway, I see that as much less of a differentiating issue. Notice that the Apple Card would not report credit score exercise to all three main credit score bureaus (solely TransUnion), so should you’re attempting to construct your credit score rating, it is going to have much less of an affect. 

Ah, now we’re getting deep into every cashback bank card. These two playing cards will not often be your one-and-only playing cards, until your total spending is closely tilted towards one class. Nevertheless, they’ll get you 2% to Four% additional on sure classes, making them well worth the annual charge should you hit sure spending thresholds in these classes. 

With a $95 annual charge for every card, you want to be somewhat extra circumspect when deciding if a card is price it. Normally, having additional playing cards in your pockets carries little draw back (until you are not paying them off every month) and even helps your credit score rating by rising your complete out there credit score. However with these charge playing cards, you are charged the $95 yearly no matter how a lot you employ it, so take a beat to make sure it is sensible earlier than making use of. 

I like to recommend two on this class: The Capital One Savor card, which is nice for eating and leisure, and the Blue Money Most popular card from American Categorical for groceries. Each supply a $300 sign-on bonus, however the Blue Money Most popular threshold is way simpler to hit ($1,000 in spending within the first three months, vs. $three,000 in spending for the Savor). 

American Categorical

Reward charges: 6% money again on groceries as much as $6000 / 12 months. 6% on streaming companies, three% on transit and fuel
Annual charge: $95
New member bonus: $300
Bonus redemption threshold: $1,000 in first three months
Credit score requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: zero% (12 months)
APR for purchases: 14.49% to 25.49%
APR for steadiness transfers: 14.49% to 25.49%
Stability transfer charge: three% (minimal of $5)

Rewards particulars

The headline fee is the 6% on groceries, with a cap restrict of $6,000 yearly. In case you’re hitting the restrict, that 6% will reward you with $360 per 12 months. The rewards cap is somewhat annoying, however on condition that it really works out to $500 monthly on groceries, it normally will not come into play until you are a household of three or extra. The Blue Money Most popular card additionally affords 6% again on streaming companies, however with most People maxing out at about $40-50 monthly on streaming companies (and plenty of spend lower than that), that a part of the reward solely quantities to round $35 of annual worth. 

For many, the $300 bonus threshold may be very simple to hit, so you possibly can principally depend it as a certain factor. However, not like the Capital One Savor’s present supply, the charge is not waived for the primary 12 months.

When to make use of this card

Given the very beneficiant 6% cash-back fee, you solely have to spend about $140 monthly on groceries to make up for the charge, and about $200 monthly to earn the identical quantity of rewards as you’d with a 2% money again card. So should you spend greater than $200 monthly on groceries and streaming subscriptions, this turns into a worthwhile card. The actual candy spot is between about $350 and $500 month-to-month grocery spend, the place you are maxing out that 6%. 

I also needs to notice that there is a no-fee model of the Blue Money card, referred to as Blue Money On a regular basis. However contemplating the bonus distinction ($300 for Most popular vs $175 for On a regular basis) and the large cash-back distinction (6% on groceries vs. three%, respectively), I used to be laborious pressed to seek out many conditions the place the free card can be higher.

Redemption particulars

You possibly can redeem AmEx factors only as statement credits, with no choice to redeem them for journey, present playing cards or deposits right into a checking account. The minimal threshold for a redemption is $25. 

Capital One

Reward charges: Limitless Four% money again on eating and leisure, 2% at grocery shops
Annual charge: $95
New member bonus: $300
Bonus redemption threshold: $three,000 in first three months
Credit score requirement: Good to Glorious
Intro APR: None
APR for purchases: 15.99% to 24.99%
APR for steadiness transfers: 15.99% to 24.99%
Stability transfer charge: None**

Rewards particulars

The $300 bonus is a pleasant incentive to enroll, and successfully cancels out the annual charge for the primary three years. However, needless to say the $three,000 bonus threshold is pretty excessive, so that you would possibly want to make use of the cardboard for non-bonus class spending in these preliminary months to ensure you hit it. You will be sacrificing a number of proportion factors of rewards from different playing cards, nevertheless it’s price it to ensure you do not forego $300 — simply do the mathematics to make sure it is sensible.

The Savor card’s headline fee is the Four% you get on eating and leisure, which incorporates bars and eating places for eating and “tickets to a film, play, live performance, sporting occasion, vacationer attraction, theme park, aquarium, zoo, dance membership, pool corridor or bowling alley” for leisure. In case you’re like most American consumers who spend extra on eating than leisure, then notice the emphasis on that a part of the bonus. 

When to make use of this card

This card is sensible should you’re spending greater than about $300 monthly on eating and leisure. If that is the case, I like to recommend solely placing these purchases on it. There is not any motive to take the 1% penalty on non-dining and leisure purchases. For these, use your 1.5% or 2% card. 

Redemption particulars

You possibly can redeem your Capital One Savor factors within the type of a press release credit score or as a examine, at any quantity (no minimal thresholds or most incomes caps). 

** three% of the quantity of every transferred steadiness that posts to your account at a promotional APR that we might give you.

Disclaimer: The data included on this article, together with program options, program charges and credit out there by bank cards to use to such packages, might change from time-to-time and are offered with out guarantee. When evaluating affords, please examine the bank card supplier’s web site and overview its phrases and situations for essentially the most present affords and knowledge.