Cashback credit cards are the easiest way to earn rewards for all your purchases. Whether you're buying groceries, gas, or enjoying a meal out, using a cashback card means money back in your wallet.
There are dozens of cashback cards to choice from. The key is picking one (or two, or three) that align with your spending habits and goals, then using your cards responsibly. We've narrowed down the choices for you — All of these cards offer competitive cash back, many with no annual fee and welcome bonuses.
Earn a $150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Why We Like It
With no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a powerful rewards credit card. It has an easy-to-earn signup bonus for new cardmembers, and a simple rewards structure.
It’s best for people who want a simple rewards card to use for all of their routine purchases instead of juggling multiple credit cards. You’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
The Chase Freedom Unlimited card is a great choice if you’re planning on making a major purchase or if you have high-interest credit card debt. It has an introductory 0% APR offer for 15 months after account opening on purchases and balance transfers, giving you over a year to pay down your balance without paying interest charges.
Citi Double Cash Card
Earn cash back twice: 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay
Why We Like It
The Citi Double Cash Card lets you earn cash back twice. Earn 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% when you pay. To earn cash back, just be sure to pay at least the minimum due on time.
In addition to unlimited cash back on all your purchases with no confusing categories, this card also offers a 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 18 months and no annual fee.
$150 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Why We Like It
If you want a powerhouse cash back rewards card that has no annual fee, consider the Chase Freedom card. It has an easy-to-earn signup bonus for new cardmembers, and you can maximize your rewards by taking advantage of rotating spending categories.
You can earn up to 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter, giving you a higher return than if you used a cash back card with a flat rewards rate. In the past, spending categories have included gas stations, drugstores, grocery stores, streaming services, department stores, and PayPal purchases.
The Chase Freedom card offers 0% APR on purchases and balances transfers for 15 months after account opening, giving you 15 months to pay down your balance without worrying about interest charges.
Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Why We Like It
If you’re looking for a powerful rewards card, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express allows you to earn up to a whopping 6% cash back in select categories.
You’ll earn 6% cash back on the first $6,000 you spend at U.S. supermarkets and on U.S. streaming services and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit expenses, including taxi fares, rideshare costs, and train tickets.
The card does have a generous welcome offer, and you’ll get 0% APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers. That offer gives you a full year to finance a major purchase or pay down high-interest debt without paying interest charges, helping you save money. Terms apply.
Earn $150 cash back after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Why We Like It
If you have good to excellent credit and want a rewards credit card that allows you to earn valuable cash back on your most common purchases, the Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express may be a good match for you.
You’ll earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 spent per year, 2% at U.S. gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. There’s also an easy-to-earn welcome bonus, a nice perk for a card that has no annual fee.
But one of the card’s best perks is its introductory APR. You’ll get 0% APR on new purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, giving you over a year before you have to worry about paying interest charges. Terms apply.
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa Card
$150 cash reward after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Why We Like It
If you want a simple rewards card without the stress of worrying about rotating spending categories, consider the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa. It has an easy-to-earn welcome bonus, flat rewards structure, and a generous introductory APR offer.
During your first 12 months as a cardmember, you’ll earn 1.8% cash back on purchases made with a qualifying mobile wallet. After that, you’ll earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.
For a card with no annual fee, the Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa offers some outstanding benefits. When you use the credit card to pay your monthly cell phone bill, you automatically get cell phone protection.
The card also has an introductory 0% APR offer on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from account opening.
Offering money in the form of statement credits or cash has proven to be a popular strategy for credit card issuers to attract and keep customers. As a result, there are an abundance of cashback cards to choose from in the market.
But there is more to choosing a cashback card than just picking one out of a stack of offers from your mailbox. Some cards will fit your lifestyle and financial situation better than others, which is why it’s smart to shop around first and check out the options before making any decisions.
How to pick the right cashback card for you
When shopping for a credit card, you should always look to see whether the benefits of a card provide value to you. For example, if you routinely spend money on dining and entertainment, a rewards card that gives you a high percentage of cash back for these purchases could be a good choice. A card that offers rewards on groceries or gas might not provide as much value if those are lower spending categories for you.
To evaluate a card, read through the terms and conditions so you can fully understand what benefits the card is offering, what your obligations are, how you can use the rewards you can earn, and what interest and fees are associated with the card.
How do cashback credit cards work?
When you use a cashback credit card, the issuer gives you back a percentage of what you spend on eligible charges. For example, if you have a card that offers 1.5% back on all purchases and you buy a $10 birthday cake, the card issuer will give you 15 cents back.
Cash back is typically offered to you in either statement credits, direct deposits to your checking account, mailed checks, or credits you can use to purchase gift cards. Some issuers even let you donate your cash back to a charity.
What credit card gives the most cash back?
That’s a complicated question, as different people value different things with cashback cards. A card that offers 5% back on dining and entertainment won’t be as valuable to a family who doesn’t go out to eat much. However, a card that gives them 3% back on groceries may greatly appeal to them, even though the percentage is lower.
What’s important is deciding what matters most to you and what your spending habits are, so you can look for cards that offer high cashback rates for the purchases you make most. High percentages are generally anything above 2%, as most cash back cards offer 1% or 1.5% on general purchases.
Why do credit cards offer cash back?
Competition among credit card issuers is fierce and any kind of incentive program, such as rewards or cash back, can make one card more appealing than others. In a way, it’s all about getting your business.
The money you get back typically comes from transaction fees that merchants pay every time they process a charge. The issuer takes a percentage of those fees and passes it on to customers with cashback cards.
Getting a percentage of money back encourages consumers to swipe more, which results in more transaction fees collected from merchants by the issuer. You may also find that cashback cards often have higher interest rates than those without rewards. Because these cards are so popular, issuers can set their APRs higher and still gain new customers.
Is it better to get cash back or rewards?
Whether cash back or miles are better really depends on you and what you value most. If you like to travel, rewards that can be traded in for airline tickets, statement credits, and hotel stays may be worth more than cash back. However, some credit cards offer cashback rewards that can save customers a lot of money annually, which may be more important for someone else. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which is better for your situation.
How we chose these cards
To select the best cashback credit cards, we looked for cards from our partners that offer high cash back-earning opportunities in popular spending categories, as well as strong welcome offers. We looked at these benefits in relation to each card's annual fee to determine which cards to include on our list. We did not include all cards available.
No-Frills Cash Back
- $150 early spend bonus
- No annual fee
- 0% intro APR on purchases and transfers for 15 months
- 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day