Best Cash Back Credit Cards of July 2024

CREDIT CARDS - CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS
Updated July 18, 2024
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Cash back 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 cash back card means earning money back in your bank account. 

There are dozens of cash back cards to choose from when you're looking for the best credit cards. The key is picking one (or two, or three) that align with your spending habits and personal finance goals, then using your cards responsibly. We've narrowed down the choices for you — all of these cards offer competitive cash back rewards, and many offer generous welcome bonuses and no annual fee. 

In this article

Our picks for the best cash back cards

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card(Rates and fees)
  • U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
  • Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
  • Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card
  • Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
  • Citi Double Cash® Card
  • Chase Freedom Unlimited®
  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

5.0

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.5

Current Offer

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)

Why We Like It
Card Details
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
4.5

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Current Offer

Earn a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on two categories you choose (up to $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter) and on prepaid air, hotel and car reservations booked directly in the Rewards Center; 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations/EV charging stations, grocery stores, or restaurants; and 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.5

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.8

Current Offer

Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year; 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year; and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.4

Annual Fee

$0

Why We Like It
Card Details
5.0

Current Offer

Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on eligible purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 per year thereafter

Rewards Rate

6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.8

Current Offer

Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.7

Current Offer

Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and 3% cash back on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). After your first year or $20,000 spent, earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel℠, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details
4.9

Current Offer

Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases

Why We Like It
Card Details

How to pick the right cash back card for you

When you're looking for a new credit card, you should always look to see whether the benefits of a particular card provide value to you. You can get started learning about a card by reading credit card reviews and comparisons. But at the end of the day, which card will work best for you comes down to your personal spending habits and lifestyle. Still, there are a few common factors to consider no matter which card you're investigating.

You should also compare various cards' perks. Some cash back credit cards offer extra features beyond rewards, such as purchases protection or specific deals on things like rideshare purchases.

Bonus categories and rewards

If you eat out a lot and routinely spend money on travel purchases, then you might want a credit card that offers higher rewards rates on those types of purchases. Some cash back cards have consistent rewards rates for particular categories, while other some other cash back cards give you higher rewards (upon activation) for purchases in various categories that rotate throughout the year. (They usually rotate once every quarter.) 

Among credit cards with rotating bonus categories, there are even a few that let you pick your highest earning rate for rewards in the category of your choice. 

Many cash back credit cards offer bonus rewards rates on things like groceries and gas, which might not provide as much value for you if you don't spend as much in those categories. But you can look for a cash back card that has higher rates in the categories you spend in the most.

What about travel credit cards?

If you spend a lot on travel each year, then you might want to consider travel-specific credit cards that earn points or miles that you can redeem directly for travel.

Regardless of what type of card you choose, read through the card offer details so you can fully understand what benefits the card is offering, what your obligations are, and what to expect in terms of its rewards rates. You should also understand how you can use the rewards you can earn and what interest and fees are associated with the card. 

Fees

Common credit card fees include foreign transaction fees, cash advance fees, and balance transfer fees. Do your due diligence so you know what to expect from the card you want to apply for.

Some cash back cards also charge an annual fee, but many don't. If a card has an annual fee, and you don't think the card's rewards justify its annual cost, then you should choose a no-annual-fee card, or a different card with a better rewards program that could offset the annual fee. 

0% intro APR and balance transfer cards

In addition to earning cash rewards, some cash back cards also offer a 0% intro APR on purchases or balance transfers for a set time period — usually a number of months or billing cycles. If you're interested in transferring a balance to a new card to save on interest, make sure you review the fine print about balance transfer fees, which typically cost around 3% to 5% of the amount of each balance transferred. 

Whether you're planning to do a balance transfer or make a large purchase with your new 0% APR card, make sure you can pay off the entire balance of your card before the introductory APR offer ends and the regular variable APR kicks in. Paying off your balance on time can help you save on costly interest charges.

Tip
There are also cash back business credit cards with rewards categories tailored to typical small business expenses.

FAQs about cash back credit cards

How do cash back credit cards work?

When you use a cash back credit card, the issuer gives you back rewards as a percentage of what you spend on qualifying purchases. You can usually redeem these rewards for statement credits, and sometimes for other things, like gift cards.

There are different types of cash back credit cards. For example, if you have a flat-rate cash back 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. Certain cash back cards also offer rotating bonus categories, which typically vary from quarter to quarter.

One quarter, bonus cashback categories might include eligible online shopping purchases on sites like Amazon, Target, or Walmart. The next quarter, you might earn bonus cash at a wholesale club or home improvement store, or on a streaming subscription. As an added bonus, some issuers will even match the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, up to a certain amount.

The exact rewards structure will vary from card to card, though redemption options may be similar across credit cards. Some typical cashback redemption options include 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?

It depends on what categories you spend in the most. A card that offers a 5% cashback rewards rate on dining and entertainment won’t be as valuable to a family who doesn’t go out to eat very much. However, a card that offers 3% back at select U.S. grocery stores may be very valuable to the same family, even though the rewards percentage is lower.

You should decide what matters most to you and examine what your spending habits look like. Then you can look for cards that offer high cashback rates for the purchases you make most.

High percentages are generally 2% or more, as most cash back cards offer 1% or 1.5% on select purchases. And don't forget to pay attention to spending caps for certain categories, which limit how much of your annual spending on the card is eligible to earn rewards. 

In general, here are some excellent cards for earning cash back in different categories:

Why do credit cards offer cash back?

Because issuers want to give you a reason to apply for their credit cards over others. 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 another.

The rewards you get back typically come from transaction fees that merchants pay every time they process a charge. The issuer takes a percentage of those fees and passes some of them on to customers as rewards for using cash back cards.

Getting a percentage of money back encourages consumers to swipe more, which results in more transaction fees that the issuer can collect from merchants. You may also find that cash back cards have higher interest rates than credit cards that don't offer rewards. That's because these cards are so popular that issuers can set their APRs higher and still gain new customers.

Is it better to get cash back or rewards?

Whether cash back or points/miles are better depends on what you value most. Big travel spenders might appreciate rewards that can be traded in for airline tickets, statement credits, and hotel stays. These points may be worth more than cash back depending on how you earn and redeem them.

However, some credit cards offer cashback rewards that can save customers a lot of money annually, which may be more important for you. In the end, it’s up to you to decide which is better for your lifestyle.

If you'd prefer more flexibility, certain cashback rewards cards allow you to use your cash back to book travel. This can give you the best of both worlds if you're on the fence about which type of card to choose. For instance, if you have the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can convert your cashback earnings into travel rewards and use them to book travel through the Chase Travel program.

What credit score do you need to get approved for a cash back credit card?

Every issuer will likely consider your creditworthiness when you apply for a new cash back card — but exact credit requirements vary. Some issuers require excellent credit for approval, while others may approve your application even if you have a credit score on the low side, or a more limited credit history.

Issuers are in charge of approval/rejection, and it's at their discretion. To increase your options when it comes to credit cards, it's a good idea to learn more about how FICO Scores work and how to improve your credit score.


Methodology: How we chose these cards

To select the best cashback credit cards, we looked for cash rewards credit cards from our partners that offer bonus cash back-earning opportunities in popular spending categories, as well as strong welcome offers/sign-up bonuses. 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.

Lucrative, Flat-Rate Cash Rewards

5.0

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Current Offer

$200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details