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.
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.
Earn a $200 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. It has an introductory 0% APR offer for 15 months after account opening on purchases, giving you over a year to pay down your balance without paying interest charges.
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.