What Credit Card Has the Highest Cashback Rate? (We’ve Got the Answer)

Depending on your spending habits, you could be earning up to 6% cash back on your routine purchases.
Last updated Nov 12, 2021 | By Kat Tretina
Credit Cards with the Highest Cash Back Offers

FinanceBuzz is reader-supported. We may receive compensation from the products and services mentioned in this story, but the opinions are the author's own. Compensation may impact where offers appear. We have not included all available products or offers. Learn more about how we make money and our editorial policies.

If you aren’t using a cashback rewards card for all of your purchases, you’re basically leaving free money on the table. There are literally hundreds of cashback cards on the market that allow you to earn money back on every transaction you make. Many of these cards don’t even have an annual fee, so they’re free to use and have little downside.

But with so many credit cards out there, it can be hard to choose the right one for you. Below, you’ll learn which credit cards have the highest cashback rates and how to find the best card for your spending habits.

In this article

What is considered a high cashback rate?

When you’re looking for a cashback rewards card, the rewards you can earn will be dependent on the card’s structure.

For example, flat-rate rewards cards offer one cashback rate on all purchases. With these cards, there are no spending categories to remember, and they often have no limit on how much you can earn in rewards. An average flat-rate rewards credit card typically offers around 1.5% cash back on every purchase, so anything higher than that would be considered a high cashback rate.

Your other option is a card with spending categories. These cards offer higher levels of cash back — such as 3% to 5% — on certain purchases, like groceries or gas. They also usually have spending limits, so you’ll only earn the higher rate on some of your spending. For example, you may be able to get 3% back on groceries but only on up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter. So these cards in general take a bit more attention.

To help you find the right cashback card for your needs, we waded through the best credit cards on the market today to select the ones offering the highest levels of cash back: 2% cash back for flat-rate cards and 5% (or higher) for cards with spending categories. As you read on and compare the rewards offered by the best cashback credit cards, keep your own spending habits and organizational skills in mind.

The credit cards with the highest cashback offers

Card name Best for Bonus offer Rewards rate Annual fee
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express Groceries Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases $95 (waived first year) (See rates and fees)

Terms apply

Citi Custom Cash Card Flexible spending categories Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, and then 1% cash back after that), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases $0
Chase Freedom Flex Rotating bonus categories Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year) 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases $0
Chase Freedom Unlimited Travel Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year) 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases $0
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card Shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods Market $100 Amazon gift card upon approval 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases $0
Citi Double Cash Flat-rate cashback N/A up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay $0
Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card High spenders N/A 2.5% cash back on all purchases, on up to $10,000 in spending per billing cycle; unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other qualifying eligible purchases after that $0
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card Dining and entertainment Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2023), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% at grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases $95

Best for groceries: Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

If you spend a lot of money on groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express can help you earn significant rewards. It has a $95 (waived first year) annual fee, but you’ll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases.

To put that in perspective, let’s say you spend $6,000 per year at U.S. supermarkets. In one year, you’d earn $360 in cashback rewards in the form of statement credits

Read our full Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express review.

#1 Cash Back at Supermarkets

Intro Offer

$300 statement credit

Annual Fee

$95 (waived first year)

Rewards Rate

up to 6% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back on U.S. streaming services and at U.S. supermarkets
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit
  • $95 annual fee. Terms apply.

Drawbacks

  • Has annual fee after first year
  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $300 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1X) and on U.S. streaming services, 3% at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% on other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 12 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)
  • Terms apply

Best for flexible spending categories: Citi Custom Cash

The Citi Custom Cash allows cardmembers to earn 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, and then 1% cash back after that), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. 

Eligible spending categories include groceries, restaurants, gas stations, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment. Given the range of bonus cashback categories, there's a good chance they'll align with your everyday purchases. 

If you spent the maximum $1,500 each quarter and qualified for the 5% cash back rate, you’d earn $300 in cash back rewards in a year.

Read our full Citi Custom Cash review.

Automatically Earn the Most on What You Spend the Most

Citi Custom Cash Card

Citi Custom Cash Card

Citi Custom Cash Card

Intro Offer

$200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 cash back welcome bonus
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases
  • 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent)
  • 1% cash back on everything else
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • 5% cash back in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent, and then 1% cash back after that), plus unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)

Best for rotating bonus categories: Chase Freedom Flex

Rotating bonus category cards generally allow you to activate categories — typically every quarter — and earn bonus rewards in those categories. If you appreciate the flexibility of earning bonus rewards in a category of your choice, the Chase Freedom Flex might be a good option for you.

With the $0-annual-fee Freedom Flex, you'll get 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases.

Read our Chase Freedom Flex review.

Seriously Powerful Cashback Card

Intro Offer

$200

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • Up to 5% cash back on spending
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (up to $12k your first year)
  • Lyft and DoorDash perks

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year)
  • 5% on rotating quarterly categories (on up to $1,500 spent) and travel purchased through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal; 3% at restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and drugstores; and 1% on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 24.74% (variable)

Best for travel: Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you want to earn bonus rewards on travel purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited could be a good addition to your wallet. This card offers a generous sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year). Plus, it has a $0 annual fee, and you'll get 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.  

While the Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cashback credit card, it technically earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Cardholders enjoy flexible redemption options, including the opportunity to redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards, travel, or online shopping on Amazon. 

Read our full Chase Freedom Unlimited review

Unlimited Cash Back

Intro Offer

$200 cash back

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 5% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $200 sign-up bonus
  • Bonus rewards on travel, dining, and drugstores
  • 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (up to $12k in your first year)
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases

Drawbacks

  • Has foreign transaction fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target or Walmart; up to $12,000 in the first year)
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases
  • Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 23.74% (variable)

Best for shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods Market: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is an excellent option if you shop online at Amazon.com or like to do your grocery shopping at Whole Foods Market. It has no annual fee, and you’ll earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market and 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Read our full Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card review.

Best flat-rate cashback card: Citi Double Cash Card

If you don’t want to worry about spending categories, the Citi Double Cash Card can be a solid choice. It has no annual fee, but you can up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay.

That’s an above-average offer for a flat-rate card with no annual fee, and it also offers another perk: an introductory APR. Cardmembers get 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)). This could be useful if you want to transfer debt from a card with a higher interest rate and pay it off over time. 

Read our full Citi Double Cash Card review

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • No sign-up bonus
Card Details
  • Earn cash back twice: 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay
  • up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 18 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)

Best for high spenders: Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card

If you have good-to-excellent credit and spend a lot of money with your credit cards, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card may be a great choice for you. 

This card comes with an annual fee of $0. It's unusual in that it offers a tiered rewards system. If you meet certain requirements, including opening an Alliant High-Rate Checking account and maintaining a minimum daily balance of $1,000 for the previous quarter, you get 2.5% cash back on all purchases, on up to $10,000 in spending per billing cycle; unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other qualifying eligible purchases after that. If you don't meet these requirements, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on your purchases.

If you spent $40,000 in your first year as a cardmember and qualified for the higher rewards tier, you’d earn $1,200 in cashback rewards.

Best for dining and entertainment: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

With the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card, you’ll earn 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2023), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% at grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases.

What makes this card really stand out is that there’s no spending cap on how much cash back you can earn in each category. With other cards, you’d only earn the higher rate of return on the first $1,500 or $2,500 spent per quarter. The Savor card doesn’t have a limit, so if you spend a significant amount of money dining out or on entertainment, this credit card offers a large amount of rewards.

Read our full Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Card review

Top Cash Back

Intro Offer

$300 cash bonus

Annual Fee

$95

Rewards Rate

up to 8% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • $300 cash back welcome offer
  • 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • No foreign transaction fees

Drawbacks

  • Minimal travel benefits
  • Has annual fee
Card Details
  • Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2023), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% at grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases

Special mention: 

Lowe’s Advantage Card

Store cards rarely offer outstanding rewards, but the Lowe’s credit card is an exception. You’ll get 5% off every eligible purchase you make with your card, making it a great option if you’re renovating your home or enjoy do-it-yourself projects.

How to pick the best cashback credit card for you

To choose the best cashback credit card for you, review your bank and current credit card statements to get an idea of your spending habits. Identify the categories where you spend the most money. That will help you find the credit card that will allow you to earn the most rewards in those areas. 

For instance, if you spend a lot at the supermarket, you might benefit from one of the best credit cards for groceries. Or if you have a long commute, you might get the most value from one of the best credit cards for gas

Other factors to consider include:

  • Types of cashback credit cards: Are you interested in rotating categories, certain bonus categories, or flat-rate cash back?
  • Credit history: Do you know your credit score? Many of the top cashback cards require a good to excellent credit score.
  • Redemption options: Are you simply interested in redeeming your rewards for cash back? Or do you want more flexible redemptions?
  • Bonus offer: Is a bonus offer important to you? Choosing a card with a generous bonus offer could help you maximize your cashback earnings.
  • Annual fee: Do you want a no-annual-fee card? Or are you OK with paying an annual fee?

The bottom line

With one of the best cashback credit cards, you can earn valuable rewards just with your normal spending. If you pay off your balance in full each month, you’ll avoid costly interest fees, so it’s basically like getting free money back.

If you do plan on juggling multiple credit cards, make sure you’re organized. Track bonus categories and use the right cards to earn the highest rate of cash back.

Lastly, have a plan for your cashback rewards! You can use them to pay off your balance, or save the money that accrued to pay for a trip or even your holiday shopping. Using a cashback rewards card can help you earn hundreds of dollars each year and work toward your personal finance goals.

Earn Cash Back Twice

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash Card

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

up to 2% cash back

Benefits and Drawbacks

Benefits

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months
  • 2% cash back on all purchases - 1% when you buy and 1% when you pay
  • No annual fee

Drawbacks

  • Foreign transaction fee
  • No sign-up bonus
Card Details
  • Earn cash back twice: 1% when you buy + 1% when you pay
  • up to 2% cash back on all purchases: 1% as you buy and 1% as you pay
  • Intro balance transfer 0% offer: 0% for 18 months then 13.99% to 23.99% (variable)

Author Details

Kat Tretina Kat Tretina is a freelance writer based in Orlando, Florida. Her work has been published by publications like The Huffington Post, Entrepreneur, MarketWatch, and more. She specializes in producing content around paying down debt, increasing income, and maximizing credit cards. You can view her work at www.KTretina.com, or contact her on Twitter @KatTretina.