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The 7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Opt for a card that rewards your most common purchases, or earn a little extra dough on everything.
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One of the most valuable features of a credit card can be its rewards program. Cash back credit cards are among the most popular because they can help you earn hundreds — even thousands — of dollars on purchases you'd make anyway.

We've rounded up a selection of seven great cash back credit cards to help you pick the right one for your needs.

3 Questions to Ask Before You Choose a Card

It's important to choose the right card for your needs. For instance, the value of your cash back rewards will be significantly reduced if you can't pay off the balance each month. You'll also need to calculate any fees and weigh them against the potential cash back you'll earn.

Before applying to any cash back card, ask yourself these questions:

  • Does most of your spending fall into a category like gas or groceries? Opt for a card that rewards your shopping habits. (Note that some cards have rotating categories.)
  • Do you make lots of purchases abroad? Look for a card with lower foreign transaction fees.
  • Would you prefer a flat-rate cash back credit card? Some cards award points on every purchase.

7 Great Credit Cards for Earning Cash Back

Cash Back credit cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Fees: No annual fee; 3% foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; then 15.99% to 24.74%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $150 bonus cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first three months of opening the account.

Benefits and Rewards: With this card, you'll earn 1.5% Cash Back rewards for each $1 spent, with no category restrictions.


Citi Double Cash Card

Fees: No annual fee; 3% foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR for balance transfers for 18 months when transferred within four months of opening the account; then 14.49% to 24.49%

Sign-Up Bonus: No new cardholder bonus.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn 1% cash back when you use your card to pay for purchases, and then earn an additional 1% cash back when you pay off the purchases on your card.


Discover it Card

Fees: No annual fee; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 14 months; then 11.99% to 23.99%

Sign-Up Bonus: At the end of your first year, Discover will match the cash back you've earned.

Benefits and Rewards: This card awards 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases). All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back. The card includes a free FICO score and a Freeze It feature if your card is lost or stolen.


PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature

Fees: No annual fee; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made between July 1, 2017 – September 30, 2017, then 9.74% to 17.99% for balance transfers and purchases

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a $100 statement credit after spending $1,500 in the first 90 days.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn 5X points on gas, 3X points at supermarkets, and 1X points on other purchases. You can redeem your points for gift cards with popular restaurants and retailers, and travel with many different airlines, hotels, and car rental companies.


Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express

Fees: $95 annual fee waived for the first year; 2.7% foreign transaction fee

APR: 13.99% to 24.99%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $1,000 within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits and Rewards: Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases) and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. Plus, all other purchases earn 1%.


Cash Back credit cards

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Fees: No annual fee; 3% foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR for purchases and balance transfers for 12 billing cycles; then 13.99% to 23.99%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a $150 online cash rewards bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days.

Benefits and Rewards: This card awards 3% cash back on gas, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery, wholesale club, and gas purchases each quarter), and 1% cash back on other purchases. Cardholders also get a 10% bonus when they redeem their cash back into a Bank of America checking or savings account.


Quicksilver From Capital One

Fees: No annual fee; no foreign transaction fee

APR: 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 9 months; then 13.99% to 23.99%

Sign-Up Bonus: Earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $1000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account.

Benefits and Rewards: This card awards an unlimited flat rate of 1.5% cash back on all purchases, without any rotating categories. You also get a 50% statement credit when you use this card to pay for your monthly Spotify Premium subscription.

Readers, what credit cards do you use for cash back? Tell us in the comments below!


Contributing Writer

Christina Majaski is a freelance writer and mom of daughter Chloe and dog Monty in Central Minnesota. She has covered social media, personal finance, law, business, and travel for various online and print publications since 2003. You can read her work online at Wise Bread, Digital Trends, PayScale, and many others.
DealNews may be compensated by companies mentioned in this article. Please note that, although prices sometimes fluctuate or expire unexpectedly, all products and deals mentioned in this feature were available at the lowest total price we could find at the time of publication (unless otherwise specified).
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10 comments
khaino
doesn't paypal have a new cash reward card as well? probably worth checking out.
TimsDeals
Spark Business from Capital One, better than my quicksilver, yes it has a $59 annual fee, but if you use it for much of any business transactions the $25 credits just keep rolling in at 2% on everything!, no limits ! and no foreign transaction fees!
starsgirl97
Amex blue cash preferred obtained in December charged full $95 fee. Redeem in $25 increments, not $20.
pdot
PenFed has a 2% cash back card called, Power Cash Rewards, if you also have a checking account with them, 1.5% otherwise. No annual or foreign transaction fees. Much more versatile than their Platinum Rewards card.
MrERISA
Also take a look at the Fidelity Visa, offered through Elan Financial Services. You have the choice of redeeming for stuff, or just having an automatic 2% across the board deposited in a Fidelity account (including a bank account). There is no annual fee, and the foreign exchange fee is 1%. They also have free FICO scores. I have no idea what the interest rates are, as all of these cards are usurious--the best thing you can say is that they are better than payday loans.
robyeider
Amazon Rewards Visa Card gives 5% Back at Amazon.com with an eligible
Prime membership.
3% Back at Amazon.com.
2 % Back at restaurants, gas stations,
and drugstores.
1% Back on all other purchases.
mwrobison
Check out the Costco Visa (https://www.citi.com/...-anywhere-visa-credit-card) and Sam's Club MasterCard (https://www.samsclub.com/...nt.jsp?pageName=credit) as well.
m1st01
Remember to check whether you have increments in your redemption. CapitalOne Quicksilver 1.5% lets you apply your rewards and use them at any amount you choose, while the Blue Cash Preferred Card From American Express at my last recollection only lets you redeem in amounts of $20. So if you have $37 in rewards, you only get $20 and $17 are locked away. AmEx does offer benefits such as rental car/travel insurance for cheap, but you should weigh options if you want to redeem the whole amount.
Lindsay Sakraida (DealNews)
@GeoC

That's a very good note, thanks for that!
GeoC
One comment on the PenFed Platinum card which I have and use (for gas and supermarket): They don't give you full value for your points when redeeming for any gift cards including their cash-back VISA card. All other cards I use (mostly Citi Double) give you full value. PenFed is still a good deal, if only for gas and markets, but I'll switch if someone else betters their redemption value.