Cash back credit cards are popular because they provide tangible, easy-to-understand benefits. Who doesn’t like getting a credit on their monthly credit card statement – or, better yet, actual cash deposited into the account of their choice? Cash back credit cards can be even more popular than our top-rated gas credit cards and travel rewards cards.
But not all cash back credit cards are created equally.
Some offer the same cash back rate on all purchases. Others offer higher cash back rates on certain spending categories, such as groceries or gas, and lower rates on everything else. Others offer bonus cash back on spending categories that rotate every quarter. A few accrue cash back on purchases and monthly payments. And some cash back cards even hew to hybrid models, with cash back on certain spending categories and different types of rewards (such as airline miles) on others.
You’ll find each type of card on this list of the best cash back cards available to U.S. consumers today. Keep in mind that most cash back credit cards require applicants to have good to excellent credit – usually indicated by a credit score above 700, and sometimes even higher. If you don’t meet that threshold, work on building your credit before applying.
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
1. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on all Purchases; 1.8% Cash Back on Apple Pay & Android Pay Purchases for 12 Months; $200 Sign-up Bonus
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is one of a growing cohort of “1.5% cards” – cash back credit cards that earn a flat, unlimited 1.5% return on spending. However, it comes with a nice twist: in addition to an attractive $200 sign-up bonus that requires $1,000 in spending within the first 3 months, Wells Fargo offers unlimited 1.8% cash back on all Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases made during the first 12 months. If you’re a fan of mobile wallet technology, you’ll love this benefit – and likely profit handsomely from it.
Once you clear the $20 cash back threshold, you can reap your rewards at Wells Fargo ATMs nationwide. When you hit $25, additional doors open – you can then redeem for paper checks, statement credits, or deposits into your Wells Fargo bank account. If you’re already a Wells Fargo deposit account holder, this card comes with low-cost overdraft protection transfer capabilities too. Just remember to opt in after signing up.
- Sign-up Bonus: When you make $1,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of sign-up, you get a $200 cash bonus. You also get 1.8% cash back on all Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases made within the first 12 months. There’s no limit to how much you can earn through Apple Pay and Android Pay.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, including Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases made after the 12-month introductory period.
- Redemption: The minimum redemption is $20 to $25, depending on how you choose to redeem. ATM redemptions allow the lower threshold.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. During the first year, balance transfers cost either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. After that, they cost the greater of $5 or 5%.
- Other Perks: The cell phone protection plan covers certain communications devices up to $600 per incident and $1,200 per year. Travel inconvenience coverage reimburses travelers for lost or damaged baggage. Overdraft protection transfers (opt-in) cost $12.50 to $20, depending on transfer size.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Double Cash Back in the First Year (Up to $600); Then 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited is similar to the flagship Chase Freedom Card, but with an important distinction: Instead of flat 1% cash back and rotating 5% cash back categories with quarterly spending caps, it simply earns an unlimited 1.5% on all purchases. You can redeem for virtually anything, in any amount, at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal – including cash equivalents, merchandise, and travel.
Chase Freedom Unlimited has a great (and sometimes overlooked) perk for loyal Chase credit card customers. If you also have the Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee) business card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) travel rewards card, you can transfer points earned through Freedom Unlimited to those accounts. You can then transfer those points at a 1-to-1 ratio to a number of different frequent traveler programs, or redeem them for travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal and receive a 25% bonus (for instance, boosting the value of a 50,000-point redemption to $625).
However, keep in mind that you need to obtain either Ink Preferred or Sapphire Preferred/Reserve – and remember, having Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t necessarily qualify you for those cards.
- Sign-up Bonus: Earn Double Cash Back – that’s 3% cash back on all purchases during the first year, up to $20,000 spent. After that, earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Redemption: You can redeem your accumulated cash back rewards in any amount. Redemption methods include statement credits, bank account deposits, gift cards, general merchandise purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal and direct with third-party retailers such as Amazon, and travel purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Introductory APR: 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months after account opening.
- Regular APR: Following the end of the introductory period, Chase Freedom Unlimited’s regular APR ranges from 17.24% to 25.99% variable, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 27.24% variable. There is no penalty APR.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, and foreign transactions cost 3% of the total transaction amount.
- Other Perks: Additional benefits include purchase protection (up to $500 per item for 120 days after purchase), price protection (reimbursement for up to $500 of the difference between your higher purchase price and a lower advertised price within 90 days of purchase), and a free credit score (updated weekly) with Chase Credit Journey.
3. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases; $150 Early Spend Bonus
Quicksilver Cash Rewards complements a host of other Capital One financial products, including the Capital One 360 banking platform. Its cash back perk is attractive and easy to understand: 1.5% cash back on all purchases, everywhere, with no spending caps or rotating categories. You can redeem cash back for a statement credit, bank account deposit, or gift card.
If your spending spans a wide range of categories, this is one of the better general-purpose cash back cards. However, it’s not as strong a choice if you’re looking to maximize your spending in specific categories, such as grocery purchases or travel.
- Early Spend Bonus: Earn $150 when you make $500 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Redemption: Redeem in any amount for statement credits, bank account deposits, or gift cards. You can also set up automatic redemptions at predetermined thresholds ($25, $50, $100, or $200) and receive your cash back in your preferred mode when you hit the threshold.
- Introductory APR: 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for the first 9 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 3%.
- Other Perks: Card membership automatically entitles you to Visa Signature benefits, including travel upgrades, exclusive shopping discounts, and preferred seating at sporting events and concerts.
4. Citi® Double Cash Card
1% Cash Back When You Spend + 1% Cash Back When You Pay Your Balance; 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 18 Months
Citi Double Cash Card’s two-tiered cash back program rewards cardholders who pay their balances in full each month.
As long as you’re a cardholder in good standing, you’re guaranteed to earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases that post to your Double Cash account. But you’ll only achieve the card’s effective 2% cash back rate when you pay off your balance in full – as you should, under normal circumstances.
2% cash back isn’t the only Double Cash benefit worth touting. The card’s 18-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion is among the best in the category, and the value-added perks are unusually generous for a no-annual-fee card.
- Sign-up Bonus: There’s presently no sign-up bonus on the Citi Double Cash Card. Check back for updates.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases when they post to your account, then another 1% cash back on all balance payments, for a total effective cash back rate of 2% when you pay your balance in full. You must make at least the minimum payment to qualify for the 1% cash back rate on balance payments during that statement cycle. Cash back expires after 12 months of account dormancy (no purchases or redemptions).
- Redemption: The minimum redemption is $25.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
- Other Perks: Citi® Private Pass® boasts presale tickets, VIP admission, and complimentary access to paid events, among other entertainment benefits. Citi® Concierge is a 24/7 specialist service built to assist cardholders with travel, shopping, dining, entertainment………Read More>>