Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Juan Ruiz
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Cash-back is the easiest type of reward to understand. That’s why many consumers and business owners gravitate towards cash-back. It’s something that they inherently grasp, so they like the idea of getting cash-back rewards.
Historically, cash-back rewards credit cards have been relatively mediocre — the average card would boast 1% cash-back.
But in recent years, competition in this space has grown significantly — today, there are 2% cash-back credit cards that are worth talking about.
Let’s take a look at your best options for 2% cash-back credit cards.
This is known as an interchange fee — and each company has unique interchange fee structures.
In general, Visa and Mastercard have the lowest interchange fees, which is why Visa and Mastercard generally enjoy the best credit card acceptance in the world.
And even though different types of Visa credit cards have different interchange fees, the reality is that a credit card issuer such as Chase will probably try not to lose money on interchange fees.
Although a bank wants to incentivize you to use credit cards as much as possible, they cannot do so unprofitably — so there’s a maximum ceiling of rewards they can offer you for every dollar you swipe.
Though there are different ways for banks to make money, such as with interest and late fees, the highest cash-back percentage we’ll likely see a credit card offer is 2%.
There are tons of cards that offer cash-back with higher bonus categories, hoops to jump through, or exclusions, but you can generally expect the highest cash-back percentage for all purchases (with no maximums or major exclusions) to hover around 2%.
See our top picks for the best 2% cash-back credit cards, starting with personal cards!
The competition for a 2% cash-back personal credit card is very fierce, but there are a few clear winners in terms of combining simplicity with rewards.
Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!
This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.
Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.
The most obvious winner in the 2% cash-back segment for personal credit cards is the Double Cash card.
This fantastic product earns 2% cash-back on all purchases — 1x ThankYou Point when you buy and 1x ThankYou Point when you pay. These ThankYou Points can be redeemed for cash-back at a ratio of 1 point to 1 cent.
We absolutely love this card because it has no caps or category restrictions; all of your rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit, direct deposit, or a check.
Additionally, if you have a qualifying ThankYou Rewards card such as the Citi Premier® Card, you can transfer your points to Citi’s travel partners and increase the value of your rewards by redeeming them for luxury travel!
And although this credit card doesn’t usually offer a welcome bonus, it does have an introductory 0% balance transfer APR, which can be handy if you’d like to consolidate high-rate balances on any of your other personal credit cards.
This card comes with access to Citi Entertainment, zero fraud liability, and 24/7 customer service. There are no fees for authorized users, either.
The Double Cash card has no annual fee.
Why We Like Earning Citi ThankYou Rewards Points
We’ve mentioned that the Double Cash card is marketed as a cash-back card, but it actually earns ThankYou Rewards Points. On its own, the card can transfer points to JetBlue TrueBlue, Choice Privileges, and Wyndham Rewards at reduced ratios, but if you have a premium ThankYou Rewards card, you can easily access all of Citi’s airline and hotel partners at the best ratios.
Indeed, you can redeem ThankYou points to book amazing flights like Singapore Airlines business class!
You’ll get some incredible value by transferring your points to travel partners, but you can also redeem your points for cash-back, charity, merchandise, gift cards, and more, albeit at a worse value.
The Synchrony Premier World card offers simple 2% cash-back rewards, but it’s surprisingly one of the least well-known products out there.
On every statement, you’ll earn 2% cash-back on all purchases with no caps, and the rewards are applied as statement credits automatically.
This card rarely has a welcome bonus, but it does offer a few nice perks:
Wells Fargo is an enormous banking giant — and one of its most attractive credit cards is the Wells Fargo Active Cash card, which has benefits worth mentioning.
This is one of the few 2% cash-back cards that consistently offers a welcome bonus. Additionally, you’ll get a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers, then a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR.
Beyond that, expect to earn 2% cash-back on all purchases with no caps, which comes in the form of a statement credit.
This card offers cell phone protection, which allows for up to 2 paid claims every 12 months, each with a maximum benefit limit of $600 and a $25 deductible.
Lastly, there’s zero liability protection and contactless features built into this card.
You can redeem your rewards for purchases, a Wells Fargo direct deposit, at a Wells Fargo ATM, for gift cards, or through PayPal.
This Visa Signature card comes with 24/7 concierge services, access to the Visa Signature Hotel collection, and much more.
There is $0 annual fee on this card, nor are there fees for authorized users.
Earn 2% unlimited cash-back when you redeem it to save invest, or pay down an eligible SoFi loan --- all without an annual fee.
The information regarding the SoFi Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
SoFi has quickly become one of the most popular fintech companies around by offering a combination of investing, saving, and loan refinancing, all in 1 platform.
Now, the company has its very own credit card that rewards you with 2% back on all purchases, helping you get even more out of your SoFi account.
One of the newer entrants to the cash-back credit card realm is SoFi, one of the most popular fintech companies in the U.S.
With its platform, you can access investments, savings, loan refinancing, debt consolidation, and more.
The SoFi card boasts 3% cash-back for a year when you set up direct deposit with SoFi. After that, earn 2% unlimited cash-back on purchases when redeemed toward investing, saving, or paying down an eligible loan with SoFi.
Luckily, it’s pretty easy — just redeem your rewards within the SoFi ecosystem, such as buying stocks or paying down your SoFi student loan to get the 2% cash-back value.
Usually, this card also offers a welcome bonus if you open a SoFi Invest account after getting approved for the SoFi card.
Notably, your APR will drop by 1% when you make 12 on-time payments! But it doesn’t end there because you’ll enjoy no foreign transaction fees, cell phone protection, and a $10 Lyft credit when you take 5 rides per month.
The SoFi card has no annual fee.
The PayPal Cashback card is yet another example of a 2% cash-back card that requires a bit more effort to get.
This card earns an unlimited 2% cash-back on every purchase when redeemed through the Cash Rewards program. It’s not difficult to access this rewards structure since you can use PayPal to pay for virtually anything you buy online.
Even better, you’ll get 3% cash-back on all purchases made through PayPal!
There’s rarely a welcome bonus. You can redeem your cash-back any time with no minimum redemption threshold.
One unique benefit of this card is that you’ll get instant access when you’re approved — you can use it immediately for purchases!
You’ll get Mastercard’s standard benefits, including identity theft protection, contactless capabilities, extended warranty, and more.
The PayPal Cashback card has no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and no fees for authorized users.
The last personal card we’ll discuss is the Fidelity Rewards card. Fidelity is one of the world’s largest financial services firms, famous for its retirement accounts and brokerage services.
There’s a good chance that your 401(k) or other retirement account is managed by Fidelity.
This card earns an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases when you direct deposit your rewards into an eligible Fidelity account — this is in the form of 2 points per dollar.
There are no caps or limits to your rewards, and you can deposit your rewards into up to 5 eligible Fidelity accounts.
Also, this card has no preset spending limit, Visa Signature privileges, travel insurance, purchase security, zero fraud liability, and no fees for authorized users.
There’s also no annual fee.
There’s not as much competition in the business credit card space for 2% cash-back products, but let’s go through our top picks!
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases and helpful features for business owners. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
The Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card is great for business owners looking to improve their bottom line by earning 2% cash-back on all purchases without a high annual fee. Further, with no preset spending limit, the ability to get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000, and free employee cards, there is something that every business owner will love.
Without a doubt, the best 2% cash-back business credit card is the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card.
It boasts an impressive welcome bonus, plus the ability to earn an unlimited 2% cash-back on all business purchases with no limits or category restrictions.
What we really love about this card is the fact that it’s a charge card with no preset spending limit, so you can spend a lot more than a traditional credit card with it.
Even better, get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000!
Employee cards come at no additional cost, rewards don’t expire as long as the account is open, and you can seamlessly redeem cash-back for any amount.
There’s also zero fraud liability, the ability to create virtual card numbers, get roadside assistance, have no foreign transaction fees, and unlock extended warranty coverage.
Why We Like Earning Capital One Miles
One little-known fact about this card is that your 2% cash-back can be converted to 2x Capital One miles if you have a card that earns Capital One miles, such as the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, or Capital One Spark Miles for Business.
That can catapult your return on spending up from 2% to a whopping 3.6%, by our valuations!
Take control of your cash-back with the Amex Blue Business Cash card, and earn 2% cash-back on up to $50,000 in purchases each year.
Looking for a way to keep tabs on your office supply costs and business travel expenses while earning cash-back? Then The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card could be a good fit.
This card offers expense management solutions that are designed to give companies more control, along with a much clearer picture of their business spending. In doing so, the more you spend, the more cash-back you can earn.
The Amex Blue Business Cash card is the other major business credit card offering 2% cash-back.
And while it does offer 2% cash-back that is automatically credited to your statement, it’s capped at $50,000 per calendar year. After that, you’ll get 1% cash-back.
The good news is that there’s also a great welcome bonus with a 0% introductory APR, no-cost employee cards, and access to Expanded Buying Power.
Getting 2% cash-back on a credit card will make a big difference in the long run, especially if your go-to credit card rewards strategy is about cash-back.
And while there are tons of cash-back rewards credit cards out there with more than 2% cash-back rewards, these are usually restricted to specific bonus categories.
Having a 2% cash-back card is simple. With these cards, you can, for the most part, have the security of always getting 2% cash-back.
Now you know all of the best 2% cash-back credit cards, personal or business!
The information regarding the PayPal Cashback Mastercard and Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Synchrony Premier World Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the SoFi Credit Card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Information regarding the Capital One Spark Miles for Business was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
For rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, click here.
Earning 2% cash-back is a lot, especially compared to the past, when you’d expect to get 1% or 1.5%.
If you can get 2% cash-back on every purchase you make, you’re probably in great shape.
Yes! Capital One offers a 2% cash-back business card called the Capital One Spark Cash Plus card. It has no spending limit and no caps on the 2% cash-back rewards.
A 2% cash-back card is absolutely worth it, and we think you should have at least one in your wallet if you like cash-back rewards.
Getting 2% cash-back means that for every eligible purchase you make on a credit card, you’ll get 2% back.
So for every $100 you spend on a credit card, you’ll get $2 cash-back.
This excludes balance transfers, cash advances, returns, and other ineligible transactions.
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