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The 11 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards in April 2024

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Jarrod West

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The points and miles we earn on credit cards are great for booking travel, but cash-back is king when it comes to flexible rewards that boost your financial bottom line.

While earning and redeeming can be simple, there are plenty of variables among cash-back credit cards (just like with cards that earn points or miles). For that reason, it takes some research to match up your own major spending categories to a credit card that earns the most on those purchases.

In this article, we cover how you earn cash-back, the different ways cards let you earn rewards, and our recommendations for the best cash-back credit cards.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
Up to $300 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Earn big on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • Everyday bonus on dining and drugstores
  • Straightforward cash-back on all other purchases
  • Ability to pool points

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Freedom Flex card is an excellent no-annual-fee card that still earns big with 5% cash-back on travel and other bonus categories.
Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ sure does pack quite a punch — especially for a no-annual-fee card.

The Freedom Flex card is an incredible option for those looking for a well-rounded cash-back card, or a powerful point-earner when paired with a premium card in the Ultimate Rewards family.

Pros

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Powerful cash-back earner: 5% back on quarterly categories and travel purchases through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Excellent cell phone insurance
  • Ability to pool points
  • Mastercard World Elite benefits

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fees in U.S. dollars
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more
  • 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • No annual fee - You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Flex℠ card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health - Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49%-29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Citi Custom Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Earn big on purchases in your top eligible spend category, up to the first $500 each billing cycle, with no annual fee!
Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Custom Cash® Card is inventive when it comes to cash-back credit cards. Instead of earning a set amount of cash-back on predetermined bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash card earns 5% cash-back on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle, without an annual fee.

Thanks to that unique perk, you’ll never need to worry about whether you’re using the right card for the right purchase, as your Citi Custom Cash card will always pay you 5% back on whichever category you end up spending the most on each month.

Pros

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category, including restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment
  • No annual fee
  • Multiple redemption options
  • No redemption minimums

Cons

  • Your 5% category is limited to $500 in spend ($25 in cash-back) each month
  • Not particularly rewarding for any purchases outside of your top 5% cash-back category
  • Earn $200 cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter. Also, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No rotating bonus categories to sign up for – as your spending changes each billing cycle, your earn adjusts automatically when you spend in any of the eligible categories.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Citi will only issue one Citi Custom Cash® Card account per person.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

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.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

Wells Fargo Active Cash® CardRates & Fees

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases with no annual fee.

Learn More(at Wells Fargo's secure site)

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash card earns 2% cash rewards on purchases with no annual fee.
Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
$200 cash rewards bonus
$0
0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

Pros

  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases
  • No annual fee
  • 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 thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5
  • Cell phone protection

Cons

  • No bonus categories for those who want to optimize certain purchases
  • Select “Learn More” to take advantage of this specific offer and learn more about product features, terms and conditions.
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR thereafter; balance transfers made within 120 days qualify for the intro rate and fee of 3% then a BT fee of up to 5%, min: $5.
  • $0 annual fee.
  • No categories to track or remember and cash rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open.
  • Find tickets to top sports and entertainment events, book travel, make dinner reservations and more with your complimentary 24/7 Visa Signature® Concierge.
  • Up to $600 of cell phone protection against damage or theft. Subject to a $25 deductible.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and qualifying balance transfers. 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction converted to U.S. dollars.

Card Categories

HIGHEST CASH BACK
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card is great for those who want to earn cash-back with U.S. supermarkets, U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, and U.S. gas stations.

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

This card is great for those who want to earn cash-back with U.S. supermarkets, U.S. streaming subscriptions, transit, and U.S. gas stations.
Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$250
$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 12 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a stellar cash-back credit card for those looking to maximize every purchase they make.

With bonus categories like U.S. supermarkets, select streaming services, U.S. gas stations, and transit purchases, this card rewards you for the items you spend the most on in a big way! For those looking to earn up to 6% cash-back on their purchases, this could be the card for you!

Pros

  • 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year) and on select streaming services
  • 6% cash-back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% cash-back on U.S. gas stations and transit (including rideshares, parking, etc.)
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases

Cons

  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee (rates and fees)
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • Buy Now, Pay Later: Enjoy $0 intro plan fees when you use Plan It® to split up large purchases into monthly installments. Pay $0 intro plan fees on plans created during the first 12 months from the date of account opening. Plans created after that will have a monthly plan fee up to 1.33% of each eligible purchase amount moved into a plan based on the plan duration, the APR that would otherwise apply to the purchase, and other factors.
  • Low Intro APR: 0% on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months from the date of account opening. After that, your APR will be a variable APR of 19.24% - 29.99%. Variable APRs will not exceed 29.99%.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
  • 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations.
  • 3% Cash Back on transit (including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more).
  • 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get up to $120 in statement credits annually when you pay for an auto-renewing subscription to Equinox+ at equinoxplus.com with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. That’s $10 in statement credits each month. Enrollment required.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Preferred® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 12 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Redeem cash-back through your American Express account

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

An excellent cash-back card that offers rewards for categories like dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

An excellent cash-back card that offers rewards for categories like dining, entertainment, popular streaming services, and grocery stores. (Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)
Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
$300
$95
20.74%-28.74% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

 

When it comes to rewards credit cards, you can break up most savvy consumers into 2 camps: those who prefer travel rewards and those who prefer cash-back.

Both options can be very lucrative to you and your wallet, especially if you’re using the right card. For those who fall in the “cash is king” camp, you’ll likely find the Capital One Savor card quite compelling.

Pros

  • 10% cash-back on Uber and Uber Eats
  • 8% cash-back on Capital One Entertainment
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 4% cash-back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services
  • 3% cash-back at grocery stores
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
  • Complimentary Uber One membership through November 14, 2024
  • Roadside assistance and rental car insurance
  • Purchase protection/price protection/extended warranty
  • No foreign transaction fees

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • This is strictly a cash-back card, so it features no travel rewards like other cards offer
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, 3% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel.
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won’t expire for the life of the account and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 20.74%-28.74% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees:

Card Categories

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to maximize your cash-back in your choice category each month.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card

The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to maximize your cash-back in your choice category each month.
Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
$200
$0
0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

If you’re looking to the rake in the cash-back rewards, then the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great option. Not only do you get to choose the 3% category for the card, but you can also boost the cash-back you earn by being a member of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program.

Pros

  • 3% cash-back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings (your category can be changed each month)
  • 2% cash-back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash-back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Boost your rewards rate with the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program

Cons

  • 3% and 2% cash-back categories are limited to the first $2,500 in combined purchases each quarter, then you’ll earn 1%
  • Charges a foreign transaction fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, automatic 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases.
  • If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase. That means you could earn 3.75%-5.25% cash back on purchases in your choice category.
  • No annual fee and no expiration on rewards.
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 18.24%-28.24% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee applies to all balance transfers in the first 60 days your account is open. After the intro balance transfer fee offer ends, the fee for all future balance transfers is 4%.
  • Contactless Cards – The security of a chip card, with the convenience of a tap.
  • This online only offer may not be available if you leave this page or if you visit a Bank of America financial center. You can take advantage of this offer when you apply now.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers. Variable rate of 18.24% - 28.24% applies thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3%

Card Categories

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

This card offers great rewards and no annual fee. Any new business owner that needs to get going will enjoy this card.
Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening.
Up to $750
Up to $750
$0
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a lot going for it that makes it a compelling choice for small business owners. The card features a very lucrative 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year.

When you factor in that the card has no annual fee, and 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter, you could be adding big value back into your business for no cost out of pocket.

Pros

  • Earn 5% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% back on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants, and 1% back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus if you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
  • Travel insurance and purchase protection
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Spending caps in bonus categories
  • Low points earning outside of bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first six months after account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • 10% Business Relationship Bonus If you have the Ink Business Cash card plus a Chase Business Checking account on your first card anniversary
  • With Zero Liability you won't be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; 18.49% - 24.49% variable thereafter.
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Card Categories

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Chase Ultimate Rewards

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

The Ink Business Unlimited card is a stellar option for business owners looking for a no-fuss uncapped 1.5% cash-back card without an annual fee.
Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
$750
$750
$0
0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

As a business owner, you likely keep pretty busy and probably prefer a credit card that just keeps things simple.

If so, the Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card might be just the card for you. From zero annual fee to a flat cash-back rate, the card is a no-frills option that you don’t have to think twice about.

Don’t forget too, 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter

Pros

  • 1.5% cash-back on all purchases
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
  • Earn flexible rewards

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Earn $750 bonus cash back after you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase made for your business
  • No Annual Fee
  • Redeem rewards for cash back, gift cards, travel and more through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn rewards faster with employee cards at no additional cost. Set individual spending limits for greater control.
  • Round-the-clock monitoring for unusual credit card purchases
  • With Zero Liability you won’t be held responsible for unauthorized charges made with your card or account information.
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

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Capital One Spark Cash Plus CardTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases and helpful features for business owners.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus card offers an unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases and helpful features for business owners.
Earn $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months
$1,200
$150
N/A
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Excellent (740-850)

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 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 no-additional-fee employee cards, there is something that every business owner will love (rates & fees).

Pros

  • Unlimited 2% cash-back on all purchases
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel
  • No preset spending limit
  • Get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000 (rates & fees)
  • No foreign transaction fees (rates & fees)
  • Extended warranty coverage
  • Payment flexibility (pick your own due date)

Cons

  • Earn a one-time cash bonus of $1,200 once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on every purchase, everywhere—with no limits or category restrictions
  • Comes with no preset spending limit, so it can adapt to your needs based on your spending behavior, payment history and credit profile
  • Get your $150 annual fee refunded every year you spend at least $150,000
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • Add employee cards for free, and earn unlimited 2% cash back from their purchases
  • $150 annual fee
  • Spark Cash Plus has no APR because your balance is due in full every month

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: N/A
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Best Cash-Back Credit Cards — Comparison Table (2024)

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CardBest UsesWelcome Bonus and Annual FeeCash-Back Rewards
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Rotating bonus categories
  • Earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) — worth up to $300 cash back. That's 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% on dining and at drugstores
  • 1.5% on all other purchases
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
Chase Freedom Flex℠Everyday purchases
  • Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 5% in quarterly bonus categories (up to $1,500 in spend)
  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% on dining and at drugstores
Citi Custom Cash® CardYour top spend category
  • Earn $200 cash-back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 5% on your highest eligible spend category each billing cycle up (up to $500 in spend)
Citi Double Cash® CardEveryday purchases
  • Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 2% on every purchase with 1% when you buy, and 1% when you pay
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card Everyday purchases
  • Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee of $0 
  • 2% cash rewards on every purchase
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressGrocery and gas purchases
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (rates & fees)
  • 6% at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 in spend each year)
  • 6% on select streaming subscriptions
  • 3% on transit purchases and U.S. gas stations

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

(Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)

Dining and grocery purchases
  • Earn $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $95
  • 10% cash-back for Uber and Uber Eats purchases
  • 4% on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services
  • 3% at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®)
Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit cardYour choice category
  • Earn $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 3% on the category of your choice
  • 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (on up to $2,500 in combined purchases for 3% and 2% categories each quarter)
Ink Business Cash® Credit CardOffice supply store, and on internet, cable, and phone service purchases
  • Earn $350 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and an additional $400 when you spend $6,000 on purchases in the first 6 months.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 5% at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services (up to $25,000 in spend)
  • 2% at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 in spend)
Ink Business Unlimited® Credit CardEveryday business expenses
  • Earn $750 cash back after spending $6,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $0
  • 1.5% on all purchases
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months; variable 18.49% - 24.49% thereafter

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card

(Information collected independently. Not reviewed by Capital One.)

Everyday business expenses
  • Earn $1,200 cash back once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months.
  • Annual fee of $150
  • 2% on all purchases

The 8 Best Cash-Back Personal Credit Cards

In no particular order, here are our favorite personal credit cards that offer cardholders a great balance of rewards and perks.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel
  • 3% at drugstores and on dining
  • Unlimited 1.5% on all other purchases
  • Travel and purchase protection

The Freedom Unlimited card is perfect for those looking for a single card to use for pretty much every purchase, as you know you’ll always get an uncapped 1.5% on all purchases you make with the card.

That said, the card still offers solid bonus categories, like 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel and 3% on dining and drugstores. (The 5% doesn’t stack with the default 1.5% bonus.)

As with the Freedom Flex card, those who pair their Freedom Unlimited card with a premium Chase card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card or Chase Sapphire Reserve® Card can redeem their points for up to 50% more through Chase Travel or transfer to one of Chase’s airline and hotel partners, as well.

The Freedom Unlimited card also comes with rental car insurance, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 5% in rotating quarterly bonus categories up to $1,500 spending per quarter
  • 5% on travel purchases through Chase Travel
  • 3% on dining and drugstore purchases
  • Cell phone protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty coverage

The Freedom Flex card is one of our favorite cards thanks to its quarterly rotating bonus categories such as grocery stores, gas stations, wholesale clubs, home improvement stores, and more. You earn 5% on these purchases, on up to $1,500 in spend each quarter, allowing you to rack up $75 back each quarter.

Further, you can pair your card with a premium Chase credit card such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred card or Chase Sapphire Reserve card and receive access to Chase transfer partners, or redeem your points for a 25% to 50% bonus through Chase Travel.

Your card also offers cell phone insurance coverage, purchase protection, rental car insurance, and more.

Citi Custom Cash® Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 5% cash-back (on up to $500 each billing cycle) from your largest purchase category (includes restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment)

Each month, you get 5% on whichever bonus category you spend the most on, from a list of 10, on up to $500 in spend. This allows you to adapt your 5% rewards month-to-month based on spending, and there is no need to preselect a category.

Plus, the card has a $0 annual fee, offers a cash welcome bonus offer and 0% intro APR offer (as mentioned above), and requires no minimum redemption.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • Total of 2% cash-back on every purchase: 1% when you make the purchase and 1% when you pay it off (earned as ThankYou Points)

With the Citi Double Cash card, you earn a flat rate of 2% on all purchases you make with the card, 1% cash back when you buy, and 1% cash back as you pay. As far as cash-back rewards cards without bonus categories go, this solid 2% rate is about as good as it gets!

This card’s cash-back rewards can be used for a statement credit, direct deposit, check, or gift cards. Because your cash-back is earned as ThankYou Points, you can also redeem your points for travel by transferring them to Citi’s transfer partners — access the full suite of partners when pairing your Citi Double Cash card with a premium ThankYou Rewards card such as the Citi Premier® Card.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • Unlimited 2% cash rewards on all purchases

Similar to the Citi Double Cash card, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card is great for those looking for a card that earns an uncapped 2% cash rewards on all purchases with a $0 annual fee. If you’d rather not have to keep track of bonus categories and prefer a flat earning rate, 2% cash rewards on all purchases is about the best rewards rate you can find for such purchases.

Plus, the Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers a great 0% APR offer on new purchases and balance transfers and comes with perks like cell phone protection.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 6% at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spend each year
  • 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • 3% on transit purchases
  • 3% at U.S. gas stations

Those who have expenses that often fall within one of the card’s 4 bonus categories can really rake in the rewards with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card. While the card does charge an annual fee, you could earn $360 in cash-back alone each year just by meeting the $6,000 threshold on U.S. supermarket purchases.

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 10% cash-back for Uber and Uber Eats purchases
  • 8% cash-back on Capital One Entertainment
  • 5% cash-back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
  • 4% on dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services
  • 3% at grocery stores

Earning an uncapped 4% on all dining, entertainment, and popular streaming services, along with 3% at grocery stores, is an excellent combination — even more so when you consider that many people have expenses that regularly fall within these categories.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 3% on the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishings)
  • 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs

Another card that lets you optimize for the items you spend the most on, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card lets you earn 3% in the category of your choice from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement and furnishings.

That said, your 3% and 2% are limited to the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, then earn 1%.

The 3 Best Cash-Back Business Credit Cards

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • 5% on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on cellular phone, landline, internet, and cable TV services each account anniversary year
  • 2% on up to $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants
  • Travel and purchase protections and benefits

The Ink Business Cash card is a compelling option thanks to its combination of 5% and 2% cash-back bonus categories, large welcome bonus offer, travel and purchase protections, and a $0 annual fee.

Plus, those who hold other premium Chase Ultimate Rewards-earning cards can pool their points to then use the Chase travel transfer partners.

Ink Business Unlimited® Credit Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • Unlimited 1.5% cash-back on every purchase
  • Travel and shopping protections and benefits

Earning a solid 1.5% on every purchase, regardless of the category, makes earning lots of rewards an easy task. You can then redeem those rewards for what your business needs most: cash, travel, gift cards, Amazon purchases, or transfers to premium Chase cards for increased redemption value.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus Card

Top Reasons To Get the Card

  • Unlimited 2% on every purchase
  • 5% on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel

While the card charges an annual fee, which might seem steep for a cash-back card, earning an uncapped 2% on all purchases can be well worth it for business owners who have a high level of spending each year.

How Do Cash-Back Credit Cards Work?

Cash-back credit cards have relatively simple rewards-earning and redemption structures. You spend on your card and get a rebate on a percentage of your purchases in the form of cash-back.

Some purchase categories earn more than others. For example, on one credit card, you might receive 5% on office supply purchases, 3% on gas, and 1% on all other purchases. On another, the percentages and categories could be totally different, so selecting a cash-back credit card that rewards your greatest spending categories is key. There can also be limits on the amount you can receive in a given category.

Many cards offer introductory welcome bonus offers, such as $150 for spending $1,000 in the first 3 months after card approval. These bonus offers fluctuate and are specific to each card, but can be another consideration when selecting your credit card.

Additionally, how you receive your rewards can differ. You may earn points that can be redeemed for cash-back, receive an automatic statement credit, or accumulate earned rewards in a separate account.

Let’s take a look at examples of some of the redemption processes on different cash-back credit cards:

Cash-Back Earned as Points

Certain credit cards, such as the Freedom Unlimited card, actually earn rewards as points that can be redeemed for cash-back.

Cash-Back Automatically Applied as a Statement Credit

Some credit cards automatically apply the cash-back you earn each month as a statement credit, but this is relatively uncommon. In these cases, you don’t accumulate the cash-back and there’s no way to redeem your cash-back manually.

Cash-Back Accumulates in an Account

Credit cards like the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express allow the cash-back you’ve earned to accumulate in your account. You can request to use it whenever you’re ready.

Bottom Line: While it’s important to match up bonus category earnings on the credit card with your actual spending habits, you should also understand the process a card uses to distribute your cash-back earnings. 

Which Is Better: Earning Cash-Back or Points and Miles?

Is earning cash-back better than earning points or miles? This question is not easily answered, because the reward that is most valuable to you should be the one you can best use to realize your goals.

If travel is your goal, points and miles can get you where you want to go with award tickets and hotel stays and by offsetting travel-related purchases. While cash is undeniably flexible, you need a strategy in place to collect the cash and apply it appropriately to those travel goals.

For example, if your goal is to use your earnings toward a family Disney vacation, you may want to purchase Disney gift cards, restaurant gift cards, or gas cards with each cash-back distribution. This method works especially well if you’re using a credit card that applies the earnings as a statement credit automatically.

However, earnings may have a fixed value, while points and miles can be transferred to airline or hotel partners and used creatively for increased value. Conversely, cash-back is liquid, but it may be difficult to liquidate points or miles for exactly what you want when you want it.

Bottom Line: Whether earning cash-back or points or miles is better for you depends on what you plan to do with the rewards and your spending priorities. If travel is not your priority but having a little extra cash flow would help your financial bottom line, a cash-back credit card may be a good option. 

Types of Cash-Back Credit Cards

For the most part, there are 4 types of cash-back credit cards:

Flat-Rate Cards

Flat-rate cards offer a flat rewards rate on every purchase you make, with no unique bonus categories. Cards in this category usually offer 1.5% to 2% on all purchases.

Bonus Categories

These cards have predetermined bonus categories that offer elevated rewards. An example might be a card that offers 3% on dining and groceries and 1% on all other purchases.

Rotating Bonus Categories

Some cards offer rotating bonus categories that are not predetermined for you when you sign up for the card. An example of this is the Freedom Flex card, which offers 5% on a quarterly rotating category such as gas or purchases at Amazon.

Customizable Bonus Categories

Customizable cards offer a list of bonus categories for you to choose from. An example of this is the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card, which offers 3% in the category of your choice among gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores, or home improvement and furnishings.

Common Cash-Back Bonus Categories

When it comes to cash-back credit cards, the bonus categories that they offer can vary quite a bit. That said, some of the most popular cash-back bonus categories include dining, grocery stores, gas stations, utilities, or cards that offer a flat cash-back rate for every purchase made with the card.

Further, some cash-back cards like the Freedom Flex card offer rotating bonus categories, and others like the Citi Custom Cash card adjust your top cash-back bonus category based on what eligible categories you spend the most on from month to month.

Factors To Consider When Choosing a Cash-Back Card

Cash-back credit cards come in many different varieties, so here are a few helpful guidelines to help you narrow down your search.

Are You Willing To Pay an Annual Fee?

While cash-back credit cards are mostly known for not charging an annual fee, there are also more premium options that can offer better cash-back rates and additional perks but do come with an annual fee.

Given that, weigh the value proposition of each card to see which would benefit you more.

As an example, let’s take the Amex Blue Cash Everyday card, which charges a $0 annual fee (rates & fees) and offers 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. Then we have the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, which charges a $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 annual fee, and offers 6% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year in purchases.

If you are confident that your household would meet $6,000 in supermarket purchases in a year, then you’d probably be better off with the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, as you’d earn $360 in cash-back, minus its annual fee, for a net savings of $265. On the other hand, the $0-annual-fee Amex Blue Cash Everyday card would earn $180 in cash-back — $85 less than the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card. Of course, you should also consider what other bonus categories and perks each card has to offer.

What Bonus Categories Do You Spend the Most On?

If you want to earn as much cash-back as possible, you want to make sure your new cash-back card offers bonus categories that reward the items you frequently spend the most on.

For instance, if you regularly go out to try new restaurants with friends, you’d benefit from a card offering dining as a bonus category. If you have a rather lengthy commute to work each day, you may want a credit card that rewards gas purchases. That said, most cards offer more than 1 bonus category, so you’d likely be able to choose a card that offers bonus categories for the top 2 or 3 items you spend the most on.

If you value simplicity or your purchases vary from month to month, you could opt for a flat-rate cash-back card, like the Citi Double Cash card, which offers an uncapped 2% cash-back on every purchase (1% cash back when you buy and 1% cash back as you pay). Similarly, other cards, like the Citi Custom Cash card, adjust your top 5% cash-back category to the eligible category that you spent the most on in the previous billing period.

What Perks Are You Looking For?

Cash-back cards aren’t known for offering as many perks as their travel-rewards-card counterparts, but if there are certain perks you’re looking for, then make sure that your new card offers them.

Consider benefits like purchase protection, extended warranty coverage, rental car insurance, cell phone insurance, trip cancellation insurance, and so on.

Who Should Get a Cash-Back Card?

You should get a cash-back card if:

  • You currently use a debit card or cash for more of your purchases and leave valuable rewards on the table.
  • You aren’t interested in travel rewards cards and prefer the flexibility of cash-back.

That said, you should only get a cash-back credit card if you are able to pay your bill on time and in full each and every month. If you don’t, the interest that your balance accrues will negate the value of any cash-back you earn for making the purchases.

What Credit Card Gives the Most Cash-Back?

The credit card that would offer you the most cash-back depends entirely on your unique spending habits. While a given person might spend more at supermarkets, another person might spend more on dining.

Given that, when it comes to deciding which cash-back card is best for you, you should examine your monthly budget and see what areas you regularly spend the most money on, and then select a card that provides the best cash-back rates for those purchases.

Pros and Cons of Using a Cash-Back Card

Pros

The biggest pro of using a cash-back credit card is that it earns rewards on every purchase that you make. This is a great way to earn added savings on your expenses, as this cash can really save big bucks over the course of a year.

Beyond that, most of these credit cards don’t have an annual fee, include added perks like purchase protection, and might even offer a welcome bonus.

Cons

The downside to these credit cards is that there isn’t as much upside as you find with certain travel rewards cards. Further, they may also cap the amount of cash you can earn and often charge foreign transaction fees.

Alternatives to a Cash-Back Card

If you’re looking for an alternative to a cash-back credit card, then look at cards that offer a flexible rewards currency.

Take the Chase Sapphire Preferred card, which earns 5x points per $1 on purchases made through Chase Travel; 3x points per $1 on dining, online grocery store purchases, and select streaming services; 2x points per $1 on all other travel purchases; and 1x point per $1 on all other purchases.

Once you’ve built up a stash of Chase Ultimate Rewards points, you have a lot of ways to redeem them. You can transfer them at a 1:1 rate to any of Chase’s great travel transfer partners, like World of Hyatt, you can redeem them for any purchase through Chase Travel with a 25% bonus, or you can even redeem them for cash-back, if you prefer, at a rate of 1 cent per point.

Having a card that offers flexible redemption uses helps you get as much value as possible each time you decide to redeem hard-earned points.

How To Compare Cash-Back Cards

Deciding which cash-back card is right for you is a personal decision.

The first thing you will want to consider is the card’s bonus categories. Are you hoping to maximize the cash you earn on certain types of purchases like groceries? Or do you prefer to earn a flat cash-back rate on all purchases?

Once you know which rewards structure is best for you, then you should consider what type of benefits you might be looking for in a card … perhaps one that offers perks like purchase protection and extended warranty coverage to help cover the items you buy with your card.

You’ll also want to consider other key features like whether or not the card offers a lucrative welcome bonus offer, and whether or not it charges an annual fee.

Methodology: How We Selected the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards

At Upgraded Points, we evaluate which credit cards are best based on how much value the card can provide to you. We analyze each factor that makes up a card, including its benefits, earnings structure, welcome bonus, redemption value and rewards program, fees, and more.

Here is some insight into our thought process when selecting the best cash-back cards:

Associated Benefits

One thing that can really help a card stand out from the crowd is the benefits that it offers. These could be benefits such as purchase protection, extended warranty protection, travel insurance, and more. This is why we give extra points to cards that include benefits that offer more value to cardholders.

Earnings Structure

Perhaps the most important aspect of a cash-back credit card is how much cash you can actually earn back. Usually, cards either offer a flat rate on all purchases or on certain bonus categories, such as gas and groceries. In either case, we evaluate how compelling the card’s rates are when deciding on the best cards.

Welcome Offers

Some of the best cards offer a cash welcome bonus offer after meeting a minimum spend requirement. This can be a great way to get extra cash in your pocket, as these offers can be upward of $200 to $300. Given that welcome bonus offers are a one-time bonus, and because of how lucrative these bonuses can be, they are a factor in how we evaluate cards.

We’ve provided you with the current welcome bonus offer information available for each card, but we encourage you to confirm the offers and review any earnings offers before applying for any card.

Fees

Of course, another important factor is the fees a card does or does not charge. These can include annual fees, foreign transaction fees, late payment fees, and more.

Redemption Value

When it comes to cash-back cards, most often your cash-back is limited to a statement credit or having cash deposited into your checking account. However, there are other cards that offer a flexible rewards approach and expand your redemption options.

Hot Tip: While the most desired benefits and features of a card vary by person, our holistic approach gives readers the full picture of what they can expect from every card we review. To learn more about how we review cards, read through our methodology page.

Final Thoughts

Credit cards that earn cash-back rewards are great for consumers who pay off their credit card balances each statement period. Carrying over a balance and being charged interest would dissolve any benefit from these earnings.

Also, we don’t focus on welcome bonuses for these cards for the reason that they’re constantly changing — but these initial bonuses can help you jump-start your earnings and should definitely be considered when selecting a cash-back credit card!

Finally, we’ve mentioned a lot of great cards here, but the list is not all-encompassing, as there are just too many to mention. We’ve also abbreviated benefit descriptions, so click on the links provided for a more in-depth review of cards you’d like further details on.

The information regarding the Capital One Savor Cash 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 Chase Freedom Flex℠ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, click here.
For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do cash-back credit cards work?

Cash-back credit cards give you a rebate on your purchases. For example, if you make a purchase of $100 on your card and the cash-back percentage is 3%, you receive $3 on that purchase.

The rewards may be received as a statement credit or accumulate in an account until you redeem it, and there may be limits on how much you can receive.

Earning percentages differ between cards and  by category. You may receive 3% on purchases at gas stations and 2% on dining, for example.

The best way to maximize a cash-back credit card is to select a card that rewards the purchases you make the most.

Which cash-back credit card is the best?

The best cash-back credit card for you is the one that earns the most in the purchase category you spend the most on.

If you spend a lot at U.S. supermarkets, for example, you might consider a card that rewards those purchases, such as the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card, which earns 6% on up to $6,000 in purchases per year and 1% thereafter.

How do you get the cash-back from a cash-back card?

Each cash-back credit card has its own process for delivering the rewards you have earned on the card.

One card may apply the earnings automatically as a statement credit, while another may deposit it into an account attached to your credit card and let you request it manually by logging in to your account.

Some card issuers transfer the cash to your bank account or send you a paper check.

It’s good to know up front how a credit card delivers the cash-back so you can plan accordingly.

Is there a limit to how much cash-back you can earn on a cash-back credit card?

Each cash-back credit card has limits on how much bonus cash you can earn, but many allow unlimited earnings on the lower 1% category purchases.

On higher percentage purchases, card issuers may limit the number of purchases that can receive 5%, 3%, or even 2%.

For example, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred card offers 6% on purchases at grocery stores but limits the amount of rewards-eligible purchases to $6,000 annually.

Does cash-back expire?

Your rewards from your credit card will usually not expire so long as the account is open and active.

How can I redeem cash-back earnings?

Most credit card issuers allow you to redeem your rewards as a statement credit on your account to offset purchases you’ve made, as a deposit into your checking or savings account, or even as a check mailed to your address.

Is the cash-back from a credit card taxable?

No, credit card rewards are treated as a rebate, and so they are not taxable.

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About Jarrod West

Boasting a portfolio of over 20 cards, Jarrod has been an expert in the points and miles space for over 6 years. He earns and redeems over 1 million points per year and his work has been featured in outlets like The New York Times.

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