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Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Edvisors rates credit cards objectively based on credit card features, fees and interest rates, as well as how a credit card compares with similar cards within the same category. "Best" determinations are solely the opinion of Edvisors. 

If you’re considering signing up for a cash back credit card, you’ve probably noticed that the available field of cash back cards is pretty crowded. Finding the right card amid the endless barrage of perks, varying rates, and discounts can seem unbearable. Although you don’t need perfect credit to get a card, the highest-rated cards, like those discussed here, require excellent or good credit (a FICO® credit score of 670-850). Once you’ve identified your financial situation, and understand what your options are, you’ll have less trouble sifting through articles describing the best cash back credit cards.

Cash Back Credit Cards

Card companies offer several options for how you receive reward cash. Some of the rewards plans are more complex than others, but you can examine the following categories to understand how the cash back payments work and decide which one is the most appealing.

  • Flat rate: Rewards cards with flat rates offer a fixed percentage, such as 1.5%, on all purchases. Whether you purchase a television or bag of groceries, the same cash back rate applies to everything you buy with the card.
  • Tiered rates: Cards with tiered rates assign different rates to particular types of purchases. You might receive 1% back on gas and 3% on groceries. However, most tiered cards come with a spending cap that reduces the cash back percentage after you reached the limit. If you have a $4000 cap on gas, you’ll receive a higher rate (maybe 3% depending on the card) until the limit is reached, and then the rate goes down.
  • Rotating rates: Rotating rate cards typically have a flat rate on all purchases, but one spending category, such as groceries, has a higher rate for one quarter. For instance, you may receive 1.5% back on all purchases and 4% back on groceries for three months. After the end of the calendar quarter, the higher rate moves to another spending category like restaurant purchases.
  • Customer choice: The customer choice card allows you to choose which category has a higher cash back rate each month.

Additional Features of Cash Back Cards

Nearly every lenders provides some form of additional protections and perks to persuade you to use its card. Some of the cash back credit card offers include:

  • Extended warranty protection
  • Purchase protection
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Automatic reward redemption
  • Free Credit Scores
  • Account reminders

Best Flat Rate Cash Back Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The highest customer-rated card on the market is the Quicksilver cash card. It offers 1.5% back on all purchases without restrictions, a $200 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months, 0% Introductory* APR for 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 14.99%-24.99%, based on your creditworthiness), $0 annual fee and no foreign exchange fees. Unlike some of the other cards, you don’t have to accumulate a specific amount of cash to receive your rewards. Also, there is no earning limit, and the reward cash does not have an expiration period while the account is active.

Best Rotating Rate Cash Back Credit Card

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to modify your rewards categories each month. You earn an unlimited 1% on every purchase except for a rotating category of your choice that gives you 3% back and a fixed rate of 2% on grocery store and wholesale club purchases (up to $2,500 of combined purchases made each calendar quarter). After making $1000 in purchases during the first 90 days of opening the account, you’ll receive $200 in online cash rewards. The card does not have an expiration on the rewards.

Best Tiered Rate Cash Back Credit Card

Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Unlike the previous cards, the SavorOne Cash Rewards card features an unlimited 3% back on entertainment, dining, eligible streaming services and grocery stores. For other purchases, you get 1% back. Until January 31. 2023, you can also get 8% back on Vivid ticket purchases. After the first three months from opening the account, you can receive a $200 bonus after spending $500 on purchases. Special features include no foreign transaction fees, no annual fee and 0% APR for 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 14.99%, 20.99% or 24.99%, based on your creditworthiness).

Best Cash Back Credit Card with 0% Introductory APR

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Freedom Unlimited card features a 0% Introductory* APR for the first 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 14.99% to 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness), no minimum spending amount required to receive cash back and rewards do not expire while the account is open and active. Chase’s fixed-rate system is divided into separate categories and offers 3% back on restaurant and drugstore purchases, 5% on travel purchased through Chase and 1.5% back on other purchases. You’ll receive a $200 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases totaling $500 or more in the first 3 months from opening the account.

Best Introductory Cash Back Matching Credit Card

Discover it® Cash Back

This unique offer, only available from the Discover it Cash Back card, gives you unlimited cash back at the end of the year of opening the account. Discover matches your cash back amount, which means you could receive $800 from your $400 total. When you make eligible purchases (varies by month), you get 5% back up to a quarterly maximum of $1,500 and you get 1% back on all other purchases. The card has no annual fee but charges 3% on introductory balance transfer fees until May 10, 2022 and 5% for subsequent transfers.

Best Introductory Cash Reward Cash Back Credit Card

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Everyday card gives you $200 back after spending $2,000 in the first six months. The American Express cash back program differs from other companies in the way you redeem your rewards. Instead of receiving cash, your rewards are distributed through statement credits. The plan gives you 3% back on grocery store purchases (only in the U.S. and up to up to $6,000 in purchases per calendar year), 2% back on gas and approved department stores and 1% back on other purchases. The card has no annual fee and offers 0% Introductory* APR for 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 13.99% to 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness), standard rates apply after introductory period ends.

Best No Annual Fee Cash Back Credit Card

Citi Custom Cash Card

The Custom Cash card from Citi offers 5% back on any eligible category for the first $500 spent in each billing cycle. Then the rate changes to 1% back on all subsequent purchases. After spending $750 in the first three months of account opening, you earn a $200 reward. Introductory* APR is set at 0% for the first 15 months (after that, your variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness), and the card requires no annual fee.

Choosing a cash back credit card is less complicated when you determine which rates, incentives and offers appeal to you the most. Although each card provides incentives and discounts, your spending habits and personal preferences can help you make a final decision. Start researching your options by comparing credit offers here.

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