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Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards refund a certain percentage of your charges either in the form of a statement credit or via check, thereby lowering the effective cost of the purchases that you make. While cash back rewards are typically considered the most straightforward, hassle-free rewards currency, there are a few issues to keep in mind when attempting to compare cash back credit cards.

For starters, certain cards offer fluctuating earning rates, depending on what and how much you buy. Other cards that advertise cash back actually provide rewards in terms of points or rewards dollars. While such rewards currencies can…show more

    Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card


    capital one ventureone
    • 0% Purchases until March 2016
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 11.9% - 21.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1.25 miles / $1
    • Rewards Bonus 20,000 miles
    • Minimum Credit Excellent, Good
    • Enjoy a one-time bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $1,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $200 in travel
    • Earn unlimited 1.25 miles on every purchase, every day and pay no annual fee
    • Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime.
    • Travel when you want—no blackout dates.
    • Miles don't expire and there’s no limit to how many you can earn
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

    Citi Simplicity® Card


    citi simplicity credit card
    • 0% Purchases 18 months
    • 0% Transfers 18 months3% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0*
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be12.99% - 22.99% based on your creditworthiness.
    • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
    • No late fees - EVER.
    • No penalty rate - EVER.
    • No annual fee - EVER.
    • Save time when you call with fast, personal help, 24 hours a day.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Citi Simplicity® Card

    Citi® Double Cash Card


    citi double cash card
    • 0% Purchases 15 months
    • 0% Transfers 15 months3% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0*
    • Rewards Rate 1% - 2% cash back
    • Rewards Bonus None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
    • 1% cash back when you buy
    • Plus 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases, whether you pay in full or over time*
    • No Category Restrictions, No Caps, No Enrollments in Rotating Categories
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Citi® Double Cash Card

    Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card


    capital one quicksilver cash rewards credit card
    • 0% Purchases until December 2015
    • 0% Transfers until December 20153% Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 12.9% - 22.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1.5% cash back
    • Rewards Bonus $100
    • Minimum Credit Excellent, Good

    Chase Slate®


    chase slate
    • 0% Purchases 15 months
    • 0% Transfers 15 monthsNo Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 12.99% - 22.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent, Good
    • Chase Slate named "Best Credit Card for Balance Transfers" two years in a row by Money Magazine
    • $0 Introductory balance transfer fee for transfers made during the first 60 days.
    • 0% Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
    • $0 Annual Fee
    • NEW Free Monthly FICO® Score and Credit Dashboard
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Chase Slate®

    Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express


    american express blue
    • 0% Purchases 15 months
    • 0% Transfers 15 months3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 12.99%-21.99%
    • Annual Fee $0
    • Rewards Rate 1% - 3% cash back
    • Rewards Bonus $100
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
    • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
    • Earn Cash Back: 3% U.S. supermarkets up to $6,000 per year in purchases, 2% U.S. gas stations & select U.S. dept stores, 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
    • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
    • Terms and restrictions apply.
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

    Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card


    capital one platinum prestige
    • 0% Purchases until June 2016
    • 0% Transfers until June 20163% Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 10.9% - 20.9% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent, Good
    • Get 0% intro APR on all purchases until June 2016; 10.9%-20.9% variable APR after that
    • Balance transfers also have a 0% intro APR until June 2016, a 3% fee applies to each balance transferred
    • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
    • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
    • Enjoy extended warranty protection on eligible items purchased with your card
    • Easily manage your account 24/7 with online access, by phone, or using our mobile app
    • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
    • 100% free Capital One® Credit Tracker — see your monthly credit score anytime and get automatic alerts
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Capital One® Platinum Prestige Credit Card

    Chase Freedom®


    chase freedom
    • 0% Purchases 15 months
    • 0% Transfers 15 months3% (min $5) Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 13.99% - 22.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1% - 5% cash back
    • Rewards Bonus $100
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • Named a Best Card for Cash Back by MONEY® Magazine
    • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
    • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add you first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
    • 5% Cash Back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases between 4/1/15-6/30/15 at Restaurants, Bed Bath & Beyond®, H&M®, and Overstock.com®.
    • You’ll enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months like Gas stations, Restaurants and Amazon.com. It’s free and easy to activate your bonus each quarter!
    • Unlimited 1% Cash Back on all other purchases
    • See All Reviews & Details About The Chase Freedom®

    Barclaycard® Rewards MasterCard®


    barclaycard credit card
    • 0% Purchases Not Offered
    • 0% Transfers Not Offered
    • Regular Rate 24.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee None
    • Rewards Rate 1 - 2 points/$1
    • Rewards Bonus None
    • Minimum Credit Fair

    U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card


    us bank platinum credit card
    • 0% Purchases 15 months
    • 0% Transfers 15 months3% Transfer Fee
    • Regular Rate 9.99% - 20.99% (V)
    • Annual Fee $0*
    • Rewards Rate None
    • Minimum Credit Excellent
    • 0% Intro APR* on purchases and balance transfers for 15 billing cycles. After that, a variable APR currently 9.99%-20.99%.
    • Online bill pay for a fast and convenient way to pay bills online with your U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum
    • $0 fraud liability* for unauthorized transactions if your card is ever lost or stolen
    • Fraud Protection detects and notifies you of any unusual card activity to help prevent fraud
    • Online account management and account alerts
    • *No annual fee.
    • The card is only available to residents in: AZ,AR,CA,CO,ID,IL,IN,IA,KS,KY,MN,MO,MT,NE,NV,ND,OH,OR,SD,TN,UT,WA,WI,WY,NM
    • See All Reviews & Details About The U.S. Bank Visa® Platinum Credit Card
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    Expert’s Answers

    What is cash back and how does it compare to points & miles?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance Editor“Cash back” is one of the three main rewards currencies, along with points and miles. When you have a credit card with cash back, a certain percentage of each purchase you make is returned to you via check, statement credit or gift card. The main advantage of cash back rewards is that they earned and redeemed in terms of dollars (and not points and miles that must be converted into corresponding amounts of specific goods or services). As a result, cashback rewards are not only the easiest to understand, but perhaps more importantly, cannot be devalued and can be used for any type of purchase. On the other hand, points and miles may allow you to get more bang for your buck IF you redeem often and toward the card’s intended purpose (e.g. if you have a Starwood Hotels Credit Card, you’ll get significantly more value on points redeemed for Starwood nights than, say, an iPad).

    Are there different types of credit cards with cash back?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEOThere are indeed different types of cash rewards credit cards, and they tend to differentiate from each other for one of three reasons. First of all, they differ based on credit level. For example, cash back credit cards for people with fair credit offer different terms than most excellent credit cash back credit cards, and so on.

    Second, some cash rebate credit cards are intended for specific consumer segments. Cash back student credit cards are a prime example of this. Despite the fact that college students typically have limited credit, the cash rewards credit cards they’re offered are different than those for people with no or limited credit. Most issuers are eager to establish relationships with college students and the competition leads to better rewards for this consumer demographic. Small business owners also have their own cash back cards, as their needs and spending habits differ from the general consumer population.

    Third, some credit cards with cash back only allow you to earn the most cash possible if you make purchases through affiliated companies. This type of card is most common in the gas, airline and hotel rewards categories.

    Obviously, within these general types of cashback credit cards, individual offers will also differ from one another due to earning rates, tiered rewards structures and caps.

    What to look for on a cash back credit card application?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorWhile cash is undoubtedly the most straightforward rewards currency, you must keep an eye out for the following things if you are to effectively evaluate cash back credit card offers and maximize the value of the card you ultimately open:
    1. Tiers: With some cards, you earn cash back at a particular rate until you’ve spent a certain amount of money or a specific amount of time elapses, at which point another cash back earning rate (sometimes higher than the original rate, sometimes lower) kicks in. For example, you might get 5% cash back on dining for the first six months that you’re a cardholder and only 1% thereafter. Rewards tiers can thereby seriously affect the value provided by any cash credit card.
    2. Caps: Some cash reward credit card offers also limit the amount of cash back you can earn, be it in certain spending categories, per month, per quarter, per year or some combination thereof. For instance, a card offering 3% cash back on gas purchases might only offer it for the first $200 you spend on gas per month.
    3. Enrollment: You might be required to enroll in a card’s rewards program in order to earn additional rewards on rotating spending categories. For example, cash back rewards credit cards often advertise up to 5% cash back on major expenses such as dining, travel and gas. However, unless you sign up for these heightened rewards (usually on a quarterly basis) you will only get the card’s base cash back earning rate, usually 1%. These enrollment requirements are the credit card companies’ way of advertising particularly lucrative rewards without actually giving them to everyone that opens a card.
    4. Bonus: Many cash back cards offer initial rewards bonuses (i.e. extra cash back just for signing up, making a single purchase or spending a certain amount in the first few months). Others provide annual rewards bonuses, which amplify your accumulated rewards at the end of the year by a certain percentage.

    How does one compare credit cards with cash back rewards?

    By: John Kiernan, Personal Finance EditorIt’s important to note from the outset that you shouldn't even consider opening a cash back card, or any type of rewards credit card for that matter, if you don't pay your bill in full every month, as minimizing finance charges should be your primary focus. With that being said, your goal in comparing cash back credit cards is to find the single card that will be most lucrative in light of your individual spending habits. To this end, ask yourself the following questions each time you evaluate cash back credit card offers:
    1. What is the cash back earning rate for my biggest spending categories?
    2. What is the cash back rate across all purchases?
    3. Are any of the cash back pitfalls touched on above part of this credit card offer?
    Whichever cash back rewards card allows you to maximize the value of your rewards without changing your current purchasing patterns is the card for you.

    How does the Island Approach apply to cash back credit cards?

    By: Odysseas Papadimitriou, CardHub CEONo one said that you’re only allowed to open one rewards credit card. Actually, according to the Island Approach, you’d be well advised to have 2-3 different rewards cards, provided, of course, that you pay your bills in full every month. The theory behind this is that while you won’t be able to find a single rewards card offering the best available rewards on every purchase category, you can find a few different cards that collectively do so. We therefore suggest getting the cash rebate credit card with the highest earning rate across all spending categories and using it to make everyday purchases. Then augment the earning potential of this card by identifying rewards cards that offer at least twice that much on your largest spending categories.

    Community Discussion

    Ask a question or help others find the best cash back by sharing some tips.

     
    Mar 14, 2015
    By:
    I just received my first Capitol One credit card. It has a 20% interest rate, but I’m okay with that. I have really bad credit and I am starting to rebuild it back. I have applied to many different offers and this is the only one that is giving me the opportunity to do so. This will be a great asset for me in the coming months. My intention is to use only what I can afford to pay off in the same month. This will keep the interest at the lowest possible amount. And I will have no carry overs from month to month. I am truly looking forward to this opportunity.
    Feb 27, 2015
    By:
    I currently use a Navy Federal Credit Union anytime cash back card. It has no fees and no annual cost to use, and it gives me 1.5% cash back on every purchase. I don't think any credit card is perfect and all rewards could be more, but I do feel that cash back cards are the best of them all. Especially because mine has no minimum withdrawal threshold. I always pay off my card, so essentially I pay 98.5% for all my purchases because of this card. That money that I earn can be invested vs. the other reward cards which cannot be invested but only consumed through a restaurant or something similar.
    Feb 14, 2015
    By:
    I use the Chase Freedom Cash Back credit card, and I love it. With the 5% cash back return rate, I find that the cash rewards really add up quickly. The interest rate is also low on this card so I find myself using the card for day to day purchases, such as gas, groceries, drugstore purchases, dining out, etc. I also use it for big purchases like airfare and hotels. I think that cash back offers are really good in comparison to other rewards cards because you are earning cash as opposed to points. Cash can be used anywhere, not specifically on travel, hotels, dining out, or gift cards like some other cards with points require.
    Oct 11, 2014
    By:
    I love my cash back credit cards with no annual fee. I pretty much use them for every purchase that I make, whether that is at the grocery store, gasoline for the car, or online. The key is to only buy things that you would only normally buy or need. In other words, don't spend needlessly just so you can get more cash back rewards. In buying only the things you need, you are at least getting some money back on these purchases and thus will be saving money. I also use different cards to maximize the amount of cash back. For example, the Chase Freedom card has rotating categories that are 5% back. I find the cash back credit cards to be very useful because you are essentially getting money back, which means you can use it however you want. You can put it towards your credit card bill. You can use it to get gift cards. Or you can use it to get cash. Really, it is money back in your pocket for you to spend as you see fit. That's the best thing in the world!!!
    Oct 4, 2014
    By:
    I think credit cards that offer cash back are way better than cards that offer other types of rewards. You can’t go wrong with cash right? You are basically getting a discount on your purchases if you receive cash back. I have credit cards that offer other types of rewards like free electronics or some other items but I can always just buy these using my cash back. Also sometimes these other rewards aren't appealing to me so I would definitely rather have cash so I can decide what to do with it instead of the rewards company telling me what I can get.
    Sep 9, 2014
    By:
    I like the cash back cards because you can pay down your credit card bill if you need to, or sometimes you can use their special deals to turn you cash back into more purchasing power. I have one card that lets you buy a $30 Home Depot or CVS Pharmacy card for $25 of your cash back. Right now I'm signed up with Discover to earn 5% cash back on gas. To me that's like saving $3.50 per tank of gas. The only catch is to make sure you aren't using the cash back as an "excuse" to purchase more than you should. Make sure you can pay it off before it accrues interest, or the cash back doesn't make any sense.
    Aug 26, 2014
    By:
    I refuse to use any credit card with an annual fee. My favorite cash back card is the HSBC Platinum Cash MasterCard. It gives me an amazing 5% back on all gas, groceries, and drug store(non-prescriptions only) purchases but stops the yearly rewards after it reaches $500.00. It does not have any annual fee. I always reach the maximum and get $500 each year which we apply against our next statement when awarded. I have a feeling that they will drastically change or eliminate this card soon since their credit card division has recently been sold to another company. We also have a straight 1% cash back MasterCard for purchasing anything from Bank of America that does not limit how much you can earn. It also includes ShopSafe software that we use for all internet purchases since we can assign temporary credit card numbers with amount and expiration date adjustable. We also have a third card from Capital One that gives 1% on most stuff and 2% on gas which we got mainly for travel outside the US so we will not have to pay the 3% transaction fee that is common for our other cards.
    Jul 15, 2014
    By:
    If you're the type of person who doesn't travel much, then cards with cash back rewards are better than other rewards programs. There are cards that don't have annual fees that still offer cash back. I have a Wells Fargo Rewards Card, and set up all of my bills to come out of it. I have to pay bills anyway; I might as well earn cash back on them, since I can.
    Jul 7, 2014
    By:
    I have the Capital One Quicksilver card, I got it last year. I just started paying interest on it, I went for a long time without paying interest on it. I really like the cash back on it. It started at 1% and is now 1.5%, they even raised my limit on it. I setup my cahback to be applied to my account when I hit $50, which is a good way to build it up again. I really like this card but don't use it a lot, just when I run short at the end of the month it really does come in handy.
    Jun 23, 2014
    By:
    Cash back credit cards are fantastic and give me a strong reason to use them over any other card. They are one of the reasons I prefer store credit cards. I know that their rates are incredibly high, but if you pay them off on time everything begins to add up. You get quite a bit of money out of it.
    Jun 6, 2014
    By:
    I think that credit cards that offer cash back rewards are better than credit cards that offer other types of rewards. The reasoning for that, at least for me, is that people can always use extra cash. Plus, they are not limited to what they can use that cash on. I think it is a very beneficial type of program. Plus it encourages people to use their credit card because it not only helps them get extra cash, but it also helps with their credit. That is why I love my Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card.
    May 29, 2014
    By:
    I have the Chase Freedom card and it is wonderful. I use it for almost everything I buy, and even to pay some bills. You get 1% back on everything, and 5% cash back on certain categories that switch every quarter. If you make a lot of online purchases you can shop through the online mall and get even more rewards. They add up quickly. Just make sure you pay off the card every month so you aren't accruing interest.
    May 6, 2014
    By:
    I like credit cards that offer cash back. I find that I like getting money back, better than anything else. Reward programs take too long to accomplish and a lot of times the terms change. But cards that offer cash back usually always offer cash back. I find that if you pay all your bills with your card, then just pay it off, the cash back really adds up fast.
    May 3, 2014
    By:
    I made it a point to choose a credit card that offered cash back on my purchases. I have a visa card from chase. I think it's a great incentive to use the card knowing you'll get a little cash back on the purchases you make. I use my card as much as possible. I use it for grocery shopping, paying bills, and other daily purchases. Using the card for things I'd have to purchase anyway is a great way to save me a little extra money which is very important to me. I'm always looking for ways to make or save a little money. The way I see it is, every little bit counts! Once I reach $100 of cash back I am able to request a check. I use that check towards future purchases. If possible, everyone looking to open a credit card should choose one that offers cash back.
    Mar 24, 2014
    By:
    Cash back rewards are really only great if the company that promises them actually gives them to you!

    I recently decided to get a US Bank Cash+ Visa Card. The 5% cash rewards on many different categories sounded pretty good in the ads. Wow, I thought, I will be able to choose the category where you purchase the most goods in. Not until after I had signed up did I notice all the odd areas that US Bank actually gives you to choose from. Many of these pre set and static reward categories are nothing like other reward cards from Citibank, Chase or Discover, (such as for online purchases, bill pay, or travel/airline purchases.)

    Oh no, they are the same lame narrow choices such as car rentals, sporting goods stores or furniture stores - surely nothing for most people to get excited about. The ones that were actually useful have long been discontinued - I guess it was only profitable for the customers and not for the bank.

    I just received my latest statement and found that none of the many purchases I made in electronic stores (the category I had chosen) were rewarded with the promised 5%! I sent an email via my US Bank internal account messaging system to get an answer - but did not get a response at all. After about two weeks I decided to call their phone number - they would have to talk to me - this way I could not just be ignored. After more
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