The Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Love getting cash back on your credit card purchases? Find the best cards right here that offer the most perks and rewards.

Featured Credit Cards of 2018
Featured Credit Cards of 2018
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If you're like a lot of people, you might feel a bit guilty because you spend a lot.

You spend a lot at the grocery store and gas station. You spend at restaurants and clothing stores, as well as paying bills and other necessities of life.

You shouldn't feel guilty because you spend what you need to live the life you choose.

In fact, you should earn rewards for it!

If you have a family and live in a major American city like New York or San Francisco, your weekly total expenses (before rent) are probably over $1,000.

That's not your fault – it's just the cost of living and there isn't a whole lot you can do to change it. But you shouldn't feel completely helpless because there is at least one choice you can make to take advantage of all that spending you do.

Cost of Living in the U.S.

Choosing a cashback credit card lets you put some of the money you spend every week back in your pocket.

If you don't use a cashback credit card for your purchases, you are pretty much throwing money away.

Fortunately, there are lots of cashback rewards programs out there to choose from. A credit card issuer will often offer a cashback rewards card with no annual fee.

If you use them correctly, cashback cards can save you hundreds of dollars every year.

We've looked at all the cashback cards offered by every credit card company and reviewed them to see which cashback rewards cards were the best for saving you money.

Choose one of the cashback credit cards listed below and start feeling better about what you spend.

Make sure you know the difference between a "cashback" credit card and a "rewards" credit card

Do you want cash, or do you want to travel?The difference between a "cashback" credit card and a "rewards" credit card can be confusing.

Basically, a "cashback" credit card gives you money back for purchases. It can be in the form of a gift card, a statement credit, or a savings account deposit.

A "rewards" card lets you earn points or miles for purchases that you can redeem for specific things like travel.

Let your lifestyle decide for you.When you're deciding whether to go with a rewards card or a cashback card, it's important that you choose the type of card that is most suitable for you.

If you travel a lot, a card that earns you travel miles makes senses.

But if you're just looking to get back some of the money you spend so you can save on your budget, a cashback card is what you are looking for.

How we picked the best cashback credit cards

When we compared all the cashback credit cards out there, we checked out a few key features to determine which ones were the best.

Show us the money.The most important one was the bottom line: which cards gave the user the opportunity to earn the most cashback for their purchases. The cards that let you earn the most reward points for spending on purchases is what we were looking for.

It shouldn't cost to earn cash.We also looked at annual fees. If you're paying annual fees for a cashback credit card, it digs into your bottom line.

Intro bonus offers are a plus.Introductory sign-up bonus offers are not forever, but some of the offers out there can result in hundreds of dollars in your pocket just for signing up and using the card.

Check out our picks for the best cashback credit cards, and choose the one that's going to be best for you.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited

The best overall cashback credit card because you can earn unlimited cashback at a fixed rate of 1.5%

Looking for this card? Apply now

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card tops our list of best cashback credit cards for a couple of important reasons.

Straightforward cashback on everything.First, it has a 1.5% cashback rate on all purchases. That may seem straightforward, but a lot of cashback cards offer higher cashback for spending in certain categories.

It can start to feel like hard work keeping track of what categories you have to spend in to earn the most points.

But with Chase Freedom Unlimited, it's 1.5% no matter what.

There are no categories to keep track of or register for. Plus, for many cashback cards, there are caps on how much cashback you can earn.

But there are no limits to how much you can earn with the Chase Freedom Unlimited.

People also love that the Chase Freedom Unlimited card has no annual fees. So, the cashback you earn stays in your pocket.

Cash Back Cards Base Rate

Do the math on balance transfers.One thing people don't like about the Chase Freedom Unlimited card is its high 5% balance transfer fee.

Although it comes with a 15-month 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, you can still save money on interest by performing a balance transfer from a high-interest credit card.

It's easy to qualify for up to a $175 sign-up bonus

Big sign-up bonus, small spending requirement.With some cashback credit cards, you need to spend thousands in purchases in the first few months to claim the sign-up bonus.

But with Chase Freedom Unlimited, all you have to do is spend $500 on purchases in the first three months and you get a $150 bonus.

Then, when you sign on another authorized user and they use the card within the first three months, you get another $25 bonus.

There are no limits to the number of points you can earn, and redeeming them is easy

Start racking up the cashback with unlimited earnings at 1.5%. Every dollar you spend on purchases using the Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns you one cash reward point. Plus, there is no limit to the amount of cash reward points you can earn.

Each cash reward point is worth $0.01 (one cent). When you spend a dollar on the card on a purchase, it earns you 1.5 cash reward points.

So, if you purchase something for $500, you earn 750 cash reward points. That's worth $7.50 in cashback.

Flexible redemption options.You can redeem any amount of cash reward points for cashback, and they never expire as long as you have your account open.

You choose between redeeming your cashback points as a statement credit or as a deposit into a checking or savings account. You can also redeem points for gift cards and travel.

Are there any protections offered with the Chase Freedom Unlimited?

You're well-protected.Yes, the Chase Freedom Unlimited card comes with a whole list of features designed to protect cardholders.

Zero liability protection means you don't have to pay for transactions that are unauthorized or fraudulent.

Purchase protection covers new purchases up to $500 if they get damaged or stolen. Extended warranty adds a year to an existing warranty of three years or less. You're even covered for theft and collision damage when you rent a car.

Take advantage of the 0% intro APR offer when you apply

The easiest way to apply for the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card is to fill out the online application.

Time for a shopping spree.In addition to the 15-month 0% intro APR offer on balance transfers, the no-interest offer also applies to purchases in the first 15 months.

So, if you've been waiting for a good time to make a major purchase, apply for the card and then take advantage of the no-interest period.

If you immediately use the card to spend $500 or more on a new major purchase it will also qualify you to get that $125 sign-up bonus right away.

The Citi Double Cash

This card doubles all your cashback when you pay off your purchases

Looking for this card? Apply now

At first, cashback seems small.With an unlimited cashback rate of 1% on all purchases, it might seem like the Citi Double Cash card can't compete with the 1.5% rate offered by Chase Freedom Unlimited.

Then cashback gets doubled.But with this card, you actually earn cashback twice. First, you earn 1% cashback on all purchases. Then, you earn another 1% as you pay the balance on the purchase.

So, you actually earn two points for every dollar you spend and pay off. The card offers a high rate of cashback on unlimited purchases, with no annual fee.

That's what led us to choose the Citi Double Cash card as our #2 pick for cashback credit cards.

Feel the freedom of no caps or categories.People love that there are no caps on spending or category restrictions with the Citi Double Cash card.

You don't need to enroll or register for higher rates of cashback. You can spend as much as you want and still earn the double cashback once you pay it off.

Preferred Benefits That Enticed Consumers To Open a Credit Account (2017)

Negative cardholder reviews indicate they don't like that you can't redeem less than $25.

There is no sign-up bonus, but you can take advantage of the 18-month 0% APR intro offer on balance transfers

Unfortunately, there is no cashback sign-up bonus with the Citi Double Cash card.

The only introductory offer from this card is on balance transfers.

Super long no interest balance transfer intro period.For the first 18 months, you will be charged no interest (0% APR) on balance transfers made within the first four months after you open the card. Although you will still pay a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum).

That's OK, but a lot of credit cards offer a 0% intro APR period on purchases too. But not the Citi Double Cash card.

Enjoy some flexibility when you redeem your cashback

Cashback is redeemed at a rate of one dollar per 100 points.

Several options to get your cash.When it comes to cashing in your points, there are a few ways you can redeem.

You can get your money in the form of a check. Or, you can use it as a credit on your statement to reduce your balance. You can also turn your cash into a gift card.

What digital services are offered with the Citi Double Cash card?

Citi offers fairly standard digital services such as an online banking portal and a smartphone app. You can also link your Citi Double Cash card with Apple Pay.

Txt 4U LOL.But what's really cool is the free Citi Text Banking mobile banking option. Just by texting "STMT," you will get a statement with all your credit card payment details. And there are dozens of other commands you can text to access information and services.

Make the most of the 0% intro APR on balance transfers when you apply

The offer is there, so use it.Since the only introductory offer you get when you sign up for the Citi Double Cash card is an 18-month intro period with 0% APR on balance transfers, you might as well take advantage of it.

If you're paying interest on a balance sitting on another credit card account, you should transfer it to your new Citi Double Cash card as soon as your application is approved.

You can apply for the Citi Double Cash card via the phone by calling 1-800-325-5036 or apply online here.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

This card offers unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases

Capital One® Quicksilver® Rewards
Apply Now
On Capital One’s secure website
Capital One® Quicksilver® Rewards
Apply Now
On Capital One’s secure website
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Intro APR
  • Regular APR
    0% intro APR for 15 months; 14.74% - 24.74% variable APR after that
  • Annual fee
    See Terms
  • Credit level

It's easy: 1.5% cashback on everything.Like the Chase Freedom Unlimited, the Capital One Quicksilver card lets you earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases.

With both cards, there are no limits to how much you can earn on purchases, and there's no annual fee.

Cardholders like the service.According to customer reviews, cardmembers appreciate the high standard for customer service they get with their Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card.

That includes customer support that is easy to access and services like fraud monitoring.

Your credit score better be "Excellent."One thing people don't like about the Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is that it is difficult to get approved for. You'll need to have an "Excellent" credit score to get approved for this card.

And even once approved, some cardholders have complained that it is difficult to get the credit limit raised, even with a perfect payment history on the card.

All you have to do to get a $150 sign-up bonus is spend $500 in three months

Major cash for a minor expense.The sign-up bonus for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is a hefty $150 in cashback credit.

Unlike some of the cards that make you spend thousands to claim your sign-up bonus, all you have to do to qualify for the $150 is spend $500 in the first three months.

Automatic cashback redemption moves your money over with zero effort

It will put your cashback right in the bank for you. One unique feature we discovered when we reviewed the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is the opportunity to sign up for automatic redemptions.

You can set up your account so your cashback gets automatically put into your checking or savings account or applied as statement credit once it reaches a certain amount.

So, for example, you can choose to have your $100 cashback automatically deposited into your checking or savings account once your points level hits 10,000.

It's like a pre-authorized payment, except instead of paying a bill you're paying yourself.

Payment Issues That Banking Industry Should Address (2017)

What is the APR with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card?

Short intro 0% APR, then an average interest rate.For the first nine months after you open your Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, there is no interest charged on purchases you make with the card (0% intro APR).

After that, the normal purchase variable APR is set at either 13.99%, 18.99%, or 23.99% based on your creditworthiness.

If you have trouble getting approved when you apply for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card, try the Quicksilver One card

It's easy to apply online for the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card.

But that doesn't mean it's easy to get approved. As we mentioned, it can be difficult to get approved for this cashback credit card unless you have an "Excellent" credit score.

If you don't get approved, don't worry, there's a plan B.If you can't get approved, you can try the Capital One QuicksilverOne Rewards card. You can get approved with a "Good" or "Average" credit score.

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Rewards
Apply Now
On Capital One’s secure website
Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Rewards
Apply Now
On Capital One’s secure website
Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Intro APR
  • Regular APR
    24.99% variable APR
  • Annual fee
  • Credit level

When it comes to earning cashback it is identical – you earn 1.5% cashback on unlimited purchases.

The difference is, it comes with a $39 annual fee and there is no sign-up bonus.

The Discover it Cashback Match

This card lets you earn cashback at 5% then matches it after year one

Looking for this card? Apply now

We're going to make you work a little for this one.All the cards we've reviewed so far have been very straightforward. You earn a fixed rate of cashback for them all. You don't have to pay attention to rotating categories where the rate of cashback is increased.

The Discover it Cashback Match is our pick for the best card with rotating bonus categories.

The chance to earn 5% cashback when you shop in bonus categories is hard to pass up. Even though you can only earn on up to $1,500 in spending in these categories each quarter, the bonus cashback still adds up.

When you consider that you get all the cashback you earn in year one matched, the Discover it Cashback Match is a solid choice.

Lowest cashback APR.People love the low APR with the Discover it Cashback Match. After a generous 14-month period with a 0% intro APR rate on purchases, the regular variable APR is set between 11.99-23.99%.

That's the lowest variable APR among the cashback cards we have reviewed here.

You can't earn cashback when your card isn't accepted. What people don't love about the Discover it Cashback Match is that it is not accepted everywhere. Especially when overseas, not all retailers honor the Discover card.

Nothing beats the Discover it Cashback Match's sign-up bonus

Of all the cashback cards that we reviewed, none of them could touch the Discover it Cashback Match's sign up bonus.

Earn up to 5% for a whole year, and then it gets matched.It doesn't matter if you earned your cashback at a rate of 5% via rotating bonus categories or at 1% every other way.

Every single point you earn in the first 12 billing cycles will get automatically matched at the end of the year.

Even if you just earned 5% cashback on the $1,500 maximum spent in the quarterly bonus categories, you would receive $300. If it was year one, the $300 would be matched to become $600!

It's worth the effort to make the most of the rotating 5% cashback categories

Register to earn big cashback.Every quarter (three months) Discover it Cashback Match cardholders have to register to earn 5% in a different category.

From September to December, the 5% is earned on purchases at Target or From January to March, it's gas stations and wholesale clubs. April to June sees 5% earned at grocery stores. And July to September is the quarter when restaurants earn 5% cashback.

You'll probably be spending in those categories anyway, so it's nice to know that for a quarter of the year you'll be earning 5% cashback on those expenses (up to $1,500 in spending).

And since this card also comes with no annual fee, you keep all the cashback you earn.

What happens when there is a late payment?

Lateness is not punished.TheDiscover it Cashback Match card also has some features that might be appealing to people who are often late with their credit card payments.

There is no late fee charged for your first late payment. After that, you can be charged up to $37 for a late payment.

How Americans Receive Their Late-Payment Reminders (2017)But if you are late, there is no penalty APR charged by the Discover it Cashback Match card.

Apply when you know you've got some big expenses coming up

It pays to strategize your sign-up.Since there is a 0% APR on purchases for the first 14 months, and you get all the cashback you earn in year one doubled, you can definitely strategize when it comes to signing up for the Discover it Cashback Match card.

Time your application so you can get approved right before you are about to make significant purchases. You can carry a balance and not pay any interest for over a year.

Plus, you will double whatever cashback you earned on the big purchase. If it falls within an active bonus category, you can earn a whopping 10% cashback!

Everyone should be earning cashback on their credit card spending

You're going to spend money. So why not get rewarded for it?

Always earn cashback.All the cards we've reviewed here let you earn cashback for the things you purchase.

Some are more straightforward than others. And if you want to maximize your earnings you can choose the cashback card that has rotating 5% bonus categories.

Never pay an annual fee for cashback.Another thing every cashback credit card we reviewed here has in common is no annual fee.

The goal with a cashback credit card is to save money, so why would we recommend one that cost money?

Whichever one you pick, start earning cashback now and stop feeling guilty about your spending. You deserve to live the life you choose, and to get rewarded for it!

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Editorial Note:

Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.