Choosing the Right Cash Back Credit Card: a Comprehensive Guide


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The information for the following product(s) has been collected independently by Business Insider: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card†, Chase Freedom Flex℠, U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card. The details for these products have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer.

Best Cash Back Credit Cards of May 2024

Introduction to Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash-back credit cards are among some of the most popular card types, returning anywhere from 1% to 10% cash back on all kinds of purchases — and often without an annual fee. For folks who are just getting into credit card rewards, or who want to keep things simple, cash-back credit cards are a good choice since they don’t require much work to use.

Best Cash Back Credit Card Comparison


Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Everyday Spending

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.35/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5% cash back on Chase 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.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months


Regular APR

20.49% – 29.24% Variable

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Solid flat cash-back rate
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases


Product Details

  • 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


Best Cash Back Credit Card for Rotating Cash Back Categories

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover Discover it® Cash Back

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.8/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers


Regular APR

17.24% – 28.24% Variable

Earn Unlimited Cashback Match™

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. From April 1 to June 30, 2024, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations & electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores, and public transit on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Discover will match your cash back earned at the end of your first account year
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If the quarterly categories aren’t convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card


Product Details

  • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases-automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.


Best for flat-rate cash rewards

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.3/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening


Regular APR

20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Good welcome bonus for a $0 annual fee card
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Straightforward 2% cash rewards on purchases with no categories to track
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong benefits including cell phone protection, Visa Signature perks, and an intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If you’ve opened a Wells Fargo card in the past six months, you may not qualify for an additional Wells Fargo credit card
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Foreign transaction fees


Product Details

  • Select “Apply Now” 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.


Best Cash Back Credit Card for Families

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.5/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Limited time offer: Earn 10% cash back per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide for three months, on up to $25,000 in purchases when eligible card member refers a friend and the friend applies by May 22, 2024 and gets the card (terms apply).
Earn 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%). Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Earn 3% cash back on transit (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more). Earn 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back is received as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.


Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening


Regular APR

19.24% – 29.99% Variable

Earn a $250 statement credit


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Generous bonus rewards, especially at U.S. supermarkets
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Intro APR offer
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you’ll want to use another card once you reach that cap


Product Details

  • 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.


Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Dining, Groceries, and Entertainment With No Annual Fee

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.15/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. Earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). Earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®). Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee for the first 15 months, then 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time)


Regular APR

19.99% – 29.99% Variable


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Bonus cash back on dining, entertainment, and grocery store purchases
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Long intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Other cards earn more cash back in certain bonus categories
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Not the highest sign-up bonus among cash-back cards


Product Details

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% – 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

Best Cash Back Credit Card Reviews

Cash back credit cards make it easy to rack up rewards by offering simple redemption opportunities: Either convert your cards into a statement credit toward your card’s outstanding balance, or use them for travel redemptions or other exciting prizes and rewards. The best cash back credit cards offer bonus categories, introductory 0% APR for balance transfers and new purchases, or additional value on everyday transactions.

These are the top options available in 2024, according to Business Insider’s team of personal finance experts. 

Best Cash Back Card for Everyday Spending


Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Everyday Spending

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.35/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5% cash back on Chase 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.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months


Regular APR

20.49% – 29.24% Variable

Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Solid flat cash-back rate
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. You can combine cash-back rewards with Ultimate Rewards points if you have an eligible card
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Some other cards offer a higher rate of cash back on certain types of purchases


Product Details

  • 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

If you’re looking for a card that combines strong bonus categories with decent flat-rate rewards on non-bonus spending, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® could fit the bill. It offers 5% cash back (5x points) on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% cash back (3x points) on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% cash back (1.5x points) on everything else. 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and offers a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 15 months. After that, there’s a 20.49% – 29.24% Variable. If you have a major purchase ahead of you, that introductory offer can be useful.

If you also have an annual-fee Chase Ultimate Rewards card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, or Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card, you can pool your points from the two cards. Then, you’ll be able to transfer the whole body of points to Chase’s airline and hotel partners or use them to book travel through Chase with a bonus.

Plus, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® has a substantial welcome offer: additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). 

Read our Chase Freedom Unlimited® review

Best Cash Back Card for Rotating Cash Back Categories


Best Cash Back Credit Card for Rotating Cash Back Categories

Discover it® Cash Back

Discover Discover it® Cash Back

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.8/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases automatically.


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers


Regular APR

17.24% – 28.24% Variable

Earn Unlimited Cashback Match™

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. From April 1 to June 30, 2024, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations & electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores, and public transit on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Discover will match your cash back earned at the end of your first account year
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If the quarterly categories aren’t convenient for you, you can earn more cash back with a different card


Product Details

  • Intro Offer: Unlimited Cashback Match for all new cardmembers – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases-automatically.
  • Redeem your rewards for cash at any time.
  • Discover could help you reduce exposure of your personal information online by helping you remove it from select people-search sites that could sell your data. It’s free, activate with the mobile app.
  • Get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases. Then 17.24% to 28.24% Standard Variable Purchase APR applies, based on credit worthiness.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms and conditions apply.

If you prefer a card that earns straight cash back, not points, and like the idea of rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back could be a great fit. You can earn 5% cash back in popular rotating quarterly bonus categories when you activate, on up to $1,500 in combined spending (then 1%). You’ll also earn 1% back everywhere else (from April 1 to June 30, 2024, you can earn 5% cash back at gas stations & electric vehicle charging stations, home improvement stores, and public transit on up to $1,500 in purchases after enrollment, then 1%).

Instead of a regular welcome bonus, Discover rewards new cardholders in a different way. After the first 12 months, it will match all of the rewards you earn from the card through the Discover Cashback Match program. That means you can effectively earn up to 10% back in your first year — and if you’re a big spender, this can pay off handsomely.

Read our Discover it® Cash Back review

Best Cash Back Card for Flat-Rate Cash Rewards


Best for flat-rate cash rewards

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.3/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening


Regular APR

20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Good welcome bonus for a $0 annual fee card
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Straightforward 2% cash rewards on purchases with no categories to track
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Strong benefits including cell phone protection, Visa Signature perks, and an intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If you’ve opened a Wells Fargo card in the past six months, you may not qualify for an additional Wells Fargo credit card
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Foreign transaction fees


Product Details

  • Select “Apply Now” 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.

Not only does the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card rank highly in this guide, but it also tops our list of the best 2% cash back credit cards. It earns a flat rewards rate on everything —  2% cash rewards on purchases, with no bonus categories to keep track of. Our guide to earning and redeeming Wells Fargo Rewards details all the ways to use your cash rewards from this card.

It offers a substantial welcome bonus for a no-annual-fee card: $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months from account opening. In addition, new cardholders get a 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (followed by a 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR). That’s super useful if you have large expenses you want to pay off over time. 

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card comes with a good array of benefits, which include cell phone protection, roadside dispatch, travel emergency assistance, and access to the Visa Signature® Concierge. However, it does charge foreign transaction fees, so if you’re traveling outside the US, you’ll want to pack a different card.

Read our Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card review

Best Cash Back Card for Families


Best Cash Back Credit Card for Families

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

3.5/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Limited time offer: Earn 10% cash back per dollar spent at restaurants worldwide for three months, on up to $25,000 in purchases when eligible card member refers a friend and the friend applies by May 22, 2024 and gets the card (terms apply).
Earn 6% cash back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%). Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. Earn 3% cash back on transit (including taxis, rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more). Earn 3% cash back on gas at U.S. gas stations. Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back is received as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.


Annual Fee

$0 intro for the first year, then $95


Intro APR

0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening


Regular APR

19.24% – 29.99% Variable

Earn a $250 statement credit


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Generous bonus rewards, especially at U.S. supermarkets
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. One of a small handful of credit cards that offer bonus rewards on select streaming services
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Intro APR offer
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Unlike many other cash-back cards, it charges an annual fee
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. If you spend more than $6,000 at US supermarkets each year, you’ll want to use another card once you reach that cap


Product Details

  • 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.

If you’re looking for an American Express cash back card, especially if you have a large family that spends a lot on groceries, streaming, and commuting, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is an excellent option. It offers a 0% intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers from the date of account opening, before switching to a 19.24% – 29.99% Variable APR.

Currently, the card offers a welcome bonus of a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first six months from account opening. It also comes with a handful of travel and shopping protections, including car rental insurance, return protection, purchase protection, and extended warranty. 

Keep in mind there’s an annual fee of $0 intro for the first year, then $95, so you’ll want to be sure you spend enough to justify paying it. If you prefer a no-annual-fee Amex cash-back card, check out the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express instead.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express offers the highest rewards rate available for grocery spending, although there is a $6,000 annual spending cap on that 6% rate. After that, you earn 1% (cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as statement credits or at Amazon.com checkout). Otherwise, the card earns 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit, and 1% back on all other purchases.

Read our Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express review

Best Cash Back Card for Groceries, Dining, and Entertainment


Best Cash-Back Credit Card for Dining, Groceries, and Entertainment With No Annual Fee

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Insider’s Rating

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

A five pointed star

4.15/5

Icon of check mark inside a promo stamp It indicates a confirmed selection.

Perks

Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024. Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. Earn 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply). Earn 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®). Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.


Intro APR

0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee for the first 15 months, then 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time)


Regular APR

19.99% – 29.99% Variable


Recommended Credit

Good to Excellent

Pros

  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. No annual fee
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Bonus cash back on dining, entertainment, and grocery store purchases
  • Check mark icon A check mark. It indicates a confirmation of your intended interaction. Long intro APR period for purchases and balance transfers
Cons

  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Other cards earn more cash back in certain bonus categories
  • con icon Two crossed lines that form an ‘X’. Not the highest sign-up bonus among cash-back cards


Product Details

  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • Earn 10% cash back on purchases made through Uber & Uber Eats, plus complimentary Uber One membership statement credits through 11/14/2024
  • Earn 8% cash back on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Earn unlimited 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, where you’ll get Capital One’s best prices on thousands of trip options. Terms apply
  • 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
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months; 19.99% – 29.99% variable APR after that; balance transfer fee applies
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card seems almost custom-made for folks who like to get out and experience life to the fullest. If you’re a foodie, love attending concerts and sporting events, or even enjoy entertaining at home, this card can help you earn a lot of rewards for your spending.

Cardholders earn 3% cash back on dining, at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target), entertainment, and popular streaming services, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card also offers 5% cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through the Capital One Travel portal.

The welcome bonus is generous, too: $200 cash back after you spend $500 on purchases within three months from account opening. And if you’ve got big purchases coming up, a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (3% fee for the first 15 months, then 4% at a promotional APR that Capital One may offer you at any other time) (followed by a 19.99% – 29.99% Variable APR) can make it easier to spread out your payments (rates and fees).

This card offers a handful of good benefits, including extended warranty***, travel accident insurance***, and travel emergency assistance services***. As with all other Capital One credit cards, you won’t pay foreign transaction fees on international purchases, so it’s great to use when you’re out globetrotting.

Also, if you don’t think your credit score is good enough to qualify for the regular version of the card, and you’re currently enrolled in college, you could apply for the student version of the card to convert to the regular version after graduation.

Read our Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card review

What You Should Know About Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards can be an easy way to break into the world of credit card rewards. They come in a few different types:

  • Flat rate — These cards earn the same rate of cash back on all purchases. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 1.5% back on most spending (the Freedom Unlimited also offers bonus cash back on eligible travel, dining, and drugstore purchases).
  • Select bonus categories — Many other cash back cards offer bonus cash back (more than 1%) on select spending categories. For example, with the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card†
    , you’ll earn 4% back on dining, streaming services, and entertainment, and 3% back at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart and Target).
  • Rotating categories — A few cards, including the Chase Freedom Flex℠
    , offer bonus cash back on a selection of spending categories that changes every quarter of the year. These cards have a cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter — with the Chase Freedom Flex℠, you’ll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter (then 1%).
  • Some cards are starting to offer yet a fourth format for delivering cash back rewards: pick your own bonus categories from a list of options. These cards include the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card and the U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
    .

If you’re willing to juggle multiple credit card accounts, there’s value in having both cash back and points-earning cards. If you prefer a single-card strategy, evaluate your goals and consider how much you’re willing to pay in annual fees to make the best decision for your situation.

If you’re trying to put money back in your wallet, our top recommendations are to transfer your cash back to a bank account or use it to reduce the amount owed on your credit card statement.

On the other hand, if you’re hoping to earn rewards that you can redeem for travel, a card that earns points is more up your alley. Our points-earning picks for the best rewards credit cards earn either Amex Membership Rewards points, Chase Ultimate Rewards points, Citi ThankYou Rewards points, or Capital One miles. You can transfer all of these currencies to travel partners and redeem them for things like free flights. (Note that while Capital One calls its rewards currency “miles,” they aren’t miles with a given airline program.)

How to Use a Cash Back Credit Card

To use a cash back credit card, you’ll want to remember that it won’t be worth it if you’re paying interest or late fees. It’s important to pay your balance in full each month, make payments on time, and only spend what you can afford.

Cash back cards vary greatly in their return rates — you can earn anywhere from 1% to 6% back. Even better, many cash back cards have no annual fee, so you don’t have to pay for the privilege of earning rewards.

If you’re new to rewards credit cards and aren’t interested in earning travel points or miles, a cash back card is the best option for you. With cash back cards, 1% back will always be 1 cent back, no matter what, and you can use your cash back to lower your monthly bill or transfer it to your checking account, among other options.

The best cash back credit card for you depends on your spending habits and if you prefer a flat rate of cash back on all spending or earning bonus cash back on specific types of purchases. Flat-rate cash back cards are best for those who don’t want to keep track of multiple bonus categories and just want a simple earning structure.

But if you really want to maximize your rewards earning, choosing a card that earns bonus cash back in categories where you spend a lot — like groceries, dining, or gas — can make a huge difference in your rate of return.

How to Choose a Cash Back Credit Card

To choose the best cash back credit card for you, you’ll want to look for a few things:

  • The cash back rate for your common spending categories. Extra cash back for gas isn’t much use if you don’t drive. Consider how you intend to use this card, and look at the rate for those spending categories.
  • How you redeem your cash back. Make sure you’re clear on what you’re earning. Is it statement credit? Cash? Points? If points, can they be combined with or transferred to other cards you have, or brands you like?
  • The annual fee. An annual fee may make or break your choice. Are you willing to pay one? And more importantly, can you afford it comfortably — or will it be effectively wiped out by the cash back you’ll earn in a year?

We don’t mention the APR because the rate only applies if you’re carrying a balance on your credit card. We recommend applying for a cash back credit card intending to pay off the balance in full each month. For other categories of credit cards, like balance transfer cards, the APR might be a more important consideration.

If this all sounds too complicated, you can’t go wrong by using the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, which has no annual fee and a flat earning rate of 2% cash rewards on purchases.

Cash back credit cards are often best used in combination with cards that earn points to create a complete credit card portfolio that takes advantage of multiple types of rewards. If you’re trying to decide whether to open a cash back credit card, whether as your first card or one of many, bear these pros and cons in mind:

Pros of cash back credit cards

  • They rarely carry annual fees
  • There are no restrictions on how you can redeem and spend the cash
  • You can earn airline and hotel status by booking with cash (but not points)

Cons of cash back credit cards

Cash Back Credit Card Best Practices

If you have a cash-back credit card or are considering opening one, you’ll want to make the most of it. Keep the following steps in mind to get the most value from your card:

Always Pay Your Balance in Full

Credit card cash back or points aren’t useful if you’re carrying a balance and paying interest charges each month. To make the most of rewards, use your card responsibly: Spend only the money you have and pay your bill in full each month.

Track and Maximize Bonus Categories

Some cash-back cards offer elevated rewards rates on specific spending areas, like restaurants, gas stations, or supermarkets. Some of these cards even change those areas from quarter to quarter, meaning you’ll want to stay on top of where your card earns the most and when.

If you use your cash-back card for every purchase, you don’t need to be as diligent, but if you’re using your card as one of many you’ll want to be sure you know how to maximize rewards.

Redeem Your Cash Back Rewards

It might be tempting to let your cash back pile up just to watch the total tick up, but it’s more useful if you redeem it. You can generally apply the cash to your card balance or get it deposited in your checking account, and either one is a fine option. 

Consider Opening A “Partner” Card For Additional Value

As mentioned above, in some cases, you can transfer cash back to a points-earning card on which your rewards are worth more. This strategy isn’t required to make the most of your cash back card, but it can help take rewards to the next level.

Chase cards are an example of this: If you hold a cash-back card like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and a points-earning card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, you can transfer rewards earned on the Freedom Flex to the Sapphire Preferred, and unlock more redemption options. 

Cash Back Credit Card Frequently Asked Questions

Cash-back credit cards work by giving you a percentage of every dollar you spend — usually at least 1% — as cash back in your card account. Some cash-back cards earn a higher percentage in bonus categories, such as groceries, dining, or gas. You can transfer the cash back you earn from these cards to a bank account, use it to pay down your credit card statement, or redeem it for gifts and merchandise.

Cash-back credit cards do give cash, but that’s not to say you’ll necessarily see the physical cash. You’re typically awarded cash back as a credit that you can use to cancel out purchases from your credit card statement, or to redeem for gift cards or merchandise online. Some cards do let you take your cash as a deposit to your account or as a check.

No single credit card offers the most cash back in every category, but there are a few that stand out for high rewards. For example, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred Card earns 6% back on the first $6,000 you spend each calendar year at US supermarkets (then 1% back), and 6% back on select US streaming services. And the most rewarding choice for dining out is the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card† with 4% back. 

A cash back card could be better than a travel or rewards card, depending on what you want to do with your rewards. If you primarily want to put money back in your bank account rather than earn rewards you can redeem for travel, a cash back credit card is ideal — and you usually won’t have to pay a very high annual fee, if you have to pay one at all. 

To make the most of a cash back credit card, always pay the balance in full each month. Also, read up on rewards rates for different spending areas (some cards offer elevated rates in areas like restaurants, gas stations, or supermarkets). Make sure to actually redeem your cash back instead of letting it pile up, and consider opening a “sister” card from the same issuer. Some cash back cards let you transfer rewards to travel cards from the same bank, then transfer points to airline and hotel partners they’re worth the most.

Why You Should Trust Us: How We Chose the Best Cash Back Credit Cards

We looked at the dozens of cash back credit cards currently available to new applicants and narrowed down our list by looking at a few factors:

  • Ease of use — Are there any hoops to jump through, like needing to be a member of a specific bank?
  • Rewards earning potential — How much cash back can you earn with this card, and how broad are the bonus categories?
  • Annual fee — Many cash back cards waive an annual fee, but for the few that do charge a fee, is it justified based on the card’s rewards?
  • Options for various types of consumers — We wanted our top cash back card picks to reflect different types of users, from families looking to maximize grocery spending to those looking to rebuild their credit score.

See a full breakdown of how we rate credit cards at Business Insider.



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