Cash back credit cards are one of the most popular types of rewards credit cards in the U.S. and if you are looking for a cash back credit card that offers exceptional rewards, you've come to the right place. The demand for good to excellent credit customers is so high right now that banks are offering some of the most lucrative offers in years. Whether you are single or married, like to shop in department stores or online stores, or want to save money on gas and groceries, you will be spoiled for choice with our top picks. Here, we'll list the best offers at GET.com and tell you why we picked them. Many of these cards give you a response within 60 seconds when you apply online.
GET.com's best cash back cards
|Best For||Credit Card|
|5% cash back||Discover it® Cashback Match™|
|Flat-rate cash back||Chase Freedom Unlimited℠|
|Gas & groceries||BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card|
|Cash back twice||Citi® Double Cash Card|
GET.com's Best For Cashback Match And 5% Bonus Categories
Advantages of Discover it® Cashback Match™:
- Discover it® Cashback Match™ now has an irresistible offer for new sign-ups: Discover will MATCH the cash back rewards you earn in your first year of having the card - automatically. What's great about it is that it has no annual fee.
- You can get 5% cash back (after you sign up for 5% cash back each quarter) for purchases made in quarterly changing bonus categories, up to a maximum of $1,500 per quarter, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- You can use this card to make interest-free purchases or for debt payoff during the introductory period. It offers 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, with a 11.24% - 23.24% variable APR afterwards. A 3% fee of the transferred balance applies to each balance transfer. You can transfer most non-credit card debts, such as certain loans, onto this card. Our review of Discover it® Cashback Match™ can be found here.
- You can view your FICO score on monthly statements or online for free.
- No late fee for your first late payment and no penalty APR.
Downsides of Discover it® Cashback Match™:
- You have to enroll for each 5% bonus cash back category every quarter, but this shouldn't be an issue because you can request for notification alerts.
- Discover cards are not accepted as widely outside of the U.S. compared to Visa or MasterCard cards.
Discover it® Cashback Match™ is a card that packs an awful lot of perks and competitive benefits that make it stand out from the other cash back cards in America, which is why we named it as our best for earning twice the rewards with Cashback Match and 5% cash back on quarterly changing categories.
GET.com's Best For 5% Bonus Cash Back Categories
Advantages of Chase Freedom®:
- Chase Freedom® is our favorite cash back card when it comes to earning 5% cash back in quarterly rotating categories, such as gas stations, restaurants and wholesale clubs. The catch is that you can only earn that 5% on up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter, and you need to activate your 5% cash back every three months. For the rest of your purchases, you earn an unlimited 1% cash back. We love that cash back rewards do not expire.
- 5% cash back categories for 2016 are:
- This Visa card now comes with a high signing bonus - the $150 Bonus is earned after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. You'll also earn a $25 Bonus after you add an authorized user and make a purchase within the first 3 months.
- You can benefit from an introductory 0% intro APR for 15 months for purchases and balance transfers. After that, there is a 14.24%-23.24% variable APR on both purchases and balance transfers. This card has no annual fee. Read our review of Chase Freedom® here.
Jan - Mar: Gas stations and local commuter transportation.
Apr - Jun: Grocery stores and wholesale clubs.
Jul - Sep: Restaurants and wholesale clubs.
Oct - Dec: Department stores, wholesale clubs and drug stores
Downsides of Chase Freedom®:
- We are hard-pressed to find a drawback for Chase Freedom® because it's that awesome. But if we really have to dig for one, it would be that you'd have to activate for your 5% cash back every quarter. Even so, you can sign up for reminders via text message or email. Even if you don't activate until late in the quarter, you will still earn 5% cash back dating back to the start of the new quarter, as long as you do it before the deadline!
Chase Freedom® is a top-notch card when it comes to great 5% quarterly rotating categories of spending.
GET.com's Favorites For Flat Rate Cash Back
Advantages of Chase Freedom Unlimited℠:
- Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ lets you earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase. The cash back you can earn is unlimited, and you earn it automatically.
- This card lets you get a $150 Bonus after you charge $500 of purchases to it within the first 3 months from account opening.
- You can redeem any amount of cash back, any time
- You get a 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, which is fantastic. After that, the regular 14.24% - 23.24% variable APR (based on your creditworthiness and other factors) applies. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, or $5 minimum. This card has no annual fee. Find out more in our Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ review.
Downsides of Chase Freedom Unlimited℠:
- You pay a foreign transaction fee (3% of each transaction in US dollars), so avoid using this card when traveling outside of the US.
Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is uncomplicated and lets you earn a good flat rate of cash back on all your purchases while paying no annual fee.
Advantages of Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®:
- Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® has one of the best flat rates of cash back for all purchases. Every time you make a purchase with this card you earn unlimited 1.5% cash back. No categories, no quarterly sign-ups and no caps on the cash back you can earn.
- This card lets you get a $100 cash rewards bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 90 days after account opening.
- The ongoing cash back you earn is received in the form of cash rewards that can be redeemed as a deposit into your bank account, a statement credit or even gift cards. The minimum redemption is $50. Every time you redeem you cash rewards, you receive a 5% cash rewards redemption bonus, so just redeeming cash back lets you earn more cash back towards your next redemption.
- Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® also comes with World MasterCard® benefits and free online access to your FICO® Credit Score.
- You get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and for balance transfers completed in the first 45 days after account opening. After that, there is a 14.99%, 19.99% or 24.99% variable APR based on your creditworthiness and other factors. This card has no annual fee. Here is our Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® review.
Downsides of Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard®:
- You have to collect at least $50 worth of cash rewards before you can redeem for a deposit, statement credit or gift cards. If you are patient then this won't be a problem, but this may not be the card to use if you like to redeem cash back as soon as you earn it.
Barclaycard CashForward™ World MasterCard® is an ideal card to use if you want a simple, hassle free way to earn cash back on all your purchases while paying no annual fee.
GET.com's Favorite For Gas And Groceries (No Annual Fee)
Advantages of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card:
- The best thing about BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card is that it combines high cash back for gas and grocery store spending with no annual fee. You earn 3% cash back on gas and 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs on the first $2,500 you spend on combined grocery store, wholesale clubs and gas purchases every quarter. For all other purchases, you will earn 1% cash back.
- This Visa card comes with an offer that lets you earn a $100 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $500 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening.
- You don't need to enroll in a rewards program in order to earn cash back, and there are no changing categories, so it's easy to estimate potential savings. Cash back does not expire.
- You can redeem cash back as a statement credit or get a 10% customer bonus by redeeming cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account. If you're a Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus to 25%-75%.
- There is a 0% Introductory APR on purchases, then 13.24% - 23.24% Variable APR on balance transfers. See terms and conditions for more information. Balance transfer fees are 3% of each transaction with a minimum of $10. See Terms.
- We like that BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card comes with chip technology for enhanced security and protection at chip-enabled terminals. Here is our BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card review.
Downsides of BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card:
- If you have excellent credit and don't mind paying an annual fee, there are cards with higher cash back out there.
We love BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ credit card for its high cash rewards for gas and grocery store spending and its no annual fee. See Terms.
GET.com's Best For Earning Cash Back Twice And Citi Price Rewind
Advantages of Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer:
- Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, a partner card, lets you earn cash back twice: You earn unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Now, that's rewarding you for responsible card usage!
- The amount of cash back you can earn is unlimited. You can redeem cash back in the form of a statement credit, check or gift card, starting at $25.
- You don't need to enroll in any cash back categories.
- You get to enjoy the complimentary Citi® Price Rewind benefit as a cardholder. Simply buy an item with this card and register your purchase online within 60 days. Price Rewind will search online for a lower price in those 60 days. If a lower price is found, you can request a refund of the price difference.
- There is a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months and a 13.24% - 23.24% variable APR, based on your creditworthiness, thereafter. You can learn more about the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases by clicking the "Apply Now" button. No annual fee. Here is our review of Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.
Downsides of Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer:
- No 5% bonus categories. You earn a flat-rate unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer makes it easy for people who want a card that is fuss-free and yet offers cash back twice. There are no limits on the amount of cash back you can earn and you don't need to enroll in any bonus categories. The possibility of a price refund should Price Rewind find a better online deal for your purchased item is a deal sweetener!
GET.com's Tips For Using Cash Back Cards
You may have noticed that each cash back card offers slightly different benefits. Some cash back credit cards may give you up to 5% rebates when you spend on certain categories of purchases each quarter of the year (for example, groceries, gas, home improvement, travel, etc), whereas others may give you a flat cash rebate throughout the year. You might want to consider getting more than one cash back card so that you can get discounts on different types of purchases, and benefit from each card's unique privileges.
Instead of using cash or debit cards to make purchases, why not use cash back credit cards so that you can save more money? You could also get additional cards for your family members so that they too can get cash rebates when they buy household items. All these cash rebates will mean huge savings and discounts for you over time.
Do note that for some cards, the cash back you earn may expire after a certain period of time, or if you don't spend on your card for a period of time. Some cards may also have a cap on the amount of cash back you can earn each year. If you are a big spender, you should go for cards that don't have any maximum limit on how much you can accumulate.
Cash Back Rewards Programs
Cash back rewards programs are similar to other rewards programs. You usually earn points of some kind, which can then be redeemed for statement credit or even as cold hard cash in the form of a check or a deposit into your checking or savings account.
Here you can find the main differences and benefits offered by some of the most popular cash back programs in the US.
Chase Ultimate Rewards®
This program is used by Chase cash back cards like Chase Freedom® and Chase rewards cards like Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The cash back you earn is actually earned as Chase Ultimate Rewards® points, which you can then redeem for cash back at a rate of 1 point per 1 cent (100 points per $1).
You can choose to redeem your cash back for statement credit or for a direct deposit (minimum of 2,000 points needed to redeem). A nice perk is that you can combine the rewards you've earned on several Chase credit cards that earn Chase Ultimate Rewards® points.
Discover Cashback Bonus
If you have a cash back card from Discover, then this is the cash back program you use. Any Cashback Bonus you earn will be credited to your Cashback Bonus account within two billing periods.
This flexible program does offer a lot. It lets you redeem any amount of Cashback Bonus, anytime.
You can also use Cashback Bonus to pay at checkout on Amazon.com or redeem it for gift cards. You can redeem your Cashback Bonus for higher value gift cards from Discover partners, so redeeming for gift cards is one of the best ways to get more value from this program.
Alternatively you can redeem cash back as donations to charitable organizations. All things said, this is a very flexible cash back program.
American Express Reward Dollars
This is the cash back currency you earn when you use American Express cash back cards like Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
You earn Reward Dollars, which are points Amex uses to track your cash back. You can redeem cash back as statement credit, but not as a bank deposit. Reward Dollars must be redeemed for cash back in $25 increments.
You can also redeem Reward Dollars for gift cards, and you can get good value redeeming this way, especially when discounted gift cards are available on the Reward Dollars website. You can also redeem cash back for merchandise.
BankAmericard Cash Rewards™
If you like cold hard cash, this is a very rewarding cash back program to use. You earn cash rewards using cash back credit cards from Bank of America. You can redeem your cash rewards for statement credit, or as a deposit into a Bank of America® checking or savings account (or a Merrill Lynch Cash Management Account).
Redeeming your cash rewards into a Bank of America® checking or savings account lets you earn a 10% customer bonus. So $200 worth of cash rewards redeemed as a deposit into your eligible Bank of America® checking or savings account will give you $220.
If you have enough savings, you may be eligible to enroll in the Bank of America Preferred Rewards program. This additional program lets you get a higher customer bonus when you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account.
The Gold tier applies if you have an average combined balance of $20K to $50K in your eligible Bank of America® checking or savings account over a 3-month period. If you qualify for the Gold tier, you will earn a 25% rewards bonus instead of the usual 10% on eligible Bank of America credit cards. That means if you redeem $200 worth of cash rewards as a deposit into your Bank of America® checking or savings account, you can get $250.
The Platinum tier applies if you have an average combined balance of $50K to $100K in your Bank of America® checking or savings account (in a 3 month period). You earn a 50% rewards bonus on eligible Bank of America credit cards when you redeem cash rewards into your Bank of America® checking or savings account. So $200 of cash rewards could give you $300.
The Platinum Honors tier is not for everybody. You need a 3-month average combined balance of over $100K in your Bank of America® checking or savings account to be eligible. But if you have that kind of money, this tier is very rewarding. You can get a 75% rewards bonus when you redeem your cash rewards from eligible Bank of America credit cards as a deposit into your Bank of America® checking or savings account. That means $200 worth of cash rewards becomes $350 when you redeem them this way.
How We Rate Cash Back Cards
Cash back cards are rated by GET.com based on bonus offers, cash back categories, maximum cash back you can earn and card fees. Our goal is to provide you with a clear picture of how a card performs compared to other similar cards.
We look at how cash back is earned and redeemed, how much cash back is worth in actual cash value, and whether cash back can be redeemed in different ways. We place a high emphasis on cards that let you earn cash back in popular categories like gas, groceries and restaurants.
Other important factors that feature in our card ratings are the presence or absence of caps on cash back earnings, whether or not cash back expires, and whether cash back is earned in fixed or changing categories. The annual fee, ongoing APR, introductory APR period, card benefits and other card fees are also accounted for.
Katrina Gutierrez is a writer at GET.com. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.Editorial Disclosure: Any personal views and opinions expressed by the author in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the viewpoint of GET.com. The editorial content on this page is not provided by any of the companies mentioned, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of the companies mentioned, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.
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