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Cash back credit cards are popular because they provide tangible, easy-to-understand benefits. Who doesn’t like getting a credit on their monthly credit card statement – or, better yet, actual cash deposited into the account of their choice? Cash back credit cards can be even more popular than our top-rated gas credit cards and travel rewards cards.
But not all cash back credit cards are created equally.
Some offer the same cash back rate on all purchases. Others offer higher cash back rates on certain spending categories, such as groceries or gas, and lower rates on everything else. Others offer bonus cash back on spending categories that rotate every quarter. A few accrue cash back on purchases and monthly payments. And some cash back cards even hew to hybrid models, with cash back on certain spending categories and different types of rewards (such as airline miles) on others.
You’ll find each type of card on this list of the best cash back cards available to U.S. consumers today. Keep in mind that most cash back credit cards require applicants to have good to excellent credit – usually indicated by a credit score above 700, and sometimes even higher. If you don’t meet that threshold, work on building your credit before applying.
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
1. Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card
1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases; $150 Early Spend Bonus
The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card complements a host of other Capital One financial products, including the Capital One 360 banking platform. Its cash back perk is attractive and easy to understand: 1.5% cash back on all purchases, everywhere, with no spending caps or rotating categories. You can redeem cash back for a statement credit, bank account deposit, or gift card.
If your spending spans a wide range of categories, this is one of the better general-purpose cash back cards. However, it’s not as strong a choice if you’re looking to maximize your spending in specific categories, such as grocery purchases or travel.
Quicksilver is designed for applicants with good to excellent credit. If you have fair, average, or limited credit, consider applying instead for the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card, which offers easier qualification for applicants with less-than-perfect credit.
See our Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card Review for more information. Learn more about QuicksilverOne and find out how you can apply here.
Here’s what you need to know about the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card:
- Early Spend Bonus: Earn $150 when you make $500 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Redemption: Redeem in any amount for statement credits, bank account deposits, or gift cards. You can also set up automatic redemptions at predetermined thresholds ($25, $50, $100, or $200) and receive your cash back in your preferred mode when you hit the threshold.
- Introductory APR: 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for the first 15 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 3%.
- Other Perks: Card membership automatically entitles you to Visa Signature benefits, including travel upgrades, exclusive shopping discounts, and preferred seating at sporting events and concerts.
2. Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Unlimited 4% Cash Back on Dining and Entertainment; 2% Cash Back at Grocery Stores; 1% Cash Back Everywhere Else; $300 Early Spend Bonus
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards is a premium cash back card designed with foodies in mind. Its unlimited cash back rewards program returns 4% on dining and entertainment spending and 2% on grocery store spending – a nice balance for cardholders who can’t decide whether to eat out or stay in.
The $95 annual fee is worth noting upfront, but the first-year waiver ensures it won’t erode the value of this card’s generous early spend bonus. If you’re looking for a card that helps you save money at restaurants and rewards you during the first few months of membership, Savor should be high on your list.
- Early Spend Bonus: Get $300 in bonus cash when you spend $3,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 4% cash back on eligible dining and entertainment purchases, unlimited 2% cash back on eligible grocery store purchases, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Cash back never expires and there’s no limit to how much you can earn.
- Redemption: Redeem in any amount for statement credits or mailed checks. You can also redeem for gift cards, merchandise, and other items, at variable redemption values. Capital One allows automatic, recurring redemptions at four pre-set thresholds: $25, $50, $100, or $200.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: $0 in the first year, then $95. There is no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 3%.
- Other Perks: Through December 2019, enjoy a recurring statement credit against a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership. This card comes with a slew of World Elite Mastercard benefits, such as trip cancellation and interruption coverage (a form of travel insurance), price protection, complimentary rental car insurance, and more.
3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets and Select Digital Media Services; 3% at U.S. Gas Stations and Transit Operators (Including Rideshare); 1% Everywhere Else
If you love the supermarket, you’ll love the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. You get 6% cash back on all U.S. supermarket transactions, up to a $6,000 annual spending limit. Once you hit $6,000, you get 1% back on U.S. supermarket purchases, with no upper limit.
You’ll also get unlimited 6% cash back on eligible purchases with digital media and streaming providers such as Netflix and HBO.
There’s no spending limit on the U.S. gas station and transit operator categories – you get 3% cash back on every $1 spent in those places, period. American Express treats rideshare operators such as Lyft and Uber as transit operators, which is great news for those who frequently use those services. And you get 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limits. Cash back comes by statement credit.
Another smaller drawback of the Blue Cash Preferred card is American Express’s restrictive definition of “supermarket.” Superstores like Walmart, wholesale clubs like Costco, and alcohol retailers aren’t considered as supermarkets for this card’s purposes. The annual fee does cut into your earning potential somewhat – but since the 6% supermarket cash back doubles what most competing cards offer, you’re still likely to come out ahead if you take full advantage of this category.
If you’re struggling to meet your $6,000 annual supermarket spending limit with food and dry goods purchases alone, make up the difference by purchasing other merchants’ gift cards at the supermarket checkout counter. It’s like getting an immediate 6% discount at your favorite restaurants, retailers, and e-commerce websites.
- Welcome Offer. If you make $1,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of signing up, you get a $250 statement credit.
- Cash Back Rate. Earn unlimited 6% cash back on select digital media and streaming services like Netflix and HBO. Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in spending per year. After that, you receive 1% cash back at supermarkets. This card offers unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit operators, including rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Finally, earn 1% cash back on everything else.
- Redemption. The minimum redemption is $25. You can redeem in $25 increments ($25, $50, $75, and so on) for statement credits, and in variable amounts for gift cards and general merchandise.
- Introductory APR. 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
- Regular APR: Following the end of the introductory period, the regular APR ranges between 15.24% to 26.24% APR for purchases and balance transfers, depending on prevailing rates and your personal creditworthiness.
- Key Fees. There’s a $95 annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%.
- Other Perks. If you attempt to return a purchased item within 90 days and the merchant refuses to accept it, Amex’s Return Protection policy refunds the item’s entire purchase price, up to $300 per item and $1,000 per calendar year.
4. Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on all Purchases; $150 Sign-up Bonus
Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa is one of a growing cohort of “1.5% cards” – cash back credit cards that earn a flat, unlimited 1.5% return on spending. It comes with a nice sign-up bonus, too – a $150 cash bonus that requires just $500 in spending within the first 3 months, to be exact.
Once you clear the $20 cash back threshold, you can reap your rewards at Wells Fargo ATMs nationwide. When you hit $25, additional doors open – you can then redeem for paper checks, statement credits, or deposits into your Wells Fargo bank account. If you’re already a Wells Fargo deposit account holder, this card comes with low-cost overdraft protection transfer capabilities too. Just remember to opt in after signing up.
- Sign-up Bonus: When you make $500 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of sign-up, you get a $150 cash bonus.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases, including Apple Pay and Android Pay purchases made after the 12-month introductory period.
- Redemption: The minimum redemption is $20 to $25, depending on how you choose to redeem. ATM redemptions allow the lower threshold.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. During the first year, balance transfers cost either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. After that, they cost the greater of $5 or 5%.
- Other Perks: The cell phone protection plan covers certain communications devices up to $600 per incident and $1,200 per year. Travel inconvenience coverage reimburses travelers for lost or damaged baggage. Overdraft protection transfers (opt-in) cost $12.50 to $20, depending on transfer size.
Double Cash Back in the First Year (Up to $600); Then 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases
Chase Freedom Unlimited® is similar to the flagship Chase Freedom Card, but with an important distinction: Instead of flat 1% cash back and rotating 5% cash back categories with quarterly spending caps, it simply earns an unlimited 1.5% on all purchases. You can redeem for virtually anything, in any amount, at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal – including cash equivalents, merchandise, and travel.
Chase Freedom Unlimited has a great (and sometimes overlooked) perk for loyal Chase credit card customers. If you also have the Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee) business card or the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) travel rewards card, you can transfer points earned through Freedom Unlimited to those accounts. You can then transfer those points at a 1-to-1 ratio to a number of different frequent traveler programs, or redeem them for travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal and receive a 25% bonus (for instance, boosting the value of a 50,000-point redemption to $625).
However, keep in mind that you need to obtain either Ink Preferred or Sapphire Preferred/Reserve – and remember, having Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t necessarily qualify you for those cards.
- Sign-up Bonus: Earn Double Cash Back – that’s 3% cash back on all purchases during the first year, up to $20,000 spent. After that, earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Redemption: You can redeem your accumulated cash back rewards in any amount. Redemption methods include statement credits, bank account deposits, gift cards, general merchandise purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal and direct with third-party retailers such as Amazon, and travel purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.
- Introductory APR: 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months after account opening.
- Regular APR: Following the end of the introductory period, Chase Freedom Unlimited’s regular APR ranges from 17.24% to 25.99% variable, depending on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 27.24% variable. There is no penalty APR.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, and foreign transactions cost 3% of the total transaction amount.
- Other Perks: Additional benefits include purchase protection (up to $500 per item for 120 days after purchase), price protection (reimbursement for up to $500 of the difference between your higher purchase price and a lower advertised price within 90 days of purchase), and a free credit score (updated weekly) with Chase Credit Journey.
6. Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card
Unlimited 2% Cash Back Into Your Eligible Fidelity Account
The Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Credit Card is a straightforward spending aid for applicants looking to boost contributions to qualifying Fidelity accounts – and those who simply enjoy earning cash back at above-average rates.
Cardholders who remain in good standing earn unlimited 2% cash back (2 points per $1 spent) on all eligible purchases, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn. Cash back doesn’t expire, and with no annual fee, you needn’t feel obligated to use this card as your primary spending aid.
The Fidelity Rewards Visa doesn’t have a ton of value-added perks aside from the standard slate of Visa Signature benefits, such as special travel and shopping offers. But it’s hard to argue with unlimited 2% cash back.
- Sign-up Bonus: There’s currently no sign-up bonus on the Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card. Check back for updates.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn unlimited 2 points per $1 spent on all eligible purchases made with your Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Credit Card. Points are worth $0.01 apiece at redemption, meaning this card effectively earns 2% cash back on all spending. Points don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.
- Redemption: The most popular way to redeem cash back is for deposits into eligible Fidelity accounts. That includes most taxable cash and securities accounts, plus most tax-advantaged Fidelity accounts, including IRAs, health savings accounts (HSAs), and Fidelity-managed 529 College Savings Plan accounts, subject to state and federal contribution limits and other limiting factors. You can also redeem for statement credits and certain types of travel, merchandise, and gift cards. The minimum redemption threshold is $50 (5,000 points) for account deposits and $25 (2,500 points) for all other options.
- Introductory APR: There’s presently no introductory APR promotion.
- Key Fees: This card has no annual fee. Foreign transactions cost 1% of the transaction amount. Cash advances and balance transfers both cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
1% Cash Back When You Spend + 1% Cash Back When You Pay Your Balance; 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 18 Months
The Citi® Double Cash Card’s two-tiered cash back program rewards cardholders who pay their balances in full each month.
As long as you’re a cardholder in good standing, you’re guaranteed to earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases that post to your Double Cash account. But you’ll only achieve the card’s effective 2% cash back rate when you pay off your balance in full – as you should, under normal circumstances.
2% cash back isn’t the only Double Cash benefit worth touting. The card’s 18-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion is among the best in the category, and the value-added perks are unusually generous for a no-annual-fee card.
- Sign-up Bonus: There’s presently no sign-up bonus on the Citi Double Cash Card. Check back for updates.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases when they post to your account, then another 1% cash back on all balance payments, for a total effective cash back rate of 2% when you pay your balance in full. You must make at least the minimum payment to qualify for the 1% cash back rate on balance payments during that statement cycle. Cash back expires after 12 months of account dormancy (no purchases or redemptions).
- Redemption: The minimum redemption is $25.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.
3% Cash Back in the First 12 Months, Then Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases
The HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card is a straightforward cash back card with no annual fee and a generous introductory offer that’s worth up to $300 in bonus cash back when fully exploited.
Moving forward, the Cash Rewards Mastercard is one of many unlimited 1.5% cash back cards. But it’s far from typical, thanks to a 10% cash back bonus on your cardmember anniversary, a nice 0% APR introductory promotion, no foreign transaction fees, and a host of retail perks like free 2-day shipping on purchases from more than 100 online stores.
Just mind that first-time HSBC customers need to apply in-branch. Use HSBC’s branch locator to find one near you.
- Introductory Offer: Earn 3% cash back on the first $10,000 in eligible purchases made during the first 12 months. Thereafter, earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases (1.5 Cash Rewards per $1 spent). Each year on your cardmember anniversary, you’ll receive a 10% bonus on the cash back earned during the preceding 12 months.
- Redemption: Redeem for statement credits or direct deposits to your HSBC bank account. Non-cash redemptions include direct bookings on select travel purchases, more than 3,000 merchandise items, and gift cards from more than 100 merchants. Redemption rates may vary.
- Introductory APR: 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 12 months. Qualifying balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee. Balance transfers and cash advances cost the greater of 4% or $10.
- Other Perks: Enjoy a complimentary ShopRunner membership while you remain a cardmember in good standing. ShopRunner membership entitles you to unlimited, free 2-day shipping and free return shipping at more than 100 online stores. You’ll also get special discounts on certain Postmates orders: $5 off on food, drink, and grocery orders of $25 or more. And you’ll claim a 10% discount when you book participating Onefinestay rental properties – choose from more than 10,000 high-end rentals in major cities around the world.
Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.
9. American Express Cash Magnet™ Card
Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases; Welcome Offer Worth Up to $150
The American Express Cash Magnet™ Card is a great general spending card for consumers who tend not to favor specific purchase categories. Like Chase Freedom Unlimited and Capital One Quicksilver, it earns unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with no caps or restrictions. And, as a relatively new addition to Amex’s stable, it comes with a generous limited-time welcome offer: up to $150 in bonus cash.
Other perks include a 15-month 0% APR promotion for purchases and balance transfers and a nice lineup of value-added perks, including discount opportunities through Amex Offers. One big drawback is the $25 minimum redemption threshold, which could be an issue for lighter spenders.
- Welcome Offer: For a limited time, earn $150 cash back when you make at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months.
- Cash Back Rate: Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with no limits on how much you can earn.
- Redemption: Redeem for statement credits in any amount over $25. American Express may also offer gift card and merchandise redemptions as well, but these are subject to change and may not always be available.
- Introductory APR: 0% purchase and balance transfer APR for 15 months. Balance transfers must be made within 60 days of account opening.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. Balance transfers and cash advances cost the greater of 3% or $5.
- Other Perks: Amex’s Plan It feature lets you set up flexible monthly payment plans for large purchases. Instead of interest charges, you’ll pay a fixed fee on your plan payments. Other benefits include Amex Offers (a discount suite), complimentary rental car coverage for loss and damage, travel accident insurance, extended warranties on certain covered items, cell phone protection, and other benefits for travelers and shoppers.
5% Cash Back on Up to $2,000 in 2 Category Purchases Every Quarter; Unlimited 2% Back on 1 Category of Your Choice; Unlimited 1% Back on Everything Else
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card has a three-tiered cash back program with unlimited earning potential.
The headline here is the top tier, which pays 5% cash back on purchases in two categories of your choice, up to $2,000 in combined category spending per quarter. The second tier pays unlimited 2% cash back on eligible purchases made in an additional category of your choice. Categories tend to have broad appeal: gas stations, restaurants, drugstores, and so on. However, you must activate your categories in advance of each quarter; otherwise, you’ll earn the card’s baseline 1% cash back (unlimited) on all purchases.
Redeeming earned cash back is easy with Cash+. There’s no minimum to redeem for credit card statement credits (the most seamless option) or deposits to an eligible bank account. You can also redeem for reward cards (gift cards) in $5 increments, starting at $20. A word of warning: you must redeem cash back within 36 months of earning it, or it’s gone forever.
Additional benefits of Cash+ include an easy-to-attain sign-up bonus worth $150 on $500 in eligible purchases within the first 3 months, and a 0% APR promotion on balance transfers for the first 12 months. As long as you can tailor your spending to Cash+’s categories, it’s tough to imagine why you wouldn’t want this card in your wallet.
- Sign-up Bonus: When you make $500 in eligible purchases within 3 months of opening your account, you get a $150 cash bonus.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases made in 2 categories of your choice, up to $2,000 in combined spending across both categories. Earn unlimited 2% cash back on an additional category of your choice, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible spending. The 5% and 2% categories are subject to change on a quarterly basis, and you must activate your cash back categories in advance to earn at the higher rates.
- Redemption: You can redeem accumulated cash back for statement credits, bank account deposits, or rewards cards (gift cards). There’s no minimum redemption for statement credit or bank account deposit redemptions. Reward card redemptions start at $20 and must be made in $5 increments. Cash back expires 36 months after the billing cycle in which it’s earned.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 12 months. Qualifying transfers must be made 60 days from your account opening date.
- Regular APR: Once the introductory period ends, the regular balance transfer APR ranges from 16.24% to 25.74% variable. The purchase rate falls within this range from day one, with the exact APR dependent on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Cash advances cost at least the greater of $5 or 3%, but some types of cash advances cost more. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 2% to 3%, depending on how the transaction is denominated.
- Other Perks: Additional benefits include complimentary loss and damage coverage on rental cars paid in full with your card, complimentary Visa concierge service, limited retail protection on covered purchases, and overdraft protection for U.S. Bank deposit account holders.
11. Chase Freedom®
5% Cash Back in Rotating Categories Every Quarter; 1% on Everything Else
All purchases made with the Chase Freedom® card earn 1% cash back, with no caps or restrictions, and purchases up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories earn 5% cash back. The categories are usually pretty broad and have wide appeal. For example, from April to June of 2018, purchases made at grocery stores (not including Target or Walmart) earned 5% cash back. Purchases made through Paypal or Chase Pay also receive 5% cash back. This is especially useful if you frequently shop on Ebay and make payment through Paypal.
Limited-time promotions occasionally push Freedom’s earning power even higher – for example, in the fourth quarter of 2015, purchases at Amazon, Zappos, Audible, and Diapers.com earned 10% cash back up to the $1,500 limit.
Chase Freedom accumulates Chase Ultimate Rewards points, a versatile spending currency that is worth $0.01 per point or more depending on redemption. Spending in the 1% cash back category earns 1 point per dollar, while spending in the 5% category earns 5 points per dollar. You can redeem for cash back (with each point being worth $0.01), deliverable as a statement credit, bank account deposit, or gift card at select retailers (including Amazon). There’s no minimum to redeem. You can also redeem for a wide variety of purchases, including travel and general merchandise, through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.
One small drawback of Chase Freedom: You have to manually activate your 5% cash back each quarter. If you don’t do so by the middle of the last month of that quarter, you forfeit the 5% cash back opportunity.
- Sign-up Bonus: When you make $500 in qualifying purchases within 3 months of opening your account, you get $150.
- Cash Back Rate: 5% cash back (5 points per $1 spent) on purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 combined spending across all categories. Unlimited 1% cash back on quarterly category purchases above the $1,500 limit, as well as on all other purchases.
- Redemption: You can redeem for statement credits, bank account deposits, and gift cards at a 1 point to $0.01 ratio. You can also redeem for travel, general merchandise, and other purchases at the Ultimate Rewards portal. Your cash back rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing, and there’s no minimum redemption threshold for cash back.
- Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months.
- Regular APR: Once the introductory period ends, Chase Freedom’s regular APR ranges from 17.24% to 25.99% variable. The exact rate depends on prevailing interest rates and your personal creditworthiness. The cash advance APR is 27.24% variable. There is no penalty APR.
- Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. When you transfer a balance within the first 60 days, the balance transfer fee is the greater of 3% or $5. Thereafter, the balance transfer fee is the greater of 5% or $5. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 3%. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%.
- Other Perks: Chase’s Purchase Protection is an insurance product that covers all purchases made with your Chase Freedom card for 120 days, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account, against theft, damage, and loss. You also get a free credit score, updated weekly, with Chase Credit Journey.
12. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
3% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets; 2% at U.S. Gas Stations and Select U.S. Department Stores; 1% Elsewhere; $150 Welcome Offer
The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express gives you ample cash back on everyday, hard-to-avoid purchases: food, staples, fuel, clothing, and home goods. You get 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases, up to the $6,000 annual limit. After you hit the limit, you get 1% cash back on supermarket purchases, with no spending cap.
Meanwhile, this card’s 2% cash back rate at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores is unlimited, as is 1% cash back everywhere else. Your cash back comes as a statement credit. Note that big box superstores such as Target, wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club, and alcohol retailers don’t count as “supermarkets,” according to American Express.
- Welcome Offer. If you make $1,000 in qualifying purchases within 3 months, you get a $150 statement credit
- Cash Back Rate. 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases, up to $6,000 in annual spending (so $180 max annual cash back in this category). The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases above the annual limit. Enjoy unlimited 2% cash back on U.S. gas station and select U.S. department store spending, and unlimited 1% cash back everywhere else.
- Redemption. The minimum redemption is $25. Once you reach this threshold, you can redeem in $25 increments for statement credits. You can also redeem for gift cards and general merchandise in variable amounts
- Introductory APR. 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
- Regular APR. Following the introductory period’s end, the variable APR ranges between 15.24% and 26.24% APR, depending on your personal creditworthiness and prevailing interest rates
- Key Fees. There’s no annual fee, compared to the $95 fee for the Blue Cash Preferred Card which offers higher cash back rates. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. Balance transfers cost either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
- Other Perks. Also includes Return Protection, as described as a benefit of the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.
4% Cash Back on Gas Purchases at Costco Locations and Qualifying Gas Stations; 3% Cash Back on Restaurant and Eligible Travel Purchases; 2% Cash Back at Costco; 1% Cash Back Everywhere Else
The Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is premium cash back product exclusive to Costco members. If you’re already spending $60 per year (or $120, if you’re springing for the Executive membership) on a Costco membership, and you’re able to meet Citi’s stringent underwriting requirements, this card is a no-brainer.
Why? For folks with long commutes, healthy travel and dining-out budgets, and long Costco shopping lists, the four-tiered cash back program is among the most generous around. Yes, the redemption framework is a little wonky – you have to redeem in person at Costco, and you have just one annual shot to do so. But most Costco members shop often enough that this isn’t a massive inconvenience.
- Sign-up Bonus: This card currently has no sign-up bonus. Check back for updates.
- Cash Back Rate: Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases at Costco and qualifying gas stations, up to the first $7,000 in eligible purchases per year. Earn unlimited 3% back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases. Earn unlimited 2% cash back on eligible Costco purchases. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases, including gas purchases above the $7,000 annual spending cap.
- Redemption: At the close of your February billing statement, you’ll receive a redemption voucher for the full value of rewards earned during the previous year. You must redeem this voucher in a single in-person transaction at Costco, either as credit against purchases or for cash at the register (or both). The voucher remains valid until December 31 of the year issued.
- Introductory APR: None.
- Key Fees: $0 with a paid Costco membership ($60 for a regular household membership and $120 for an Executive membership). There is no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%.
- Other Perks: Fringe benefits include purchase protection for 90 to 120 on losses caused by damage or theft, complimentary rental car insurance, and extended warranties on select purchases.
Even the most generous cash back credit cards rarely offer more than 5% cash back on any purchases. Cards that offer more than 2% or 3% cash back typically require holders to keep track of specific spending categories or respect purchase limits.
By contrast, cash back credit card APRs usually range from somewhere north of 10% to more than 20% in some cases. At those rates, carrying a balance for even a single month can seriously eat into your cash back earnings. Habitually carrying a balance from month to month more than negates your cash back earnings, adding to the actual cost of your purchases.
In other words, don’t let the promise of cash back lull you into letting your card balances grow over time. It’s almost never worth it. If you need to carry a credit card balance from month to month, opt for a low APR credit card instead. And if you worry about your ability to keep your credit card spending to a level that allows for in-full payments each month, choose a credit card with a low spending limit, or a secured credit card that requires you to make an upfront cash deposit.
What’s your favorite cash back credit card?
Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.