Last updated on March 16th, 2023
Cash back credit cards are the most popular kind of rewards card and it’s easy to see why. Cash is versatile, practical, and straightforward to use, requiring far less fuss than what other types of rewards cards might warrant. Ranging from flat-rate rewards to bonuses for specific shopping categories, there are a lot of cash back cards to choose from— and this is where BestCards.com comes in. We have separated the best cash back credit cards from the rest of the pack to give you our top recommendations:
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At a Glance
Citi® Double Cash Card
Best for unlimited cash backEarn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Best for accelerated cash backEarn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter.
Savor Cash Rewards Card
Best for entertainmentEarn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card
Best for groceriesEarn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
Why Choose a Cash Back Credit Card?
Nowadays, credit cards come with all sorts of bells and whistles to convince you that they are worth applying for. There are cards that earn free hotel stays, free airfare, rewards with your favorite store, and even cards for discounts on gas. No matter how you tend to spend your money, cash offers the kind of reward that every kind of shopper can make use of.
Cash back is one of the best credit card rewards thanks to its versatility. Often, cardholders with a cash back card can opt for several redemption options for their rewards, including statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel, or even as a deposit into an eligible deposit account.
Thus, the versatility of cash back is tough to beat. Travel cards earn points or miles in loyalty programs, with these programs only providing select redemption options. Morever, points can only transfer to select partners – and if your points expire, they are gone forever. With cash back, rewards seldom expire.
What are the Best Cash Back Credit Cards?
Take a look at our top credit card selections for earning cash back this year:
Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases
To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
The Citi® Double Cash Card does not offer special rewards categories like the Citi Custom Cash Card. Instead, this product provides an unlimited 2% cash back on all eligible purchases. The card earns a flat-rate 1% cash back on all eligible purchases – and another 1% back when the account holder pays off that balance.
The lack of an annual fee, the prospect of 2% back, and the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for the first 18 months make the Citi Double Cash Card the perfect everyday credit card for anyone who prefers not having to adjust their spending habits to get the most value.
Like the Custom Cash, the Double Cash from Citi earns rewards as ThankYou Points. Cardmembers can opt for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, or other award options or use their points to book travel through Citi ThankYou® Rewards.
Another award option is to transfer ThankYou points to any of Citi’s 19 airline and hotel partners. Here is a quick breakdown of all of Citi’s transfer partners:
|Aeromexico Club Premier||Choice Privileges||Air France KLM Flying Blue|
|American Airlines AAdvantage||Emirates Skywards||InterMiles|
|Asia Miles||EVA Air Infinity MileageLands||JetBlue TrueBlue|
|Aviatica LifeMiles||Etihad Guest||Malaysia Airlines Enrich|
|Qantas Frequent Flyer||Thai Airways Royal Orchid Plus||Turkish Airlines Miles&Smiles|
|Qatar Airways Privilege Club||Sears Shop Your Way||Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer|
|Virgin Atlantic Flying Club|
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent, 1% cash back thereafter
Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an exceptional cash back credit card thanks to the fact that it earns up to 5% back. This is broken down as earning 5% on eligible purchases in the top spending category each month; options include transit, travel, gas, groceries, dining, and more. Here is the full slate of 5% back categories with the Custom Cash:
|Dining||Fitness clubs||Grocery stores|
|Drugstores||Gas stations||Home improvement stores|
|Travel & transit (select)||Live entertainment||Streaming service (select)|
Important to note is that the 5% back categories are limited to the first $500 spent on eligible purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, with 1% back on all purchases thereafter. That spending cap is on par with other 5% cash back credit cards, namely the Discover It card, which cuts 5% rewards after the first $1,500 in spending per quarter.
Other noteworthy features of the Custom Cash credit card from Citi include:
- Earn a $200 bonus in cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. This bonus also has a value of 20,000 ThankYou Points, the official currency of Citi proprietary rewards cards.
- 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
- Citi Entertainment and Merchant Offers access
- No annual fee
U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card
5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
2% cash back on one everyday category, like Gas Stations/EV Charging Stations, Grocery Stores or Restaurants
The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is an excellent cash back credit card for those who want the power to decide where they earn their rewards. The card is similar to the Citi Custom Cash in that it offers cardholders up to 5% back on the first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases in the following categories:
|TV, internet, and streaming services||Cell phone providers||Electronics stores|
|Fast food||Home utilities||Furniture stores|
|Department stores||Clothing stores||Movie theaters|
|Ground transportation||Fitness centers||Sporting goods stores|
As mentioned, that 5% back is limited to the first $2,000 in spending each quarter, which is very generous. Cardholders also have the same option with their 2% “everyday” category, selecting one of the following three categories each quarter:
- Grocery stores
- Gas stations
The ability to customize your cash back options – and change them each quarter – is an excellent feature that helps to maximize the cash back potential of this card.
Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores
0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
Capital One has done a superb job of creating a credit card for entertainment; in other words, fun things. This is a rewards category left largely neglected by the industry. With the Savor® Rewards Card, cardholders will earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, as well as a less exciting – but still practical – 2% at grocery stores.
The broadly defined “entertainment” category includes most memory-making outings, such as sporting events, movie theaters, and live concerts. This expansive category makes this card equally useful for families or young cardholders who frequently look for activities to take part in with their friends.
The Savor Card does carry a $95 annual fee, but the person who spends about $200 a month on outings or dining (or a total spend of $2,475 a year) will quickly recoup the card’s cost. Aside from the card’s generous bonus categories, Capital One’s cash back redemption portal is second-to-none and one of the most user-friendly rewards programs in the industry.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000/year
6% back on select U.S. streaming services
There is no shortage of credit cards that offer rewards for everyday necessities like gas and groceries. Still, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® Card remains one of the best cards for this task. Earning an unprecedented 6% cash back on U.S. supermarkets and select streaming services, plus 3% back on U.S. gas station purchases and 1% back on all other purchases.
Keep in mind that the 6% back on groceries is capped at $6,000 per year in purchases, with all groceries earning 1% back after that threshold is met. The Blue Cash Preferred carries a $95 annual fee that is easily justifiable for the person who spends at least $132 in groceries per month (or $1,584 a year). Cardholders will also earn a competitive 3% cash back on other everyday necessities such as gas, transit (including rideshares), parking, tolls, and public transit.
Chase Freedom Flex
5% on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services
The Chase Freedom Flex World Elite Mastercard earns 5% cash back on rotating categories each quarter after activation, 5% back on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 5% cash back on eligible gas station purchases on up to $6,000 spent in the first year. The card’s rotating categories are always popular, with 2023 already providing some versatility for card members.
Here is Chase’s Cash Back Calendar for 2023:
|5% Cash Back Category|
|January – March 2023||Target, grocery stores (excluding Walmart), plus fitness and gym memberships|
|April – June 2023||Amazon.com and Lowe’s|
|July – September 2023||TBD|
|October – December 2023||TBD|
For those unsure if the Flex and its rotating categories are right for them, the Freedom Unlimited (or even the previously mentioned Citi Double Cash) might be a better bet.
Other Options to Consider
Want some more cash back credit card options to consider? Here are additional popular offers:
FAQs About a Cash Back Rewards Credit Card
Here are answers from some of the most asked questions about cashback credit cards:
- Cash back credit cards are like any other rewards card. You make a purchase, and you get rewards in the form of points. Unlike other rewards cards, however, these credit cards offer the best redemption options as cash awards. These awards take the form of deposits into bank accounts, statement credits, or gift cards.
- Some card issuers, like Discover, offer a cashback match after the first year. A cash back match is when the bank automatically doubles your cash back after a set period. If you earn $100 in cash rewards, for example, the bank will double that to $200 – automatically.
- Points and cash back are mostly the same. All rewards cards earn points. Some cards, however, offer better redemption value for different options. Cards like the Chase Sapphire Cards are much better at earning travel rewards than the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express, for example.
- The time for points or cash back to show up in your account varies based on the transaction and the card issuer. Most transactions appear in your account within a few days after the purchase clears, but sometimes cash back might not show up for a week or so. If you still do not see your cash back rewards after several weeks, contact your card issuer to get clarification.
- Some card issuers have limits on the minimum amount of rewards before cardholders can cash out. Others, however, have no minimum requirements. Deciding when to cash out is a personal decision. Many experts believe that redeeming cash back every month is an excellent habit to get into, as it can help reduce monthly payments and boost the amount of cash you have for everyday spending.
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