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The Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Last updated on June 20th, 2022

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 the top picks:

This post may contain links from partner offers, and we may receive compensation when you click on links to these offers. Please see our advertiser and editorial disclosures above for more information. Citi is an advertising partner.

At a Glance


Citi® Double Cash Card

Best for unlimited cash back

Earn 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 back

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.

Savor Cash Rewards Card

Best for entertainment

Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores.
Learn More

Blue Cash Preferred® Card

Best for groceries

Earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%).
Learn More

Surge Secured Mastercard®

Best for building credit

Earn 1% cash back rewards on every purchase.

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?

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

citi custom cash 224x141
Earn 5% Back On Your Top Spending Category
  • 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
☆ 5% cash back categories include gas, streaming, groceries, travel, & more!
☆ 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months
☆ No annual fee

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 services (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

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

doublecash 224x141
Earn 2% Cash Back on All Purchases
  • 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
☆ Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months
☆ No reward caps or categories
☆ No annual fee

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

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature
Earn Up to 5% Cash Back
  • 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
☆ Pay over time with U.S. Bank ExtendPay
☆Visa protections
☆ No annual fee

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
  • Restaurants

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

savor 224x141
Earn Up to 4% Unlimited Cash Back
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers
☆ 24/7 personalized assistance
☆ Postmates statement credits
☆ $95 annual fee

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

blue cash
Earn Up to a $350 Statement Credit
  • 6% back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000/year
  • 6% back on select U.S. streaming services
☆ 3% Back at U.S. gas stations & transit
☆ $10 Equinox+ credit per month
☆ $0 annual fee for 1st year ($95 after)

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

chase freedom flex mastercard
Earn a $200 Bonus
  • 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
☆ 3% back on drugstores
☆ 0% Intro APR
☆ No annual fee

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 2022 already providing some versatility for card members.

Here is Chase’s Cash Back Calendar for 2022:

5% Cash Back Category
January – March 2022 Groceries (excluding larger stores like Target or Walmart) and eBay
April – June 2022 Amazon.com and select streaming services
July – September 2022 Gas stations, car rentals, movie theatres, and select live entertainment
October – December 2022 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.

Surge Secured Mastercard®

new surge secured 224x141
Earn Rewards While Building Credit!
  • Earn 1% cash back rewards on every purchase
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • Zero fraud liability
☆ Fast online application
☆ Your deposit is your credit line
☆ Build credit & earn rewards
☆ Free access to your VantageScore

Having poor credit usually means earning card rewards is a pipe dream. Few credit cards for bad credit (or no credit history) provide cash back rewards. However, cards like the Surge Secured Mastercard® are impressive exceptions to the rule.

The Surge Secured Mastercard® is a secured credit card that offers rewards – and the ability to build credit – in one package. It earns 1% cash back rewards on every purchase and can help users build their credit score at most places in the United States where Mastercard is accepted. The rewards with the Surge makes the card differ from most other secured cards on the market.

For no credit history, other cash back options include the Discover It Secured Card, which provides the same 2% back on gas and dining as Discover’s Chrome credit card.

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.
About: Cory
Cory Santos

Cory is BestCards.com's "Jack of all trades" and resident credit expert, covering all facets of the credit card space. Cory holds academic degrees in both the U.S. and U.K. In addition to credit cards, Cory finds that jogging, cats, and memes are essential parts of a balanced day.

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