7 Best Cash Back Credit Cards in 2021

[Detailed Reviews]

Looking forward to saving while you’re shopping? No problem, the best cash back credit cards have got your back. They are here to enable you to reap great rewards every time you make a purchase.

The cash back rewards program is easy to grasp and widely popular. So it’s not surprising that there are so many credit cards to choose from. To help you find the one that suits your needs perfectly, we’ve compiled this exhaustive review of the top-rated cash rewards credit cards.

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Top 7 Cash Back Credit Cards in 2021

1. Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back is an exquisite no-fee cash back credit card that offers a high reward rate on selected purchases. Full Review

  • APR: 11.99%–22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on quarterly, 1% on all other purchases

Discover it® Cash Back is an exquisite no-fee cash back credit card that offers a high reward rate on selected purchases. Full Review

2. Chase Freedom FlexSM

Lush sign-up bonus, the absence of an annual fee, and great rewards make Chase Freedom FlexSM the highest rewards cash back credit card for drivers and cardholders who are fond of dining out. Full Review

  • APR: 14.99%–23.74%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on quarterly categories, 5% on travel, 3% on dining, 1% on other purchases

Lush sign-up bonus, the absence of an annual fee, and great rewards make Chase Freedom FlexSM the highest rewards cash back credit card for drivers and cardholders who are fond of dining out. Full Review

3. Citi® Double Cash Card

The unlimited cash back rewards on not only a purchase but also a payment make Citi® Double Cash one of the best credit cards for cash back you should consider applying for. Full Review

  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 2%

The unlimited cash back rewards on not only a purchase but also a payment make Citi® Double Cash one of the best credit cards for cash back you should consider applying for. Full Review

4. Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

As the best rewards credit card with no annual fee, Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers lush cash back rewards, particularly if you qualify for its Preferred Rewards program. Full Review

  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 3% and 2% on selected categories, 1% on all other purchases

As the best rewards credit card with no annual fee, Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers lush cash back rewards, particularly if you qualify for its Preferred Rewards program. Full Review

5. Blue Cash Preferred®

If most of your purchases consist of groceries from supermarkets or if you commute to work every day, then Amex Blue Cash Preferred® is one of the best cash back credit cards for you. Full Review

  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Cashback: 6% at supermarkets and for streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and gas, 1% on other purchases

If most of your purchases consist of groceries from supermarkets or if you commute to work every day, then Amex Blue Cash Preferred® is one of the best cash back credit cards for you. Full Review

6. Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

If you’re looking for the best cash back credit cards for your business that charge no annual fee but provide generous rewards, Ink Business Cash® has got you covered. Full Review

  • APR: 13.24%–19.24%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on the first $25,000 on combined purchases, 2% at gas stations and restaurants

If you’re looking for the best cash back credit cards for your business that charge no annual fee but provide generous rewards, Ink Business Cash® has got you covered. Full Review

7. Capital One® Spark Cash for Business

Capital One® Spark Cash is one of the best business cash back credit cards for company owners who are seeking unlimited cash rewards. Full Review

  • APR: 20.99%
  • Annual fee: $0 in the first year, then $95
  • Cashback: 2% on all purchases

Capital One® Spark Cash is one of the best business cash back credit cards for company owners who are seeking unlimited cash rewards. Full Review

Best Credit Cards for Cash Back in 2021

  • Discover it® Cash Back: best for quarterly purchases and dining out
  • Chase Freedom FlexSM: best for travel and rides
  • Citi® Double Cash Card: best for everyday purchases
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card: best for supermarket purchases and streaming
  • Blue Cash Preferred®: great choice for grocery shopping
  • Ink Business Cash® Credit Card: good for stationery purchases and telecom services
  • Capital One® Spark Cash: best for inventory shopping

Detailed Reviews

Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back

BEST FOR

cash back strategists

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  • APR: 11.99%–22.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on quarterly, 1% on all other purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 14 months
  • Sign up bonus: 2x rewards in the first year
  • Recommended credit score: Good
  • Secured: No

Discover it® is the best cash back credit card for rewards enthusiasts with good or excellent credit who don’t mind signing up for quarterly bonus categories. To earn cash back, Discover it® requires you to activate rotating bonus categories.

Discover it® Cash Back Rewards & Offers

Discover it® Cash Back offers 5% on the first $1,500 you’ve spent on everyday purchases that fall into rotating quarterly categories. When you shop at grocery stores or gas stations, or eat out at restaurants, you may earn 5% cash back every time you use this cash rewards credit card.

In addition to 5% rewards on selected, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases. These rewards are automatic, so you don’t have to sign up for anything.

Let’s not forget the sign-up bonus. At the end of your first year, Discover it® doubles the cash back you’ve earned so far. Such an offer might prove to be pretty valuable for individuals who spend greater amounts of cash.

Discover it® Cash Back Pricing & Fees

Discover it® Cash Back is entirely free to use. This best moneyback credit card has no annual or monthly maintenance fees. It doesn’t charge a foreign transaction fee either, so you can use it outside the U.S. as well.

The standard APR rate ranges from 11.99% to 22.99%. Yet, in the first 14 months, you’ll be charged the intro APR of 0%. When that period expires, a standard APR is charged, along with a 5% balance transfer fee.

To avoid extra costs, make sure that you’re not late with payments for your 5% cash back credit card. Discover it® charges a late payment fee of $40 for late or returned payments.

What we liked & didn’t like

Discover it® Cash Back is an outstanding credit card that allows you to save money while making purchases. With a little effort, it might be a worthwhile no-fee cash back card. However, not everyone can apply for it, as the minimum required FICO is 690. Nevertheless, if you have good-to-excellent credit and don’t find signing up for bonuses a nuisance, Discover it® Cash Back will be the best cash back card for you.

  • APR: 14.99%–23.74%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on quarterly categories, 5% on travel, 3% on dining, 1% on other purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 15 months
  • Sign up bonus: $200 spent on the $500
  • Recommended credit score: Good
  • Secured: No

If you love eating out, drive to work and back home, and above all, don’t mind signing up for bonuses every quarter, Chase Freedom FlexSM will undoubtedly be one the best money back credit cards for you. To grab this credit card, you need to have at least a minimum FICO of 690.

Chase Freedom FlexSM Rewards & Offers

Chase Freedom FlexSM credit card offers a range of rewards. Firstly, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 spent on rotating bonus category purchases that you need to activate. Next, you’ll earn 5% cash back on Lyft rides and travels bought via Chase Ultimate Rewards.

Further, you may earn 3% rewards on eating out at restaurants and food orders. Chase Freedom FlexSM cash back credit card offers also include 3% rewards on drugstore purchases. Lastly, you’re in 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Chase Freedom FlexSM also offers an attractive sign-up bonus. If you spend $500 on purchases within three months from the account opening, you’ll earn $200.

Chase Freedom FlexSM Pricing & Fees

Chase Freedom FlexSM doesn’t charge an annual fee, so you shouldn’t worry about extra costs. However, it does charge a 3% foreign translation fee, so it’s not among the best cash rewards cards to use abroad.

The APR ranges between 14.99%–23.74%, but in the first 15 months, you’ll be charged 0% APR on purchases. To save money, avoid being late with payments, as Chase Freedom FlexSM charges a late payment fee of up to $39.

What we liked & didn’t like

Unless you’re planning a lot of traveling abroad, Chase Freedom FlexSM is one of the extraordinary credit cards that earn cash back available on the market. It offers high rewards on selected purchases along with an additional 1% on all other purchases. But to activate the cash back rewards, you need to sign up for bonus categories every quarter, which may be a problem for some cardholders. Since it requires at least good credit, Chase Freedom FlexSM isn’t a good fit for applicants with bad credit.

  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 2%
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 18 months
  • Sign up bonus: N/A
  • Recommended credit score: Good to excellent
  • Secured: No

If your FICO is 720 or more, Citi® Double Cash is one of the best no annual fee credit cards you could get and earn generous rewards. Citi® Double Cash grants cash back rewards not only when you’re buying but when you’re making payments as well.

Citi® Double Cash Rewards & Offers

With literally every purchase you make, you’ll earn 1% cash back with no limit on purchases whatsoever. Besides, with every payment you make, you’ll earn an additional 1% reward. But to earn with this  2% cash back credit card, you need to make all your payments on time, or at least the minimum due amount.

Note that, to redeem your cash back, you’ll need to have a minimum of $25.

Sadly, Citi® Double Cash doesn’t have a sign-up bonus. Still, the lack of it is compensated by the unlimited cash back you have for every purchase regardless of a quarter or category.

Citi® Double Cash Pricing & Fees

With a $0 annual fee, we could say that Citi® Double Cash is free to use. Yet, it wouldn’t be wise to use it abroad unless it’s absolutely necessary, as it charges a 3% foreign transaction fee.

Additionally, Citi® Double Cash is an unlimited cash back credit card that has the longest intro APR. Namely, in the first 18 months, you’ll be charged 0% APR on balance transfers. After a year and a half, the established APR of 13.99%–23.99% will apply.

If you’re late with your payments, you’ll not only lose 1% cash back, but you’ll also have to pay a late payment fee of up to $40.

What we liked & didn’t like

Citi® Double Cash is, without a doubt, one of the best cash back credit cards for excellent credit that rewards both your purchases and payments with 1% cash back. Further, its intro APR is among the longest in the market, making up for the lack of a sign-up bonus. Plus, there is no annual fee, so the card is free to use. However, possibly the biggest drawback of Citi® Double Cash is its 3% foreign transaction fee. If you are a travel enthusiast, you might want to consider another credit card.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card

BEST FOR

supermarket purchases and streaming

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  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 3% and 2% on selected categories, 1% on all other purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 12 billing cycles
  • Sign up bonus: $200 on a minimum of $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Recommended credit score: Good

BoA Cash Rewards is a cash back credit card that offers exquisite cashback rewards on categories selected by users. However, a spending cap of $2,500 on bonus categories restricts the amount that cardholders can earn. To qualify for it, you need to have at least a good FICO.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Rewards & Offers

BoA Cash Rewards grants 3% cash back on the category that you choose. It could be gas or travel, dining, online or drugstore shopping, and home improvement. Further, you may earn 2% cash back on grocery shopping and at wholesale clubs. Lastly, you’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.

Note, though, that this 2% and 3% cash back credit card is capped at the first $2,500 combined purchases. When you exceed this amount, you’ll start earning a 1% cash back reward.

It’s worth mentioning that if you apply for Preferred Rewards Membership, you’ll earn 25%–75% more rewards on purchases. Hence, 3% will increase to 5.25%, 2% to 3.5%, and 1%, to 1.75%.

To all new clients, BoA Cash Rewards offers a sign-up bonus of $200 in cash back after you make a minimum of $1,000 in purchases within 90 days upon opening.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Pricing & Fees

BoA Cash Rewards Credit Card doesn’t charge an annual fee. But it does charge a 3% foreign transaction fee, so you might want to consider some other credit cards with the best cash back if you travel a lot.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards has a variable APR that ranges from 13.99% to 23.99%. New clients are eligible for 0% intro APR in the first 12 billing cycles for purchases. When that period ends, the standard APR will be charged.

Make sure that you’re not late with your payments as Bank of America will charge you a late payment fee of up to $40.

What we liked & didn’t like

BoA Cash Rewards is one of the rare top cash back credit cards that allow you to pick bonus categories for yourself, which you can change once a month. On top of that, the special membership program lets you earn even more cash back. However, the biggest drawback is that the favorable cash back rates are limited to $2,500. Once you exceed that limit, you’ll get only 1% cashback.

Blue Cash Preferred®
Blue Cash Preferred®

BEST FOR

supermarket purchases

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  • APR: 13.99%–23.99%
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Cashback: 6% at supermarkets and for streaming subscriptions, 3% on transit and gas, 1% on other purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 2.7%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 12 months
  • Sign up bonus: $300 after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Recommended credit score: Good

Even though it might not be among the cheapest, Blue Cash Preferred® is undoubtedly among the favorite credit cards with the best cash back rewards for U.S. families and streaming enthusiasts. Additionally, if you’re a commuter, it may help you lower your gas and transit costs by offering you ample rewards and bonuses. To be eligible for Blue Cash Preferred®, you must have a minimum FICO of 690.

Blue Cash Preferred® Rewards & Offers

Blue Cash Preferred® grants a vast array of rewards and bonuses for different categories. To begin with, you’ll earn 6% cash back on all U.S. supermarket purchases, plus 6% cash back on selected streaming services.

Next, this credit card cash back offers 3% rewards on transit, such as taxi and bus rides, parking fees, tolls, etc., as well as 3% cash back for gas purchases. Lastly, American Express will reward you with a 1% cash back for all other purchases made with this card. This reward, however, can be redeemed as a statement credit.

Speaking of sign-up bonus, Blue Cash Preferred® grants $300 for $1,000 spent in the first 90 days upon account opening.

Blue Cash Preferred® Pricing & Fees

Sadly, this top-rated 6% cash back credit card isn’t free. Amex Blue Cash Preferred® charges an annual fee of $95. Likewise, it’s not a good choice for purchases made outside of the U.S., as you’ll be charged a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.

Blue Cash Preferred® has a variable APR of 13.99%–23.99%. New cardholders will be charged a 0% intro APR on purchases within the first year. After that, the established APR applies.

Just like with all credit cards, it’s vital not to be late with payments, as you’ll have to pay a penalty fee of up to $40.

What we liked & didn’t like

Amex Blue Cash Preferred® is among the best cash back credit cards for groceries and selected streaming subscriptions, as well as transit and gas purchases. With it, you have an excellent opportunity to save significant amounts on everyday shopping. Yet, some users might find its annual fee a bit too high, given the fact that there are other top-rated credit cards that offer ample rewards for a $0 annual fee.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card
Ink Business Cash® Credit Card

BEST FOR

office supplies purchases

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  • APR: 13.24%–19.24%
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Cashback: 5% on the first $25,000 on combined purchases, 2% at gas stations and restaurants
  • Foreign transaction fee: 3%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 12 months
  • Sign up bonus: $750 after spending $7,500 in the first 90 days
  • Recommended credit score: Good

Small business owners are also in need of the best cash back credit cards that will grant rewards for stationary purchases and telecom services. Ink Business Cash® is the perfect solution for organizations that spend huge amounts of money covered by the credit card’s top bonus categories. The entrepreneur who’d want to apply for Ink Business needs to have a credit score of at least 690.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Rewards & Offers

Ink Business Cash® provides a lush 5% cashback on purchases in office supply stores and online purchases. Cable and telecom services are also included in this 5% reward.

This business cash back credit card deals also cover 2% rewards spent on gas and in restaurants. However, both 5% and 2% cashback are capped at the first $25,000 spent on combined purchases.

Ink Business Cash® grants new cardholders a sign-up bonus of $750 on $7,500 spent on purchases in the first 90 days upon the account opening.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card Pricing & Fees

If you don’t want to pay annual fees, then Ink Business Cash® is one of the best cash back business credit cards. There are no maintenance fees, so you won’t be paying a single penny. But there is a foreign transaction fee of 3%, so you should think twice before using it abroad.

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card has a variable APR that ranges from 13.24% to 19.24%. New cardholders will be charged a 0% intro APR on purchases in the first year after the account opening.

Cardholders who are late with their payments will have to pay a late payment fee of up to $40. Hence, to avoid unnecessary expenses, always pay your dues on time.

What we liked & didn’t like

Ink Business Cash® Credit Card is among lucrative no annual fee cash reward cards for startups or small businesses. It offers lush rewards for current business owners, as well as an attractive sign-up bonus for new clients. There are no additional fees, provided that you don’t use it abroad and make all your payments on time. On the negative side, Ink Business Cash® has a limit of $25,000, so it might not be suitable for heavy spenders.

  • APR: 20.99%
  • Annual fee: $0 in the first year, then $95
  • Cashback: 2% on all purchases
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0%
  • Intro APR: 0% for the first 12 months
  • Sign up bonus: $500 after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
  • Recommended credit score: Good

Capital One® Spark Cash is a credit card with the best cash back rewards that makes it easy for business owners to earn unlimited cash back on all purchases. Its unlimited money back rewards are ideal for heavy spenders, as they can refund a great portion of the invested money. However, only investors whose FICO score is at least 690 are eligible.

Capital One® Spark Cash for Business Rewards & Offers

Capital One® Spark Cash rewards all your purchases with a 2% cash back. The spending amount eligible for the reward is not limited, so you’ll earn with every purchase you make.

Similarly, you needn’t worry about quarters or bonus categories. Capital One® Spark Cash credit cards with 2% cash back cover literally everything, including inventory purchases, which may incur the highest expenses.

New cardholders are in for a lucrative sign-up bonus. Capital One grants $500 to all new clients after spending $4,500 in the first three months with this card.

Capital One® Spark Cash for Business Pricing & Fees

In the first 12 months upon opening the account, you don’t need to worry about maintenance fees. However, after that first year, Capital One® will start charging an annual fee of $95.

If you travel a lot on business, Capital One® Spark Cash is the best money back credit card to have with you. There is a 0% foreign transaction fee, so there will be no extra costs when you make a purchase.

The variable APR of 20.99% is possibly the greatest drawback of Capital One® Spark Cash. It’s somewhat higher than the market average, which may avert some potential clients from obtaining this card.

Capital One® Spark Cash lets you set your due date. However, if you miss it, you’ll need to pay a late payment fee of up to $39 and you may be hit with a penalty APR of 29.4%.

What we liked & didn’t like

Capital One® Spark Cash for Business is one of the highest rewards cash back cards for entrepreneurs who don’t want to bother with watching or signing up for bonus categories. The cash back rewards are unlimited, so all you’ll earn on all purchases you make. Additionally, you can redeem your cash back any time you want. On the downside, Capital One® Spark has a somewhat higher APR. Plus, it charges an annual fee. Yet, compared to the amount you’ll earn, that fee is neglectable on an annual basis.

How to Pick the Best Credit Cards with Cash Back

With a wide variety of credit cards in the market, choosing the best one for your needs is easier said than done. To make the most of it, there are a few things to consider — its features and the effort you need to invest to earn cash back.

To help you decide what would be the best cash back rewards credit cards, check out our guide.

Figure out what kind of cash back card you want

Cash back credit cards may be classified into three categories: flat-rate, fixed bonus, and changing bonus category.

Flat-rate cash back credit cards grant you the same rewards regardless of what you buy and where you shop. They are the simplest to handle as you don’t have to look out for eligible categories while shopping. Citi® Double Cash Back and Capital One® Spark Cash are some of the best flat-rate cash back credit cards.

Fixed bonus category credit cards reward you for specific purchases, e.g., grocery or gas shopping, bus rides, or eating out at specific restaurants. They reward other purchases as well, but with a significantly lower cash back rate.

Unlike fixed, changing bonus categories tend to change according to the season or quarter. To earn cash back, you need to activate each of the categories every quarter.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards and Blue Cash Preferred® are credit cards with high cash back from the fixed, whereas Discover it® Cash Back and Chase Freedom FlexSM offer the best rewards from the changing category.

Know your spending habits

To decide whether you need a card from a flat-rated, fixed, or changing category, you should go over your spendings. Do you spend the most money on grocery shopping in the U.S. supermarkets? Do you eat out a lot and have your favorite restaurant? Do you drive a car or take a bus or train to work? Is there a streaming service you particularly like? When you answer these questions, you’ll realize what types of credit cards with cash back offers to look into.

But, there is some minimum cash back that you should seek in credit cards. Thus, you should never opt for flat-rate cards that offer less than 1.5%. Likewise, bonus-category credit cards should offer at least 3% cash back in the highest spending category.

Check the rates & fees

In addition to the cash back, it is of utmost importance to look at the APR and annual fees while making a cash back credit card comparison. Ideally, you should opt for the ones that have a lower APR and charge a $0 annual fee.

However, if the card that seems to fit your needs best has an annual fee, you should examine how much money you will earn with cash back over the three-year period. Add up the annual cash back and a sign-up bonus, then subtract three years of fee expenses. The result will show how much you’d actually earn.

If you’re fond of traveling, you would normally look for credit cards with the best cash back rewards that charge 0% foreign transaction fee.

Simplicity is paramount

You don’t want too much hassle over your credit card. If you find activating bonus categories every quarter too tiresome, go for the card from a fixed bonus category. If your purchases or spendings can’t be classified into any particular category, a flat-rate credit card could be the best pick.

Wrap Up

Top cash back cards are a handy way to earn cash rewards with very little or no effort invested. Further, they can be quite a convenient money-saver for particular purchases or seasons. But to actually earn and save, it’s vital to choose wisely and use responsibly. There is a wide range of options to choose from. In our review, we’ve compared cash back credit cards to help you find the one that fits you and your shopping habits best.

FAQ

What is cash back?

Cash back is a specific perk that credit card issuers provide as a reward on some of their credit cards. It refers to giving you back a percentage of cash you spend on purchases via your credit card. Depending on the credit card company, cash back can be unlimited or capped at a certain amount. Likewise, it may apply to all purchases you make, or just particular ones such as groceries, gas, travel, or streaming.

Are cash back credit cards really worth it?

If you use your credit card responsibly, activate the rotating bonus categories (if any), and make your payments on time, cash back credit cards can be a wise investment. Some cardholders are able to earn hundreds or even thousands per year. But, to actually benefit from a cash back credit card, you need to stick to your budget and try not to exceed it, and pay the full balance every month. Otherwise, mounting fees make cash back credit cards pointless.

What credit card gives the most cash back?

Blue Cash Preferred® has the highest cash back for grocery and supermarket purchases. It’s closely followed by Bank of America® Cash Rewards in the same category.

Of course, the highest value you can get from any particular cash back card depends on your shopping and spending habits. If activating bonus categories every quarter isn’t much of a hassle for you, Discover it® Cash Back, and Chase Freedom FlexSM are excellent choices. On the other hand, if you just want flat-rate and unlimited cash back credit cards, Citi® Double Cash would be the perfect pick.

What is the best cash back credit card?

If you’re an entrepreneur and need a card for your business, look no further than Ink Business Cash® or Capital One® Spark Cash. However, if you’re in need of a personal money back card, then some of the most rewarding and best cash back credit cards would be:

  • Discover it® Cash Back
  • Chase Freedom FlexSM
  • Citi® Double Cash Card
  • Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card
  • Blue Cash Preferred®

In the end, your shopping preferences and habits determine which credit card is the best for you in equal measure with APRs, fees, and requirements.