Best cash-back reward credit cards for 2015

By , CardRatings contributor

Cash-back rewards cards are a valuable financial tool because they provide rebates on typical everyday purchases. The market's best cash-back cards offer higher-than-average reward rates, relatively low annual fees, and easy redemption options.  A few of the best credit cards on our list offer a strong, hassle-free earn rate while others offer bonus cash-back in popular spending categories and hefty signup bonuses.  It's important to compare cards and choose the one that best fits your needs and spending habits in order to get the most bang for your buck.

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card
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Editor's Take: The combination of double cash back on every purchase and simplicity make this card a top choice.

Credit Required - Excellent
Cash Back on GasSee Terms
Cash Back on GroceriesSee Terms
Cash Back on OtherSee Terms
Annual Fee$0*

This innovative new card from Citi allows you to earn 1% cash back when you buy and another 1% cash back when you pay for those purchases. A high earn rate and no rotating categories or caps make this card a great choice for anyone who is in the market for a new cash back card. Although there isn't currently a signup bonus, new cardholders can take advantage of a 0% intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months.

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Although this card's 1.5 percent cash back isn't the biggest of the bunch, Capital One's innovative Purchase Eraser tool gives Quicksilver cardholders one of the fastest redemption paths available across all rewards credit cards. Rewards earnings get credited for use within days of most purchases, enabling you to request a statement credit against any of your qualifying purchases. In many cases, you can eliminate the cost of a small purchase within the same statement cycle, instead of waiting for weeks or months as you would with other cards.

Fidelity® Investment Rewards American Express® Card

If you're playing a long game with your credit card rewards, Fidelity Investments offers a generous 2 percent rebate on purchases with this account that bears the American Express logo. Once you've accrued at least $50 in rewards points, you can redeem your balance for a deposit straight to a linked Fidelity brokerage account. Zapping your rebates right into an IRA or 529 college savings account means you can convert a portion of your everyday transactions into a pillar of your retirement or education funding.

Discover® it card

The credit card that helped define the cash-back rewards market reinvented itself not long ago. With more flexible redemption options and an emphasis on personal customer service, cardholders no longer have to wait to spend rebates of up to 5 percent on quarterly promotional purchases (on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter) and 1 percent on most other purchases. Although this card doesn't always feature big sign-up bonuses, it's still worth a space in your wallet. Be sure to note the most recent feature access to free FICO® credit score online and on your monthly statement.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This card, which charges no annual fee, offers a baseline cash back of 1 percent on your eligible everyday purchases. However, purchases at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores can get you 2 percent cash back. Card Members can also earn 3 percent cash back on up to $6,000 per year on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (then 1 percent). Terms and limitations apply. Your cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit. This card also provides a full slate of American Express customer service benefits, including roadside assistance hotline, dispute resolution for a fraudulent or mistaken charge on your statement and on eligible purchases you can get extended warranty and purchase protection, please be sure to read the important exclusions and restrictions that apply to these benefits. Terms and restrictions apply.

Chase Freedom®

A frequent favorite among cash-back card lovers, Chase Freedom also uses a rotating list of quarterly bonus rebate offers. Bonus categories have included purchases at restaurants, gas stations and select department stores, with a quarterly spending cap of up to $1,500 in combined purchases. Beyond that, eligible purchases earn 1 percent rebates with no limit. With this offer you can earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3‐month period you can earn a $25 Bonus. This offer carries no annual fee and rewards never expire as long as your account is open.

    PenFed Platinum Cash Rewards Visa® Card

    Pentagon Federal Credit Union Plus version of this card rewards eligible members with a cash-back credit card that offers 5 percent cash back on gas purchases at the pump. Qualifying for the Plus version of this card means also carrying a qualifying account, such as a money market savings account or a checking account with direct deposit ($250 min). If you can afford to stash some savings with one of the country's fastest growing credit unions, this card can help insulate your household against rising gas prices. Don’t have a qualifying account? Qualified applicants have a chance with the Standard version of this card to earn 3 percent cash back on gas purchases at the pump and an annual fee for the first year is $0, then an annual fee of $25. As a side note fuel purchases for airplanes and boats do not receive cash back rewards with either version of this card.

    BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

    Bank of America tagged its iconic BankAmericard brand to one of its most generous cash-back credit cards. This no-annual-fee card offers 1 percent cash back on every purchase. And for your first $1,500 in combined gas and grocery store purchases each quarter, Bank of America bumps your grocery cash back to 2 percent and your gas cash back rewards to 3 percent. Like Chase, Bank of America extends a 10 percent customer bonus for customers who redeem cash back into an eligible Bank of America checking or savings account. It's a great way to cash out your rewards balance when you only plan to use a card for infrequent, large purchases.

    Be sure you pay down your balance before the close of your monthly statement cycle. Otherwise, annual fees and finance charges can strip your rewards balance, or even cost you more money than if you had used a no-frills card.

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