Cash back credit cards cards from our partners

By updated on August 30, 2014

Cash back credit cards rebate a percentage of your purchase amounts right back into your account. They are popular rewards cards for a very good reason: they pay you back based on the dollars you spend every day. Cash back rewards cards are a great way to save money as long as you stay within your budget and don't use them as a reason to spend more.

Many cash back rewards cards do charge interest, so you may save more if you have an excellent to good credit score and especially if you pay your balance in full each month. Shopping around--by comparing credit cards online and reading the terms and conditions--is the key to choosing the best cash back credit card that meshes with your lifestyle.

Cash is king … especially if you can earn cash with a cash back credit card. While it may seem counter-intuitive to use a credit card to earn money, you can earn as much as 1 to 5 percent on your regular purchases with a cash back rewards card.  If you use your card for gas and groceries, you plan to pay all or most of your balance every month, and you like the incentive of gaining a little something in return for your credit card loyalty, a cash back credit card could be a good bet.

Is a cash back credit card best for me?

The most important thing to think about when you try to decide on the best credit card is your personal spending habits. If you are disciplined enough to pay your credit card bill each month and won't be tempted to spend more on your rewards credit card, a cash back card can be a good deal.

But if you have trouble staying within budget from time to time, or you carry a balance from month to month on your credit card, a cash back card may not be the best choice for you since these cards typically charge higher interest rates than non-rewards credit cards.

Can I qualify for a cash back rewards card?

A cash back rewards card typically requires good to excellent credit to qualify, among other  requirements as determined by each issuer. Before applying, get your free credit report and check it for black marks and errors.

If you have good credit, you may qualify for a cash back rewards card, but you should check the interest rate to make sure it is not too high in case you need to carry a balance. Generally, the cards with the best rewards are limited to customers with high credit scores along with meeting other credit criteria.

If you are ready to consider applying for a cash back credit card, compare the cash back credit card offers on this page to see which one is the best choice for you.

How much can I earn with a cash back credit card?

It all depends on your spending patterns and how well the card matches your lifestyle. Some cash back credit cards offer big incentives when you sign up, sometimes amounting to hundreds of dollars if you meet reasonable spending limits. Other cards offer as much as 5 percent on specific purchase categories.

Sometimes cash rewards can be converted to points, which can then be used for a wide variety of incentives, including retailer discounts or airline miles. This handy list of cash back credit cards is a good place to learn more.

Are cash back credit cards a gimmick?

Nope! The cash back programs are very real, and can reward you with a nice chunk of change with regular use of your card. However, keep in mind that cash back cards can have many limitations and caveats, so it pays to pay attention to that little notice that comes with your credit card statement. Don't forget to take a good look at the interest rates, too; cash back credit cards can have much higher interest rates than a regular card.

Choosing the best cash back rewards card

Each credit card company offers something a little different for cash back rewards, and often the amount you earn depends on what you are buying with the card. Cash back credit cards often give bonus points based on the category of your purchase. Some cards offer bonus cash back on particular purchase categories for a limited time. Choose the right card and pay attention to the ever-changing rules to get the most bang for your buck.  Here are some items to compare when you look at credit card offers with a cash back rewards program:

  • Choice of rewards: While cash may seem like all you want right now, some rewards credit cards offer you the option of switching your points to things like airline miles, gift cards or gas whenever you want.
  • Interest rate: If you plan to pay your bill in full each month, interest rates may be less of a factor in your decision. If you think you might have to carry a balance from time to time, be sure to compare the rates on various card offerings.
  • Bonus cash: Some companies offer a bonus for new customers who meet a certain spending minimum within the first few months.
  • Percent you can earn: Of course you want the card with the highest percentage of cash back rewards, but make sure these rewards are on the items you buy, like gas or groceries, and that you can meet the requirements to earn the maximum.

Before you choose your cash back credit card, make an estimate of how much you will charge and what you will purchase to figure out which cash back credit card matches your spending pattern best. Then estimate how much you will earn in cash back and compare that with the annual fee you'll pay for the card. Some cash back credit cards do not charge any annual fee.

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Could you be getting better rewards and rates with another card? Find out.

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Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • One-time $100 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
Apply Now Credit Needed Good
X

Cashback on Gas

1.5%

Cashback on groceries

1.5%

Cashback on other

1.5%

Purchase APR

12.9% - 22.9% (V) 

Annual Fee

$0 

Chase Freedom®

Editor's Rating

  • This offer is for people with a good to excellent credit history which means, among other things, that your credit history is clear of bankruptcy and seriously delinquent accounts
  • Earn a $100 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn a $25 Bonus after you add your first authorized user and make a purchase within this same 3-month period
Apply Now Credit Needed Good
X

Cashback on Gas

5%

Cashback on groceries

1%

Cashback on other

1%

Purchase APR

13.99% - 22.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Editor's Rating

  • Get $150 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $150 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

3% at U.S. gas stations

Cashback on groceries

Up to 6% at U.S. supermarkets

Cashback on other

3% at select U.S. dept stores, 1% on other purchases

Purchase APR

12.99% - 21.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$75 

Discover it® chrome BT

Editor's Rating

  • 0% Intro APR* on balance transfers for 18 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A fee of 3% applies for each balance transferred.
  • 0% Intro APR* on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%.
  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter--no sign-ups needed*. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter--no sign-ups needed*.

Cashback on groceries

1%

Cashback on other

1%

Purchase APR

10.99% - 22.99% Variable*

Annual Fee

$0 

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Editor's Rating

  • Get $100 back after you spend $1,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. You will receive $100 back in the form of a statement credit.
  • Hassle-free cash back: no enrollment required, the same great reward categories year-round.
  • Terms and restrictions apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

2% at U.S. gas stations

Cashback on groceries

Up to 3% at U.S. supermarkets

Cashback on other

2% at select U.S. dept stores, 1% on other purchases

Purchase APR

12.99% - 21.99% Variable

Annual Fee

$0 

Discover it® card

Editor's Rating

  • 0% intro APR on purchases & balance transfers for 14 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • Rated 4.8 out of 5 stars by over 4,000 cardmembers.*
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements.*
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases after you sign up*

Cashback on groceries

1%*

Cashback on other

Up to 5% in categories that change* and 1% on all other purchases*

Purchase APR

10.99% - 22.99% Variable*

Annual Fee

$0 

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Editor's Rating

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories and no sign ups needed to earn cash rewards
  • Redeem the cash back you earn for any amount, any time
Apply Now Credit Needed Average/Fair
X

Cashback on Gas

1.5%

Cashback on groceries

1.5%

Cashback on other

1.5%

Purchase APR

22.9% (V) 

Annual Fee

$39 

Discover it®

Editor's Rating

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months. Then the variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%
  • Free FICO® Credit Score online and on monthly statements.*
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

5% cash back at gas stations on up to $1,500 in purchases after you sign up*

Cashback on groceries

1%*

Cashback on other

Up to 5% in categories that change* and 1% on all other purchases*

Purchase APR

10.99% - 22.99% Variable*

Annual Fee

$0 

Discover it® chrome

Editor's Rating

  • 2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter--no sign-ups needed*. 1% cash back on all your other purchases.
  • 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months--then a variable purchase APR applies, currently 10.99% - 22.99%. A 3% fee applies to each transferred balance.
  • No annual fee, no overlimit fee, no late fee on your first late payment and no foreign transaction fee*.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

2% cash back on up to $1,000 in combined purchases at restaurants and gas stations every quarter--no sign-ups needed*.

Cashback on groceries

1%

Cashback on other

1%

Purchase APR

10.99% - 22.99% Variable*

Annual Fee

$0 

Citi® Double Cash Card

Editor's Rating

  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers and Purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 12.99%-22.99%, based on your creditworthiness
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • The only card that earns you cash back TWICE on every purchase with:
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

See Terms

Cashback on groceries

See Terms

Cashback on other

See Terms

Purchase APR

12.99% - 22.99%* Variable

Annual Fee

$0* 

TrueEarnings® Card from Costco and American Express

Editor's Rating

  • 3% Cash back at US gas stations and on gasoline at Costco up to $4,000 per year in purchases, then 1%
  • 2% cash back at US restaurants; 2% cash back on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; 1% cash back on other purchases, including at Costco
  • Terms and limitations apply; You will receive your cash back annually in the form of a reward coupon. Terms and restrictions apply.
Apply Now Credit Needed Excellent
X

Cashback on Gas

Up to 3% at U.S. gas stations and on gasoline at Costco

Cashback on groceries

Cashback on other

2% at U.S. restaurants; 2% on eligible travel purchases, including at Costco; 1% on other purchases, including at Costco

Purchase APR

15.24% variable

Annual Fee

No Annual Fee with your paid Costco Membership