Cash Back Credit Card Reviews

We've simplified the process of choosing a cash-back credit card. Our reviews delve into features, rewards, fees, and more, helping you find the perfect card to maximize your everyday spending.

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Best credit cards for cash back

CardRatings editors break down the top cash back cards in multiple categories.

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Frequently asked questions

Cash back credit cards provide cardholders with a percentage of their spending back as a rebate or cash reward. Users earn cash back on eligible purchases, and the accumulated rewards can be redeemed as a statement credit, direct deposit, or other options depending on the credit card terms. Learn more about how cash back credit cards work.

Credit card companies offer cash back as an incentive to attract and retain customers. It's a rewards program that encourages cardholders to use their credit cards for purchases, leading to increased transaction volume. By providing cash back, credit card issuers aim to build loyalty, incentivize spending, and differentiate their products in a competitive market. Additionally, increased card usage allows issuers to earn revenue through interchange fees charged to merchants for processing transactions.

Credit cards with the highest cash back rates can vary based on the issuer, card type, and specific terms. Generally speaking though, the credit cards with the highest cash back rate are typically tiered or rotating category cash back cards.

Tiered cash back cards offer different cash back amounts depending on the purchase category, and most tiered credit cards usually offer one category with an elevated level of cash back. For example, grocery purchases put on that card may earn 6% cash back while gas purchases earn 3%.

Rotating category cash back cards are similar to tiered cards in that some purchases may be eligible for bonus cash back; however, the purchase categories awarding bonus cash back rotate, typically quarterly. For instance, you may earn 5% back on grocery purchases one quarter, but the next quarter, the bonus cash back category is 5% on gas purchases, and only 1% on grocery purchases.

Yes, there are many cash back credit cards with no annual fee. See our top picks for the best no annual fee credit cards, or peruse our list of the best cash back credit cards and use the “no-annual-fee” filter to narrow down the results to only no-annual-fee options.

To find information about cash back rewards on your credit card, you can:

  • Read the terms and conditions. Consult the terms and conditions that came with your credit card. This document typically provides information on the rewards program, including cash back rates, eligible categories, and any restrictions.
  • Check your credit card statement. Most credit card issuers provide a summary of your rewards earned during the billing cycle.
  • Access your online account. Most issuers have a dedicated section where you can view your rewards balance, history, and redemption options.
  • Visit your credit card issuer’s website. Navigate to the rewards or benefits section where you can find detailed information about the cash back program associated with your card.
  • Contact customer service. If you can't find the information online, call the customer service number on the back of your credit card. The customer service representative can provide details about your cash back rewards, including how they are earned and redeemed.
  • Use the mobile app. If your credit card issuer has a mobile app, check the app for information on your cash back rewards. Many apps provide a user-friendly interface for managing rewards.

Remember that cash back programs can vary between credit cards, so it's important to familiarize yourself with the specific terms and conditions of your card to maximize your rewards.

Here are some helpful tips for using cash back credit cards:

  • Choose the right card for your spending habits. Select a cash back credit card that aligns with your typical spending patterns. Some cards offer higher cash back rates in specific categories like groceries or gas, so choose one that maximizes your rewards based on your regular expenses.
  • Take advantage of introductory offers. Many cash back credit cards come with introductory offers, such as bonus cash back or 0% APR for a certain period. Capitalize on these promotions, but be aware of the terms and any potential fees.
  • Understand the terms and conditions. Be aware of how the rewards program works, including cash back rates, categories, and any limitations.
  • Check for rotating categories. If your card has rotating bonus categories, be aware of when they change.Plan your spending to maximize cash back during those periods.
  • Use the card for everyday expenses. Use your cash back credit card for everyday purchases, but do so responsibly. This can help you accumulate rewards over time without changing your spending habits significantly.
  • Keep an eye on special promotions. Credit card issuers often run special promotions or partnerships that can boost your cash back earnings. Stay informed about these opportunities to maximize your rewards.
  • Pay your balance in full. To avoid interest charges that can outweigh your cash back benefits, aim to pay your credit card balance in full each month. This way, you can enjoy the rewards without incurring additional costs.
  • Monitor your spending. Keep track of your spending to stay within your budget. While cash back rewards are enticing, overspending can negate the benefits.
  • Redeem your rewards strategically. Be strategic about how you redeem your cash back rewards. Some cards offer options like statement credits, direct deposit options, or gift cards. Choose the redemption method that provides the most value for your needs.
  • Review your statements regularly. Regularly review your credit card statements to ensure accuracy and monitor your cash back earnings. Report any discrepancies promptly to the card issuer.

Remember that responsible credit card use is essential for maximizing the benefits of cash back rewards while avoiding unnecessary fees and interest charges.

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