Cash-back credit cards make you money as you shopThere's nothing like getting rewarded every time you swipe.

The market is flooded with cash-back credit cards for consumers to choose from, but several companies have recently made moves to make cash-back rewards even more appealing to new applicants.

Below are just a few of our picks for best cash-back credit cards that have stand-out programs designed to appeal to the serious cash-back credit card user:

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card  (This card is not currently available on CardRatings)

Dining out is already exciting on its own, but it's especially more so when you know you're earning cash back while doing so. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card doubles the fun (well, quadruples it actually) when dining out or enjoying a night on the town, with 4% earned on every dining and entertainment purchase made. That means every time you swipe your card at your favorite restaurant, museum, or for Broadway tickets, you're earning 4% on every dollar you spend, with no caps on how much you can earn. Additionally, you'll earn 2% for every dollar you spend on groceries, and 1% for every dollar spent on gas, bills, office supplies, and anything else you might use your card for outside of the dining, entertainment, and grocery categories.

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card allows users to have a little fun, rewarding them for both the exciting things in their life, and the mundane, like buying groceries and filling up the car with gas. However, the rewards don't stop there. New cardholders are also eligible for a $300 welcome bonus once spending $3,000 within the first three months of account membership, putting more money in your pocket for things like dessert or concert tickets. This card also has no international transaction fees, making it the prefect travel companion.

One downside of the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is that there is an annual fee ( $0 intro for first year; $95 after that), however, Capital One does offer a no annual fee version, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% at the grocery store, and 1% on all other purchases, plus a welcome bonus of $150 once spending $500 in the first three months.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Offering a slightly different rewards structure than the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% cash back in rotating categories, but it also has a cash bonus welcome offer: New cardholders can earn $200 cash back once spending $500 within the first three months of opening an account. Plus, take advantage of an intro offer of 15 months no interest on purchases (then 14.99% - 23.74% Variable).

Cardholders earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases that rotate quarterly in addition to 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1% on all other purchases. Because of these rotating categories, earning rewards with Freedom Flex℠ takes some diligence because you must activate new 5% cash-back categories every three months. The requirement is designed to keep customers informed of quarterly category changes so they can maximize their rewards. If you miss the activation period, you'll have to wait until the next quarter, but signing up for Chase's text message or email reminders can help you avoid missing out.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® also has an introductory 0% purchase APR offer for 15 months (then, 14.99% - 23.74% Variable). The big difference here is that Freedom Unlimited® earns 1.5%, a step up from the usual 1%, on all non-bonus spend. New cardholders earn a $200 cash back bonus once spending $500 within three months of opening an account and 5% cash back on up to $12,000 spent at grocery stores (excluding Target and Walmart) during your first year. On an ongoing basis, earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 3% on dining at restaurants and on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchase. There's also no annual fee that to cut into your earnings. Other benefits include zero fraud liability, price and purchase protection and rental car insurance.

Redeem your Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards for cash back or combine your points with those earned through the Freedom Flex℠* card's 5% cash-back rewards opportunities. Or, transfer your points to your Chase Sapphire Preferred® card and get more value for your points when you redeem them through Chase's travel portal. You won't find this flexibility with most cash-back cards, but it's a smart strategy to amass rewards -- and cash in on their value -- more quickly.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

With Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, there aren't rotating rewards categories, but it does have a tiered rewards structure. (American Express is a CardRatings advertiser.) You earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 a year, 6% on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on transit purchases, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Terms apply.

Though the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express works if you prefer more straightforward rewards, it has drawbacks. There's a $95 annual fee and foreign transaction fees to considerSee Rates and Fees.

The annual fee alone can eat into your rewards if you don't spend at least $105 a month on groceries, so this card is best for everyday spending if you pay off your balance in full every month. 

The best cash-back credit cards cater to both types of consumers: those who enjoy the gamesmanship of maximizing their rewards and those who'd rather avoid all the fuss. Decide which category you fall into and thoroughly research the rewards structure and redemption options before you get lured in by an attractive sign-up bonus. Doing this due diligence will help you find a card that will work for you long after the flashy intro offers expire.

To see the rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit the following link: See Rates and Fees

blue cash everydayblue cash preferred

What is the difference between Blue Cash Everyday® and Preferred®? 

The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express are two popular cash-back credit cards both offering bonus rewards on purchases in common everyday categories such as at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations. At first glance these cards may seem identical; however, there are some important details between the two to be aware of. For example: one has an annual fee, and one doesn’t; they both offer an intro 0% APR period, but one offer is longer; they each have welcome bonuses, but one is more lucrative; etc. Which card is best for you will depend on how you anticipate using it. Read on to learn more about the numerous similarities, and differences, between these top-ranking cash-back contenders. American Express is a CardRatings advertiser. 

Everyday cash-back earning

Both the Blue Cash Everyday® and Blue Cash Preferred® cards earn tiered cash-back rewards, which allows you to earn bonus cash back in specific categories. With the Blue Cash Everyday® card you can earn 3% cash back when you use your card at participating U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 and then 1%), 2% back when you use your card at participating U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores, and 1% back on all other purchases.

This is lower-earning cash-back potential compared to the Blue Cash Preferred® card which earns 6% back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets annually (then 1%), unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations, and 1% back on everything else. Additionally, cardholders can also earn 6% back on select U.S. streaming services and 3% back on transit purchases.

New cardholder welcome bonus

Another noteworthy difference between these two cards is the welcome bonus offered to new cardholders. While signing up for a card for the express purpose of getting a bonus is not advised, bonus cash back can still play an important role in deciding which card is right for you.

Both cards are currently offering the opportunity for a welcome bonus, however at slightly different rates. 

The Blue Cash Everyday® is currently offering new cardholders a $150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership. This is lower than the Blue Cash Preferred® offer of $250 earned once spending $1,000 on purchases within the same time frame. Putting the two bonuses side by side, the Blue Cash Preferred®'s bonus is $100 more for the exact same minimum spend requirement.

Annual fees

The Blue Cash Preferred® card with higher cash-back earning potential and a more generous welcome bonus may appear to be the superior card; however, upon further inspection, the story becomes a little more nuanced. One of the benefits that the Blue Cash Everyday® card has, that its Preferred® counterpart does not, is no annual fee (See Rates and Fees). For those who don’t want to have out-of-pocket expenses just to have a particular card in your wallet, this is a big benefit to the Blue Cash Everyday® card. The Blue Cash Preferred® charges a $95 annual fee (See Rates and Fees).

When deciding between these two cards, ultimately it comes down to your spending habits and if you mind having an annual fee. For example, if you spend heavily at U.S. supermarkets, it'd likely be worth springing for the Blue Cash Preferred® card, even though it carries an annual fee. You'll earn more rewards in more categories, and if you're using it often, the annual fee shouldn't be hard to offset. It takes just over $1,500 spent a year at U.S. supermarkets alone to offset the annual fee. Considering the fact that many families spend $300, $400, or even $500 or a more a month at supermarkets, offsetting this cost should be a breeze for many cardholders.

To learn more about how these cards match up, check out the table below to compare the various rewards, benefits, features, and fees associated with each.

Blue Cash Everyday® vs. Preferred®

Annual Fee 
$0
$95
New Cardholder Bonus Offer

$150 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership

$250 statement credit once spending $1,000 in the first three months of card membership

Rewards

3% cash back when you use your card at participating U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 and then 1% cash back thereafter); 2% back when you use your card at participating U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores; and 1% back on all other purchases

6% cash back when you use your card at participating U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 and then 1% cash back thereafter) and on select U.S. streaming services; unlimited 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit purchases; and 1% back on everything else

Intro 0% APR

Introductory 0% APR for 15 months on new purchases, then 13.99% - 23.99% Variable

Introductory 0% APR for the first 12 months on new purchases, then 13.99%-23.99% Variable

Foreign Transaction Fees

2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

2.7% of each transaction in U.S. dollars

Travel Benefits
  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance- When you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can be covered if the car is damaged or stolen.

  • Global Assist Hotline- When you travel more than 100 miles from home, you have 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services, including medical and legal referrals, assistance with cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage and more.

  • Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance- When you use your eligible card to reserve and pay for the entire eligible vehicle rental and decline the collision damage waiver at the rental car counter, you can be covered if the car is damaged or stolen.

  • Global Assist Hotline- When you travel more than 100 miles from home, you have 24/7 access to medical, legal, financial or other select emergency coordination and assistance services, including medical and legal referrals, assistance with cash wires, passport replacement, missing luggage and more.

Purchase Protection
  • Return Protection: Eligible items purchased with the Blue Cash Everyday® card may receive return protection for up to 90 days from the date of the purchase.
  • Return Protection- With Return Protection, you may return eligible purchases to American Express if the seller won't take them back up to 90 days from the date of purchase. American Express may refund the full purchase price excluding shipping and handling, up to $300 per item, up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year per card account, if you purchased it entirely with your eligible American Express Card.
Account Protection
  • Fraud Protection- When you use your American Express card, you won't be held responsible for fraudulent charges. If you see a charge that you think is fraudulent, just call us at the number on the back of your card. There's no deductible, so you can use your card with confidence.

  • Fraud Protection- When you use your American Express card, you won't be held responsible for fraudulent charges. If you see a charge that you think is fraudulent, just call us at the number on the back of your card. There's no deductible, so you can use your card with confidence.

For a full synopsis of each card see our review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express and Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express review.

See Rates and Fees for the Blue Cash Preferred® Card ; See Rates and Fees for the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

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