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Top 5% cashback credit cards — December 2018

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Earn accelerated cash back on rotating categories you choose or on two fixed categories.

A 5% cashback card is probably one of the most rewarding types of cards you can get. Depending on which categories you mostly spend money on, you can get a card with rotating categories or with fixed categories like gas or Amazon purchases for the entire year.

In addition to cash back, most of these cards offer a signup bonus, and they usually have no annual fee. With some cards you can even get an intro APR period on purchases and balance transfers.

Chase Freedom®

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99 to 25.74%
  • Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
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Compare 5% cashback credit cards

Name Product Filter values Annual Fee APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer
$0
16.99% to 25.74% variable
0% for the first 15 months (then 16.99% to 25.74% variable)
0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers.
$0
24.9% variable
A no-annual-fee credit card and discounts when you shop at Target.
$95
14.99% to 25.99% variable
0% for the first 12 months (then 14.99% to 25.99% variable)
Earn $200 bonus cash back after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. Rates & Fees
Ducks Unlimited
Ducks Unlimited
20.99% variable
Unlimited 5% cash back on sporting goods, store and gas purchases.
$0
13.99% to 24.99% variable
0% for the first 14 months (then 13.99% to 24.99% variable)
Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories every quarter you activate, then 1% thereafter. Earn 1% back on all other purchases.

Compare up to 4 providers

Best 5% cashback credit cards

A 5% cashback credit card often has a quarterly rotating categories on which you can earn accelerated cash back without paying an annual fee.

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Best for category diversity: Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99 to 25.74%
  • Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • Cash back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
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If you’re looking to earn 5% cash back on as many rotating categories as possible, then the Chase Freedom® credit card could be worth considering. You earn high cash back on rotating categories every three months you activate, which often include gas, groceries and wholesale clubs.

Also, for up to three quarters you can use Chase Pay to earn accelerated cash back. This earns you the highest rate on purchases, which aren’t included in the categories, such as restaurants.

Furthermore, the card offers a decent signup bonus, long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, and if you make a late payment — you only incur a fee instead of a penalty APR.

Best credit card for high signup bonus: Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories every quarter you activate, then 1% thereafter. Earn 1% back on all other purchases.

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The Discover it® Cash Back card doesn’t offer the standard signup bonus you get with other cards. It offers something better — a cashback match. Suppose you reach the cap on all 5% cashback purchases. You would earn $300 on that alone. Add another $100 on all other annual purchases and you have yourself $400 cash back. Discover Cashback Match doubles this amount for the first year, turning your $400 into a $800 cash bonus.

Aside from this awesome perk, you also get a long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases, free FICO credit score access and whole slew of other security features without paying an annual fee.

Best customizable categories: U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible net purchases each quarter on two categories you choose.

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With most 5% cashback cards with rotating categories, you don’t have control over which categories appear during each quarter. In most cases, you don’t even know what they are until announced. With the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card you choose which purchases earn accelerated cash back.

Your options include furniture, home utilities, department stores, electronics stores and select clothing stores. And you can plan your purchases ahead. If you’re looking to buy new mattresses and clothes — enroll in those two categories for the first three months. You want to buy new TV or a computer? Enroll in electronics stores for the second quarter.

Best for Amazon purchases: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Earn 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market.

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If you spend more than $3,000 annually on Amazon and at Whole Foods Market — and especially if you’re already an Amazon Prime member — the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card could be the best choice. It lets you earn unlimited cash back on these two categories throughout the year. Plus you earn high points on gas, dining and for shopping at drugstores, and you get an Amazon gift card as soon as you’re approved for the card.

Best for gas: Ducks Unlimited

Ducks Unlimited

Unlimited 5% cash back on sporting goods, store and gas purchases.

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Similar cards offer 5% cash back on gas with a limit of up to $1,500 per quarter or up to six months annually. With the Ducks Unlimited credit card you get unlimited 5% cash back on gas during the entire year. If that’s where you spend most money at, this card is an easy choice.

How to compare 5% cashback credit cards

This type of card usually offers 5% cash back on rotating categories every three months. Some cards let you choose which categories would earn accelerated cash back and some offer the same cashback rate on up to two categories throughout the year. That’s why it’s important to consider the following:

  • Do you want to earn 5% cash back on a variety of categories? If that’s the case, consider Chase Freedom®, which offers solid options each quarter from gas, groceries and wholesale clubs to digital wallet purchases of Apple Pay, Google Pay, Chase Pay and more.
  • Do you want a high signup bonus? The Discover it® Cash Back doesn’t offer a signup bonus in the usual sense, but you get a cashback match designed to reward those who earned the most cash back during the first year.
  • Do you want to choose which categories earn high cash back? With the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, you get to choose which categories earn 5% and 2% back each quarter.
  • Do you mostly buy things on Amazon? The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card offers 5% back on all of your Amazon and Whole Foods Market purchases throughout the year.
  • Do you spend heavily on gas? If you do, the Ducks Unlimited would be a solid choice. Especially if you spend more than $600 a month on gas.

Bottom line

Finding a card that offers 5% cash back is a good perk to have. However, there are sometimes categories you have to manage and caps on the amount of cash back you can earn. If you’re not sure if any of these cards would be a good choice, take a look at other cashback credit cards and compare your options until you find the right card for your needs.
The 3 types of cashback credit cards, explained

Frequently asked questions

Kliment Dukovski

Kliment Dukovski is a writer who specializes in global financial markets and personal finance, with a focus on credit cards. His main goal is to deliver honest and accurate information to help you make the right financial decision. When he's not writing about finance-related subjects, he writes sci-fi stories.

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Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
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0 For the first year
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Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
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Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
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23.9
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US Credit Card Offers

Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card

APR

24.49
variable

Annual fee

0 For the first year
More info
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™

APR

16.74
variable

Annual fee

995 For the first year
More info
First Access Visa Card®
First Access Visa Card®

APR

29.99
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card
Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card

APR

23.9
variable

Annual fee

75 For the first year
More info
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