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Compare 5% cashback credit cards

Earn $5 back per $100 on rotating quarterly categories.

Below are cards that earn 5% back in at least one category. You'll generally need good or excellent credit to qualify for a card with such strong rewards. Compare your options using our table. Select up to four cards and click "Compare" to see how their features stack up. You can also click "Show filters" to narrow your search.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$300 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
6% on select US streaming services, 3% on transit and US gas stations, 6% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 annually, then 1% after that and on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn a $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. Having 6 months to earn a welcome offer is a rare benefit as most cards give you only 3. Terms apply, see rates & fees
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back
3% on dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery services, 3% on drugstore purchases, 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Chase Freedom Flex℠
$200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate.
5%cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
$0
Get up to 5% cashback in rotating and newly added everyday categories. The refreshed Freedom Flex card has lots of earning potential.
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With a few exceptions, a 5% cashback credit card is one of the most rewarding types of cards you can add to your wallet. The main caveat: There are no cashback rewards cards that earn 5% on all purchases, so you’ll need to adjust your spending based on the card’s rotating quarterly categories.

Since the cards also have specified spending caps, you’ll only get the 5% cashback rate on up to a designated amount. That’s why the best way to maximize your cash back is to pair this card with a steadier cashback card, like a 1.5% or 3% cashback card.

How to choose 5% cashback credit cards

This type of card usually offers 5% cash back on rotating categories every three months, though the categories they earn, spending caps, and cash back they earn on other purchases often vary greatly between cards. Here’s how you can make the choice that best suits your needs:

  • Review your average spending. Many 5% cashback credit cards have a spending cap in place for each quarter. Earn back up to a certain dollar amount before you start to earn just 1% back on those rotating categories. To make the most of a 5% cashback credit card, you’ll want to make sure you actually spend enough to reach that cap and make the card worth your while.
  • Check the card’s categories. If possible, review the card’s rotating categories ahead of time. This can help you map out a spending plan to meet the cap each quarter. Many providers include multiple spending categories that earn 5% back each rotation to help you avoid a “dud” quarter.
  • Consider the card’s rewards program. Some 5% cashback credit cards earn points that can transfer to travel partners or gain value when redeemed through a different card from the same provider. If you’re looking to squeeze as much value as possible out of your credit card spending, consider a rewards program that allows for this flexibility, such as Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards.
  • Consider whether you value flexibility. With the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card, you get to choose which categories earn 5% and 2% back each quarter.

Should I get a 5% cashback credit card?

To give you an idea of whether a 5% cashback credit card fits your spending lifestyle, here’s a breakdown of what you might earn in several categories assuming an average level of spending each quarter of the year (Q1, Q2, Q3, Q4).

For this example, we’ll assume we’re spending with the Freedom Flex‘s 2020 categories — each quarter is made up of three months. This table also excludes the Freedom Flex‘s signup bonus on grocery spending.

Q1 (Jan-Mar)Q2 (Apr-Jun)Q3 (July-Sept)Q4 (Oct-Dec)
Groceries ($1,500 in spending each quarter)$15.00$75Up to $75 if done at Whole Foods$15.00
Gas ($750 in spending each quarter)$37.50$7.50$7.50$7.50
Dining ($690 in spending each quarter)$6.90$6.90$6.90$6.90
Streaming ($120 in spending each quarter)$1.20$6$1.20$1.20
Total$60.60$95.40$90.60$30.60

Total earned annually: $277.20

Now here’s the same level of spending each quarter when performed with the Citi® Double Cash Card, which earns a maximum of 2% cash back on all purchases.

Q1Q2Q3Q4
Groceries ($1,500 in spending each quarter)$30$30$30$30
Gas ($750 in spending each quarter)$15$15$15$15
Dining ($690 in spending each quarter)$13.80$13.80$13.80$13.80
Streaming ($120 in spending each quarter)$2.40$2.40$2.40$2.40
Total$61.20$61.20$61.20$61.20

Total earned annually: $244.80
As you can see, the Citi® Double Cash Card earns a steady and reliable cash back value each month. But in eligible quarters, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ can net a much greater value if you push the spending cap to the max.

5% cashback credit card pairings

The rotating cashback structure of a 5% cashback credit card means that it naturally pairs well with a card that can earn accelerated rewards in a steadier fashion. A 1.5% flat rate cashback card or 3% cashback card can fill in the gaps present in the 5% card’s rotating categories.

In fact, you can combine all three types of cards to ensure you’re always earning more than 1% cashback on a given purchase. This is called a card “trifecta” and is most popular with rewards programs that can easily transfer points across the cards you own. The Chase Trifecta and Amex Trifecta are both great examples of how lucrative this kind of setup can be for your wallet. Here’s a look at the two major earning players in the Chase Trifecta, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Finder rating 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Terms apply, see rates & fees
If you're looking to earn 5% cash back on as many rotating categories as possible, then the Chase Freedom Flex℠ credit card is a terrific choice. You earn high cash back on rotating categories every three months you activate, which often include gas, groceries and wholesale clubs. Furthermore, the card offers a decent signup bonus, long intro APR period on purchases, and if you make a late payment — you only incur a fee instead of a penalty APR.

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Finder rating 4.7 / 5 ★★★★★

See offer
on Creditcards.com's secure site
Terms apply, see rates & fees
Similar to the Chase Freedom Flex, you earn 5% cashback on a variety of categories. But with the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you get something more — an unlimited 1.5% cashback on all purchases aside from the 5% and 3% categories. This is a rare benefit in tiered cashback credit cards. What's more, you get to earn a solid signup bonus, and you get to save money on interest with a long 0% intro APR period on purchases.

5% cashback credit card alternatives

Though 5% cashback credit cards are among the highest earners on the market, not every consumer will necessarily perform the type of spending needed to maximize this value. If you don’t want to monitor new categories each quarter, a 3% cashback credit card can offer you a similar level of accelerated earnings in a specific category that won’t change throughout the year.

However, 3% cashback credit cards usually share the earning caps present on 5% cashback credit cards. If you’d rather not worry about categories or spending caps, a flat-rate 2% or 1.5% cashback credit card is your best bet. Like the name suggests, these cards earn a flat-rate on all purchases, all year round with no limits.

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 card offers and compare your options until you find the right card for your needs.

Frequently asked questions

What does 5% back in rewards mean?
This means you get $5 back on every $100 you spend. A credit card with $1,500 cap on 5% cash back each quarter will earn you a maximum of $300 on these categories.

Is there a minimum to redeem cash back?
It depends, you can redeem either without a minimum or with a $25 minimum, depending on the card.

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