Top 10 best cashback credit cards of 2021 | finder.com

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Best cashback credit cards

Get cashback on everyday purchases or earn more on specific categories.

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The best cashback credit cards offer above average cash back opportunities on the shopping categories you spend in most. Finder’s credit card experts spent more than 400 hours reviewing and comparing each rewards credit cards based on factors including cash back limitations, earning categories, redemption flexibility and welcome offers. We’ve narrowed down the best cashback credit cards across 10 categories to help you zero in on the best card for earning back bucks.
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What are the best cashback credit cards?

Best no-annual-fee cashback card for moderate spending on groceries
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 3%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
For those who don't spend thousands of dollars a month on groceries but still want solid rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday Card is the ideal choice. The combination of no annual fee, a decent rewards rate on groceries, and a welcome offer makes this card perfect for smaller families.
  • Cash back. Earn 3% back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that. Earn 2% back at US gas stations and department stores, and 1% back on everything else.
  • Welcome offer. Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months following your account opening.
  • Intro APR period on purchases. Get a 0% intro APR period on purchases for 15 months after account opening. After that, your rate reverts to 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants cost 2.7% of the amount.
  • No balance transfers. Amex removed balance transfers from their cards in 2020.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer $200 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best for pairing with Chase cards
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited® logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
Of all of Chase's Ultimate Rewards cards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the must-have card for the Chase Ultimate Rewards enthusiasts. The flat earning rate on all purchases lets you steadily build your points without needing to worry about quarterly categories, and the new accelerated categories bolster those points even further.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards and on Lyft through March 2022, 3% back at restaurants and drugstores and 1.5% back on all other purchases. The 1.5% cash back is what makes this card a great addition to the Chase Trifecta combo because the other two cards earn only 1% on most categories.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a signup bonus of $200 after you spend $500 within your first 3 months of account opening. You also earn % cash back at grocery stores on up to in your .
  • Intro APR period on purchases. Get 15 months of 0% intro APR period on purchases. After that, your APR reverts to 14.99% to 23.74% variable.
  • Second card needed. You'll need a Chase Sapphire card to transfer points and make the most of your rewards.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Transactions made abroad or online with foreign retailers cost 3% of the amount.
  • No intro APR period on balance transfers. There's no 0% intro APR period to use to consolidate your debt.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases

Best 5% cashback card
Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex℠ logo
Finder Rating: 4.7 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on Chase's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$200
Welcome offer
In all of Finder's card comparisons in 2020, few cards have come up on top as often as the Chase Freedom Flex℠. That's because it offers a huge variety of 5% cashback categories, and Chase added several new flat-rate earning categories to the mix, including 5% on select travel and 3% on dining and drug stores. It's tough to go wrong with this card.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% back on travel purchased via the Chase Ultimate Rewards, 5% back on Lyft rides through March 2022 and 5% back on rotating categories on up to $1,500 each quarter. After reaching the cap, you earn 1% back. Purchases made at drugstores and restaurants, including delivery and takeout earn 3% back. Everything else earns 1% back.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 in the first 3 months when you open your account.
  • Intro APR period. Get 15 months of 0% intro APR period on purchases. A variable APR of 14.99% to 23.74% applies thereafter.
  • Foreign transaction fees. Purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost you 3% of the amount.
  • No intro APR period on balance transfers. You don't get to use a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
Balance transfer APR 14.99% to 23.74% variable
Welcome offer $200 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases

Best cashback card for unlimited cash back and ongoing rewards after a balance transfer
Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card logo
Finder Rating: 3.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 2%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
Credit cards with a flat cashback rate typically offer 1.5% back on all purchases. But this cards offers 1% back when you make the purchase and another 1% back when you pay it off. That gives you a total of 2% cash back on all purchases. While this has been outclassed by the Chase Freedom cards in recent months, the Citi Double Cash has the longest balance transfer offer of any cashback card, letting it maintain a key spot on our list.
  • Earn cash babck. Earn 1% cash back when you make the purchase and 1% when you pay your balance for a total 2% cash back. The difference between 1.5% and 2% cashback cards is $100 for $20,000 spent in one year.
  • Intro APR on balance transfers. Get 18 months of a 0% intro APR period for balance transfers. After that, a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies. Most cashback cards offer either 12 or 15 months of interest-free period on balance transfers, which makes the Citi offer superior.
  • No annual fee. You get to earn cash back and save money with balance transfers without paying an annual fee.
  • Foreign transaction fee. All purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants cost 3% of the amount.
  • No welcome offer. Getting a higher cashback rate on your purchases is compensated with a lack of signup bonus. However, the higher rate offers a long-term value.
  • No intro APR period on purchases. This card offers only an interest-free period on balance transfers but not on purchases.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)

Best for gas
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi logo
Finder Rating: 3.6 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (740-850)
Apply now
on Citi's secure site
740
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 4%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
Similar cashback cards let you earn either 2% or 3% back on gas purchases. At 4% back, the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi is the current leader in gas rewards. Even though this cashback rate is capped at $7,000 annually, after which you earn 1% back, it's still the best choice to earn the most cash back on gas. Plus, you'll enjoy accelerated rewards on travel, dining and Costco purchases as well.
  • Cash back. Earn 4% cash back on gas for the first $7,000 spent annually, 1% after that. Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and travel, 2% back on purchases from Costco and Costco.com, and 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Acts as a membership card. Use your Costco credit card to enter Costco.
  • Costco membership required. You need to have Costco membership to apply for the card.
  • Limited redemption options. You can only redeem your Costco rewards once a year.
  • No intro APR period. This card doesn't have a 0% intro APR period on purchases or balance transfers.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 15.24% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.24% variable
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases

Best for new to credit
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card

Petal® 2
Finder Rating: 2.9 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (600-850)
Apply now
on WebBank's secure site
Rates & fees

600
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 10%
Cash back
n/a
Welcome offer
Those who don't have a credit history and want to jump right into cashback cards should look no further. Unlike standard cards where the credit score is determining factor of credit card approval, Petal 2 checks your overall finances, including income, savings and spending. The Petal 2 also features no fees whatsoever, which is highly unusual for a rewards card.
  • No credit history required. To be approved for most rewards credit cards, you need a good or excellent credit score. Petal, on the other hand, analyzes your income and financial records, including your checking accounts and bill payments to determine your eligibility.
  • Cash back. Earn 1% cash back on all purchases. Make six on-time monthly payments and your rewards rate goes up to 1.25%. After 12 on-time monthly payments, your cash back rate will increase again to 1.5%. As of December 2020, Petal awards you with 2% to 10% cash back at select merchants.
  • Potentially high credit limit. You can get a credit limit of between $500 and $10,000. This isn't bad, considering you don't need a credit history to get this card.
  • No signup bonus. Most similar cards come with a signup bonus in one form or another. Unfortunately, you won't get anything extra with the Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit Card.
  • No intro APR period. There's no 0% intro APR period on purchases or balance transfers.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 12.99% to 26.99% variable
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer N/A
Rewards 1% cashback, 1.25% after six on-time payments and 1.5% after 12 on-time payments, plus 2% - 10% back from select merchants

Best cashback card for groceries
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express logo
Finder Rating: 4.3 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Apply now
on American Express's secure site
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 6%
Cash back
$300
Welcome offer
The Blue Cash Preferred continues to serve as the defacto leader when it comes to grocery rewards in the industry. Those who spend at least $500 on groceries each month would earn $360 cash back annually on this category alone. No other card can match this rewards rate.
  • Cash back. Earn 6% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year. After that, you'll earn 1% back. You also earn 6% back on select US streaming services, 3% back on transit purchases and purchases made at US gas stations, and 1% back on everything else.
  • Welcome offer. Earn $300 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first 6 months of card membership.
  • Intro APR period. Get a 0% intro APR period on purchases for the first 12 months of account opening. After that, a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies.
  • Annual fee. You'll pay a $95 annual fee starting from your second year of card membership.
  • Foreign transaction fee. Every transaction made abroad or online with foreign merchants will cost you 2.7% of the amount.
  • No balance transfers. American Express no longer offers balance transfers on their credit cards.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR N/A
Welcome offer $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 6 months
Rewards 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 all other purchases
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers.

Best cashback card for rotating categories
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
$150
Welcome offer
There are a several cards with rotating categories, but what makes this card the best are two things: you can choose your rotating categories and your quarterly cap is $2,000 compared to $1,500 of similar cards. Maxing out the rotating categories means you get to earn an extra $100 back each year.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on two categories of your choosing on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter you activate, then 1%. Earn unlimited 2% back on one everyday category of your choosing, like gas or groceries. For all other purchases, you earn 1% back.
  • Signup bonus. Earn a $150 bonus after spending $500 on purchases in the first 90 days of card membership.
  • Intro APR period on balance transfers. Get a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for the first 12 months following your account opening. A variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies thereafter.
  • You must keep enrolling in cash back categories. Each quarter, you must log in to your online account and register the categories you want to earn 5% and 2% cash back. Enrollment starts 45 days before the beginning of or during each quarter. If you don't, you'll earn 1% back on these categories.
  • No intro APR period on purchases. You don't get a 0% intro APR period on purchases, a feature offered by similar cashback cards.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 12 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Welcome offer $150 after spending $500 in the first 90 days
Rewards 5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases

Best cashback card for dining and entertainment
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card logo
Finder Rating: 4.4 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
Rates & fees

670
Min. credit score
$95 ongoing
Annual fee
Up to 8%
Cash back
$300
Welcome offer
You won't find another credit card that can match this card's cashback rate on entertainment purchases. Aside from streaming services where you earn 1% back, you earn 4% back on movie tickets, tourist attractions, amusement parks, aquariums, zoos, dance halls, billiard and pool, bowling, sport, theather or concert events.
  • Cash back. Earn 4% back on dining and entertainment, 8% back on Vivid Seats purchases through January 2022, 5% back on Uber Eats through January 2021, and 2% back at grocery stores. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Signup bonus. Earn $300 bonus cash once you spend in your first 3 months of account opening.
  • No foreign transaction fees. This can be an excellent card to use for international travel as it has no foreign transaction fees. Other cashback cards often charge a 3% fee for every transaction made abroad.
  • Annual fee. The card costs $95 annually.
Annual Fee $0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Purchase APR 15.99% or 24.99% variable
Balance transfer APR 15.99% or 24.99% variable
Welcome offer $300 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Rewards 8% cash back with Vivid Seats, 5% on Uber Eats, 4% on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

Best for Cashback Match after first year
Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back logo
Finder Rating: 4.8 / 5

★★★★★

Credit recommended (670-850)
Read review
670
Min. credit score
$0
Annual fee
Up to 5%
Cash back
Other
Welcome offer
Most no-annual-fee cashback cards offer a signup bonus worth between $50 and $250 when you meet the spend requirements. This card offers something more unique: an unlimited cashback match. Depending on how much you spend during your first year, you could easily make more than the average welcome offer value. Plus you get all of the value offered by a 5% rotating category card.
  • Cashback match. Discover will match the entire cashback you earn during your first year. Maxing out the 5% categories alones means you'll earn an extra $300. Spend another $14,000 with your card and you're looking at a $440 signup bonus at the end of your first year.
  • Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on rotating categories on up to $1,500 each quarter and 1% back after that. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Intro APR period. Get 0% Intro APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, a variable APR of 11.99% to 22.99% applies.
  • Bonus categories change. Bonus categories change every quarter. Luckily, you know what these are at the start of the year.
Annual Fee $0
Purchase APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR 0% intro for the first 14 months (then 11.99% to 22.99% variable)
Welcome offer Discover will match cash back earned at the end of your first card year
Rewards 5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases

What’s changed in 2021

Aside from the two Chase Freedom cards that made an entrance last year with spectacular rewards on select categories, all other cards kept their spots on our best list this year.

Summary of best credit cards for cashback

Card nameBest for…Finder ratingRewards
Chase Freedom Unlimited®Best for pairing with Chase cards
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.7/5
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
Chase Freedom Flex℠Best 5% cashback card
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.7/5
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter (then 1%), 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1% on all other purchases
Citi® Double Cash CardBest cashback card for unlimited cash back and ongoing rewards after a balance transfer
★★★★★
Finder rating: 3.8/5
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by CitiBest for gas
★★★★★
Finder rating: 3.6/5
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
Petal® 2 "Cash Back, No Fees" Visa® Credit CardBest for new to credit
★★★★★
Finder rating: 2.9/5
1% cashback, 1.25% after six on-time payments and 1.5% after 12 on-time payments, plus 2% - 10% back from select merchants
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American ExpressBest cashback card for groceries
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.3/5
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 all other purchases
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® CardBest cashback card for rotating categories
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.4/5
5% on up to $2,000 each activated quarter on two categories combined (1% after), 2% on one everyday category and 1% on all other purchases
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressBest no-annual-fee cashback card for moderate spending on groceries
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.6/5
2% at US gas stations and select US department stores, 3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Discover it® Cash BackBest for Cashback Match after first year
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.8/5
5% back in rotating categories up to $1,500 combined each activated quarter, then 1% after that and on all other purchases
Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit CardBest for welcome offer
★★★★★
Finder rating: 4.4/5
8% cash back with Vivid Seats, 5% on Uber Eats, 4% on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases

How do I choose the best cashback card?

As you compare credit cards, certain features may stand out to you. Here’s what to look for as you find your next cashback card.

  • Annual fee. Consider a card with no annual fee. If you choose a card with an annual fee, make sure you can earn enough rewards within a year to offset the fee.
  • How much cash back will you earn? Think about the areas you spend the most and pick a card that earns more cashback in those areas.
  • Signup bonus. Cashback cards commonly offer signup bonuses to new cardholders. If a card has a bonus, consider whether you can meet the spending requirement in time.
  • Earning or spending caps. Some cashback cards cap the amount of rewards you can earn within a certain time period.
  • Do you travel? If you travel, a cash back card might not offer the greatest value for your spending needs.
  • Additional features. Some cashback cards might come with intro APRs or forgo foreign transaction fees.

Bottom line

The best cashback card will depend on your finances, credit score and spending habits. If none of these feel like the right fit, compare more credit cards with cashback rewards to find the right one for you.

Credit card ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our team evaluates credit cards to determine their value against similar cards on the market.

We rank card types — travel, cash back, business — on a set of factors that are most relevant to that type of card. We create these rankings to help you narrow down a credit card that best suits your spending and budget.

Learn the details of our methodology and scoring.

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