Getting a cashback credit card could be one of the most rewarding choices you can make. Depending on where you spend the most, you can earn accelerated cash back on specific categories or on everything you buy. But know that this type of cards usually comes with potentially high APR. Make sure you pay your balance on time to avoid offsetting your rewards.
When making our picks for best cashback credit cards with no annual fee, we looked at several features across eligible products, including cashback rewards categories, cash back per dollar spent, welcome offer value, flexibility to earn cash back, any cash back limitations, introductory APRs and any other considerations a consumer might weigh when choosing a cashback card. Our selected cards stood out above the others in one or several of these categories, earning spots on our list.
U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card bonus categories will change going into 2019. Look for U.S. Bank announcements — issued quarterly — about which categories earn you more cash back.
The Citi® Double Cash Card is still the one to beat for no-annual-fee, flat-rate cash back.
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express no longer offers a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers. But this is a minor drawback and it doesn’t affect the card’s cashback value.
Best cashback credit cards with no annual fee
Quick look to best cashback cards with no annual fee
The Citi® Double Cash Card can be a great choice for those who don't spend much on any particular category. It can help you earn accelerated cash back on all of your purchases, which could pay off in the long run. You can also benefit from 18 months of intro APR on balance transfers one of the longest intro APR periods on transfers.
Cash back. Earn 1% back when you make the purchase and an additional 1% back when you pay it off, for a total of 2% back on everything you buy.
Intro APR period. Receive a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for 18 months from your account opening. After the intro period passes, your rate reverts to 13.99% to 23.99% variable.
Citi Entertainment. Get special access to presale tickets or VIP packages for concerts, sports events, dining and more.
Apple Pay. Use your Apple device to pay at more than 200,000 stores or in-app with mobile retailers.
13.99% to 23.99% variable
Balance transfer APR
0% intro for the first 18 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Up to 2% cash back on purchases (1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay)
Best cashback credit card for rewards on groceries
The Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express could be an ideal choice for families that spend heavily on groceries and gas. On these two categories, plus at select US department stores, you'll earn accelerated cash back. In addition, you can earn a solid welcome offer and get a long intro APR period on purchases.
Cash back. Earn 3% cash back at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases annually. After that, the rate reverts to 1%. Earn 2% back at US gas stations and select US department stores. On everything else you buy, earn 1% cash back.
Welcome offer. Spend $1,000 within your first 3 months of card membership and earn $150 bonus as statement credit.
Intro APR period. Get a 0% intro APR period on purchases for 15 months following your account opening. After that, your rate reverts to variable 13.99% to 23.99%.
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 13.99% to 23.99% variable)
Balance transfer APR
$150 after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months
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
Best cashback credit card for dining and entertainment
If you frequently dine out and go to live events, the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card is worth considering. It offers accelerated cash back in these two categories and you get to save money on interest with a 0% intro APR period on purchases. Also, there's no foreign transaction fee, which saves you money when traveling abroad.
Cash back. Earn 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% back at grocery stores and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Signup bonus. Earn a $150 cash bonus when you spend $500 in your first 3 months when you open your account.
Intro APR period. Get 15 months of 0% intro APR period on purchases. After that, a variable APR of 15.49% or 25.49% applies.
No foreign transaction fees. When using this card abroad, you won't pay fees for foreign transactions.
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 15.49% or 25.49% variable)
Balance transfer APR
15.49% or 25.49% variable
$150 after spending $500 in the first 3 months
3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
If you're looking to maximize your cash back, the U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card could help you achieve that. The card offers accelerated cash back on two categories of your choice each quarter. That way, you can rotate the categories to those you expect to spend the most money on every three months. A long intro APR period on balance transfers and no penalty APR for late or returned payments round out the card.
Cash back. Earn 5% cash back on two categories of your choice - including electronics stores, furniture stores and department stores - up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter, and 1% thereafter. Earn 2% back on one category, such as gas or groceries, and earn 1% back on everything else you buy.
Signup bonus. Spend $500 in the first 90 days of card membership and get $150 bonus.
Intro APR on balance transfers. Use a 0% intro APR period on balance transfers for 12 billing cycles following your account opening. After that, a variable APR of 13.99% to 23.99% applies.
Digital wallet. Simplify your credit card payments by using Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, Google Pay, Microsoft Wallet, Fitbit Pay, Garmin Pay and Visa Checkout with a touch, tap or click.
How to choose the best cashback credit card with no annual fee
To find the best cashback credit card for your needs, ask yourself:
Do you want unlimited cash back on everything you buy? The Citi® Double Cash Card is one of the rare cards that lets you earn high cash back on all of your purchases, without limitations. As additional perk, you get a long intro APR period on balance transfers.
Do you spend a lot on groceries? Consider the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express. With this card, you earn accelerated cash back on groceries, gas and at select US department stores. You also get a long intro APR period on purchases, and a solid welcome offer.
Do you spend a lot on dining? To earn the most rewards, consider the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card. It lets you earn accelerated cash back on dining, entertainment and at grocery stores — and you get to earn a decent welcome offer and a long intro APR period on balance transfers and purchases.
Do you want flexibility on cashback categories? The U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card is one of the rare cards that lets you choose two categories to earn accelerated cash back during each quarter. Aside from cash back, you can earn a solid signup bonus, and you get a long intro APR period on balance transfers.
Find a cashback credit card with no annual fee
Alternatives to cashback credit cards with no annual fee
While a cashback credit card with no annual fee may sound great, it’s not for everyone. Here are some alternatives you might want to consider.
Credit cards offering travel points ormiles. Redeeming cash back is straightforward, but there’s nothing exciting about its value. Meanwhile, travel points and miles can be worth much more than they seem, especially if your issuer lets you transfer them to travel partners. If you’re someone who likes to hunt for the best redemptions and squeeze the most value out of your rewards, consider a travel card.
When it comes to the best cashback credit cards with no annual fee, there are choices for almost any lifestyle. Examining how you can earn the most from your next credit card — either through travel, dining, groceries or gas.
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
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