Finder may earn compensation from partners, but editorial opinions are our own. Advertiser Disclosure

Cashback credit cards

Take advantage of flexible rewards with a card that fits the way you live.

Compare cashback credit cards

Want to compare cashback cards? Use our filter to select up to four cards to start sizing up your choices side-by-side.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months
3% at US supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), 2% at US gas stations and select US department stores and 1% on other purchases (redeem as statement credit)
$0
Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in the first 6 months. This is a higher-than-average welcome offer for a card with no annual fee. Terms apply, see rates & fees
BlockFi Bitcoin Rewards Credit Card
Up to $100 in Bitcoin rewards by earning 3.5% back in Bitcoin on all purchases in the first 90 days
3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin, then 1.5% on all purchases
$0
Earn 3.5% back in Bitcoin in the first 90 days, up to a total of $100 in Bitcoin. After that you'll earn a solid 1.5% back on all purchases.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
N/A
1.5% cash back on all purchases
$39
Get unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase with no limit on how much you can earn, and no changing categories.
Upgrade Bitcoin Rewards
N/A
Earn unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin rewards when you make payments on your purchases.
$0
Unlimited 1.5% back in bitcoin
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
loading

Compare up to 4 providers

The best cashback credit cards of 2021

Want to know which cashback credit cards stand above the rest? Finder ranked the top 10 cashback credit cards to give you a leg up on adding value to your wallet.

4 cashback credit card features

There are a few particular features you’ll want look at when comparing cashback credit cards.

  • Earning rates. Earning rates on all three types of cashback credit cards can vary wildly, even between two cashback cards of the same type. Keep an eye out for unusual categories or the presence of categories not typically found on a certain type of cashback credit card (like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®).

    Why it matters. Knowing which card offers the highest rewards in a particular category means you can gauge which card best fits your purchasing needs.

  • Signup bonus. Signup bonuses are modest if not nonexistent on many cashback cards, so the presence of one is noteworthy.

    Why it matters. A signup bonus can significantly up your rewards, especially if you are planning on using the card to make a large purchase within the first three months of account opening.

  • Intro APR. An intro APR on a cashback card offers some great upfront value if you can take advantage of it.

    Why it matters. This will allow you to pay off a large purchase over time without having to worry about interest during the intro period.

  • Annual fee. If a cashback card has an annual fee, make sure the rewards or features can make up for the cost of the card.

    Why it matters. If you don’t think you’ll use the card’s perks enough to outweigh the fee, you’ll want a no-annual-fee option.

Cashback cards earn back a percentage of your purchase

A cashback credit card pays you back a small portion of what you spend. For example, if it offers 1% cash back, you’ll receive $1 in rewards for every $100 you spend. This makes cashback cards one of the simplest card types when it comes to earning value on your credit card purchases. Here’s a small breakdown of how it all works.

  • Choose your cashback credit card. There are three types of cashback credit cards to choose from, each offering a different method of earning cash back.
  • Start making purchases. As you spend on reward categories with your cashback card, you’ll start accruing cashback automatically. This usually comes in the form of a statement credit.
  • Redeem your cash. For most credit cards, you won’t have to do anything to redeem your cash: it will post automatically to your account as you earn. Some cards however require you log in to your card account for redemptions.

3 types of cashback cards

There are three types of cashback cards:

1. Flat rate cashback cards

These simple cards earn the same percentage for nearly every type of purchase. The average flat rate cashback card earns 1.5% back on each purchase, though the highest you can find on the market is 2% back.

2. Tiered cashback cards

Tiered cards earn higher cashback on specific categories than you could earn with a flat rate cashback card. Typical categories include everyday spending areas such as gas and groceries. These cards can earn anywhere from 3% to to 6% cashback on the bonus categories, though the most lucrative categories often have annual earning caps. Anything purchased that isn’t included as part of a tiered category will earn you just 1% back.

3. Rotating category cards

These cards earn up to 5% on select categories that change each quarter. These categories also typically feature earning caps, though they refresh during the category change each quarter. Like the tiered cashback cards, you’ll earn 1% on any spending outside the bonus categories.

Pair up your cashback cards to earn more

The secret to really ramping up your cash back is to create a credit card earning strategy. Here’s a simple breakdown of how it works.

  1. Apply for several cashback cards of differing types. This means cards that earn on different categories, such as flights, groceries, hotels, dining, entertainment and more.
  2. Use the right card for the right purchase. When making eligible category purchases, use whatever card will earn you the biggest cash back on that specific purchase based on your cashback credit card arsenal.
  3. Fill in the gaps with a flat rate card. For any purchases that don’t fall into a typical earning category, use an unlimited 1.5% or 2% rewards card to maximize your rewards on those purchases.

Ideally, you’ll have two or three cashback cards that can cover any reward category “gaps” that you might otherwise have with just one or two cards. A great example of this strategy is the Chase Trifecta, though you can create a pairing strategy with a variety of credit cards.

A cashback credit card is almost always worth it

Because they’re so straightforward and easy to use, cashback credit cards are nearly always worth a spot in your wallet. Here’s a quick rundown of whether you might consider adding one to your card collection.

Get a cashback card if…

  • You want to earn straightforward rewards on your purchases
  • You don’t want to fuss around with rewards programs
  • You want a card type that commonly features intro APRs on purchases

Pick something else if…

  • You want to redeem your rewards on things other than statement credits
  • You want a card that offers a larger set of perks and features
  • You’re a heavy traveler – in this case, a travel card will ultimately provide more value
Back to top

What are the pros and cons of cashback credit cards?

Cashback credit cards can be an excellent financial tool, but there are also some drawbacks you need to consider.

Pros

  • High rewards rate.
    Earn 6% cash back when you use some credit card on select categories, such as purchases made at US supermarkets or US streaming services. You can also find a lot of cashback cards with 5% back on rotating categories.
  • Variety of cashback categories.
    Earn accelerated rewards on almost every category of purchases, including groceries, gas, dining, online purchases and streaming services.
  • Simple rewards structure.
    Enjoy a simple rewards structure that doesn’t require you to calculate how many points each redemption option requires; You always know how much you get from your purchases.
  • Signup bonus.
    Earn a decent signup bonus with most cashback cards once you meet certain spend requirements. Depending on the card, the bonus can be up to $300.
  • No annual fee.
    Pay a $0 annual fee for most cashback credit cards. Of course, there are exceptions, but it’s unlikely that you’ll find a cashback card with a higher annual fee than $99.

Cons

  • High APR.
    Watch out for high APR that applies after your intro APR period ends. To make the most of your card’s rewards, pay your balance in full before it’s due.
  • Foreign transaction fees.
    Pay foreign transaction fees between 1% and 3% on all purchases made abroad or online with foreign merchants. This makes cashback cards poor international traveling companions compared to dedicated travel cards.
  • Cashback limitations.
    Watch out for cashback caps as some cashback cards that offer high reward rates limit the amount of cash back you can earn. For example, you can earn 5% cash back on select categories on up to $2,500 in a quarter. After that, your rate reverts to 1%.

Cashback cards by credit score

Rotating category calendars

Ask the experts

Lee Huffman
Eliot Buchanan
Amy and Tim profile picture
Eric Rosenberg
Malcolm Robinson profile picture
Scott Wysong
Boris Vallee
Back to top

More guides on Finder

    Ask an Expert

    You are about to post a question on finder.com:

    • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
    • finder.com is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
    • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
    • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

    Finder.com provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

    By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and finder.com Terms of Use.

    Questions and responses on finder.com are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
    Go to site