The 10 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards Available Now

·8 min read
katleho Seisa / Getty Images
katleho Seisa / Getty Images

When you use a cash-back credit card responsibly, you essentially get free money for every purchase. But not all cash-back cards are created equal — some offer higher cash-back rates than others, some have different fees associated with the card and the interest rates can vary as well.

GOBankingRates identified the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2021 by analyzing the following factors: annual fees, APR for purchases, promotional APR, sign-up bonuses, and rewards and features. Find out which cards made the cut.

Our Top Cash-Back Card

Chase / Chase
Chase / Chase

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Why we like it: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s rewards structure offers users 5% cash back on unlimited travel purchases, plus 5% cash back for a limited time on groceries and Lyft rides. Other cash-back categories include 3% on drugstore and dining purchases and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

The cash-back rewards and a lower-than-average starting APR, a sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee all make this card worth considering.

Benefits

  • No annual fee

  • High rewards value: Earn 5% cash back on groceries (excluding warehouse stores) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, as well as 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase. Plus, get 3% cash back on dining, including takeout, and at drugstores

  • Easy rewards redemption for cash, gift cards or travel, with no minimum to redeem

  • 15-month promotional 0% intro APR period

Drawbacks

  • Purchases made at Target and Walmart are excluded from the grocery category

Key Features

  • 5% cash back at grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart, on up to $12,000 spent in your first year of having the card

  • 3% cash back on dining, including takeout, and at drugstores

  • 1.5% cash back on everything else

  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase

APR

14.99% to 23.74%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and travel

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

Keep reading our full review to find out more about this card’s benefits.

Best Cash-Back Credit Cards 2021

Keep reading to see the other winners in the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2021 category.

Chase
Chase

Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate

  • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase

  • Earn 3% cash back on dining including takeout and drugstores

  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year

APR

14.99% to 23.74%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and travel, and on bonus categories each quarter you activate

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

Find out more about this credit card.

American Express / iStock.com
American Express / iStock.com

American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 a year

  • 6% cash back on streaming services

  • 3% cash back on transit

  • 3% cash back on gas

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$95

Top Cash-Back Categories

Groceries and streaming

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

Is this card right for you? Find out more about it to decide.

U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

Key Benefits

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

  • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants

  • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

N/A

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Two categories of your choosing each quarter

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to U.S. Bank’s application page).

Discover all the benefits this card has to offer.

Citi
Citi

Citi Custom CashSM Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent

  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Your top eligible spending category each billing cycle

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Citi’s application page).

Learn more about this card’s perks.

Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 3% cash back on dining

  • 3% cash back on entertainment and streaming services

  • 3% cash back at grocery stores

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

15.49% to 25.49%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Dining, entertainment, streaming and grocery stores

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Citi’s application page).

See what other perks come with this credit card.

American Express
American Express

American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card

Key Benefits

  • 3% cash back on US supermarkets, up to $6,000 annually

  • 2% cash back on gas

  • 2% cash back at select department stores

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Supermarkets

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

Learn more about this card to determine if it’s right for you.

Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvement/furnishings

  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs

  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

APR

13.99% to 23.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 15 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Category of your choice

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Bank of America’s application page).

See if this card has what it takes to fit your needs.

M&T Visa® Signature Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

APR

11.24% to 18.24%

Promotional APR

0% for 12 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Everyday spending

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to M&T Bank’s application page).

Discover more about this credit card’s offerings.

Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

Key Benefits

  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal

  • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases

  • Cashback match, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

APR

11.99% to 22.99%

Promotional APR

0% for 14 months

Annual Fee

$0

Top Cash-Back Categories

Rotating categories each quarter

How To Get This Card:

You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Discover’s application page).

Read on to learn more about this credit card.

FAQs About Cash-Back Credit Cards

Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions about cash-back credit cards.

What credit score do I need to get a cash-back credit card?

When you apply for a cash-back credit card, the lender will consider your credit score before deciding whether to approve you for the card. To qualify for the cards with the most attractive features, you’ll want an exceptional or very good credit score.

Here’s a breakdown of FICO credit score ranges:

  • Exceptional: 800 or higher

  • Very Good: 740-799

  • Good: 670-739

  • Fair: 580-669

  • Poor: 579 or lower

Check your credit score to see where you fall. If you’re interested in a cash-back card, reach out to the card issuer to see if your score is high enough to qualify.

Can I use cash back to pay off my credit card?

Yes. You can use your cash back rewards as a statement credit. You will still need to make your minimum payment if you have a balance.

Explore more answers to your top questions about cash-back credit cards.

More From GOBankingRates

Last updated: Oct. 19, 2021

Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the best cash-back credit cards by analyzing the following factors: (1) annual fees; (2) APR for purchases; (3) promotional APR; (4) sign-up bonuses; and (5) rewards and features. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some bonus offers may no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how one accesses the web page. All data was sourced from each financial institution’s website or promotional material and is accurate as of Aug. 11, 2021. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account. Rewards had to be in form of cash back to qualify.

This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: The 10 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards Available Now

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