Best Cash Back Credit Cards: Offers and Benefits
A cash-back credit card is one of the easiest ways to earn rewards. The rewards programs are often easy to understand, so it is not surprising that cash back credit cards are so famous. There isn’t one single best cash back for everyone, though. There are some great selections out there; however, to find the best credit card, you need to watch your spending habits and decide which kind of cash back rewards would save you the most cash.
Citi® Double Cash Card
Citi® Double Cash Card is the best credit card for flat-rate cash back. The Double Cash’s distinct ongoing rewards offer pays you one percent back when you purchase, then another one percent back when you settle your bill, which beats its competitors in the flat-rate field. This credit card is exceptional in several ways, from its ongoing rewards offer to its balance transfer offer. Make sure to include this card in your lineup of cards to eye before making a decision. On the other hand, there is no sign-up bonus, and while there is a zero percent intro APR balance transfer offer for eighteen months (it is 13.99% to 23.99%-variable-after that), no such luck with purchases. Moreover, to earn your full cash back, you must pay off your purchase immediately and avoid carrying a balance.
Blue Cash Preferred®Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred®Card is suitable for United States supermarket purchases. The Blue Cash Preferred offers an unprecedented six percent cash back at U.S supermarkets (up to $6,000 yearly, then one percent).
The pros of Blue Cash Preferred®Card from American Express
The card offers a few distinct cash back categories that will come in handy for your day-to-day, such as six percent cash back on the select United States streaming subscriptions (Spotify, Hulu, and Netflix, among others) and three percent cash back on transit inclusive of buses, parking, taxis/rideshare and more. Besides, this credit card offers three percent back at U.S. gas stations and a $250 intro offer upon spending $1,000 in your first three months. On the cons, this is one of the few cards among the best cash back cards that needs an annual fee, and it is not waived the first year.
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
This is an ideal cash back credit card for families. You will get two percent back at U.S. gas stations with the Blue Cash Everyday Card, making it an excellent alternative for that daily commute or for shuttling the kids to music lessons. Unlike the Blue Cash Preferred-Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express has no annual fee, and the preceding rewards at U.S. supermarkets are excellent with three percent back (on up to $6,000 yearly in purchases, then it is one percent). On the downside, the credit card does not have the heightened category functionalities of the Blue Cash Preferred. This can be a deal-breaker if you have a growing family.
Discover it® Cash Back
Discover it® Cash Back is the best credit card for rotating cash back categories. Through daily spending and promoting the Discover it Cashback five percent rotating categories on up to $1,500 in purchases quarterly after activation (then one percent), the earnings add up over the first year.
If you like working towards maximum rewards, Discover it® Cash Back is a good selection for you. Generally, you could potentially earn up to $600 at year-end by earning five percent back on select rotating sections for up to $1,500 in purchases every quarter (activation needed) and the cashback matches at the end of the first year. Five percent of categories can comprise Amazon.com and grocery stores. You can also get free Social Security number alerts, a particular functionality of Discover cards.
On the downside, while competitive, Discover as a network is not as robust as Visa and Mastercard and is accepted at fewer locations abroad. Moreover, you will need to decide if rotating categories are for you as they need a bit more groundwork than a flat-rate cash back card. Lastly, there is no sign-up bonus.
Alliant Cash Back Visa® Signature Card
This is an ideal cash back credit card for big spenders. You will earn 2.5% on qualifying purchases, with a cap of $250 in earnings (or $10,000 in qualifying purchases) each billing cycle. The catch is that you require excellent credit to qualify following Alliant Credit Union. And the credit card charges a $99 annual fee, even though it is waived the first year.
But let us say you are comparing this credit card to the Citi® Double Cash Card, which does not have a yearly fee. To make the Alliant Cash Back Visa® Signature Card an additional 0.5% in cash back worth it- and to offset its $99 annual fee- you will have to spend at least $19,800 on the credit card annually. And if you spend less than that, you would possibly be better off not paying an annual fee at all. However, if $19,800 appears to be a small change, you will have a hard time getting another card that offers a higher flat rewards rate on all purchases.
It is worth noting that you will need to join Alliant Credit Union to apply for this credit card. If you do not qualify any of the credit union’s standard eligibility requirements, you can still become a member by joining its partner charity, Foster Care to Success.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Blue Cash Preferred® Card is an ideal cash back card for gas and groceries. With this card, you will earn a whopping six percent cash back on up to $6,000 spent on purchases every year at U.S. supermarkets (then one percent) plus an unlimited three percent cash back on purchases at U.S. gas stations.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express also offers six percent cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, three percent back on transit (think rideshares, taxis, buses, tolls, and more), and one percent back on all other purchases. As a new cardholder, you will make $250 cash back in the form of a statement credit after you use up $1,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening.
One thing to remember is that the card charges a $95 annual fee. However, if you max out its U.S. supermarket category, you will earn $360 in cash back- almost 4x what you are paying to keep the credit card. Spread out over one year, $6,000 is a monthly grocery bill of $500. So if you spend at least that much on groceries monthly, this spending category alone more than makes up for the credit card’s annual fee. However, Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express restricts your cash back redemption to statement credit alone. So bear that in mind if redemption flexibility is essential to you.
Chase Freedom® is the best cash back credit card for rotating bonus rewards. You will get five percent cash back on up to $1,500 in mixed purchases every quarter in rotating spending categories (and then one percent after you hit that cap), plus one percent back on all other purchases.
The credit card bonus categories change from year to year and quarter to quarter, but here are the 2019 categories to offer you an idea of what to anticipate.
- January to March: Drugstores, tolls, gas stations
- April to June: Home improvement stores and grocery stores (not inclusive of Walmart purchases and Target)
- July to September: Select streaming services and gas stations
- October to December: Department purchases and stores made using Chase Pay and PayPal
If you spend a lot in multiple daily spending categories, this credit card is worth considering. Also, consider pairing it with another credit card to maximize your rewards. Cash back credit cards can offer a lot of value via their rewards programs. Evaluate your budget so that you are aware of how much you spend in different categories. Then go ahead and shop around to compare various options based on what you are looking for in a card and choose the one you will benefit the most from.