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A Guide to the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in 2020

Would you like to get a little money back every time you make a purchase with your credit card? In a market packed with rewards cards, the best cash back credit cards stand out for their simplicity and flexibility.

Unlike with hotel and airline cards, the rewards that you earn on a cash back card don't need to be strategically redeemed or converted to maximize their value. You can simply get a statement credit on your monthly bill or a cash deposit into an account.

To help you figure out which card will be the best fit for your wallet, we’ve evaluated a number of options and compiled a list of the market’s favorites.

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The Best Cash Back Credit Cards - Our Picks

Top 3 Picks

Discover It Cash Back Credit Card

High rewards on certain spending categories

0% intro APR for 14 months

No annual fees

Apply Now READ REVIEW

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Flat-rate rewards

0% intro APR for 15 months

Easy-to-get welcome bonus

Apply Now READ REVIEW

Bank of America Cash Rewards

Customizable rewards plan

Large sign-up bonus

0% intro APR for 15 months

Apply Now READ REVIEW

6 Best Credit Cards for Cash Back

1. Discover It Cash Back Credit Card

High rewards on certain spending categories

0% intro APR for 14 months

No annual fees

Rewards rate:

1-5%

Apply Now

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The 5% rewards rate on popular spending categories and the unique sign-up offer make the Discover It cash back credit card one of the market's favorites. Given that this card has no annual fees and that it comes with a few additional security perks, it's clear how this has made it to the very top of our list.

Read full review

Welcome offer

Cash back match in the first year

APR

0% for the first 14 months

Annual fee

$0

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

690-850

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Flat-rate rewards

0% intro APR for 15 months

Easy-to-get welcome bonus

Rewards rate:

1.5%

Apply Now

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The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a simple credit card that offers flat-rate rewards and an easily attainable sign-up bonus. There are no redemption minimums and the card is free of annual fees. It’s a great choice for anyone who needs to finance a large purchase.

Read full review

Welcome offer

$150

APR

0% for the first 15 months

Annual fee

$0

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

690-850

3. Bank of America Cash Rewards

Customizable rewards plan

Large sign-up bonus

0% intro APR for 15 months

Rewards rate:

1-3%

Apply Now

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If you’re in the market for a large welcome bonus, a long introductory APR period, and the option to choose your own categories for the highest rewards rate, the Bank of America cash rewards card may be just what you need. Also, thanks to the Preferred Rewards program, the bonuses that come with this card are almost unmatched.

Read full review

Welcome offer

$200

APR

0% for the first 15 months

Annual fee

$0

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

690-850

4. American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card

High rewards rate on groceries

Generous sign-up bonus

0% intro APR for 12 months

Rewards rate:

1-6%

Apply Now

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The Amex Express Blue Preferred card is an excellent choice for those consumers who spend a lot on groceries and transit. Although the card comes with an annual membership fee, the generous welcome bonus and high rewards offset it nicely.

Read full review

Welcome offer

$250

APR

0% for the first 12 months

Annual fee

$95

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

670-850

5. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Flat-rate rewards

Various cardholder benefits

Relaxed credit score requirement

Rewards rate:

1-5%

Apply Now

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The Capital One QuicksilverOne is a great cash back card for consumers who are still building their FICO scores. The card offers competitive flat-rate rewards and several additional benefits, including the opportunity to bump your credit limit up. It comes with an annual fee, but there are no balance transfer fees.

Read full review

Welcome offer

$0

APR

26.99% (variable)

Annual fee

$39

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

580-740

6. Citi Double Cash Card

High flat-rate rewards

No annual fee

Long intro APR period on balance transfers

Rewards rate:

1-2%

Apply Now

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The Citi Double Cash card earns generous rewards on absolutely everything. If you’re in the market for a high cash back rewards rate on all purchases and can’t be bothered to keep track of different purchasing categories or pay annual fees, this is a great choice.

Read full review

Welcome offer

$0

APR

0% on balance transfers for 18 months

Annual fee

$0

Other fees

See full review below

Credit score requirement

690-850

Our Criteria for Evaluating Cash Back Credit Cards

We’ve compared the advantages and disadvantages of several cash back cards to determine the most beneficial options for different spending styles. Here are the most important factors we suggest you take into account when choosing the best option for your consumer habits.

Rewards Rate

The primary benefit of a cash back card is that every time you make a purchase, you get a little money back. While it’s clear that the best cash back credit card option for you should be the one that suits your purchasing habits, it’s still hard to make a choice, as this financial product comes in a variety of flavors.

Cards with tiered cash back rates offer more rewards but require dedication to maximize the value in chosen purchasing categories. Flat-rate rewards cards are great for those who still want to earn a little cash back but can’t keep track of different spending categories.

Welcome Offer

A welcome offer represents a quick way to earn a few hundred dollars in rewards on a new credit card. Even the best cash back card providers usually only advertise their generous bonus amounts. However, you need to read the fine print to make sure the offer isn’t too good to be true. No matter how large the bonus may be, it won’t make much sense to you if you can’t fulfill the conditions to receive it.

APR and Fees

As far as interest rates go, cash back cards come with a variable annual percentage rate (APR). While the interest rate is always charged both on purchases and balance transfers, the best money back credit cards also offer a 0% introductory APR on both transaction types.

The most important fees to look out for are annual membership fees, balance transfer fees, cash advance fees, and foreign transaction fees.

Credit Score Requirements

The credit cards that earn the highest rewards rates and come with a number of valuable perks and additional benefits are usually only available to the most creditworthy consumers. While that’s true for most of the credit cards on our list, we’ve also made sure to include the best cashback credit card option for those who are yet to build a high FICO score.

Our Picks for the Best Cash Back Credit Cards in 2020

• Discover It Cash Back Credit Card: Best for maximizing rewards on everyday spending.

• Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card: Best for flat-rate rewards.

• Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for customizable rewards plans.

• American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card: Best for gas and groceries.

• Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for an average credit score.

• Citi Double Cash Card: Best for double rewards.

Credit Cards with the Best Cash Back Rewards - In-Depth Reviews

      Not only does the Discover It cash rewards credit card provide a 0% introductory APR for 14 months, but also it offers a high rewards rate on a number of spending categories that include grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, online shopping, and certain ride-hailing services.

      Considering that these purchasing categories rotate each three months and need to be activated, the rewards system can be a little complicated, but also undeniably lucrative. Overall, if you’re looking for a high-reward card that incurs no annual fees, this may be the right choice for you.

      Rewards Policy

      As one of the best cash back credit cards, Discover It offers excellent rewards rates. With this card, you can earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at many different places such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and even Amazon.com.

      When you activate this feature, you get 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases per quarter in selected spending categories. You can collect the 5% throughout the whole year, but you’ll need to change the merchant category each three months. This card also has a base rewards rate that earns you 1% cash back on any other purchases.

      Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

      Thanks to its unique cashback match system, the Discover It is one of the best cash-back credit cards when it comes to welcome offers. Here’s how it works – at the end of your first anniversary as a cardholder, Discover will match all the cash back that you’ve earned in the first 12 months. There are no limits to how much can be matched, and you’ll receive the bonus automatically.

      This credit card also comes with a few security features. The “Social Security Number Alert” is free and lets you know if your card appears on a dark web site, while the “Freeze It” feature lets you freeze your account via the bank’s website or mobile app to prevent any unauthorized transactions if your card goes missing.

      Fees and APR

      The Discover It card is one of the best cash back credit cards with no annual fee. Still, as most bank cards do, it comes with a few other charges. For a cash advance, you’ll be charged $10 or 5% of the amount of each item, whichever is greater. Balance transfers incur a fee that equals 5% of the amount of each item.

      As far as APR for purchases and balance transfers goes, each new cardholder gets a 0% introductory APR for the first 14 months. After that period expires, the APR is calculated based on the cardholder’s creditworthiness and can range from 13.49% to 24.49%.

      Bottom Line

      Although the Discover It cash back credit card doesn’t have a traditional welcome bonus, its cash back match offer can be even more valuable. Another great thing about this card is that, unlike many other credit card companies, Discover includes places where most people spend a lot of money among its 5% cash back categories.

      Overall, this card is a good option for those looking for a way to get the most out of their rewards on everyday purchases, but also not that great for cardholders who want a high cash back rewards rate on all spending categories.

      Reasons to Buy

      High rewards on certain spending categories

      0% intro APR for 14 months

      No annual fees

          Although there are many cards that pay much higher rewards than Chase’s Freedom Unlimited, this card still provides plenty of value to its owners. Its simplicity and flexibility, alongside the easily attainable sign-up bonus, make this one of the best cash back credit cards out there.

          Rewards Policy

          As far as rewards go, the rules are pretty straightforward. With this Chase cash back credit card, you get an unlimited 1.5% cash back on any purchases, regardless of the spending category. There are no cash back redemption minimums, and the rewards won’t expire for as long as your account is kept open.

          If you’re looking for a simple card with a flat rewards rate on absolutely anything, this may be it.

          Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

          Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best cash rewards credit card options when it comes to bonuses. To earn the $150 sign-up bonus, you’ll just have to spend $500 on purchases throughout your first three months as a cardholder.

          This card comes with a few additional benefits. If you use your Chase Freedom Unlimited to purchase an item that has a manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, you’ll get a one-year warranty extension automatically. The purchase protection feature also grants you up to $500 per claim in case an item that you’ve recently bought gets damaged or stolen.

          Fees and APR

          Freedom Unlimited is one of the best cashback cards for fee-averse users, as it doesn’t charge annual maintenance fees. Still, there are a few other charges that come with this card. A balance transfer fee is either $5 or 5% of the cost of the item, a cash advance fee is $10 or 5% of the amount of the transaction, and there’s also a 3% foreign transaction fee.

          As far as interest rates go, this credit card offers a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the moment you open your account. After the introductory period expires, the APR is dependent on your creditworthiness and ranges between 16.49% and 25.24%.

          Bottom Line

          Overall, the Chase Freedom Unlimited is one of the best cash back credit cards for consumers who want a simple rewards program, can’t justify an annual fee, and need to finance a large purchase. On the other hand, this credit card shouldn’t be the first choice for those who make frequent purchases in popular bonus categories and hope to maximize the value of their rewards.

          Reasons to Buy

          Flat-rate rewards

          0% intro APR for 15 months

          Easy-to-get welcome bonus

              Bank of America’s cash rewards card is one of the best cash back credit cards with no annual fee. It comes with a great bonus offer and, provided that you have a considerable amount of money in other Bank of America-affiliated accounts, it can potentially earn you exceptionally high rewards rates.

              Rewards Policy

              This Bank of America credit card has a lucrative rewards program. First off, it offers a semi-customizable rewards plan. You get to choose a spending category among online shopping, gas, drug stores, dining, travel, and home improvement or furnishings that will earn you 3% cash back every time you make a purchase.

              Apart from that, you get 2% cash back each time you buy goods at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Note that high rewards apply up to $2,500 per quarter in the combined selected category, grocery store, and wholesale club purchases. After that, you get 1% cash back, just like you do with any other purchases.

              As one of the best cash back cards, this option offers another possibility for earning rewards. To become eligible for additional rewards, you’ll need to have $20,000 or more in combined accounts at Bank of America and Merrill. Once you fulfill this condition, you’ll be able to join the bank’s Preferred Rewards program and earn up to 75% cash back.

              Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

              This Bank of America credit card comes with a generous welcome offer. All you need to do before you can claim your $200 cash bonus is spend $1,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening. Note that rewards have no expiration date.

              When it comes to additional benefits provided by this money-back credit card, these include a monthly fee-free FICO score access, fraud protection, and the option to add your card to Apple Pay and similar digital wallets.

              Fees and APR

              There are no annual fees with Bank of America’s cash rewards card. There are, however, services that always incur charges with most credit cards, including this one. These include a 3% balance transfer fee (the minimum fee amount is $10) and a 3% foreign transaction fee.

              When it comes to interest rates, this cash back card offers a 0% introductory APR for 15 months on purchases, and a 0% introductory APR for two months on balance transfers. After that, the APR is calculated based on the cardholder’s creditworthiness and ranges from 15.49% to 25.49%.

              Bottom Line

              Overall, this is one of the best no-fee cash back credit cards for those who find the option to choose their own highest-earning category useful. It’s also great for people who can’t justify other cards’ annual fees and for those who need a long period of introductory APR.

              Also, if you are eligible for the Preferred Rewards program, you’ll likely find this card extremely valuable. However, if your spending style doesn’t match the aforementioned spending categories and you want a larger sign-up bonus, we suggest you explore other options.

              Reasons to Buy

              Customizable rewards plan

              Large sign-up bonus

              0% intro APR for 15 months

                  What makes American Express Blue Cash Preferred one of the best cash back bonus credit cards is the fact that it offers high rewards on a variety of everyday spending categories. Unlike most of the other options on our list, this card does come with an annual membership fee. But on the other hand, it offers a generous welcome bonus and a 12-month 0% introductory APR.

                  Rewards Policy

                  As far as rewards go, the Amex Blue Cash Preferred offers plenty of value. First, this card earns you 6% cash back on up to $6,000 on purchases made at US supermarkets each year (after that, the rewards drop to 1%).

                  Secondly, you also get 6% cash back on a number of US streaming subscriptions. Thirdly, on gas stations and transit, the card earns you 3% cash back. And finally, on all other purchases, you get 1% cash back.

                  Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

                  As one of the credit cards with the best cash back options, Amex Blue Cash Preferred comes with a generous bonus offer. All you have to do to receive the $250 statement credit is use your new card to make $1,000 in purchases in the first three months after opening your account. The sign-up bonus is also the most convenient way to get the most out of the cash back rewards.

                  As far as additional benefits go, American Express offers a no-cost fraud protection service, which guarantees that the cardholder won’t be held responsible for any unauthorized charges.

                  Fees and APR

                  Amex Blue Cash Preferred is one of the best credit cards with cash back rewards, but it comes at a price. The annual membership fee is $95, balance transfers cost either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, cash advance fees are either $10 or 5% of the amount of each item, and foreign transactions cost 2.7% of each item.

                  This credit card offers its new members an introductory 0% APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 billing cycles. After that, the interest rate is variable and ranges between 12.99% and 23.99% APR.

                  Bottom Line

                  With 6% cash back on supermarket purchases and streaming services, as well as 3% cash back on buses, trains, taxis, parking, tolls, and more, there is no doubt that the Amex Blue Cash Preferred is one of the credit cards with the best cash back options.

                  The card also comes with a generous bonus offer and a free fraud protection benefit. However, if your grocery spendings aren’t significant and you can’t justify the annual fee, this card isn’t for you.

                  Reasons to Buy

                  High rewards rate on groceries

                  Generous sign-up bonus

                  0% intro APR for 12 months

                      The Capital One QuicksilverOne cash rewards credit card is one of the best cash back cards for consumers who are still building their credit score. This card comes with a competitive rewards rate and a few additional benefits.

                      Rewards Policy

                      As far as rewards go, the deal is simple but lucrative; QuicksilverOne earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. The amount of rewards that you can get is unlimited and they won’t expire as long as you keep your account open. Also, there are no redemption minimums. In terms of rewards, and all other features, this is a rare good cash back credit card option for those with a credit score below 740.

                      Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

                      Unlike most of the other options on our list, QuicksilverOne doesn’t offer its new members a sign-up bonus. On the other hand, it comes with plenty of value in additional benefits.

                      First of all, this card can help you build your credit score – make your first five monthly payments on time and you’ll get access to a higher line of credit. With CreditWise, a Capital One credit score tool, you get unlimited free access to a number of tools that can help you understand the changes in your credit profile. As one of the best credit cards that earn cash back,

                      QuicksilverOne protects you with $0 fraud liability. If your card gets stolen or lost, you won’t be held responsible for any fraudulent purchases.

                      Cardholders also get an auto rental collision damage waiver, extended warranty coverage, and travel accident insurance.

                      Fees and APR

                      The annual membership fee attached to this card is $39. There are no balance transfer fees, while a cash advance will cost you either $10 or 3% of the amount of each item.

                      As far as interest rates go, the APR is 26.99% (variable). Unlike other top cash back credit cards on our list, the Capital One QuicksilverOne cash rewards credit card doesn’t offer an introductory 0% APR.

                      Bottom Line

                      This Capital One cash back card offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases, so there are no spending categories or quarterly limits to worry about. To maximize the rewards with this card, you simply have to use it. Apart from the competitive rewards rates, the card also provides plenty of value in additional benefits. Although it has an annual fee, it’s still one of the best credit cards with cash back for consumers with imperfect credit scores.

                      Reasons to Buy

                      Flat-rate rewards

                      Various cardholder benefits

                      Relaxed credit score requirement

                          The Citi Double Cash credit card is another market favorite. The popular 2% cash back credit card is an exceptional choice for fee-averse consumers who can’t keep track of rotating spending categories. This card doesn’t offer a welcome bonus, but as far as flat-rate rewards go, it’s one of the best in the game.

                          Rewards Policy

                          Citi Double Cash provides a unique rewards earning plan to its members. On each purchase you make, you earn 2% cash back – first, you get 1% cash back when you make the purchase, and another 1% as soon as you pay it off. What makes Citi Double Cash the best credit card for cash back is the fact that credit cards with flat rewards rates of 2% are very rare.

                          The accumulated cash back can be redeemed for statement credit, paper checks, or as a deposit into a linked savings or checking account. The minimum amount needed for redemption is $25.

                          Welcome Offer and Other Benefits

                          Citi Double Cash doesn’t come with a sign-up bonus. However, there are a few additional benefits that are worth mentioning. As a cardholder, you buy tickets for various events in the presale period; you get a pass on your fist late payment fee; and you become eligible for the Lost Wallet service, which entitles you to an emergency card replacement.

                          Fees and APR

                          As one of the best no annual fee cash back credit cards, Citi Double Cash also has an 18-month-long 0% intro APR on balance transfers. After the introductory period expires, the variable APR will be calculated based on your creditworthiness and can range from 13.99% to 23.99%.

                          As far as other fees go, a balance transfer will cost you 3% of the amount of each transfer, or at least $5. There’s also a 3% foreign transaction fee on purchases made outside the US.

                          Bottom Line

                          Although the Citi Double Cash card earns generous rewards for each dollar spent and is therefore considered one of the best cash bonus credit cards, it still may not be a perfect choice for absolutely anyone. For some consumers, the lack of a sign-up bonus can be a drawback, as can the lack of options for maximizing cash back through certain spending categories.

                          However, if you want a high rewards rate on everything and can’t be bothered keeping track of different purchasing categories, this Citi cash back card may be just what you’re looking for.

                          Reasons to Buy

                          High flat-rate rewards

                          No annual fee

                          Long intro APR period on balance transfers

                          Frequently Asked Questions

                          1. What credit card gives the most cash back?

                          Here’s a list of the best credit cards for cash back rewards:

                          • Discover It cash back credit card: 1-5% cash back rate
                          • Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card: 1.5% cash back rate
                          • Bank of America cash rewards credit card: 1-3% cash back rate
                          • American Express Blue Cash Preferred card: 1-6% cash back rate
                          • Capital One QuicksilverOne cash rewards credit card: 1.5% cash back rate
                          • Citi Double Cash card: 1-2% cash back rate

                          2. Are cash back credit cards really worth it?

                          With so many different credit card options on the market, it’s hard to decide what type of card to get, let alone what brand. While it all comes down to your spending style, there’s no doubt that a credit card with the best cash back reward rates can definitely be worth it. When trying to make your way through the best credit card offers, make sure to look at the fees and additional benefits that come with a certain credit card before you make a choice.

                          3. What is the best cash back credit card with no annual fee?

                          Here are our top picks for cash back cards that come without an annual fee:

                          • Discover It Cash Back credit card
                          • Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card
                          • Bank of America cash rewards credit card
                          • Citi Double Cash card

                          Keep in mind that the best credit cards for cash back aren’t necessarily those that have no annual fees. When making a credit card comparison, apart from the annual fee, you should also look at other fees, as well as the earning rate and other benefits that come with a particular credit card.

                          4. Is it better to get miles or cashback?

                          It is common among consumers to think that cash back cards provide much more value than travel rewards cards. The truth is that it really depends on the consumer’s needs and spending habits. While the issue is very nuanced, one thing’s for sure – travel rewards cards provide better short-term value, while the best cash back credit cards are a better long-term solution.