The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Monday, September 28, 2020

4 Best Cash Back Visa® Cards

Best Cash Back Visa Cards

credit card advice

Anna Baluch
By: Anna Baluch
Updated: September 16, 2020
Advertiser Disclosure

The best cash back Visa cards can give you the chance to earn cash rewards for spending. Here’s how they work: Every time you use them to make eligible purchases, you’ll get cash back you can use for just about anything.

You can usually redeem your cash back rewards via statement credit, paper check, or direct deposit. Let’s dive deeper into the best cash back Visa cards out there.

Overall
Rotating | Business | Bad Credit | FAQs

Best Overall Cash Back Visa Card

With the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, you can earn unlimited cash back on every purchase you make. Unlike other cash back cards, you don’t have to target your spending toward specific types of purchases. Though you do earn higher cash back rates for travel, dining, and drugstore purchases, you’ll earn a flat 1.5% cash back on all other spending categories. No matter where you choose to spend, you’ll reap the benefit.

  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

In addition to its flexible cash back rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers a great signup bonus. You can earn a signup bonus if you spend a certain amount of money in the first three months of opening your account. Fortunately, you don’t have to pay an annual fee or meet any minimum to redeem your rewards.

Best Rotating Cash Back Visa Card

The Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card lets you earn the most cash back in a category of your choosing each month. You can choose from gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement and furnishings.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★

4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 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
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99% - 23.99%
$0
Good/Excellent

This is an optimal choice if you know you’re going to be making a lot of purchases in a specific category one month and are willing to go online and make the switch. If you don’t make a change, the category you previously opted for will continue to roll over to the next month. Some people don’t enjoy dealing with rewards categories and prefer a flat-rate rewards structure, in which case we recommend the Chase Freedom Unlimited® above.

Best Business Cash Back Visa Card

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is a business rewards credit card that offers unlimited 2% back on all purchases. You can add employees as authorized users and give them cards for no additional fee. Employee spending will also earn cash back, and you can set custom spending limits for each employee if you wish.

4. Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

This card is currently not available.

Cash Back Rating

★★★★★
N/A

OVERALL RATING

N/A
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A
N/A

Capital One waives the annual fee on this card for the first year. One of the most noteworthy perks of this card is its generous initial bonus that’s rare for business and personal cards. You can claim it if you meet the minimum spending requirement in the first three months and first six months of opening your account.

Best Bad Credit Cash Back Visa Card

The Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card with Cash Back Rewards offers 1% cash back on eligible purchases that include gas, groceries, dining, and phone services. You’ll also get a free monthly credit report and score through Experian. So, if you’d like to improve your credit but still want to earn cash back rewards, the Credit One Bank® Visa® may be a good option.

Credit One Bank® Visa® Credit Card with Cash Back Rewards Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Qualified applicants will receive exclusive benefits such as 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, no annual fee, and a competitive APR. Terms apply.
  • Manage your account quickly and easily from your mobile device by using the Credit One Bank mobile app.
  • Use your Apple device to make purchases securely through Apple Pay®. Apple Pay is a registered trademark of Apple, Inc.
  • Your account is safeguarded against unauthorized charges with Zero Fraud Liability at no additional charge.
  • Take advantage of free online access to your Experian credit score and credit report summary so you can track the key factors impacting your credit health. Terms apply.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% to 23.99% Variable
$0 - $99
Fair

While other credit-building cards require a security deposit and match your credit limit to your deposit, the Credit One Bank® Visa® does not. You won’t have to make a security deposit and can receive a $300 minimum credit limit right off the bat.

Who Gives the Most Cash Back?

Cash back credit cards are not created equal. Each cash back credit card has its own unique rewards program.

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit Card

Out of all the credit cards we’ve discussed, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card gives the most cash back, which offers 3% in a category of your choosing. It also offers 2% back at grocery stores and 1% back on all other eligible purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

If you want to spend freely and don’t like the idea of keeping track of bonus categories, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ may not be the right card for you. You may be better off with a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.

This card offers an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There are no bonus categories to keep track of, and you don’t have to change your spending habits each quarter.

When you explore cash back credit cards, consider more than just the cash back rate. Do you have to target your spending toward certain categories? Or, will you get rewards for all purchases? Is there an annual fee? Will you be able to earn a signup bonus? What is the APR if you carry a balance?

You’re more likely to choose the right card if you focus on every aspect of the cards available to you.

Which is Better, Cash Back or Rewards Points?

While some credit cards offer cash back rewards, others come with rewards points. The better of the two really depends on your lifestyle and personal preferences.

If you don’t travel much and prefer earning cash rewards for your purchases, cash back cards may make more sense. Cash back cards are easy to understand and often available without annual fees.

If you travel frequently and want to save money on travel-related expenses, like airfare and lodging, rewards points may be the way to go. Keep in mind that if you go with a rewards points credit card, however, it may be difficult to decipher the point systems.

You’ll have to do some math to figure out how you can make the most of your points. It’s also important to note that points can fluctuate in value.

So, your points may be worth more or less, depending on what you redeem them for. Below we compare three popular points programs and their respective point redemption values.

Chart Comparing Values of Common Credit Card Rewards Points

You can use rewards points to buy a variety of products from the card issuer’s catalog. However, if you go this route, you’ll likely get less value for your points. In most cases, using them for travel purchases is the smarter move because it provides the highest value.

Take Chase cards, for example. Points cards such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® and Chase Sapphire Reserve® offer 25% to 50% more value when redeemed for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal.

Similar to cash back cards, points cards come with some advantages. First off, they typically offer larger signup bonuses. Secondly, rewards points cards can give you travel benefits, such as free checked bags or airport lounge access.

So, you may personally prefer to save a little on each purchase via cash back rewards, but if free hotel stays and flights excite you, travel rewards via a points card may be the better option for you.

Why Do Credit Cards Offer Cash Back?

Credit card companies, just like all businesses, are on a mission to make money. Rewards, including cash back, are ultimately profitable for banks because they help them lure in new customers.

Banks still come out ahead on their rewards payouts because most credit cards that offer cash back have certain rules and regulations. For example, many impose spending restrictions and caps.

Since most people don’t take the time to read the fine print, here’s what typically happens: They sign up for credit cards and believe that cash back rewards programs are more lucrative than they actually are.

It’s not uncommon for cardholders to spend more than they can afford to hit a signup bonus and rack up interest charges on the unpaid balance. Essentially, the goal of cash back rewards programs is to offer consumers an incentive to use their credit cards instead of cash or debit cards.

And, when they do, they often help credit card companies increase their profits.

In addition, credit card companies charge merchants a fee for accepting their cards as payment. If you pay a merchant $100, for example, they may only pocket $97 because they’ll owe the credit card company a 3% fee.

Cash back cards also make money through annual fees. Sometimes, people pay an annual fee and don’t earn enough in cash back rewards to make it worth it. For this reason, it’s important to do the math and make sure the potential rewards outweigh the fee.

Required Spend to Make Up Annual Fee with 1% Rate Differential

If you’re selective in the cash back reward card you go with and are aware of the fine print, you can benefit from it. Just make sure you don’t spend more than you can afford and pay your balance in full each month. Otherwise, the interest charges you pay will outweigh any rewards you earn every time.

Earn Cash Back “Everywhere You Want to Be”

Consider more than just the rewards rates when you shop for the best cash back Visa cards. Look into annual fees, redemption flexibility, signup bonuses, and introductory and ongoing APRs.

Also, think about your spending habits and try to choose a card that complements them well. If you can’t decide on one, you can always get a few and use each card strategically. Some issuers allow you to combine rewards from two or more of its cards, as is the case with select Chase credit cards, which can provide maximum value when done right.

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