18 Best Money-Back Credit Cards of 2019

18 Best Money-Back Credit Cards of 2019

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: April 23, 2019
Opinions expressed here are ours alone, and are not provided, endorsed, or approved by any issuer. Our articles follow strict editorial guidelines and are updated regularly.

The FICO Score range of 300 to 850 is so large because it has to accommodate millions of individual credit histories. Regardless of the credit category you fall in — bad, fair, average, good, excellent — you’ll find many fellow consumers in the same grouping. This is precisely why the credit card industry makes products available to individuals, students, and businesses in all credit categories. And no product is more important to consumers than the cash back card.

Money-back credit cards skip the complexities of points and miles. They reward cardmembers with versatile, convenient cash. Every time you purchase something with a cash back card, you earn somewhere between 1% to 5% (or more) in cash refunds, to do with as you wish. No wonder cash back cards remain so popular, and we’ve assembled a list of the 18 best, no matter where your FICO score lands you.

Overall | Bad Credit | Fair/Average Credit | Good/Excellent Credit | Students | Businesses | FAQs

Best Overall Cash Back Cards

The following three cash back cards offer industry-leading cash back rates plus plenty of other perks that propel them to the top of the heap.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Discover it® Cash Back charges no annual fee but delivers generous rewards. It provides 5% cash back on quarterly rotating merchant categories such as restaurants, grocery stores, gas stations, Amazon.com, and more. Quarterly activation is needed, and purchases that earn the top rate are capped at $1,500 for the period. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

At the end of the first year, your 5% cash back, in effect, becomes 10% thanks to dollar for dollar Cashback Match. The card also provides security and convenience perks like free FICO scores, the Freeze It on/off account switch, and continuous fraud monitoring.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • Receive a monthly statement credit for a Postmates Unlimited monthly membership through Dec. 2019 with the Capital One Savor Card
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.74% - 25.74% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers three reward tiers. The top tier earns 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, followed by the 2% tier for grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. The first year’s annual fee of $95 is automatically waived.

You can earn a cash bonus when you spend the required amount on purchases during the first three months. As with all Capital One cards, this one gives you myriad travel, protection, management, and purchase benefits.

CASH BACK RATING

★★★★★
4.5

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Another top cash back card with quarterly rotating merchant categories is the Chase Freedom®. After activating the rewards each quarter, you earn 5% cash back on purchases at the current merchant promotion, up to a $1,500 purchase cap. All other purchases provide 1% cash back. The card has no annual fee and the rewards don’t expire while the account remains open.

You can earn an extra $500 a year by recommending up to 10 new cardmembers. The card has a long introductory period of 0% APR purchases and balance transfers. It also delivers fraud protection features, $0 liability protection, extended warranty coverage, and protection against damage or theft of purchased items.

Best Cash Back Cards for Bad Credit (350-649 Credit Score)

You won’t find many cash back cards for consumers with poor credit scores, but these three prove it is possible. Two are secured cards that require you to maintain a security deposit.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24%-26.24% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit

The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is the sole unsecured credit card in this group. You earn 1% cash back rewards on eligible purchases of groceries, gas, mobile phone service, internet service, and cable/satellite TV service. You receive your cash back as a statement credit. You can change your monthly payment due date once every six months.

Your initial minimum credit line is $300, and it can increase over time. You receive free monthly ScoreX credit scores from Experian, 24/7 account monitoring, and $0 fraud liability. The card’s annual fee ranges from $0 to $75 for the first year, $0 to $99 thereafter.

Discover it® Secured Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★
3.9

OVERALL RATING

3.7/5.0
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, automatically. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
10.99% for 6 months
24.99% Variable
$0
New/Rebuilding

The Discover it® Secured allows you to set the amount of the refundable security deposit from $200 to the approved credit limit. Periodically, Discover will review your payment history and, if possible, upgrade you to an unsecured credit card. Using the card responsibly can boost your credit score because Discover reports your payments to the three major credit bureaus.

You earn 2% cash back in combined purchases (up to $1,000 per quarter) at restaurants and gas stations. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back. Plus, you get dollar for dollar cash back match at the end of the first year. The card has no annual fee and provides free FICO scores.

6. SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards

The SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards offers some unique rewards. You set your credit limit, up to the approved maximum, with a one-time deposit into a SunTrust secured savings account. Your deposit is refundable and earns interest. If you redeem your cash back into your deposit account, you receive a Loyalty Cash Bonus of 10% to 50% on the cash amount.

SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards

  • 2% cash back on up to $6,000 spent annually on qualifying gas and grocery purchases
  • 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases
  • $32 annual fee

You can redeem your cash back via SunTrust Rewards for cash, travel, e-gift cards and more. The card provides free monthly FICO scores and SunTrust World Mastercard benefits.

Best Cash Back Cards for Fair/Average Credit (650-699)

Credit card APRs start slimming down in this group and the rewards get more generous. Look for a greater number of perks from these unsecured cards.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.96% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

The Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases. Rewards don’t expire for the life of the account. The variable APR for purchases is competitive, and the card charges a $39 annual fee. The card’s Credit Step Program will automatically evaluate a higher credit limit if you make your first five monthly payments on time.

You can redeem your cash back rewards upon request through a statement credit or a check. You may also specify a redemption date or amount threshold. You’ll also receive unlimited access to Capital One CreditWise to monitor your credit score and credit profile.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit Review

at Credit One'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★
4.0

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • See if you Pre-Qualify without harming your credit score
  • Track your progress with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Looking to rebuild credit? We report to the major credit bureaus monthly
  • Accounts are automatically reviewed for credit line increase opportunities
  • Make paying your bill easier with the ability to choose your payment due date, terms apply
  • Stay in-the-know with customizable account alerts via email and text
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24%-26.24% Variable
$0 - $99
Bad Credit

The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit delivers 1% cash back on purchases of gas, groceries, cable/satellite TV service, internet service, and mobile phone service. You can start with a credit limit as low as $300 that can increase over time. Your cash back takes the form of a statement credit that does not reduce your monthly minimum payment.

The card lets you set a new monthly due date every six months. You can sign up for optional Credit One Credit Protection that will cancel your account debt if you suffer a disability, involuntary loss of employment or loss of life. The cost is $0.96 per $100 of your monthly statement balance.

Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★
3.3

OVERALL RATING

3.3/5.0
  • 1% cash back rewards on all purchases, no annual fee, and a competitive APR are just a few of the benefits qualified applicants will enjoy. Terms apply.
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Managing your account is easy with the Credit One Bank mobile app
  • Pick a card that fits your style. Multiple card designs are available, a fee may apply
  • Monitor your credit with free online access to your Experian credit score, terms apply
  • Never miss an account update with customizable text and email alerts
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
20.24%-26.24% Variable
$0 - $99
Good

The Credit One Bank® Cash Back Rewards Credit Card offers 1% cash back on all purchases. The rewards post to your account automatically each month. The APR and the annual fee are determined by your creditworthiness. You can add an authorized user for $19 a year.

The card provides automatic payment reminders, transaction alerts, and credit limit reviews. You are protected by 0% fraud liability, 24/7 account monitoring, and have free access to ScoreX credit scores from Experian. You can reset your payment due date twice a year. The card provides free travel accident insurance and auto rental collision insurance.

Best Cash Back Cards for Good/Excellent Credit (700+)

One of the rewards of a creditworthy lifestyle is access to the upper tier of credit cards. Our picks all offer good rewards, low APRs, and plenty of extra benefits.

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • New Offer! Double Cash Back: Earn 3% cash back on all purchases in your first year up to $20,000 spent. After that earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.99-25.74%. Balance transfer fee is 3% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months
16.99% - 25.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® has no annual fee and earns you 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases. New cardholders will receive 3% cash back on all purchases for the first year (up to $20,000 spent), making this an industry-leading flat-rate cash back offer.

Card features include credit protection through the Credit Journey portal, $0 liability protection, and extended warranty coverage of one extra year on eligible U.S. manufacturers’ warranties. You also get 120 days of purchase protection against theft or damage, up to $500 per claim and $50,000 per account.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
13.99% - 24.99% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

Would you believe 10% cash back? That’s what the Discover it® Cash Back can deliver in the first year, thanks to its 5% bonus-category cash back rewards and its introductory dollar for dollar Cashback Match. You earn the 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in quarterly purchases from rotating merchant types, including gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more. Quarterly activation is required.

The card charges no annual fee and provides several convenience and security benefits. Freeze It allows you to suspend or resume the account in an instant if you misplace your card. You get free access to your FICO scores, and Discover constantly monitors against fraudulent use of your card.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

0.0/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% cash back as you pay for those purchases.
  • Receive 0% for 18 months on balance transfers made within 4 months of account opening
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back; transfer fee applies
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month
  • No categories to track and no caps on cash back
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
15.74% - 25.74% (variable)
$0
Excellent/Good

The no-annual-fee Citi® Double Cash Card will earn you 1% cash back on every purchase — and another 1% when you pay for those purchases — effectively offering a flat 2% cash back rewards rate on all qualifying purchases.

It also doesn’t cap your cash back rewards and there are no quarterly rotating bonus categories to keep track of, making this a great card for anyone who values simplicity. The card also offers a nice 0% introductory period on new purchases and balance transfers for those who qualify.

Best Cash Back Cards for Students

Students often set off to college with little or no credit history. The cards in this section accommodate students new to credit cards who might like a little extra spending money in the form of cash back rewards.

Discover it® Student Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
14.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Fair/New to Credit

The Discover it® Student Cash Back is our top choice for cash back student credit cards. It has no annual fee, provides 5% cash back on quarterly rotating merchant types up to the $1,500 spending cap, and gives you a dollar for dollar Cashback Match at the end of the first year. You must activate the 5% cash back rewards each quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.

Students who earn a GPA of 3.0 or higher for the year receive a $20 good grade statement credit for up to five school years. You can access your FICO score each month for free, and the card’s Freeze It feature protects you from unauthorized use of the card. You also receive $0 fraud liability protection and 24/7 monitoring against suspicious activity on your account.

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.2/5.0
  • Earn 1% cash back on all your purchases. Pay on time to boost your cash back to a total of 1.25% for that month
  • Enjoy no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Get a head start and build your credit with responsible use
  • Get Eno®, your Capital One® assistant, to manage your account via text, receive alerts, and shop safer online
  • Pick the monthly due date that works best for you
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.96% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

The Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® is a cash back card that teaches good money management. While the regular cash back rate is 1%, you will receive 1.25% cash back simply for paying on time. Another money management lesson — make your first five months payments on time, and you may qualify for a higher credit limit.

The card charges no annual fee. If you plan to travel, you’ll appreciate features like 24-hour travel assistance services, travel accident insurance, auto rental collision damage waiver, and no foreign transaction fees. You also get access to CreditWise, a source of credit information and management tools. Online purchases are secure thanks to virtual card numbers from Eno.

Discover it® Student chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

STUDENT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Good Grades Rewards: $20 statement credit each school year your GPA is 3.0 or higher for up to the next 5 years.
  • No annual fee. No late fee on first late payment. No APR change for paying late.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Freeze It® on/off switch for your account that prevents new purchases, cash advances & balance transfers in seconds.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 6 months
10.99% for 6 months
14.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Fair/New to Credit

The Discover it® Student chrome is a tiered credit card that pays 2% cash back on up to $1,000 per quarter in combined purchases from restaurants and gas stations, and 1% on all other purchases. At the end of the first year, you’ll receive a dollar for dollar Cashback Match that doubles your total cash back for the year. In addition, each year you attain a 3.0 GPA or better, you’ll earn a $20 statement credit for up to five years.

The card has a relaxed attitude toward fees — it doesn’t charge a fee on your first late payment or for exceeding the credit limit. There are also no annual or foreign transaction fees. Your purchase APR depends on your credit score.

Best Cash Back Cards for Businesses

Business owners love to turn a profit, so it makes sense they’d appreciate cash back from their credit cards, too. We’ve selected three top business cash back cards that have a lot to admire, including generous rewards and valuable benefits.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn $500 bonus cash back after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at office supply stores and on internet, cable and phone services each account anniversary year
  • Earn 2% cash back on the first $25,000 spent in combined purchases at gas stations and restaurants each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1% cash back on all other card purchases with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months on purchases
  • Employee cards at no additional cost
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 12 months
N/A
15.24% - 21.24% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

The Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card from Chase offers three reward tiers. The top tier provides 5% cash back on the first $25,000 spent annually on cable, internet and phone service, and purchases from office supply stores. The 2% cash back tier rewards you on the first $25,000 you spend yearly at restaurants and gas stations. All remaining purchases earn an unlimited 1% cash back.

Business-friendly perks include employee cards at no additional cost, cash back redemption at Amazon.com, 70 different gift card options, and extended warranty protection. You also get 120-day protection against theft or damage to purchased items, up to the claim and account limits.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back for your business on every purchase, everywhere
  • Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • $0 annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
  • $0 Fraud Liability if your card is lost or stolen
  • Free employee cards, which also earn unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Rewards won't expire for the life of the account, and you can redeem your cash back for any amount
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
19.24% (Variable)
$0 intro for first year; $95 after that
Excellent, Good

If you prefer a simple rewards scheme, check out the unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases you make with the Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business. Cash back rewards never expire while the account remains open. You can earn a cash bonus by spending the required amount on purchases during the first three months, and the annual fee is waived for the first year.

Business owners will appreciate receiving quarterly and annual summary reports of itemized expenditures and the ability to download purchase records in QuickBooks, Excel, and Quicken formats. You can use the card to save up to 15% at participating merchants on Visa SavingsEdge. Other perks include purchase security, extended warranty protection, and $0 fraud coverage.

BUSINESS CARD RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • Earn 3 points per $1 on the first $150,000 spent on travel and select business categories each account anniversary year
  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all other purchases - with no limit to the amount you can earn
  • Points are worth 25% more when you redeem for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Redeem points for travel, cash back, gift cards and more - your points don't expire as long as your account is open
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

The rewards you earn from the Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card take the form of points redeemable for cash at the rate of 100 points to the dollar. You earn 3X points on the first $150,000 per year that you spend on shipping purchases, travel, communications services, and social media advertising. All other purchases earn 1X points. You can earn a large number of bonus points by spending the required amount on purchases during the first three months.

The card charges an annual fee but no foreign transaction fees. If you use your points for travel instead of cash back, they are worth 25% more when redeemed via Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can add employee cards at no extra cost, and you receive cellphone protection against damage or theft for you and your employees listed on the monthly phone bill that you pay with the card.

What Credit Card Gives the Most Cash Back?

The top rate available from this group of cash back cards is 5% on selected categories of purchases. Top honors go to the Discover it® Cash Back, because it offers a first-year Cashback Match, effectively doubling the cash back rate to 10% for new cardmembers. However, all cards advertising 5% cash back place limits on the amount spent on purchases that earn this high rate.

Discover it® Cash Back

The Discover it® Cash Back, with its rotating bonus merchant categories, caps bonus purchases at $1,500 each quarter for the top rate. This translates to $300 cash back for the year (or $600 cash back in the first year after the Cashback Match) if bonus rewards are maximized. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. The Chase Freedom® offers the same rates and annual limits, but it lacks the first-year Cashback Match.

Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card

For businesses, the Ink Business Cash℠ Credit Card from Chase provides 5% cash back on up to $25,000 in annual purchases from office supply stores and providers of cable, cell phone, and internet service. That works out to $1,250 cash back per year at the top rate, in addition to the cash back you’ll earn at lower rates on other purchases.

If you prefer flat-rate cash back rewards, the top cards, such as the Citi® Double Cash Card, offer an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases without spending limitations. This can be a more meaningful number for consumers who don’t make many purchases in the bonus merchant categories of higher-rate cards.

How Do I Redeem Cash Back Rewards?

In most cases, the cards reviewed here automatically post your cash back earnings each month, and those rewards never expire as long as you keep the account open. The simplest way to redeem your cash back is through a statement credit. Some cards make this the default redemption method or allow you to set it as such.

Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit CardThe Ink Business Preferred℠ Credit Card is the only points card in our recommended list. You can redeem the points for cash, so you can treat it as a cash back card. But it has additional flexibility, and its best rewards are reserved for travel purchases made on its rewards website, where the points are worth an extra 25%.

SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash RewardsMost cards also allow you to electronically transfer your cash back to your bank account. The SunTrust Secured Credit Card with Cash Rewards adds 10% to 50% to the cash back amount deposited into a SunTrust savings account.

Several cards let you use your cash back on their rewards website to purchase items like travel, gift cards, and other items, often at a discount. For example, the Chase Freedom® card lets you redeem cash back at the Chase Ultimate Rewards website to book travel. Some cards, like those issued by Discover, let you redeem your cash back directly on Amazon.com purchases at checkout.

In general, a card’s website (and in some cases, mobile app) allows you to specify how much you wish to redeem and the method of redemption. Most cards also allow you to request redemptions over the phone.

Some cardmembers like to let cash back rewards accumulate because they have a special purpose in mind for the money once it reaches a set amount. However, it’s a better idea to move the money to an interest-bearing savings account where it can grow and is FDIC insured.

Are Cash Back Credit Cards a Good Deal?

Cash back credit cards can be a great deal. Whether they actually are depends on which one you choose and how you use it.

Many cash back cards charge no annual fee, and this can make a big difference. Consider a card that pays a flat 1.5% cash back. If the card charges a $95 annual fee, you’ll have to make purchases of more than $6,300 just to break even. However, some cards with annual fees offer benefits that other cards don’t, so you’ll have to evaluate your own needs before deciding.

Cash Back Earnings at 1% and 2%

Another concern is remembering to activate your card each quarter if it has rotating bonus merchant categories. If you forget, you’ll end up earning only 1% on purchases that should have netted you 5%. If this worries you, you can opt for a tiered rewards card that doesn’t need activation to earn the top cash back rate on certain purchases. Also, a quarterly rotating bonus card is less valuable if it features one or more merchant types you seldom patronize.

Certain introductory features make cash back cards more valuable, at least during the first year. These include dollar for dollar Cashback Match, bonus cash back, waived annual fees, and 0% APRs on purchases and balance transfers. After the introductory period is over, you can evaluate whether you want to keep the card or replace it with another.

Remember, however, that closing credit accounts reduces your average account age, which can hurt your credit score.

Cash Back Rewards are Easy to Manage

The nice thing about cash back rewards is that you don’t have to deal with miles. We all understand what money is worth. Can you say the same about an arbitrary number of miles?

The easiest cash back cards to manage are the flat-rate cards since you earn the same cash back rate on every purchase without any quarterly limits. Bonus and tiered cash back cards require more work, but they also can provide greater rewards. And if you’re a business owner, the reports available from a business cash back card can help you maintain your bookkeeping records.

In the end, comparison shopping is the right way to ensure you’re getting the best deal available.