The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Sunday, May 26, 2024

Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Brittney Mayer

By: Brittney Mayer

Brittney Mayer
Brittney Mayer

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

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Editor: Jon McDonald

Jon McDonald
Jon McDonald

Jon leverages 15-plus years of journalism expertise to inform financial consumers about emerging trends and companies making an impact in the industry. He is most knowledgeable in the areas of budgeting, credit card rewards, and responsible credit use. Jon has a passion for writing and editing, and his articles have appeared in publications produced by The New York Times.

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Reviewer: Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker
Ashley Fricker

Ashley Fricker has more than a decade of experience as a finance contributor and editor, and has specialized in the credit card industry since 2015. Her credit card commentary is featured on national media outlets that include CNBC, MarketWatch, Investopedia, and Reader's Digest, among many others. She has worked closely with the world’s largest banks and financial institutions, up-and-coming fintech companies, and press and news outlets to curate comprehensive content and media. Ashley holds a bachelor's degree in multimedia journalism from Florida Atlantic University.

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Below are our staff picks for 2024's top cash back credit cards. These cards reward users with cash back rewards and rebates, often via a check or statement credit, for their purchases.

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All Results | 0% Intro APR | Balance Transfer | Fair Credit | Business | Student

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Review Breakdown: Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Most of us use credit cards for day-to-day purchases, so why not earn cash back rewards with every swipe? This handy table breaks down all the top cash back credit card offers in one easy-to-follow summary. Simply click on your card of choice if you'd like to visit the issuer's official site.

Here are 2024's best cash back credit cards:

Top Cash Back Credit Cards
Rank Card Name Feature Regular APR Expert Rating
1 Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card 3% cash back 19.24% - 29.24% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers ★★★★★ 4.9 See our review
2 Discover it® Cash Back Unlimited Cashback Match 17.24% - 28.24% Variable APR ★★★★★ 4.9 See our review See rates & fees
3 Chase Freedom Unlimited® 1.5% cash back 20.49% - 29.24% Variable ★★★★★ 4.8 See our review
4 Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card $200 cash bonus 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) ★★★★★ 4.8 See our review See rates & fees
5 Citi Custom Cash® Card 5% cash back 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) ★★★★★ 4.8 See our review See rates & fees
6 Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card $200 cash bonus 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable) ★★★★★ 4.8 See our review See rates & fees
7 Citi Double Cash® Card 5% total cash back 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable) ★★★★★ 4.8 See our review See rates & fees

25 FAQs About Cash Back Credit Cards

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Credit Analyst
25 FAQs About Cash Back Credit Cards Guide: Cash Back Cards

Cash is king — even in the world of credit cards — which is why issuers compete to be listed among the best cash back credit cards.

Not only do cash back credit cards provide savings on every eligible purchase, but you can stack that savings with store and manufacturer coupons while enjoying the convenience and security a credit card offers. The majority of cardholders favor cash back rewards over points and other rewards programs.

Let’s discuss the basics of cash back cards, including how to earn and redeem your rewards.

1. What is a Cash Back Card?

A cash back credit card is a traditional credit card that provides a bonus to cardholders by returning a percentage of each purchase back in the form of cash back. Most cards offer cash back rewards of up to 5% on purchases, though some newer cards offer even more on certain purchases.

Every time you use your card to pay for a purchase, a percentage of each transaction is returned to you in the form of cash back. It’s almost like having a coupon for every purchase you make.

Types of Cash Back Credit Cards

Different cards payout different rewards rates. Some offer bonus categories that allow you to earn even more cash back on your everyday purchases.

2. How Do Cash Back Credit Cards Work?

In essence, most cash back credit cards operate like a universal rebate, where you earn cash back rewards at a set rate for every eligible purchase, then redeem the rewards at a later time. Cash back rewards can typically be redeemed for a billing statement credit, check, or deposited into a bank account.

What makes cash back rewards better than a traditional rebate is that you won’t need to mail any UPCs or receipts to cash them in — simply log into your online credit card account. You also won’t be limited to where you can save; cash back rewards cards can be used anywhere the credit card network is accepted.

And most credit card issuers allow you to earn an unlimited amount of cash back, meaning you won’t have to cap your spending or savings to maximize your cash rewards earning potential. The sky’s the limit.

Just remember that you typically only earn cash back on new purchases. Banks usually don’t offer cash rewards for balance transfers or cash advances.

3. How Do I Apply for a Cashback Card?

Applying for a cashback card is easy. All of the cards above have a green “Apply Now” button that will lead you directly to the issuer’s website where you can fill out an official application. Applying online is the easiest way to get a credit card, and you’ll receive a near-instant decision after you submit the application.

Before you do that, though, you can prequalify for most cards online to see your chances of approval beforehand. This is done through a soft credit pull that won’t affect your credit score. Your odds of being approved for the card are good if you prequalify, but a prequalification is never an approval guarantee.

When you complete the application the issuer will conduct a hard credit pull that will assess your credit reports and scores, and will ultimately determine whether you’re approved for the card.

Once you’re officially approved, the card issuer will mail you your card — which typically takes seven to 10 business days to receive.

Issuer Shipping Times

Some banks allow you to access your new card right away via a temporary card number that you can obtain on the bank’s mobile application or by calling customer service.

4. Can I Get Cash Back on All My Spending and Purchases?

The beauty of cash back credit cards is that they truly offer universal rewards. Anywhere your card is accepted, you can use it to earn cash back for your eligible purchases — which, in most cases, means practically everything.

The majority of cash back credit cards offer at least a small, unlimited flat-rate cash back percentage (typically 1%) that is good on most everything you purchase with your card.

A wide variety of cash back credit cards also offer bonus cash back in specific categories, like grocery store or travel purchases, that provide a higher percentage of cash back. In some cash back programs, these categories change throughout the year, while others have permanent categories. You may also run into category purchase caps that limit the amount of cash back you can earn in each category.

These categories typically change quarterly and can include a host of merchants or service providers that consumers often shop with. For example, you may find a bonus category that offers bonus rewards on eligible purchases at popular retailers during the holidays.

One important thing to remember about cash back rewards is that most credit card issuers will only offer rewards on new purchases. This means other transaction types, such as balance transfers or cash advances, don’t typically earn cash back rewards. Your cash back is also rewarded based on net purchases, so any returns or refunds may decrease the cash back you earn.

In general, the better your credit score, the better your cash back card options. Many of the best cash back credit cards (those with the highest cash back percentage rates) will require good to excellent credit to obtain. That being said, you can still find cash back credit cards without perfect credit; even some credit cards for bad credit provide cash back rewards.

5. Does Cash Back Come in the Form of a Check or a Statement Credit?

Perhaps the most perplexing thing about cash back rewards is that you typically don’t actually receive cash when you redeem. With the majority of cash back credit cards, you’ll redeem your cash back for a billing statement credit or a physical check (sent through the mail). Additionally, some cards allow you to redeem cash back rewards for gift cards to popular retailers and restaurants.

Rather than redeeming for a statement credit, you may want to consider depositing your cash back directly into your bank account. Some credit cards also provide bonus cash back when you redeem into a checking or savings account.

And since most rewards credit cards won’t limit how often — or when — you can redeem your cash back, you can get in the habit of cashing out every week, month, quarter, or whatever fits your budget.

Check your card’s cardholder agreement before you apply to make sure you fully understand your redemption options.

6. Can I Get Cash Back at the Register from Using a Credit Card?

One of the few drawbacks to cash back rewards cards is that they tend to behave more like rebates than coupons. In other words, you generally need to redeem them through your credit card issuer after you make a purchase, rather than being able to use them when you make a purchase at the register.

On the plus side, this limitation is slowly changing, as more retailers pair with popular card companies to provide broader redemption options. For example, if you have one of the cards in the Discover it® credit card line, you can redeem your cash back rewards toward an Amazon purchase right from your Amazon checkout page.

The online retail giant also maintains partnerships with American Express and Chase that allow cardholders to apply their rewards to Amazon purchases.

For now, however, the only real way to get “cash back” at the register with your credit card is to make a cash advance, which is effectively like obtaining a small loan from your credit card. Be careful utilizing this feature, however, as cash advances tend to come with higher interest rates than purchases, and you won’t receive the traditional interest-free grace period you’d get with a new purchase, either.

7. What Factors Determine the Best Cash Back Credit Cards?

When it comes to choosing from among the best cash back credit card offers, the real question is not about which single card is ‘The Best’ — instead, it’s a matter of which cash back card is the best for you and your individual spending habits.

For instance, if you tend to spend a lot on groceries and gas, then a category-based cash back program that offers bonus cash back for those purchases may be the most lucrative option. On the other hand, if your spending doesn’t fall into common categories, an unlimited cash back card, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited®, may be more valuable.

Overall, however, a few factors will differentiate the best cash back credit cards from the less-than-awesome cash back cards. The primary factor, naturally, is how much you can earn — and how you earn it. The cards at the top of most lists tend to be the ones that offer the highest cash back percentages.

Cash Back Earnings at 1% and 2%

The size of the sign up bonus reward can also be a distinguishing feature for rewards cards. Some of the best cash back cards have signup bonuses worth hundreds of dollars that can be earned simply by meeting the minimum spending requirement within the specified time frame.

Other factors to consider include potential fees, such as whether the card charges an annual fee, as these can quickly eat into your rewards. You may also want to explore the card’s additional benefits, like rental car insurance or extended purchase warranties.

8. Do Cash Back Credit Cards Charge an Annual Fee?

In general, annual fees are used by credit card issuers to offset extra costs associated with the card. As such, annual fees are typically charged by cards that offer a lot of perks, such as cash back cards with high earnings rates, as well as cards that cater to those with less-than-excellent credit.

Most credit cards with an annual fee will charge the first fee when you open your account, then subsequent fees every 12 months on your anniversary. Some credit cards with annual fees will waive the fee for the first year as an incentive for new cardholders.

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

Since annual fees can quickly eat into your cash back rewards, you should crunch a few numbers to see if the annual fee is worth the cost. If you will spend enough on the card to earn more cash back than you’ll pay in annual fees, then the card may still be worthwhile. Otherwise, stick with one of the many great cash back cards that are also annual fee-free.

9. What Other Fees Might I Be Charged?

As much as we may wish otherwise, credit cards and fees often go hand in hand. The list starts with the basic interest fees, which are generally based on your card’s variable APR, which can be found in your cardmember agreement.

Thankfully, interest fees are fairly simple to avoid, either by paying your balance in full by your billing date, or by using an intro APR offer to enjoy 0% APR for 12 months or more.

Late fees are also prevalent in the credit card world, with nearly every cash back card charging late fees for payments made past the due date. Late fees are fairly easy to avoid, as you only need to make at least the minimum payment by the due date. Remember that payments made even a single day past the due date will count as a late payment and likely result in a fee.

Another common fee is the annual fee, which helps issuers pay for the rewards and benefits they provide to cardholders. While you can avoid annual fees by selecting a card that doesn’t charge them, some rewards cards can be well worth the fee.

Your credit card may also come with a host of additional fees for the various optional services it offers, such as pre-authorized payments (automatic bill payments) or cash advances. Be careful here, as some purchases, like gift cards or money orders, can be charged as cash advances without you realizing it. You’ll also likely pay a fee if you want to transfer a balance to your card, which typically amounts to 3% to 5% of the transferred balance.

10. Do Cash Back Cards Offer other Rewards Programs?

For cardholders who want more out of their cash back card, a bit of research can reveal a variety of cards that offer a little extra. For instance, certain cards offer additional discounts or special financing with select merchants. Another way to get a bit more “reward” out of your rewards card is through an introductory deal. Some cash back cards come with an intro APR offer that can be quite valuable.

While the best intro APR deals are offered to consumers who have excellent credit, those who have good credit or fair credit may also be able to reduce their APR with a good intro APR credit card offer. These cards offer new cardholders an extended period of between six and 24 months or so without charging interest on any qualifying purchase. You can also transfer an existing balance from a high-interest credit card or make a large purchase while enjoying interest-free financing to pay off the debt.

If you want more flexibility in your rewards, you may want to look into programs that reward points rather than cash back. These programs often allow you to redeem your points for cash back as well as for other items, such as merchandise and even travel rewards.

As with some cash back programs, different points programs will reward points at a better rate for specific categories.

11. Is there a Difference Between a Cash Back Credit Card and a Cash Reward Credit Card?

Since their inception, cash back credit cards have had a lot of different names. Some folks call them “cashback credit cards,” others use “cash-back credit cards,” and others still use the term “cash reward credit cards.” No matter what you call them, however, they all represent the same thing: savings.

That’s right, cash back credit cards by any other name still reward cardholders with the ability to save on every purchase made with their cash back card. Of course, that’s not to say that there aren’t differences between cash back cards beyond the terminology.

Each cashback card has its own earning structure and perks, such as category rewards versus unlimited cash back, so be sure to research an individual card’s offerings before you apply for a cashback credit card (or one with “cash-back,” or “cash back,” or even “cash rewards”).

12. How Do Rotating Cash Back Categories Work?

Cash back cards that use categories reward bonus cash back for purchases that fall into specific spending categories. For example, a cash back card aimed at travelers may offer bonus cash back for airline or dining purchases. In addition to the bonus cash back, most category-based programs provide an unlimited flat rate for non-category purchases.

Cash back credit cards with bonus categories will either use the same categories all year, or offer rotating categories. The typical credit card company offering rotating categories will change the category each quarter (every three months), meaning you’ll earn bonus cash back on specific purchases depending on the time of year.

Discover Calendar

Rotating categories reward cardholders with bonus cash back for purchases made with different merchants each quarter.

While cash back categories can be particularly lucrative for those who often make purchases in specific spending categories, many cards will impose spending limits on the amount that will qualify for bonus cash back. For example, a cash back card offering a bonus 5% cash back at gas stations may limit the 5% rate to only the first $1,500 of gas station purchases made in a given quarter.

13. How Can I Tell Which Categories Apply to My Current Purchases?

As lucrative as category-based cash back rewards can be for someone who spends a lot in specific categories, they do have a downside: keeping track of all those categories. This can be particularly inconvenient for cardholders with rotating categories, or for someone who has multiple rewards cards to capitalize on different category types.

Indeed, managing your cash back cards can be such a hassle that numerous sites and apps have been designed to help you do just that. If you’d rather not rely on technology for the solution, you’ll need to do a little research yourself.

In other words, if you want to be sure a certain merchant qualifies for a particular bonus category, you’ll probably have to dive into the fine print of your issuer’s website.

On the plus side, most categories have fairly broad inclusions. For instance, a card offering bonus rewards for grocery purchases will typically include any retailer that specifically sells groceries (e.g., Kroger, Publix, Meijer, etc.). What it generally won’t include is retailers who sell as much (or more) general goods as they do groceries (e.g., Walmart, Target, etc.).

Of course, even if you do use a card that doesn’t provide a category bonus, most credit card companies provide unlimited cash back (at a lower rate) for purchases that don’t fall into the bonus category or are over the category cap. This means you’ll earn at least some cash back even if you don’t really maximize your rewards.

14. How Do I Maximize My Cash Back at the Gas Station?

With prices at the pump, until recently, topping the $3-a-gallon mark, it’s little wonder that gas station purchases are a strong incentive for many cardholders — and, thus, a frequently offered bonus category for credit card issuers.

In fact, with minimal effort, it’s possible to find gas-friendly cash back cards that offer 2%, 3%, or even 5% cash back for every fuel up.

How to Maximize Credit Card Rewards

Another option for maximizing gas rewards is to obtain a branded gas station credit card. This is ideal for those on a first-name basis with the attendants at their favorite gas station. Branded gas credit cards can offer fairly significant savings, but are limited in use; most can only be used at the associated gas stations.

15. How Do I Maximize My Cash Back at the Grocery Store?

Without even trying, the average family can easily go through $500 a month in groceries, a significant part of the typical family budget — a fact that is not lost on credit card issuers. A wide range of cash back credit cards offer grocery stores as a bonus category, providing 3%, 5%, or even 6% cash back on grocery store purchases.

The key to really maximizing your grocery store savings, however, is to take advantage of stacking. Most grocery stores allow you to stack (use together) manufacturer’s coupons and store coupons, giving you twice as much opportunity to save. Then use your grocery-store category-bonus credit card to save even more with bonus cash back rewards.

16. How Can I Earn a Signup Bonus?

If there’s one thing that can incentivize nearly any credit card applicant, it’s likely a signup bonus (or sign up bonus/welcome bonus). I mean, who doesn’t like being rewarded with $100 or more simply for using your card to make purchases?

Alright, so it’s not quite that simple; to earn a signup bonus — sometimes called a welcome bonus — you usually need to meet a specific minimum spending requirement within a certain period of time, typically within the first 90 days.

One thing to keep in mind is that most cards have limits on how frequently you can earn a signup bonus for a specific card. In general, you’ll only be eligible for a particular signup bonus once every 24 months, though some issuers will have different rules.

One prominent example is American Express, which limits signup bonuses to once per card per lifetime.

17. How Many Months After Account Opening Can I Receive a Signup Bonus?

The amount of time you have to earn a signup bonus will depend on the terms of the specific bonus. In general, most signup bonuses require you to meet the minimum spending amount within the first 90 days after opening your account.

In other words, you would only have the first three months to meet the spending requirement before you are no longer eligible to earn that specific signup bonus.

Once you’ve hit the spending requirement, it will usually take between two and six weeks for your signup bonus to hit your account, though this may vary by credit card company. Once you have received your signup bonus, you can typically redeem it right away.

18. How Do the Chase Freedom Cards Work?

True to its role as one of the largest credit card issuers in the world, Chase has a wide range of popular credit cards, and its cash back offerings are no exception.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Chase Freedom Flex℠ cards represent both ends of the cash back spectrum with rotating bonus categories from the Chase Freedom Flex℠, and unlimited cash back from the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.


Comparable to the Discover it® rewards system, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ card offers quarterly rotating bonus categories in popular areas, such as gas station or grocery store purchases, for which cardholders can earn 5% cash back. While the Chase Freedom Flex℠ bonus categories occasionally overlap with Discover’s, the two cards can typically be used in tandem to maximize your cash back rewards with two solid bonus category offerings.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card offers unlimited flat rate cash back on all eligible net purchases. However, it’s the added perks of the Chase Freedom cards that have folks saying, “Farewell Fargo” — like the fact that your Chase Freedom rewards can be turned into Chase Ultimate Reward points, a points program famous for its valuable travel rewards redemption options.

Chase Ultimate Reward points can be redeemed for merchandise, travel, gift cards, cash, exclusive experiences, or transferred to travel partners.

19. How Does Blue Cash® from American Express Work?

The Blue Cash credit cards from American Express are among the most popular cash back options on the market for those with good to excellent credit scores. Amex offers two different Blue Cash cards, including the Blue Cash Everyday Card and the premium Blue Cash Preferred Card.

Amex Blue Cash Cards

The Blue Cash line of cards focuses on providing cash back on the everyday necessities with permanent (non-rotating) bonus categories that provide extra cash back for the things we use the most. Both offer bonus cash back for gas and grocery purchases, with the Everyday and Preferred versions also offering bonus cash back on purchases at select U.S. department stores.

Although both of the Blue Cash cards can be valuable to shoppers for earning rewards on the everyday necessities, what really makes the Blue Cash Preferred card stand out from its sibling is the rate at which you earn those rewards. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card has one of the highest-earning rates in the current market, providing up to 6% cash back on all of your grocery purchases (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases).

20. How Does the Citi Double Cash® Card Work?

With so many credit cards cluttering up the cash back space, it’s rare to find a credit card issuer with a rewards structure that stands out — but Citibank managed to do it. The popular Citi Double Cash® Card card works on a unique system that provides 1% cash back rewards for each dollar spent plus an extra 1%  when you pay down your balance, effectively making it one of the only 2% flat-rate cash back cards available from a major issuer.

Since both purchase rewards and payment rewards are unlimited, there’s no cap on how much cash back you can earn with your Citi Double Cash® Card.

Keep in mind that only new eligible net purchases will qualify for cash back. Cash advances, balance transfers, account fees, interest fees, or returned items won’t earn any cash back.

21. What is the Cash Back Rewards Rate on Discover Cards?

Given that Discover is the credit card company that pioneered cash back rewards in the first place, it’s no surprise they have some of the most popular cash back cards available. The Discover it® line of cards was one of the first to utilize the rotating bonus categories model, offering 5% cash back for purchases that fall into the bonus category.

Discover’s bonus cash back categories change each quarter (every four months), with a new category replacing the old one every January, April, July, and October. The various categories typically cover popular everyday purchases, such as grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants, and wholesale clubs.

Bonus reward dollars are capped each quarter, with only the first $1,500 in purchases made in the bonus category earning the 5% cash back. Purchases that aren’t eligible for bonus cash back will earn unlimited 1% cash back.

Other than keeping track of the current category, perhaps the most inconvenient part of Discover’s rotating category system is the need to activate your bonus category to receive your cash back bonus on those purchases. This is made a little easier by the fact that you can activate your next-quarter category up to two months before the start of the quarter, giving you plenty of time, and Discover will send you activation reminder emails.

If rotating categories aren’t your thing, the Discover it® Chrome cards provide static bonus categories that provide 2% cash back on the first $1,000 in restaurant and gas station purchases made each quarter. Purchases that don’t qualify for bonus cash back or exceed the quarterly spending cap will earn unlimited 1% cash back.

Discover also offers its Cashback Match program that the bank started in 2017. This perk matches the amount of cash back you earn during your first year with the card.

You’ll receive your bonus cash into your cash back account in one lump sum shortly after your card anniversary, and you can transfer it to your linked checking account or use it as a statement credit. Many cardholders use their cash back as a savings by letting it sit in the account for the year and then have it doubled shortly after the anniversary. This can sometimes provide enough cash to fund a vacation or other large purchase.

And even if you redeem your cash back throughout the year, you will still qualify for the unlimited match at your one-year anniversary.

22. Do Cash Back Cards Allow Balance Transfers?

Although we all know to avoid carrying balances when possible, sometimes it simply isn’t an option. But if that balance happens to be a credit card with a high interest rate, it can get expensive.

Balance transfers allow you to move a credit card balance from one card to another card with a lower interest rate. Most credit cards, including the majority of cash back cards, will offer the option to transfer a balance (to it or from it).

To make that balance transfer even more affordable, a number of popular cash back credit cards provide solid intro APR deals, with low variable APRs or even a 0% APR. These deals can mean 12 months or more interest-free to whittle down your balance, but the best balance transfer deals are typically reserved for those with the best credit scores.

It’s not all peaches and cream, however. The bulk of credit cards (including cash back cards) that can receive balance transfers will charge a balance transfer fee for the service.

Balance Transfer Fees

This fee generally ranges from 3% to 5% of the total transferred balance. While the balance transfer fee can be pricey, interest fees are often pricier, so you may need to do the math to see if a balance transfer is worth the cost.

23. How Can I Adjust My Spending Habits to Maximize My Cash Back?

Once you’ve had a taste of how profitable cash back rewards can be, it’s natural to look for ways you can get even more out of your rewards. You can maximize your cash back rewards in a few ways, such as by replacing your current card.

Depending on your credit score, you may be able to upgrade your everyday card to a more profitable option, like the Amex Blue Cash Preferred® card that offers up to 6% cash back on everyday purchases.

Another popular method for making the most of credit card rewards is to keep a variety of rewards cards on hand that have different bonus categories. This way, no matter what category your purchase falls into, you likely have a card that offers bonus rewards on that purchase. Since most cards tend to only offer high earning rates for a single category, this can be a great way to maximize rewards.

As an example, consider the Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Discover it® cards, both of which offer top-tier bonus cash back in quarterly rotating bonus categories up to a purchase limit. While the cards’ categories occasionally overlap, the majority of the time they will have two separate bonus categories in a given quarter. So, with both cards in your wallet, you will generally have two popular categories offering top cash back.

You should not use the multicard method of maximizing credit card rewards if you tend to make late payments — or, worse, miss payments entirely. Not only do late payments often come with costly late fees, but they can also cause significant credit score damage.

You should also avoid multiple cards if you are prone to carrying a balance, as interest fees can quickly erode your cash back rewards.

Since most cash back rewards don’t expire so long as your account is active and in good standing, maximizing your rewards also includes making sure to keep your account open by regularly using your card, even if just for a small purchase here and there. In most cases, simply redeeming some of your cash back rewards can count as account activity, and thus extend the life of your account (and your rewards).

24. What Other Benefits Does My Cash Back Card Offer?

With so much focus on the cash back rewards of your cash back credit card, it can be easy to forget that most credit cards also reward cardholders with other perks simply for being cardholders. The exact benefits you receive will depend on the credit card issuer or network.

For example, Visa Infinite cards provide a range of extra perks not available to other Visa cardholders, including useful travel benefits like travel fee reimbursement, trip cancellation insurance, and lost luggage reimbursement. Visa Infinite cards are reserved for only the most qualified applicants, however, and tend to carry significant annual fees.

Other, more common, cardholder benefits can include things that make your purchasing more secure, such as extended purchase warranties, or things that make traveling more affordable, like rental car insurance. For the most part, only purchases made with your credit card are eligible for the extra benefits.

Some card issuers offer unique benefits to cardholders. Some travel credit cards offer cardholders a statement credit refund when they pay for TSA PreCheck ($85 for five years) or Global Entry ($100 for five years). Some offer credit for items ordered through the credit card that arrive broken or are stolen after delivery.

You may also receive price-matching perks, VIP access to special events, identity theft insurance, free airline baggage fees, free access to your credit score, or no foreign transaction fees for overseas travel.

And other card issuers partner with popular businesses and services to offer unique experiences. For example, the Golden State Warriors professional basketball team partners with American Express to grant cardholders early entry into the arena on game days, as well as other experiences and meet-and-greet opportunities with current and former players.

And you don’t even have to use your card to pay for your tickets to qualify. Simply show your valid Amex card at the door and you’re in.

We also shouldn’t forget the host of perks that come from using a credit card rather than other payment methods. For instance, credit cardholders who don’t receive the product they were promised may be able to get a return through their credit card company if the merchant is uncooperative. Credit cardholders can also set up pre-authorized payments to ensure your bills are paid on time every month.

Between the universal rebate of cash back rewards and the perks that come from being a cardholder, it’s hard to go wrong with a great cash back rewards card.

No matter where most of your spending occurs, chances are good you can find a cash back credit card that will help you make the most of that spending. That being said, always remember to spend wisely; accessing the best cash back credit cards requires good to excellent credit. Avoid late payments and high balances to keep your credit score in tip-top shape.

Editorial Note: Our site content is not provided or commissioned by any credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed on are the author's alone, not those of any credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by credit card issuers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information; however, all credit card offer details, including information about rewards, signup bonuses, introductory offers, and other terms and conditions, is presented without warranty. Clicking on any offer on will direct you to the issuer's website, where you can review the current terms and conditions of the offer.

The information on this page was reviewed for accuracy on .

About the Author

Brittney Mayer Brittney Mayer Credit Analyst

Brittney is a Credit Strategist and Finance Expert who has spent years honing her knowledge of the credit industry both personally and professionally. Brittney applies her more than a decade of research experience to crafting in-depth consumer guides designed to help CardRates readers make better, more informed financial decisions.

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