Best American Express Cash-Back Credit Cards for 2023

American Express, Member FDIC, is well known for its travel services and rewards credit cards, but it also offers an interesting stable of cash-back cards. For customers who either don’t travel that much or don’t want to waste time worrying about converting rewards points or miles into something of tangible benefit, a cash-back card can be the optimal fit.

All of these cards provide at least 1% cash back on all purchases, but each one also has unique kickers that provide much higher cash-back benefits depending on how customers use them.

4 Best American Express Cash-Back Rewards Cards

To find the right card for you, look through this overview of the four best American Express cash-back cards. Take note of which bonus categories most closely match your own everyday spending patterns, and be sure to note whether or not a card carries an annual fee, as that can affect the total amount of cash-back rewards you can earn.

Credit Card Features
  • Best for: Cash back on groceries and streaming
  • $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 a year; after that, 1% cash back
  • 6% cash back on eligible U.S. streaming services
  • 3% cash back on transit and at U.S. gas stations; 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Best for: No-fee cash back
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and U.S. gas stations and on online retail purchases up to $6,000 per category annually, then 1%
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Best for: Flat cash-back rate
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases within the first six months of opening the account
  • 1.5% cash back on all your purchases
USAA Federal Savings Bank Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® Credit Card
  • Best for: Cash back for USAA members
  • 5% cash back on your first $3,000 in combined gas station and military base purchases per year
  • 2% cash back on your first $3,000 in grocery purchases per year
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases
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Best for: Cash back on groceries and streaming

Groceries and streaming have become a way of life during the pandemic, and that combination of spending makes the American Express® Blue Cash Preferred credit card a good card to have.

The top tier 6% cash back you’ll receive on purchases at U.S. supermarkets — up to $6,000 per year, then 1% — and select U.S. streaming subscriptions is just about the best you’ll find in the industry. You’ll also earn 3% cash back on transit and purchases at U.S. gas stations and 1% on all other purchases, all for a . Currently, new card members will also enjoy a 0% promotional APR on all purchases and balance transfers for the first 12 months, followed by an APR.

The welcome offer for this card is a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first six months of card membership.

Best for: No-fee cash back

If you want to maximize your cash-back rewards but don’t want to pay an annual fee, the American Express® Blue Cash Everyday card might do the trick for you. Cash-back rewards aren’t as high as with cards requiring an annual fee, but the card still offers a relatively high level of perks nonetheless.

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The American Express® Blue Cash Everyday card rewards what are typically everyday purchases for most people: U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations and U.S. online retail purchases. The cash-back rate is 3% on those categories, up to $6,000 spent per year in each, then 1%. That’s about two to three times what a lot of annual fee cash-back cards pay.

You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all of your other purchases.

There is a current welcome offer of a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first six months. See Terms.

New cardholders are also rewarded with a 0% introductory purchase and balance transfer APR for the first 15 months, followed by an APR.

Best for: Flat rate for cash back

The simplest American Express cash-back credit card is also one of the best. The American Express® Cash Magnet credit card offers a flat 1.5% cash back on all purchases.

This straightforward rewards scheme means that cardholders can use this card for any purchase without having to figure out whether or not they are maximizing their cash rewards. From grocery store purchases to hotel accommodations to everything in between, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back when you use this card, and all for no annual fee.

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The card offers a 15-month, 0% introductory APR on purchases — followed by an APR. Additional perks attached to this card include a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 on the card within the first six months of card ownership and car rental loss and damage insurance.

Best for: Cash back for USAA members

USAA members can enjoy some great cash-back rewards by using the USAA Federal Savings Bank Cashback Rewards Plus American Express® credit card.

Although all purchases earn at least 1% cash back, the card pays 2% on the first $3,000 in grocery purchases yearly and a whopping 5% cash back on the first $3,000 in combined gasoline and military base purchases per year.

The card also offers a APR — which features a competitive lower limit. There is no penalty APR.

Additionally, the card has $0 annual fees and foreign transaction fees, making it a low-cost way for service members in the USAA to enjoy some significant cash back. The card also offers a host of helpful travel benefits, such as auto rental coverage, baggage delay and reimbursement, trip cancellation and interruption coverage and travel accident insurance. USAA customer service is also available 24/7.

FAQ

Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding American Express cards.
  • Do all American Express cards have annual fees?
    • No, American Express offers five cards that do not have annual fees: Blue Cash Everyday Card, Amex EveryDay Credit Card, Cash Magnet Card, Delta SkyMiles Blue American Express Card and Hilton Honors Card.
  • Does American Express have a 2% cash back credit card?
    • Bread Financial and American Express offer the Bread Financial American Express Credit Card, which features 2% unlimited cash back.

Cynthia Measom contributed to the reporting for this article.

Rates are subject to change; unless otherwise noted, rates are updated periodically. All other information on accounts is accurate as of Jan. 16, 2023.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by any entity covered in this article. Any opinions, analyses, reviews, ratings or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any entity named in this article.

All information about American Express card offers has been collected independently by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or approved by American Express. These offers are not available through GOBankingRates.

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About the Author

After earning a B.A. in English with a Specialization in Business from UCLA, John Csiszar worked in the financial services industry as a registered representative for 18 years. Along the way, Csiszar earned both Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Adviser designations, in addition to being licensed as a life agent, while working for both a major Wall Street wirehouse and for his own investment advisory firm. During his time as an advisor, Csiszar managed over $100 million in client assets while providing individualized investment plans for hundreds of clients.
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