Best Chase Cash-Back Credit Cards

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Of all the different types of credit card rewards available, there’s really only one everyone can use no matter what they buy or how much: cash back. Chase has two main cash-back rewards cards to choose from.

Both reward you with 5% cash back on travel you purchase through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You’ll earn anywhere from 1% to 5% on all your other purchases, depending on the card and category, within program limits.

Cash-back rewards are converted to points that you can redeem in a variety of ways, including as statement credits or for gift cards or travel. The points never expire as long as your account remains open, and there are no restrictions on the number of points you can redeem.

Best Credit Cards for Cash-Back Rewards from Chase

These cards also come with bonus offers for new card members and a number of other benefits.

Credit Card Best For Features
Higher Rewards on Everyday Spending – 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then APR
– $200 cash-back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in first three months
– 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent on gas station purchases in first 12 months
– 5% back on travel purchases through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
– 3% back on drugstore, dining, takeout and select food delivery services
– 1.5% on all other purchases
– 3% foreign transaction fee
annual fee
Big Rewards in Rotating Bonus Categories – 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then APR
– $200 cash-back bonus after spending $500 on purchases in first three months
– 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent on gas station purchases in first 12 months
– 5% on up to $1,500 combined spending in bonus categories
– 3% on restaurant and drugstore purchases
– 1% on all other purchases
– 3% foreign transaction fee
annual fee
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Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

Best for: Higher rewards on everyday spending

The Chase Freedom Unlimited credit card makes it easy to accumulate points quickly, without the hassle of tracking which categories you currently have active. It’s especially good for travelers, as you’ll earn your highest rewards — 5% cash back — on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

You’ll also get 3% back at restaurants and pharmacies and 1.5% back on all your other purchases. Additionally, the card offers a $200 cash-back bonus after spending just $500 in the first three months and up to 5% cash back on up to $6,000 spent on gas station purchases in the first 12 months.

Pros

  • Easy-to-earn cash-back bonus
  • High cash back rewards on travel
  • Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • Predictable rewards
  • annual fee

Cons

Who would benefit from this card? Frequent travelers who want generous cash-back rewards on all their spending.

Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

Best for: Big rewards in rotating bonus categories

Whereas the Freedom Unlimited card offers just one 5% cash-back category outside of the new card member offer, Freedom Flex offers two. The catch is that the second category changes each quarter, and you must activate a category to get the 5%. Otherwise, you’ll get just 1% back on everyday purchases, instead of the slightly higher 1.5% cash-back rate the Freedom Unlimited card allows you to earn.

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The card’s quarterly categories run the gamut from airline tickets purchased with the airline or through Ultimate Rewards to fitness memberships, online grocery, shipping, social media and search engine advertising and utilities. 

As far as the cash-back welcome bonus, it’s the same as the Freedom Unlimited card — $200 after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months. The card also offers 5% on up to $6,000 worth of gas purchases in the first year.

Pros

  • Generous new-cardmember bonus requires just $500 in purchases in first three months
  • High cash-back rewards on travel
  • Opportunity to earn 5% cash back in multiple categories on a rotating basis
  • Introductory APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • Must activate bonus categories to qualify for 5% cash back
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • Balance transfer fee

Who would benefit from this card? Those with high spending in multiple eligible categories.

Which Is the Best Chase Cash Back Credit Card for You?

With just two cards to choose from — not considering specialized cards for students or businesses — the decision should be fairly easy. Go for the Freedom Unlimited card if you spend modestly using your card and don’t want to have to keep track of categories.

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The Freedom Flex card is the better option if you could earn more with higher spending in the bonus categories than with the Unlimited card’s extra 0.5% cash-back reward for all everyday spending.

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 Aug. 11, 2022.

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.

The information related to the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex cards was collected by GOBankingRates and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this product/card. Product details may vary. Please see the issuer’s website for current information. GOBankingRates does not receive commission for this product.

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About the Author

Daria Uhlig is a personal finance, real estate and travel writer and editor with over 25 years of editorial experience. Her work has been featured on The Motley Fool, MSN, AOL, Yahoo! Finance, CNBC and USA Today. Daria studied journalism at the County College of Morris and earned a degree in communications at Centenary University, both in New Jersey.
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