The 10 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards Available Now

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When you use a cash-back credit card responsibly, you essentially get free money for every purchase. But not all cash-back cards are created equal — some offer higher cash-back rates than others, some have different fees associated with the card and the interest rates can vary as well.

Important: Why It’s a Bad Move To Use the Same Credit Cards Indefinitely

GOBankingRates identified the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2021 by analyzing the following factors: annual fees, APR for purchases, promotional APR, sign-up bonuses, and rewards and features. Find out which cards made the cut.

Our Top Cash-Back Card

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Why we like it: The Chase Freedom Unlimited card’s rewards structure offers users 5% cash back on unlimited travel purchases, plus 5% cash back for a limited time on groceries and Lyft rides. Other cash-back categories include 3% on drugstore and dining purchases and 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.

The cash-back rewards and a lower-than-average starting APR, a sign-up bonus and $0 annual fee all make this card worth considering.

Benefits

  • No annual fee
  • High rewards value: Earn 5% cash back on groceries (excluding warehouse stores) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, as well as 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase. Plus, get 3% cash back on dining, including takeout, and at drugstores
  • Easy rewards redemption for cash, gift cards or travel, with no minimum to redeem
  • 15-month promotional 0% intro APR period

Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

Drawbacks

  • Purchases made at Target and Walmart are excluded from the grocery category

Key Features

  • 5% cash back at grocery stores, excluding Target and Walmart, on up to $12,000 spent in your first year of having the card
  • 3% cash back on dining, including takeout, and at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash back on everything else
  • 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase

    APR

    14.99% to 23.74%

    Promotional APR

    0% for 15 months

    Annual Fee

    $0

    Top Cash-Back Categories

    Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and travel

    How To Get This Card:

    You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

    Keep reading our full review to find out more about this card’s benefits.

    Best Cash-Back Credit Cards 2021

    Keep reading to see the other winners in the Best Cash-Back Credit Cards of 2021 category.

    Chase Freedom FlexSM Credit Card

    Key Benefits

    • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 on combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
    • Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase
    • Earn 3% cash back on dining including takeout and drugstores
    • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
    • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year

      APR

      14.99% to 23.74%

      Promotional APR

      0% for 15 months

      Annual Fee

      $0

      Top Cash-Back Categories

      Groceries (excluding Target and Walmart) and travel, and on bonus categories each quarter you activate

      How To Get This Card:

      You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Chase’s application page).

      Find out more about this credit card.

      American Express Blue Cash Preferred® Credit Card

      Key Benefits

      • 6% cash back on groceries, up to $6,000 a year
      • 6% cash back on streaming services
      • 3% cash back on transit
      • 3% cash back on gas
      • 1% cash back on all other purchases

        APR

        13.99% to 23.99%

        Promotional APR

        0% for 12 months

        Annual Fee

        $95

        Top Cash-Back Categories

        Groceries and streaming

        How To Get This Card:

        You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

        Is this card right for you? Find out more about it to decide.

        Earn More Perks From Your Credit Card

        U.S. Bank Cash+® Visa Signature® Card

        Key Benefits

        • 5% cash back on your first $2,000 in combined eligible purchases each quarter on two categories you choose
        • 2% cash back on one everyday category, like gas stations, grocery stores or restaurants
        • 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases

          APR

          13.99% to 23.99%

          Promotional APR

          N/A

          Annual Fee

          $0

          Top Cash-Back Categories

          Two categories of your choosing each quarter

          How To Get This Card:

          You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to U.S. Bank’s application page).

          Discover all the benefits this card has to offer.

          Citi Custom CashSM Credit Card

          Key Benefits

          • Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle, up to the first $500 spent
          • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases

            APR

            13.99% to 23.99%

            Promotional APR

            0% for 15 months

            Annual Fee

            $0

            Top Cash-Back Categories

            Your top eligible spending category each billing cycle

            How To Get This Card:

            You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Citi’s application page).

            Learn more about this card’s perks.

            Capital One SavorOne Rewards Credit Card

            Key Benefits

            • 3% cash back on dining
            • 3% cash back on entertainment and streaming services
            • 3% cash back at grocery stores
            • 1% cash back on all other purchases

              APR

              15.49% to 25.49%

              Promotional APR

              0% for 15 months

              Annual Fee

              $0

              Top Cash-Back Categories

              Dining, entertainment, streaming and grocery stores

              How To Get This Card:

              You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Citi’s application page).

              See what other perks come with this credit card.

              American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card

              Key Benefits

              • 3% cash back on US supermarkets, up to $6,000 annually
              • 2% cash back on gas
              • 2% cash back at select department stores
              • 1% cash back on all other purchases

                APR

                13.99% to 23.99%

                Promotional APR

                0% for 15 months

                Annual Fee

                $0

                Top Cash-Back Categories

                Supermarkets

                How To Get This Card:

                You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to American Express’ application page).

                Learn more about this card to determine if it’s right for you.

                Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

                Key Benefits

                • 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

                  APR

                  13.99% to 23.99%

                  Promotional APR

                  0% for 15 months

                  Annual Fee

                  $0

                  Top Cash-Back Categories

                  Category of your choice

                  How To Get This Card:

                  You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Bank of America’s application page).

                  See if this card has what it takes to fit your needs.

                  M&T Visa® Signature Credit Card

                  Key Benefits

                  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase

                    APR

                    11.24% to 18.24%

                    Promotional APR

                    0% for 12 months

                    Annual Fee

                    $0

                    Top Cash-Back Categories

                    Everyday spending

                    How To Get This Card:

                    You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to M&T Bank’s application page).

                    Discover more about this credit card’s offerings.

                    Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

                    Key Benefits

                    • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal
                    • Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases
                    • Cashback match, get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year

                      APR

                      11.99% to 22.99%

                      Promotional APR

                      0% for 14 months

                      Annual Fee

                      $0

                      Top Cash-Back Categories

                      Rotating categories each quarter

                      How To Get This Card:

                      You can apply for the card online here with just some basic personal and financial information (clicking the link will take you to Discover’s application page).

                      Read on to learn more about this credit card.

                      FAQs About Cash-Back Credit Cards

                      Here are the answers to a few commonly asked questions about cash-back credit cards.

                        What credit score do I need to get a cash-back credit card?

                        When you apply for a cash-back credit card, the lender will consider your credit score before deciding whether to approve you for the card. To qualify for the cards with the most attractive features, you’ll want an exceptional or very good credit score.

                        Here’s a breakdown of FICO credit score ranges:

                        • Exceptional: 800 or higher
                        • Very Good: 740-799
                        • Good: 670-739
                        • Fair: 580-669
                        • Poor: 579 or lower

                        Check your credit score to see where you fall. If you’re interested in a cash-back card, reach out to the card issuer to see if your score is high enough to qualify.

                        Can I use cash back to pay off my credit card?

                        Yes. You can use your cash back rewards as a statement credit. You will still need to make your minimum payment if you have a balance.

                        Explore more answers to your top questions about cash-back credit cards.

                        More From GOBankingRates

                        Methodology: GOBankingRates identified the best cash-back credit cards by analyzing the following factors: (1) annual fees; (2) APR for purchases; (3) promotional APR; (4) sign-up bonuses; and (5) rewards and features. All fees and rates are subject to change at the credit card issuers’ discretion. Some bonus offers may no longer be available on the credit card issuers’ websites, depending on how one accesses the web page. All data was sourced from each financial institution’s website or promotional material and is accurate as of Aug. 11, 2021. Please verify terms and conditions before opening an account. Rewards had to be in form of cash back to qualify.

                        About the Author

                        Gabrielle joined GOBankingRates in 2017 and brings with her a decade of experience in the journalism industry. Before joining the team, she was a staff writer-reporter for People Magazine and People.com. Her work has also appeared on E! Online, Us Weekly, Patch, Sweety High and Discover Los Angeles, and she has been featured on “Good Morning America” as a celebrity news expert. 

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