Discover It Cash Back
Our pick for: Bonus categories quarterly categories + cash-back match
The Discover it® Cash Back earns bonus cash back in quarterly categories that you activate. In past years, those categories have included common spending areas like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon.com. Category activation can be a hassle, but if your spending aligns with those categories , you can rake in serious rewards. You also get the issuer’s signature “cash-back match” bonus in your first year. Read our review.
Best Card For Dining And Entertainment:
The spending categories that this card favors are common categories for many people, including myself. Even though the 1% default cash back rate is lower than what you can find with most other flat-rate cards, the 3% and 2% categories will like bring many cardholders to an overall rate that is closer to 2% or more cash back.
No annual fee makes this card a great low-risk option to add to your wallet since theres no need to calculate your break-even point. 0% intro APR for 15 months, no foreign transactions fees, and no balance transfer fees are all favorable aspects of this card.
Citi Double Cash Card
Best for up to 2% cash back
- This card is a good fit for: Simplicity lovers looking for a no annual fee cash back card.
- This card is not a great choice for: Those seeking a sign-up bonus.
- What makes this card unique? The rewards structure 1 percent cash back as you buy, 1 percent as you pay acts as an incentive to stay on top of your payments. Youll only earn 2 percent cash back on your purchases once youve paid them off.
- Is the Citi Double Cash worth it? With no annual fee and up to 2 percent cash back on every purchase , this card is probably worth it for most people. If you spent and paid off $500 per month on your Citi Double Cash, youd earn $120 in cash back annually.
Jump back to offer details.
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What Credit Card Gives The Most Cash Back
While there is no single cash-back credit card that gives you the most cash back everywhere you spend your money, there are credit cards that can help you maximize cash back in various spend categories. Here are a few examples:
- U.S. supermarkets: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express 6% cash back on up to $6,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1%
- Gas: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card 3% on the category of your choice for up to $2,500 per quarter in combined purchases including 2% categories then 1%
- Dining out and entertainment: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card 4% on dining, entertainment and popular streaming services
- Rotating categories: Chase Freedom Flex 5% return on up to $1,500 each quarter you activate
- All categories: Citi® Double Cash Card 2% cash back on all purchases. Earn 1% as you make purchases and 1% as you pay them off.
The information for the Capital One Savor card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
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At Bankrate, we have a mission to demystify the credit cards industry regardless or where you are in your journey and make it one you can navigate with confidence. Our team is full of a diverse range of experts from credit card pros to data analysts and, most importantly, people who shop for credit cards just like you. With this combination of expertise and perspectives, we keep close tabs on the credit card industry year-round to:
- Meet you wherever you are in your credit card journey to guide your information search and help you understand your options.
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At Bankrate, we focus on the points consumers care about most: rewards, welcome offers and bonuses, APR, and overall customer experience. Any issuers discussed on our site are vetted based on the value they provide to consumers at each of these levels. At each step of the way, we fact-check ourselves to prioritize accuracy so we can continue to be here for your every next.
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Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back
For many Canadians, the largest and most regular expenses are gas and groceries. For them, finding a cash-back card that rewards well on these spends is just good money management. With 4% back in both these categories, the Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back card tops the list. Youll receive 2% on drug store purchases and recurring bills, and the 1% base earn rate on all other purchases sweetens the deal.
The Meridian card also offers a few extra features like mobile device insurance and up to 48 days of travel insurance.
- Annual fee: $99
- Earn rate: 4% cash back on gas and groceries 2% on drug stores and recurring bills 1% on everything else
- Income requirement:$60,000 or $100,000
- Additional benefits: Mobile device insurance travel insurance concierge service Visa Infinite Dining and Wine Country Series
Best For Rotating Cash Back Bonuses: Discover It Cash Back
- Annual Fee: $0
- Cash Back Rewards: Rotating 5% cash back on different categories and 1% on all other purchases
- Features: Cash back match on first years purchases, 14-month introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers
- Team Clarks Card Review: Discover it® Cash Back Review: Earn Rotating 5% in Top Categories
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Capital One Savorone Cash Rewards Credit Card
Our pick for: Bonus rewards high rates on dining, at grocery stores and more
Love the night life but dead-set against paying an annual fee? Consider the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card. It pays a lower cash-back rate on dining and entertainment than the regular Savor card, but the rewards are nevertheless quite good. The sign-up bonus is smaller than on the annual-fee version, too, but it’s still solid. Read our review.
How Do Cashback Credit Cards Work
Cashback cards let you earn rewards as a percentage of your spending, so youll rack up more cash back the more you use your card.
Most cashback cards then let you earn cash back as a statement credit, redeem your rewards for gift cards and more. These types of cards literally couldnt be more convenient, as they allow you to get cash from a credit card.
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How Do Cash Back Rewards Work
To encourage cardholders to use a card, many card issuers offer cash back programs that provide direct savings on purchases made with the card. Some cash back cards will cover any expenses made with the card, while others may limit the maximum cash back award or where qualified purchases can be made. Some cash back programs will include bonus cash back rates for certain time periods or categories of purchases. Check to see when an issuer calculates cash back and then decide how you want to redeem the cash back.
* Intro purchase APR0%14 monthsIntro Balance Transfer APR0%14 monthsStandard purchase APR: 11.99%22.99%Cash APR: 24.99%Cash advance fee:$105%Balance transfer fee: 3%5%Annual Fee: None.
Best For Travel: Chase Freedom Unlimited
If you want to earn bonus rewards on travel purchases, the Chase Freedom Unlimited could be a good addition to your wallet. This card offers a generous sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases . Plus, it has a $0 annual fee, and you’ll get 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
While the Chase Freedom Unlimited is marketed as a cashback credit card, it technically earns Chase Ultimate Rewards points. Cardholders enjoy flexible redemption options, including the opportunity to redeem rewards for statement credits, gift cards, travel, or online shopping on Amazon.
- Has foreign transaction fee
- Earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months, plus earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases
- 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other purchases
- Intro purchase 0% offer: 0% for 15 months then 14.99% to 23.74%
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Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Best for online shopping
- This card is a good fit for: Whole Foods shoppers and Amazon Prime members who use the delivery service often.
- This card is not a great choice for: Someone who isnt sold on Amazon for years to come. You need to have an Amazon Prime membership to apply, which will run you $119 per year.
- What makes this card unique? Retail cards arent usually known for their sign-up bonuses or perks, but the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature is different. New cardholders will receive a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval no minimum spending requirement! Your purchases will also be covered by an extended warranty and purchase protection.
- Is the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature worth it? If you already have an Amazon Prime membership that you feel is worth it, its a no-brainer This card is a great addition to your wallet. Plus, it can be an easy way to recoup the cost of your membership. After you use your card to pay for $2,380 in Amazon purchases, you will have earned $119 in rewards value, which covers the annual fee.
Who Is This Card For
The Citi® Double Cash Card is best if you have good to excellent credit and youre looking for a great rate of return but prefer to spend minimal time and effort earning and redeeming your rewards.
Youll also love this card if you dont want to think twice about which card to pull out of your wallet for day-to-day transactionsits a flat-rate card, and the same cash-back rate applies to every purchase you make and then pay off in full.
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Blue Cash Everyday Card From American Express: Best For Beginner Cash Back
Welcome offer: Earn 20% back on purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership, up to $150 back. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend $2,000 in purchases on the card within the first six months of card membership. Cash back received in the form of statement credits.
Cash back rate: Earn 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets , 2% on U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores and 1% on other eligible purchases. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
Annual fee: $0
Why we chose it: Beginners to the rewards game will appreciate the Blue Cash Everydays no annual fee and simple cash-back structure. Youll also get 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR, 13.99% to 23.99% see rates and fees). While its certainly not as lucrative from an earning perspective as the Blue Cash Preferred, it is a great option for those just jumping into the cash-back game for the first time.
What Are The Different Types Of Cash Back Credit Cards
Generally, there are three types of cash back credit cards:
Flat-rate cash-back card. Some cash-back cards offer the same percentage of cash back on every purchase, which can be 1% cash back or 1.5% cash back or another amount.
Static category cash back cards. Some cash back credit cards offer a higher rate of rewards within a certain category within a certain timeframe or beneath a certain spending threshold. These cash back cards may have a standard cash-back offer across all your other purchases.
Different category cash back cards. With a cash back credit card that rewards you at different places, you will earn a higher rate of cash back for qualifying purchases, such as those within a spending category , within the spending threshold and time frame youve activated. But throughout the year, the categories may rotate to provide more relevant options for accelerated cash back earn rates. Additionally, these cash back cards may have a standard cash-back offer across all your other purchases.
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Meet Our Credit Cards Expert
Ben Woolsey is Investopedia’s Senior Editor for Credit Cards. He has more than 30 years of experience in the financial services industry, including marketing for banking and financial institutions such as Associates First Capital and Bank One. Prior to Investopedia, he managed credit card content for and Bankrate.com.
What Are The Types Of Cash Back Cards
As with the various other types of credit card reward programs, cash back cards come in many stripes including:
- Fixed-earnings-rate cash back cards. The most straightforward variety, these cards offer either 1%, 1.5%, or 2% in cash back on every dollar of spending.
- Tiered cash back cards. These eschew a single cash back rate in favor of earnings that vary by tiers, according to whats being bought. They tend to offer a high earnings tier on a narrow category of spending, such as 3% rewards on gasoline purchases. Then there are slightly lower returns on a broader range of transactions, such as 2% rewards on groceries and dining. Finally, theres a default tier for all purchases outside those categories, typically of 1% on all other spending.
- Rotating category cash back cards. This type of cash back card offers a much higher rateoften 5%on select categories of spending that rotate every three months with all other spending typically earning 1% cash back. There are catches, though. The first is that you must often register each quarter on the issuers website to take advantage of these rotating categories. The second is that the quarterly spending eligible for this high rate is usually capped at a certain dollar amount, like $1,500.
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Best Cash Back Credit Cards Faqs
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What Are The Different Types Of Cash Back Cards
- Flat rate These cards earn the same rate of cash back on all purchases. For example, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 1.5% back on most spending .
- Select bonus categories Many other cash back cards offer bonus cash back on select spending categories. For example, with the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, you’ll earn 4% back on dining, streaming services, and entertainment, and 3% back at grocery stores.
- Rotating categories A few cards, including the Chase Freedom Flex, offer bonus cash back on a selection of spending categories that changes every quarter of the year. These cards have a cap on how much bonus cash back you can earn each quarter with the Chase Freedom Flex, you’ll earn 5% back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter .
- Some cards are starting to offer yet a fourth format for delivering cash back rewards: pick your own bonus categories from a list of options. These cards include the Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card and the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card.
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Discover It Cash Back: Best For Rotating Categories
Why we picked it: With the Discover it Cash Back, youll have the opportunity to earn a generous 5% cash back bonus on everyday, useful categories that rotate each quarter.
Pros: Discover will automatically match all of your cash back earnings at the end of the first year. Theres a 14-month 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers . Discover has a few consumer-friendly policies attached to its popular credit cards, including no foreign transaction fees, a free FICO credit score and no fee for a first missed payment .
Cons: The 5% cash back rate is limited to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter . You dont get to choose bonus categories Discover sets them each year. You must remember to enroll each quarter in order to earn that bonus cash back.
Who should apply? If youre strategic enough in your spending to take advantage of its rotating bonus categories, the Discover it® Cash Back offers a lot of potential to maximize rewards.
The Best Cash Back Credit Cards Of 2021
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The Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer is one of the best options for consumers. That’s because it earns the same high rate of cash back on every purchase.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the authors opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
Citi is an advertising partner
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