Best Cash Back Credit Cards

Cash back credit cards are a great way to earn rebates on everyday purchases. So long as you manage your money right and don’t overspend, using a cashback card gives you a guaranteed rebate on your everyday purchases—usually 1% to 2%.

While credit card rewards don’t usually top travel rewards cards, they’re easier to understand.

After all, you can usually redeem your cash back rewards as a statement credit, a check-in-the-mail, or direct deposit into your checking account.

And let’s be real: who doesn’t like that!?

Best Cash Back Credit Cards in 2019

best cash back credit cards pinterest image

There are tons of different types of credit cards on the market, each with different benefits, cash back earning rates, and bonus categories—so it’s important to compare what card is right for you.

That’s where we come in. In this article, we’ll take you through the best cashback cards for 2019.

We’ll compare the cards’ rewards earning, interest rates, fees, and other added perks. We’ve also highlighted the card’s welcome bonus.

As you go through the article, do note that you need to have excellent credit (generally a 700+ FICO score) to be approved for any of these cards. Pull your free annual credit report before applying and check your credit score.

Your Quick Guide to the Best Cash Back Credit Cards:

#1 Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One Quicksilver Credit Card

The Capital One® Quicksilver®Cash Rewards Credit Card earns a flat rate of 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no bonus categories.

However, the Quicksilver is a MasterCard, meaning that it’s accepted at more merchants than its American Express alternative.

Capital One is offering a pretty sweet signup bonus too. New cardmembers will earn $150 in bonus cash back after spending $500 within the first three months of account opening.

This lower spend requirement makes the $150 tangible for even the most modest spenders.

Additionally, the card offers a range of travel and purchase protections that can be huge cash savers. Capital One also has an innovative virtual card number service called Eno that gives you temporary credit card numbers for online shopping.

  • Cashback Earning: 1.5% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $500 in three months
  • Annual Fee: $0

#2 Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

It’d be easy to overlook the Chase Freedom Unlimited® card with its lack of a cash bonus.

Though, it is nice that there is no annual fee to have to deal with every year!

But, if you’re running a zero-sum budget and paying off your balance every month, it won’t take you long to spend $20,000 on this card and pad your bank account in just a couple of short months.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited card earns 3% cashback on all purchases up to $20,000 in the first year.

After the first year, you earn 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no limit or expiration date.

  • Cashback Earning: 3% on all purchases up to $20,000 in the 1st year, 1.5% after the 1st year
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, gift cards, and travel
  • Annual Fee: $0

#3 Ink Business℠ Cash Credit Card

Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
  • earn $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
This card earns 1% back on all purchases but has a ton of bonus categories.

You’ll earn 2% back (up to $25,000 in purchases per year) at gas stations and restaurants, and 5% back (up to $25,000 in purchases per year) at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone bills.

Pretty amazing stuff, right?

The card also has a 0% interest rate for the first 12 months of card membership, rising to somewhere between 15.24% and 21.24% afterward. The card also has no annual fee, so it’s great for cash-strapped startups and ventures.

Even better? You’ll earn $500 cash back after spending $3,000 in purchases during your first 3 months of being an Ink Business Cash member. That mixed with the bonus categories makes the card one of the best for business.

  • Cashback Earning:1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 5% cash back at office supply stores, internet, cable, and phone service (up to $25,000 per year), 2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants (up to $25,000 per year)
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, travel, gift cards
  • Welcome Bonus: $500 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

#4 Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom Credit Card

The standard Chase Freedom card is exactly the same as the Freedom Unlimited, but with a catch.

The card earns 1% on all purchases but earns 5% on a rotating set of categories, up to $75 earned.

These categories change quarterly and are usually focused on everyday purchases.

For example, for Q4 2018, the card is offering 5% back at department stores, Chase Pay transactions, and at wholesale clubs like Costco.

The rest of the card—including the $0 annual fee and $150 welcome bonus—are exactly the same as the Freedom Unlimited.

So assess what is more important to you: 1.5% on all purchases, or 5% on categories?

  • Cashback Earning: 1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 5% (up to $75) on rotating categories
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, gift cards, and travel
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $500 in three months
  • Annual Fee: $0

#5 Ink Business Unlimited℠

Chase ink business unlimited credit card

Small business owners have enough to worry about without adding confusing credit card rewards rules to the mix.

That’s why Chase has created this super-simple rewards card which pays a flat 1.5% in rewards on all purchases.

The sign-up bonus of $500 cash back if you spend $3,000 in the first three months amounts to about 16 percent cash back — that’s a pretty warm welcome, but only if you’d routinely spend that much in three months.

The Ink Business Unlimited card offers flexible ways to redeem rewards including travel bookings which can help reduce the cost of frequent business trips.

You can find more robust rewards but this card’s simplicity will be hard to beat.

  • Cashback Earning: 1.5% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Cash, a statement credit, direct deposit, gift cards, travel bookings, or Amazon purchases (20% reduction in points redeemed via Amazon).
  • Welcome Bonus: $500 bonus cash back after spending $3,000 in the first three months after opening account.
  • Annual Fee: $0

#6 Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
  • earn $250 statement credit after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months

Families with big grocery bills can save a ton with this American Express rewards card which offers 6% rewards on up to $6,000 a year at U.S. supermarkets.

The 6% rewards rate also applies to some streaming services including Netflix, Hulu, and Spotify which can be very helpful if you’re trying to cut the cable cord.

You can also save a decent 3% rate on fuel purchases with no spending caps. All other transactions will earn a 1% rewards rate, again with no spending caps.

The catch here is the $95 annual fee the card requires, but paying the fee will be worthwhile if you maximize the 6% reward rate on $6,000 in groceries. Maxing out this reward would generate $360 in rewards.

To break even on the annual fee you’d need to spend about $30 a month in groceries. Also, you can compensate yourself for the $95 annual fee by earning $250 right away if you spend $1,000 on the card during the first three months.

If you don’t expect to use the card enough to justify the annual fee, you might like the Blue Cash Everyday card, which also features higher rewards on grocery purchases.

  • Cashback Earning: 1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 6% at U.S. grocery stores and some streaming services; 3% at U.S. gas stations and transit fees.
  • Cashback Redemption: statement credits, gift cards, merchandise — $25 minimum redemption
  • Welcome Bonus: $250 statement credit on $1,000 in purchases during the first three months of opening the account.
  • Annual Fee: $95

#7 Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

capital one savor cash rewards credit card
  • $300 cash back after spending $3,000 the first 3 months

If you like to eat out, consider putting the Capital One Savor card in your pocket.

The card gives a massive 4% back on dining purchases, and 1% back on everything else.

All rewards can be redeemed for—you guessed it—statement credit or gift cards.

Even cooler, the card has a whopping $300 welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months of being a cardholder.

There’s one catch though: the card has a $95 annual fee that is, thankfully, waived for the first year.

But if you spend enough on dining, the card may pay for itself over time.

  • Cashback Earning: 1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 4% cashback on dining
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit or gift cards
  • Welcome Bonus: $300 after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0 first year, $95 after

#8 Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi Double Cash CardAnd now it’s time for one of our staff favorites: the Citi Double Cash!

This card offers an awesome 2% cashback on all purchases. 1% is paid out when you make a purchase, and the other 1% is paid when you pay down your card.

There are no bonus categories, but 2% back everywhere is an incredible value—especially considering the $0 annual fee.

Unfortunately, however, the card does not have a welcome bonus. This is disappointing when compared to other cards on this list, but is expected since the card offers such high cash back earning rate.

  • Cashback Earning: 2% on all purchases; 1% when you buy, 1% when you pay
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, direct deposit, check in the mail
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

#9 Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

Capital One Spark Business

Especially designed for business owners, the Capital One Spark Cash card offers a generous 2 percent cash back on all purchases.

In Capital One’s case, all purchases really means all purchases — even thousands of dollars worth of inventory or business purchases made by employees with their cards.

Because it doesn’t categorize rewards the way a lot of business cards do, the Capital One Spark Cash card provides one of the most flexible rewards programs in the market.

You can claim the rewards as cash or as a statement credit.

The card does charge an annual fee of $95 after the first year, but depending on your volume of purchases, your business could quickly recoup this expense.

You’d break even after spending $4,750, and that’s without counting the welcome bonus offering an extra $500 in cash back.

  • Cashback Earning: 2% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: statement credit or a check
  • Welcome Bonus: $500 cash bonus on $4,500 spent on the card in the first three months.
  • Annual Fee: $95 beginning after one year ($0 for first year)

#10 Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card

wells fargo cash wise visa credit card

Wells Fargo also has its own variant of a 1.5% cashback card.

Unfortunately, for those of us who enjoy those bonus categories, this card does not offer it.

But, you can earn a $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of having your account open, so that’s a plus.

Another added perk for those of us who use our phone as our wallet, you will enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on qualified digital wallet purchases, like Apple Pay® or Google Pay™, during the first 12 months from account opening.

If you’re interested in the card, rest assured that the annual fee is $0 per year.

  • Cashback Earning: 1.5% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit or gift cards
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0 first year

#11 American Express SimplyCash Plus

simplycash plus bussiness credit card from american expressThis business card lets you customize a part of your rewards package — within certain pre-set parameters.

Along with 1% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on your company’s wireless phone bill (for up to $50,000 in annual spending), you can get 3% cash back on up to $50,000 in annual spending in one of these categories:

  1. airfare purchased directly from airlines
  2. hotel stays purchased directly from the hotel
  3. purchases from select major car rental companies
  4. purchases at U.S. gas stations
  5. purchases at U.S. restaurants
  6. U.S. purchases for shipping
  7. U.S. purchases for advertising in select media
  8. computer hardware, software, and cloud computing purchases in the U.S. made from select providers.

I kept much of the language from the credit card’s customer agreement so you can see how limiting some of these categories can be. If you use a cost-saving app to book travel, for example, your purchase probably wouldn’t qualify for cash back.

Along with these kinds of limitations, this card also does not offer a sign-up bonus, and you can redeem your rewards only as a statement credit.

The Upside: You can keep a 0 percent interest rate for 15 months and there’s no annual fee. Also, the 5% rewards rate on wireless charges is nice.

But if you don’t mind paying an annual fee, and if you plan to avoid paying interest by paying off the balance each month, you’ll probably like the flexibility of Capital One Spark Cash better.

  • Cashback Earning: 1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 5% cash back on U.S. wireless phone services on spending capped at $50,000 annually; 3% cash back on spending up to $50,000 in a category of your choice each year.
  • Cashback Redemption: statement credit
  • Welcome Bonus: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

#12 U.S. Bank Cash+™ Visa Signature® Card

US bank cash+ visa signature credit card
The U.S. Bank Cash+ is often overlooked by credit card blogs, but it shouldn’t be.

The card offers 1% cashback on all purchase but has both 2% and 5% bonus categories. You can choose one “everyday” category for 2% back, and 5% in two additional categories.

The 2% “everyday” category includes things like groceries and gas, so pick the one you spend the most on. On the other hand, the 5% category focuses on infrequent purchases like your phone bill, fast food, and clothing.

Do note that you can earn unlimited 2% cash back on your everyday purchases. On the other hand, you’ll only earn 5% back on your first $2,000 in purchases on your two 5% categories.

U.S. Bank offers a $150 welcome bonus after spending $500 in purchases your first three months of card membership.

  • Cashback Earning:1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 2% on one everyday category (groceries, gas stations, etc), 5% on first $2,000 in purchases per quarter on two categories of your choice (phone bill, clothing, etc)
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, Visa gift card, bank transfer
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

#13 Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday Card from American ExpressAmerican Express has another cashback option: the Blue Cash Everyday card.

Unlike its Cash Magnet offering, this card earns 1% on all purchases but has an awesome 3% back on groceries (up to $6,000 in purchases per year) and 2% back at gas stations and department stores.

Like the Cash Magnet, though, the card offers the same $150 welcome bonus after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of card membership.

So this requires a bit more spend than other cards on the list but is still pretty tangible if you’re able to charge your bills.

Thankfully, there’s no annual fee on this card, so you can enjoy a fee-free credit life so long as you pay your bill on time. Nice.

  • Cashback Earning:1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year), 2% cash back at gas stations and select U.S. department stores
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit or gift cards
    Welcome bonus: $150 after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

#14 Citi Rewards+

Citi Rewards + Credit Card ImageIf you make a low volume of small transactions, you may want to give the City Rewards+ Mastercard a close look.

The card rounds up your rewards to the nearest 10 points. For example, if you spent $2.50 on a cup of coffee, the 2.5 points you’d typically earn at 1 percent would become 10 points.

A point could be worth up to 1 cent, depending on how you redeem it. And that’s where the Citi Rewards+ card can get a little too complicated.

As long as you’re redeeming your points for gift cards, you’ll get a pretty good value, usually as high as 1 cent per point. (You’ll need to accrue 2,500 points before you’re eligible to convert them into gift card currency.)

When you redeem your points for statement credit, though, their value gets cut in half.

Still, you can save if you make a lot of small transactions and don’t mind converting your points to gift cards.

  • Cashback Earning: 1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 2% on groceries and gas on up to $6,000 spent per year.
  • Cashback Redemption: gift cards, statement credit, limited online shopping
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 in gift cards for spending $1,000 on card in first three months.
  • Annual Fee: $0

#15 HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard® Credit Card

hsbc cash rewards mastercard credit card

For each year you maintain your HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard account, the card will boost your cash back earnings during the previous year by 10%.

This anniversary bonus is the signature feature distinguishing this card from the pack, and it’s not the only bonus.

During the first year of holding an account, you can now earn 3% cash back on all purchases up to $10,000. After you’ve spent $10,000, or after the first year passes, your rate reverts to the standard 1.5% cash back.

These opportunities for savings are more exciting than the card’s actual sign-on bonus which is $150 cash back after spending $2,500 during the first three months.

Unless you opt for statement credits, redeeming your points can be a little complicated: HSBC runs through a variety of third-party vendors such as onefinestay and shoprunner which require separate accounts to redeem your credits.

  • Cashback Earning: 1.5% on all purchases / 3% during the first year (up to $10,000 in purchases)
  • Bonus Categories: 10% bonus on all cash back earned during the year on each anniversary of the account.
  • Cashback Redemption: statement credit, direct deposit into HSBC account, gift cards, travel credits through third-party services
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 bonus on $2,500 spent with the card in the first three months.
  • Annual Fee: $0

#16 American Express Cash Magnet™ Card

American Express Cash Magnet CardThe American Express Cash Magnet card is a new player to the cashback credit card scene. The card earns 1.5% cashback on all purchases with no bonus categories, so you don’t have to think about using the right card for a specific purchase.

The card has a couple of neat perks too. American Express is currently running an awesome welcome bonus for the card, giving $150 back after you spend $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 3 months of getting the card.

Additionally, you’ll earn an additional $100 back after you put another $6,500 in purchases on your in the first 12 months of card membership.

Finally, the Cash Magnet comes with standard American Express benefits like roadside assistance, car rental loss and damage insurance, purchase protection, and more. Do your research and utilize these benefits when you can—they can save you thousands.

  • Cashback Earning: 1.5% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: you’re awarded Reward Dollars that you can redeem for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $1,000 in three months; $100 after spending $6,500 in twelve months.
  • Annual Fee: $0

#17 Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Travelers that like earning cashback need to check out the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card.

This is the only cashback card on the list that earns 3% cash back on travel, restaurants, gas, and popular streaming services—perfect for the traveler on the go. All other purchases earn 1%.

Cashback is awarded in the form of points that can be used for statement credit, travel, or gift cards.

There’s an awesome 30,000 point ($300) welcome bonus after spending $3,000 in 3 months, giving you a nice head start on free tickets for your next big trip.

All of this mixed with the $0 annual fee makes the Propel card the best cashback card for frequent travelers.

  • Cashback Earning:1x points per $1 spent on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 3x points per $1 spent on eating out, ordering food, gas, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals, and popular streaming services.
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, travel, gift cards
  • Welcome Bonus: 30,000 points ($300) after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

#18 Bank of America® Cash Rewards

Bank of America Cash Rewards Credit CardCheck out the Bank of America Cash Rewards card if you spend lots on gas.

The card earns a whopping 3% on gas purchases (up to $2,500 spent per quarter), 2% on grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% everywhere else. This can seriously add up for Uber drivers, truck drivers, and couriers that make frequent gas station purchases.

Additionally, you’ll earn 25% to 75% more cash back if you’re a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member. You’ll earn more cashback depending on your membership tier, so those with lots of assets at Bank of America are in luck.

Finally, the card has a nice $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first 3 months of being a cardmember.

  • Cashback Earning:1% on all purchases
  • Bonus Categories: 3% cash back on gas (up to $2,500 in purchases per quarter), 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit or gift cards; 10% bonus for redeeming into Bank Of America accounts, Preferred Rewards clients earn 25% to 75% bonuses.
  • Welcome Bonus: $200 after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

#19 PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Penfed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature CardThe PenFed Power Cash card is simple: it earns 2% cashback on all purchases for Advantage Members, and 1.5% for other members. You can earn Advantage by meeting specific banking requirements, so it’s a good pick if you already bank at PenFed.

It has a nice $150 welcome bonus for spending $1,500 in the first three months of holding the card.

This card is a great choice for PenFed Advantage members. It’s the only 2% cash back card that also has a welcome bonus, so check it out if you’re eligible.

  • Cashback Earning:1.5% on all purchases; 2% for PenFed Advantage Members
  • Bonus Categories: None
  • Cashback Redemption: Statement credit, bank transfer
  • Welcome Bonus: $150 after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening
  • Annual Fee: $0

Apply For A Cashback Credit Card Today

And there you have it: the best cashback cards for 2019. Make sure to do your own research and compare the cards to find which is best for you as each has its own perks and award earning structures.

Remember, pay special attention to the bonus categories, welcome bonuses, and annual fees so you can get the most bang for your buck.

But now we want to hear from you: what cashback card do you use? Let us know in the comments.

The only question now is, what should you do with all the cashback? I suggest investing it!

David Weliver

David Weliver

David Weliver is the Credit Cards Editor at Millennial Money. He is the Founder of Money Under 30 and is widely regarded as one of the top credit card rewards experts in the world. David has been writing about personal finance and credit cards since 2006 and been featured in The New York Times, NPR, USA Today, Forbes, and many others.
David Weliver

Latest posts by David Weliver (see all)

Posted in: Credit Cards

No Comments

Post A Comment

[PDF]
[PDF]