Best Cashback Credit Cards in July 2024

Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

A cashback credit card does exactly what it sounds like: it lets you earn cash in return for any spending you do on the card.

There are lots of different types of cashback cards out there, but the best ones offer generous percentages of cashback on popular spending categories like travel and dining out. Many come with welcome offers, too.

The right card for you will depend on your spending habits and how involved you want to be in maximizing the rewards you earn.

Erika's Picks for Best Cashback Credit Cards

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Best for Groceries: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • Rewards rate: 6% cashback on purchases at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year, then 1%) and on select streaming services; 3% on U.S. gas station and transit purchases; 1% on all other spending (cashback is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or on Amazon.com at checkout)
  • Welcome offer: Earn $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 in the first six months
  • Annual fee: $0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95 (rates and fees)
Blue cash preferred by american express

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One of the perks of cashback cards is that you can use the rewards to offset your monthly expenses. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is a great choice for doing just that, as it rewards you with 6% cashback at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000, then 1%) and 3% back on purchases at U.S. gas stations.

You’ll also get 6% cashback on select streaming services, like Netflix and Disney+, and 1% on everything else. 

The cashback is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or on Amazon.com at checkout.

There's also a nice welcome offer of a $250 statement credit after you spend $3,000 in the first six months. This is double the typical timeframe for a spending requirement of this size, which makes it much easier to earn the offer without changing your spending habits. There's also no annual fee for the first year, meaning it won’t eat into your first-year earnings.

Amex has a buy-now-pay-later program called Plan It that you can use to manage your payments. This breaks down your purchases into smaller monthly payments. It has an introductory period with $0 fees for the first 12 months, after which the fixed monthly plan fee is up to 1.33% of the purchase amount.

While Plan It is a nice perk, it can put you into debt too. Breaking purchases into smaller amounts can make it feel like you’re not spending as much as you really are.

But if you pay your charges off as you make them, the combination of a 6% cashback reward at supermarkets and 3% at gas stations is hard to beat.

Get started with the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express or compare all credit card offers.

READ MORE: Blue Cash Preferred Card® from American Express Review

Best for Rotating Categories: Chase Freedom Flex®

  • Rewards rate: 5% cashback on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%; activation required) and travel purchases through Chase Travel℠; 3% on dining and drugstore purchases; 1% on all other spending
  • Welcome offer: Earn $200 cashback after spending $500 in the first 3 months
  • Annual fee: $0
Chase Freedom Flex

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The Chase Freedom Flex® has a 5% cashback rate on rotating categories that you activate each quarter (up to $1,500 in spending, then 1%). It's a great card to cash in on, especially if you’re looking to finance an upcoming trip.

That's because this card gets you access to Chase Travel℠. This is Chase’s rewards portal that allows you to use your cashback to book flights, hotels, and car rentals. Plus, you’ll earn 5% cashback on travel booked through Chase Travel℠ — which you can put toward a future trip. The card also carries trip cancellation/interruption insurance as well as travel and emergency assistance. 

Also, unlike many rotating cashback cards that only offer 1% on all other spending, the Chase Freedom Flex® offers bonus cashback on dining, drugstore, and travel purchases through Chase Travel℠. This means it can still deliver value even if the quarter’s 5% categories don’t align with your spending.

To kickstart your rewards, you can earn a $200 welcome bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. This is a much lower minimum spending requirement compared to many cashback credit cards. 

Learn more about the Chase Freedom Flex® or compare all credit card offers.

READ MORE: Chase Freedom Flex® Review: Rotating Cashback Card with No Annual Fee

Best for Dining: Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 5% cashback on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel; 3% on dining, entertainment, select streaming subscriptions, and grocery store purchases (excluding superstores); 1% on all other purchases; 10% on Uber and Uber Eats purchases (through Nov. 14, 2024); 8% on Capital One Entertainment purchases
  • Welcome offer: Earn $200 after spending $500 in the first three months
  • Annual fee: $0
capital one savorone cash rewards credit card

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In addition to cashback in spending categories like restaurants and grocery stores, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card offers a whopping 10% cashback on Uber and Uber Eats purchases (through Nov. 14, 2024) and 8% back on Capital One Entertainment purchases. If entertainment or late-night ramen delivery is part of your regular spending, you can earn significant rewards with this card.

The Capital One SavorOne comes with a low minimum spending requirement to earn its sign-up bonus, too. You’ll receive a one-time cash bonus of $200 after spending just $500 in the first three months. This makes it a very attainable welcome offer for most people. There’s also no annual fee for this card, meaning all the rewards are going straight to you.

Capital One also has a great travel platform: Capital One Travel. Cashback rewards can be used to book travel or redeemed as a statement credit or to make purchases directly on Amazon. The Capital One Entertainment benefit also gives you access to exclusive concerts and live shows.

Considering this card is designed to reward dining out and entertainment purchases, you’ll want to be mindful of how much you charge each billing cycle. Rewards only really count when you’re able to pay off your balance each month. Interest charges will quickly overtake whatever cashback you earn, making your next dinner bill a lot more expensive. 

Get started with the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card or compare all credit card offers.

Best Welcome Offer: Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 5% cashback on rotating categories each quarter (up to $1,500 in purchases, then 1%; activation required); 1% on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Discover Cashback Match™ will double all cashback earned in the first 12 months
  • Annual fee: $0
Discover it Cash Back Card

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The Discover it Cash Back Credit Card has rotating categories that allow you to earn 5% cashback on up to $1,500 in purchases (after that, you earn just 1%). Discover’s rotating categories require activation each quarter and range from streaming services and digital wallets to wholesale clubs and restaurants.

Outside of the featured quarterly categories, all other purchases are eligible for 1% cashback. Instead of a welcome bonus, Discover offers a dollar-for-dollar match of all cashback you earned by the end of your first year. So, if you max out your bonus categories for a total of $300 cashback in your first year, Discover will give you a $300 bonus on top of that.

Discover’s Cash Back card is a great card to use because you can earn rewards on things you’re already planning to spend money on, like groceries. Plus, 5% is one of the highest cashback offers you’ll find for cards that don’t charge an annual fee. Points you earn can be redeemed as statement credits toward your balance or used on partner websites like Amazon. 

While the category rate offers good returns, the standard cashback offer for everyday purchases is low. You also have to stay on top of the different categories, plan your spending accordingly, and activate the categories for each quarter.

Best for Flat-Rate Cashback: Citi® Double Cash Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: Up to 2% on all purchases: 1% when you buy, and another 1% when you pay your balance; limited-time offer of 5% total cashback on hotel and car rentals booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
  • Welcome offer: Earn $200 cashback after you spend $1,500 in the first 6 months
  • Annual fee: $0
Citi Double Cash

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If you’re new to cashback rewards and don’t know where to begin, a card with a solid flat-rate offer is a good place to start. The Citi Double Cash Credit Card gives you up to 2% back on every purchase with no limits on how much you can earn. You'll earn unlimited 1% on all purchases, and then an additional 1% when you pay them off. 

Cashback points are called ThankYou Points and are earned for every dollar you spend. You can redeem points as a statement credit, a direct deposit to your bank account, a check in the mail, or use them on a partner website like Amazon. As long as you maintain an account with Citi, your points will never expire.

The main drawback of this card is that offers for rotating categories are limited. If you dine out a lot or subscribe to streaming services, you might want to look for a card with bonus rewards rates in those categories. There’s no cost to holding a Citi Double Cash card, though, which makes it good to have alongside other reward cards in your wallet.

Best for Custom Rewards: Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • Rewards rate: 3% cashback on a category of your choice (including online shopping, dining, travel, gas, EV charging stations, drugstores, home improvement or cable, streaming, internet, and phone services); 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 combined spending in bonus categories each quarter, then 1%); 1% on all other spendings
  • Welcome offer: Earn $200 cash after spending $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Annual fee: $0
Bank of America Customized Cash

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When you're looking for a cashback credit card, consider your spending habits to see which card gives you the most bang for your buck. The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card allows you to do exactly that. You can tailor your rewards and maximize how much you can earn in categories where you spend the most money each month.

This card offers a tiered reward program with a custom category to earn the highest cashback. You’ll earn 3% cashback in a category of your choice, including gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug store purchases, and home improvement. After you select your category, you’ll earn 2% cashback at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, with 1% on every other purchase.

Note that there is a spending cap on the 2% and 3% bonus categories — once you hit $2,500 in combined spending for the quarter, your rewards rate drops to 1% across the board. Rewards earned through your Customized Cash Rewards card never expire.

Tiered cards can be tricky to manage. While you choose which category to apply the 3% cashback to, you’ll want to be strategic about it. Other cards offer better rewards in the dining and travel categories, but few cards can beat 3% cashback for things like gas or home improvement needs. Do the math to see what categories you'll benefit most from. 

Best for Online Shopping: Amazon Prime Visa

  • Rewards rate: 5% cashback at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh, Whole Foods Market, and on Chase Travel purchases with an eligible Prime membership (3% without a membership); 2% at gas stations, on local transit and commuting, and at restaurants; 1% on everything else
  • Welcome offer: Receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card upon approval with an eligible Prime membership
  • Annual fee: $0
Amazon Prime Visa

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If you’re already an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Visa can help you earn rewards from online shopping.

The Amazon Prime Visa is issued in partnership with Chase. You'll earn cashback on everyday expenses, including purchases at Amazon.com and Amazon Fresh, groceries from Whole Foods Market, purchases at gas stations and local transit as well as Chase Travel purchases. This is a generous mix of cashback categories for a no-annual-fee card.

Plus, as a welcome offer, you’ll receive a $100 Amazon Gift Card upon approval — no spending required.

The Amazon Prime Visa also comes with travel perks like lost luggage reimbursement and baggage delay insurance.

While this card has no annual fee, a Prime membership will run you $139 per year.


How To Choose a Cashback Credit Card

Not all cashback cards are created equal. Some will provide better rewards than others. Choosing the right one for you depends on your current spending habits.

Evaluate your spending

Look at how the different cards fit into your existing spending habits. You can do this by categorizing your expenses to see where you’re most likely to earn rewards. 

For example, if a large portion of your monthly budget goes to groceries, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express might be a good fit for you. If you regularly dine out and attend concerts with friends, the Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card would probably suit you better.

Compare reward programs

There are three types of rewards to consider: flat-rate, rotating category, and tiered.

Rotating categories can provide higher rewards in unique categories, but you’ll have to keep track of them and they may not always match your spending interests.

If you’re looking for consistent rewards, look for cards with bonus categories you tend to spend the most in, or a flat-rate cashback card with at least 1.5% back on all spending. 

Find a great welcome offer

Many cashback rewards cards come with lucrative welcome bonuses. You can earn a one-time cash bonus by hitting a spending requirement, usually in the first three to six months of opening the account.

This can be a great way to get even more rewards from your card — just make sure you can easily hit the spending requirement in time with your usual spending alone. Spending extra just to earn a cash bonus is generally unwise, especially if you can’t pay it off and will then owe interest on the balance.

Watch out for fees

There are a lot of great cashback credit cards that don’t have an annual fee. But that doesn’t mean all cashback cards are completely fee-free. In addition to annual fees, you’ll want to pay attention to balance transfer fees and foreign transaction fees.

An annual fee is not inherently a bad thing; typically, the cards with the best rewards also come with the highest fees. Do the math to make sure it works for you and your budget before adding a fee-bearing card to your wallet.

Know your style

Remembering rotating categories and keeping track of different tiers of rewards can be a lot of work. If you’re a pretty dynamic spender, then this type of cashback card could be right up your alley.

But if you’re new to cashback credit cards or simply don’t want your wallet to get too busy, look for a competitive flat-rate card or one with consistent tiered rewards. This way you can earn rewards on your spending without having to stay on top of rotating categories or activation deadlines.

Happy man with rewards holding phone and card. Guide to best cash back credit cards.

Types of Cashback Credit Cards

There are three main types of cashback cards: flat rate, rotating category, and tiered. Choosing the right type of cashback card for you will help you maximize your earnings.

Flat rate

A flat-rate cashback card gives you the same return on your spending no matter what it is. These cards typically earn 1% to 2% cashback. They are generally easier to manage because you know the amount of cashback you’re earning for each purchase. 

The downside is that you won’t be able to maximize the amount of cashback you can earn in certain categories, like dining out. Many flat-rate cards don’t charge an annual fee, though, which makes them convenient regardless of how often you use them.

Rotating categories

A cashback card with rotating categories can give you more bang for your buck. Most offer 5% cashback on categories that change each quarter. To earn the full cashback reward, you have to activate the rotating category and use your card to make purchases in that category. 

Rotating category cards are a great way to maximize rewards, however, it might only make sense to use the card for certain categories or part of the year.

Tiered

Tiered cards typically come with a flat rate for all purchases and elevated rates for specific fixed categories. For example, you might earn 3% for dining out, 2% for groceries, and 1% for everything else. Some cards even allow you to choose the category that earns the highest tier of rewards. 

The downside with tiered cards is that they can be a lot of extra work to manage. You’ll have to pay attention to the reward structure and develop a strategy for how to use the card. This can get complicated if you have multiple cashback cards, all with different ways to earn rewards.

Pros and Cons of Cashback Credit Cards

Whether it’s trips to the grocery store, monthly streaming subscriptions, or tickets to a Taylor Swift concert, the right cashback card can put money back in your wallet. But they’re not without downsides.

Here are some things to consider before adding a cashback card to your wallet.

Pros

  • Money in your pocket: Earn cashback on purchases you were already planning to make.
  • Redemption options: You can cash in via statement credits, transferring to shopping partners, or paid out to you via check.
  • Sign-up bonuses: Many cashback cards offer additional cash bonuses when you first sign up.

Cons

  • Earning limits: Check the fine print to see if there's a limit to how much you can earn.
  • Minimal travel rewards: Most cashback cards are focused exclusively on putting cash in your pocket or a credit on your statement, and may not offer travel perks like insurance or lounge access.

FAQs

How do I pick the best cashback card?

Choosing the best cashback card for you depends on your spending habits. Take a look at your current bank and credit card statements to see which categories you spend the most money in. Then evaluate the cashback cards on the market.

If your goal is to get the most cashback, look for a card with a rotating category that aligns with your spending. If you prefer simplicity, look for a high flat-rate cashback card instead.

How can you maximize value from cashback credit cards?

Aside from choosing a card that fits your spending habits, there are other ways to maximize the value you can get from cashback credit cards.

Your credit card can be combined with shopping portals like Rakuten or Capital One Shopping. These sites will give you a percentage of cashback on your purchase just by shopping through their platform. You can earn rewards from your cashback credit card and from the platform you’re shopping on. Depending on the retailer, you could double or even triple your rewards. 

What purchases don’t qualify for cashback rewards?

Most regular consumer purchases, like groceries and gas, qualify for cashback rewards. That being said, there are some limitations. You won’t earn cashback for cash advances or balance transfers. Buying cryptocurrency or foreign currency when traveling abroad might also be excluded. 

While rewards policies used to vary in providing cashback for spending with a digital wallet, the increased popularity of this payment option means most credit card issuers will offer rewards on eligible spending made through your digital wallet.

What’s the best way to redeem cashback rewards?

There are several different ways to redeem rewards. One of the easiest ways is to opt for a statement credit on your bill. You can use this as a way to reduce the balance you’ll owe on your payment date.

Many offer redemption as a direct deposit to a bank account, a check, gift cards, or directly to a partner site. Unlike credit card points, which can vary based on redemption, most cashback redemption options have the same value.

Do cashback cards actually give you cash?

Kind of, but not really. Instead of earning cash that you can physically put in your wallet, cashback cards generally issue statement credits. These credits can be put toward your account balance to offset purchases. 

You can also redeem cashback rewards as cash equivalent purchases. This is common for booking travel. Instead of paying for a flight out of pocket, you can pay using your points instead. You still benefit from purchasing the flight but you’re not paying for it in dollars.

There are some ways you can get cash from your rewards if you want. You may be able to withdraw your cashback rewards from an ATM, a paper check, or transfer to PayPal.

Is cashback from a credit card taxable?

Technically, cashback rewards are not taxable. In order to receive cashback, you have to spend money. This means rewards are considered discounts on pre-existing purchases rather than taxable income. 

If there's no minimum spending for a sign-on bonus, any received cash compensation could potentially be taxed as unearned income.

Is 5% cashback on a credit card good?

The average cashback reward on a flat-rate credit card is 1% to 2%. Anything above that is good!

Most rotating category cards offer 5% cashback for specific categories. Some tiered credit cards offer fixed bonus rates of 5% or even 6%. Sync your spending with a 5% reward card to earn more than with a 1% or 2% flat rate card. That said, 5% cashback rates generally have spending caps that limit how much you can earn in that category.

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Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.
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I'm an award-winning lawyer and personal finance expert featured in Inc. Magazine, CNBC, the Today Show, Business Insider and more. My mission is to make personal finance accessible for everyone. As the largest financial influencer in the world, I'm connected to a community of over 20 million followers across TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, Facebook and Twitter. I'm also the host of the podcast Erika Taught Me. You might recognize me from my viral tagline, "I read the fine print so you don't have to!"

I'm a graduate of Georgetown Law, where I founded the Georgetown Law Entrepreneurship Club, and the University of Notre Dame. I discovered my passion for personal finance after realizing I was drowning in over $200,000 of student debt and needed to take action-ultimately paying off my student loans in under 2 years. I then spent years as a corporate lawyer representing Fortune 500 companies, but I quit because I realized I wanted to have an impact; I wanted to help real people and teach them that you can create a financial future for yourself.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Advertiser Disclosure

Our aim is to help you make financial decisions with confidence through our objective article content and reviews. Erika.com is part of an affiliate sales network and receives compensation for sending traffic to partner sites, such as MileValue.com. This compensation may impact how and where links appear on this site. This site does not include all financial companies or all available financial offers. Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Enrollment may be required for select American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.