We get it. Holding a credit card that earns credit card points, frequent flyer miles, or hotel points isn’t for everybody. And if you fall into that category, there is no better alternative than holding a cashback credit card.
There is no complicated math that requires you to figure out the best way to use or redeem the rewards. Rather, you’ll get money back as a statement credit based on the purchases you make. But with so many options in the marketplace that reward consumers who spend in different categories, it can be hard to know which is the best cashback credit card option for you.
Let’s take a look at the best cashback credit card options to help you pick one (or multiple) that are right for you.
The Best Cashback Card for Groceries & Streaming Subscriptions
If you’re looking for a cashback credit card that has a solid return at the grocery store, look no further than the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.
The card earns a whopping 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each calendar year (1% thereafter). You’ll also earn an unlimited 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions like Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, and many more. See the full list here.
On top of that, you’ll also earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, and 3% cashback on transit like Uber, Lyft, taxis, parking, trains, buses and more. All other purchases will earn 1% cash back.
The card is currently offering a welcome bonus of $250 after you spend $1,000 in the first three months of card membership – enough to cover a few years of the $95 annual fee. And while it does have a $95 annual fee, you can easily offset this if you spend a decent amount in any of the cashback bonus categories.
Click Here to learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express.
The Best Flat Rate Cashback Credit Card
If you’re not interested in using different cards to maximize each category you spend money in, the Citi Double Cash Card is worth a hard look. That’s because the card earns 2% cash back on every single purchase you make. You’ll earn 1% cash back when you make the purchase, and an additional 1% cash back when you pay off those purchases.
And if you hold one of Citi’s top tier travel credit cards like the Citi Premier or the Citi Prestige cards, the cashback earned by the Double Cash Card can be transferred directly into your Citi ThankYou Rewards account.
The card doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus but also doesn’t have an annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the Citi Double Cash Card.
The Best Cashback Card for Costco Members & Gas Stations
If you’re a Costco member and spend a lot at the gas pump, the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi might be a good option for your wallet.
That’s because the card earns 4% cash back per dollar sent on up to $7,000 each calendar year at gas stations (1% thereafter). You’ll also earn an unlimited 3% cash back at restaurants and on travel – making it a great cashback option for travelers.
It also earns 2% cash back on all purchases from Costco or Costco.com, and 1% back on all other purchases.
And while the card doesn’t technically have an annual fee, it requires that you hold a Costco membership. Costco offers two levels of membership: Gold Star which costs $60 each year, and Gold Star Executive, which costs $120 each year. Executive members earn 2% back on up to $50,000 of spending each year, which can be combined with the 2% cashback earned from the Costco cashback credit card (4% total).
Click Here to learn more about the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi.
The Best Cashback Cards for Chase Sapphire Cardholders
It’s no secret that we are big fans of Chase Ultimate Rewards points. They can be earned with either the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card or the Chase Sapphire Reserve credit cards. In our opinion, these are some of the most valuable points out there for travelers.
And there are two no annual fee credit cards that can make both Sapphire cards exponentially more valuable. They are the Chase Freedom card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited card. Both of these are technically cashback credit cards, but if you hold a card that earns Ultimate Rewards points, the cashback can be converted into Ultimate Rewards points at a rate of 1 cent per point.
And better yet, once you transfer the cashback into Ultimate Rewards points, they can be redeemed for either 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents each, depending on which version of the card you hold.
The Freedom Card earns a $200 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending in rotating quarterly bonus categories.
Click Here to learn more about the Chase Freedom Card (this is not an affiliate link).
The Freedom Unlimited card earns $200 Bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months of card membership. You’ll also earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
Click Here to learn more about the Freedom Unlimited card.
Both cards are subjected to Chase’s 5/24 rule, so this is something to be aware of before applying.
The Best Cashback Card with Flexible Bonus Categories
If your spending patterns vary throughout the year, the U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card is worth a look.
The card offers a sign-up bonus of $150 after spending $500 within the first three months of card membership. When you hold the card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $2,000 in combined purchases each quarter on two categories of your choosing. You can adjust your flexible 5% categories each quarter.
You’ll also earn 2% cash back on one everyday category like gas or groceries, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card also has no annual fee.
Click Here to learn more about the U.S. Bank Cash + Visa Signature Card (this is not an affiliate link).
The Best Option with Rotating Bonus Categories
With the Discover it Cash Back credit card, you’ll earn 5% cash back on a rotating list of spending categories each quarter on up to $1,500 of purchases. These categories are typically things like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, online shopping, and many more. You’ll also earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other spending. See the full category calendar here.
As an added bonus, Discover will match all the cashback you earn at the end of your first year of card membership. There is no limit to the amount they will match.
Click Here to learn more about the Discover it Cash Back Credit Card (this is not an affiliate link).
Earning travel rewards certainly isn’t for everybody. So if you value earning cash back over airline miles and hotel points, the cards on our list of the best cashback credit cards are worth a look.