Overall, the best cash back credit cards are Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, Chase Freedom Unlimited® and Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card, according to WalletHub’s editors. You won’t get any of them without at least a good credit score, though. Fortunately, there are some great offers for people with lower scores, too, including Capital One QuicksilverOne and the Petal 2 Visa Card.
Best Cash Back Cards Compared
|Credit Card||Best For||Cash Back Rate|
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Overall||1 - 6% Cash Back|
|Chase Freedom Unlimited®||No Annual Fee||1.5 - 5% Cash Back|
|Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card for Students||Students||1.5% Cash Back|
|Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card||Good to Excellent Credit||2% Cash Back|
|Upgrade Visa® Card with Cash Rewards||Fair Credit||1.5% Cash Back|
|Ink Business Cash® Credit Card||Business||1 - 5% Cash Back|
5 Tips for Finding the Best Cash Back Credit Card
- Check your credit score. This will tell you which tier of cash back credit cards to consider, saving you from wasted time and effort as well as possible rejection. Make sure to check your latest credit score, too, because your rating might have changed since the last time you saw it.
- Crunch the numbers. Apply the terms of every card you’re seriously considering to your actual spending habits in order to estimate how much you will earn over the first year or so of use. This will give you a clear metric by which to compare offers, while forcing you to consider how relevant certain perks will actually prove to be.
- Don’t forget fees. You should neither overlook fees when calculating expected card earnings, nor dismiss cards that charge annual fees. Sometimes, paying an annual fee can help you earn more than you would otherwise. You just need to make an informed choice.
- Use the Island Approach. This means using multiple credit cards, each for a specific type of transaction. It’s a great way to get the best terms for each of your financial needs, and it will save you from trying to find a single card that can do anything.
- Beware of rotating bonus categories. Some cash back credit cards offer an eye-catching maximum earning rate that applies to a certain purchase category, which rotates on a quarterly basis. We’re not big fans of this framework because you have to sign up every few months and there’s no guarantee the bonus categories will match your biggest expenses.
Methodology for Picking the Best Cash Back Credit Cards
To identify the best cash back credit cards, WalletHub’s editors compare 1,500+ credit card offers on a regular basis. After narrowing down the field to the hundreds of cards offering cash back rewards, we compare those offers based on their initial bonuses, rewards earning rates on purchases, annual fees, approval requirements and secondary benefits such as 0% introductory APRs.
Given that so many cash back credit cards are available, catering to a diverse mix of users, we try to select a range of representative cards for inclusion on this page. In particular, you will find the top cash back credit cards by credit score as well as the best cash back credit cards for an initial bonus, a flat earning rate on all purchases, bonus cash back in popular spending categories and more.