CREDIT CARDSCREDIT CARDSCREDIT CARDS THAT EARN 2% CASH BACK ON ALL PURCHASES
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Credit Cards That Earn 2% Cash Back on All Purchases

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NerdWallet

Nov 21, 2023
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NerdWallet's Credit Cards That Earn 2% Cash Back on All Purchases

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Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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Whether you want to pay less interest or earn more rewards, the right card's out there. Just answer a few questions and we'll narrow the search for you.

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Our pick for

Bonus offer

Our pick for

A strong incentive

Our pick for

Small business operators

FULL LIST: CREDIT CARDS THAT EARN 2% CASH BACK ON ALL PURCHASES

By Gregory Karp, NerdWallet

Confirm details on issuer's website before applying.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Our pick for: Bonus offer

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases and has an annual fee of $0. But a factor that sets it apart from other 2% cash-back cards is that it also comes with a sign-up bonus: Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first 3 months. Adding to its winning profile are cell phone protection and a competitive APR offer: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers 15 months from account opening on qualifying balance transfers, and then the ongoing APR of 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% Variable APR. Unlike with most other 2% cash-back cards, there are no tricks with applying for the card or redeeming rewards. You can get a statement credit or even withdraw from a Wells Fargo ATM using the bank’s debit or ATM card. Maybe its biggest drawback is a relatively minor one: a 3% foreign transaction fee, which many of its direct competitors have, too. So it’s a poor choice to use for purchases abroad. But otherwise? It’s hard to ask for more from a flat-rate cash-back card. Read our review.

Citi Double Cash® Card

Our pick for: A strong incentive

No hassles to apply and no hassles to get your unlimited reward cash. That describes the Citi Double Cash® Card. Its main quirk is how the card doles out 2% cash back: You get 1% cash back when you make a purchase, then another 1% cash back when you pay it off. But if you pay your balance in full every month — recommended for all rewards cards — it’s essentially 2% back. It has an annual fee of $0, making it free to carry. Redeem for cash via statement credit, direct deposit into a bank account, gift card or check in the mail. The main knocks on the card are that it doesn't usually offer a sign-up bonus, and it charges a foreign transaction fee. Read our review.

Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card

Our pick for: Sky-high cash back

This sweet deal requires some work — you have to join a credit union — and cash back is capped for super-high spenders. You'll also have to open an Alliant High-Rate Checking account, opt in to electronic statements, make one monthly deposit into the account and maintain an average daily balance of $1,000 or more. That's a lot of work to get a higher rate. But the payback with this card is eye-popping. The Alliant Cashback Visa® Signature Credit Card offers 2.5% cash back on spending up to $10,000 in qualifying purchases per billing cycle (1.5% cash back after that.) Most spenders will seldom come anywhere near that cap. Plus, its annual fee is $0. Anyone can join the credit union for free when applying for the card by agreeing to become a member of an eligible charity. Read our review.

PayPal Cashback Mastercard®

Our pick for: Regular PayPal users

The PayPal Cashback Mastercard® offers unlimited 2% cash back on purchases — and 3% back on purchases made through PayPal — for an annual fee of $0. Just keep in mind that this card is PayPal-centric. You must have a free PayPal account to apply. You can get a deposit into your PayPal Balance account or redeem rewards to your bank account or debit card linked to your PayPal account, among other redemption options. Read our review.

Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card

Our pick for: An AmEx option

The Bread Cashback American Express Credit Card — issued by Comenity Capital Bank, a Bread Financial company — earns an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases, with an annual fee of $0. That's typical for these cards. But this one runs on the American Express payment network and gives you access to merchant discounts via AmEx Offers. It also has no foreign transaction fees. Terms apply. Redeem cash-back rewards for a statement credit or direct deposit into a checking or savings account. However, you won't find a welcome bonus or 0% intro APR promotion for new purchases or balance transfers. You don’t need to be a Bread Financial customer to qualify. Read our review.

Synchrony Premier World Mastercard®

Our pick for: Hassle-free redemption

It doesn’t get much easier than earning 2% cash back on your spending and receiving rewards automatically as a credit to your account. That’s the deal with the Synchrony Premier World Mastercard®, which applies rewards as a statement credit to your account within two billing periods after the purchase is made. It has no sign-up bonus, but the annual fee is $0. Read our review.

Apple Card

Our pick for: Apple Pay users

The Apple Card actually offers triple cash back on Apple purchases and certain retailers, but it makes this list of 2% flat-rate cards for a specific reason: It earns 2% cash back on all other purchases made via Apple Pay mobile payment on iPhone. (However, the physical Apple Card offers a lackluster 1% back.) The card has a $0 annual fee. So if you’re an iPhone user and able to spend a lot at merchants that accept Apple Pay, it’s an enticing choice. Read our review.

SoFi Unlimited 2% Credit Card

Our pick for: SoFi customers

The SoFi Unlimited 2% Credit Card is a straightforward credit card that could earn 2% cash back, and it doesn't have an annual fee. You can redeem rewards as a statement credit or deposit into SoFi checking, savings or investment accounts. You can also use rewards to pay down eligible loans with SoFi. Read our review.

OPTIONS FOR SMALL BUSINESS

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card

Our pick for: No annual fee

The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card pays 2% cash back on the first $50,000 in spending each year, a cap high enough to count as "everything" for a lot of users. Once you hit the cap, you earn 1% cash back for the rest of the year. Rare among business cards, it offers an introductory APR promotion: 0% intro APR on Purchases for 12 months, and then the ongoing APR of 18.49%-26.49% Variable APR. Read our review.

Capital One Spark Cash Plus

Our pick for: Unlimited 2% cash back for business

The Capital One Spark Cash Plus offers an unlimited 2% cash back on all purchases. It has a fairly high annual fee of $150, but if you're moving a lot of inventory through the account, your cash back can pile up quickly. Another reason you might choose this over another 2% card is that it comes with one of those generous business-card sign-up bonuses: Earn a one-time cash bonus of $1,200 once you spend $30,000 in the first 3 months. (See rates and fees.) Note that this is a charge card rather than a credit card, meaning the balance is due in full each month. Read our review.

OPTIONS THAT PAY 2% ONLY FOR CERTAIN REDEMPTIONS

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Our pick for: Fidelity investors

If you don’t mind immediately turning spending rewards into savings, consider the Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card. It pays out a flat 2% back on every purchase, and has a $0 annual fee. Rewards are deposited automatically into a Fidelity Investments regular brokerage account, individual retirement account or 529 college savings plan. Other redemption options drop the value below 2% back. Read our review.

OPTIONS FROM SMALLER ISSUERS

Smaller banks and credit unions typically like to see some loyalty when they give 2% cash back. Here is a sampling of more options — best for existing customers of these financial institutions or people who prefer smaller ones. None of these cards has an annual fee.

FNBO

First National Bank of Omaha offers 2% cash back on every purchase with the Evergreen® by FNBO Credit Card. It is open to applications nationwide. You don’t need an FNBO bank account, giving this one wider appeal than those that require you to have one with the issuer.

TD Bank

The TD Double Up℠ Credit Card allows you to earn 2% cash back. However, the card isn't open to consumers in all U.S. states.

KeyBank

The Key Cashback credit card comes with hurdles to get 2% cash back. You must have a KeyBank checking account with at least $1,000 in deposits each month, as well as a KeyBank savings or investment account with a minimum daily balance of $1,000. If you don’t, you'll earn 1.5% cash back on purchases instead. It’s open to applications from some U.S. states only.

Also related to KeyBank is the Laurel Road Student Loan Cashback Card. It is from Laurel Road, a digital lending platform and brand of KeyBank. It offers 2% cash back toward private or federal student loans with eligible servicers, or 1% cash back in the form of a statement credit. It also comes with a sign-up bonus and a 0% intro APR promotional offer. It has no foreign transaction fees.

PenFed Credit Union

The PenFed Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card earns either 1.5% or 2% cash back on all purchases and comes with a sign up bonus. To get 2% back, you not only have to be a member, you also must be in its Honors Advantage program. That requires you to maintain a PenFed Access America Checking Account or meet the military service criteria — active duty, reserve, honorably discharged or retired.

Honorable mentions

These cards don’t give you quite 2% cash back all the time, but they’re notably close.

🤓Nerdy Tip

If you don’t necessarily need cash back — and points or other rewards are OK — see additional choices: How to earn 2% in credit card rewards on every purchase.

Perfect pairings

Flat-rate 2%-or-more cards are ideal for pairing with a card that features bonus categories — areas of spending that offer more than 2% cash back. Examples are spending at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations and travel or entertainment vendors.

The idea is you would use the cards in tandem: Use the bonus-category card for its categories and the 2%-or-more card for everything else. Examples of cards that play well with a flat-rate 2% cash-back card:

  • The Chase Freedom Flex℠ and the Discover it® Cash Back earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in spending in quarterly rotating bonus categories that you activate, like gas stations or grocery stores (1% back on everything else). In addition, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ earns 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase and 3% at restaurants and drugstores.

  • The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in spending per year (then 1%); 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions; 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit; and 1% cash back on everything else. Terms apply (see rates and fees).

• • •

To view rates and fees of The American Express Blue Business Cash™ Card, see this page. To view rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, see this page.

Last updated on November 21, 2023

Methodology

NerdWallet's credit cards team selects the best credit cards in each category based on overall consumer value. Factors in our evaluation include fees, promotional and ongoing APRs, and sign-up bonuses; for rewards cards, we consider earning and redemption rates, redemption options and redemption difficulty. A single card is eligible to be chosen as among the "best" in multiple categories. Learn how NerdWallet rates credit cards.

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