Here are the best cash back credit cards:

Best for sign-up bonus

Discover it® - Cashback Match™
Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure site
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back in rotating categories each quarter like gas stations, Amazon.com, restaurants, wholesale clubs and more, up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • What our experts like about it

Best for long-term value

Chase Freedom®
Apply Now on Chase's secure site

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now on Chase's secure site
  • Annual fee: $0
  • Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate; Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • What our experts like about it

Best for flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer
Apply Now on Citibank's secure site

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure site

Best for everyday spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Apply Now on American Express's secure site

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure site
  • Annual fee: $95
  • Rewards rate: 6% at U.S supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%); 3% at U.S gas stations and at select U.S. department stores; 1% other purchases. Terms and limitations apply.
  • What our experts like about it

Best for average credit

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card
Apply Now on Capital One's secure site

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site

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Our pick for

Sign-up bonus

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Discover it® - Cashback Match™

Apply Now on Discover's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

APR

  • APR: 11.99% - 23.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

  • New! Receive FREE Social Security number alerts-Discover will monitor thousands of risky websites when you sign up.
  • You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Earn 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Target now through December 2017, on up to $1,500 in purchases when you activate. Plus, 1% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. based customer service.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • No annual fee.
  • Click "APPLY NOW" to see rates, rewards, FICO® Credit Score terms, Cashback Match™ details & other information.
Rewards Rate
1.00%
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Optimizing cash back Everyday spending No annual fee

Benefits

The Discover it® - Cashback Match™ offers 5% cash back in categories that you activate, on up to $1,500 in spending per quarter. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. Past categories have included such common merchants as gas stations, restaurants, home improvement stores and Amazon.com, so there’s a good chance of earning bonus cash back on spending you were going to do anyway. This card puts you in charge of your sign-up bonus. Instead of a flat amount paid once you spend a certain amount of money, the bonus is based on your spending and is awarded at the end of your first year: You could turn $150 into $300 with Cashback Match™. Get a dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


Our pick for

Bonus categories

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Apply Now on Chase's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 15 months

APR

  • APR: 15.99% - 24.74% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 25.99%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate
  • Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter like gas stations, restaurants and drugstores
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99-24.74%. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee
Rewards Rate
1.00%
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Optimizing cash back Everyday spending No annual fee Cash sign-up bonus

Benefits

This card offers 5% cash back on rotating bonus categories, which in recent years have included gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and wholesale clubs. You earn an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. The card comes with a cash sign-up bonus that’s fairly easy to reach: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


Our pick for

Flat-rate cash back

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

Apply Now on Citibank's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Balance Transfers for 18 months

APR

  • APR: 14.49% - 24.49% Variable APR
  • Penalty APR: Up to 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$0

Bonus Offer

None

  • Earn cash back twice on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back
  • 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 14.49% - 24.49% based on your creditworthiness
  • Click 'Apply Now' to see the applicable balance transfer fee and how making a balance transfer impacts interest on purchases.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee*
Rewards Rate
1.00%
Annual fee
$0
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Simple earnings Simple redemption Free FICO score Balance transfers

Benefits

This card offers an industry-leading cash back rate on all purchases: You get 1% back on every dollar you spend and another 1% back when you pay off your purchases. Cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit, a gift card or a check in the mail.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


Our pick for

Everyday spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now on American Express's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 12 months

APR

  • APR: 13.99% - 24.99% Variable APR
  • Penalty APR: 29.99%, Variable
  • Cash Advance APR: 26.24%, Variable

Annual Fee

$95

Bonus Offer

$200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Terms Apply.

  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) – that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 13.99% to 24.99%.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.
  • View Rates and Fees
Rewards Rate
1.00%
Annual fee
$95
Recommended credit score
690
850
Good - Excellent
We like it for
Household spending High rewards rates Cash sign-up bonus

Benefits

This card’s 6% cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 a year in spending, then 1%) makes it a longtime favorite with the Nerds, as does its 3% rate at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores. All other purchases earn 1% back. By buying gift cards at the supermarket and using them at restaurants, retailers and other merchants, you can extend the 6% cash back far beyond just groceries. The sign-up bonus also adds to the appeal — and you may be eligible for an even better offer from American Express. Check out our American Express Pre-Qualified Offers page.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


Our pick for

Average credit

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® QuicksilverOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Apply Now on Capital One's secure site

Intro APR Promotions

N/A

APR

  • APR: 24.99% Variable APR
  • Cash Advance APR: 24.99%, Variable

Annual Fee

$39

Bonus Offer

None

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Use your QuicksilverOne card and get 50% back as a statement credit on your monthly Spotify Premium subscription, now through April 2018
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • Get access to a higher credit line after making your first 5 monthly payments on time
  • Fraud coverage if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Help strengthen your credit for the future with responsible card use
Rewards Rate
1.50%
Annual fee
$39
Recommended credit score
350
689
Poor - Average
We like it for
Average credit Simple earnings Simple redemption

Benefits

The flat 1.5% cash back rate is pretty great, especially for people without perfect credit, and there’s no limit on the rewards you can earn. The rate is the same as that paid by the Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, which is only for people with excellent credit. There are no foreign transaction fees, and Capital One may bump your credit limit up if you make your first five monthly payments on time.

Drawbacks

Bottom line


Our methodology

NerdWallet’s credit cards team selects the best 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 in multiple categories.

Last updated Sept. 20, 2017.

Virginia C. McGuire is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: virginia@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @vcmcguire.