Best Credit Card for Simple Cash Back

How we picked the cards to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed more than 65 cash-back cards. To be considered, a card had to be widely available and provide a flat rewards rate of at least 2% cash back on all purchases. The cards we reviewed include products from NerdWallet partners, but this did not influence our selection of the winner.

How we chose the winner:

When choosing our best credit card for simple cash back, we considered the following factors in descending order of importance:
  • Rewards rates.
  • Redemption rules and options.
  • Annual fees.
  • Sign-up bonuses.
In the case of cards with annual fees, we looked at how much spending would be necessary before a consumer would come out ahead compared with no-fee options.
Cards' NerdWallet star ratings alone do not determine awards. Here's how our credit cards team distinguishes between star ratings and award selections:
  • Star ratings are quantitative: We assess the features of a card, score those features according to how they compare with other options on the market and assign the card a rating of 1 to 5 stars based on those features. In general, a card that rates 4.5 stars will be a better value for more people than a card that rates 4.0 stars. However, the 4.0 card might be better than the 4.5 card for an individual consumer depending on that person’s circumstances.
  • Selection for awards is both quantitative and qualitative: Selection for the awards is based on discussion among editorial team members and relies on the same criteria used for the star ratings. However, star ratings alone do not dictate awards. Rather, the awards identify the best cards for specific uses or specific types of consumers, such as those who prefer cash rewards rather than points or miles and who value simplicity in a rewards program.

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet obtains credit card information from issuer websites, published credit card agreements, automated data feeds from issuers (when available) and interviews with issuer representatives.