Best Bonus Rewards Cash-Back Credit Card

How we picked the cards to evaluate:

NerdWallet reviewed more than 50 cash-back cards. To be considered, a card had to be widely available, offer elevated cash-back rates (in excess of 1%) in specific categories, and deliver a top rewards rate of:
  • At least 5% for cards that limit how much spending is eligible for the top rate.
  • At least 3% for cards with no limit on spending eligible for the top rate.
The cards we reviewed include products from NerdWallet partners and nonpartners.

How we chose the winner:

When choosing our best bonus rewards cash-back card, we took into account annual fees, rewards rates, the categories that earn rewards at elevated rates, how much spending is eligible to earn each rate (aka “bonus caps”), and how much effort is required to manage the card (for example, whether you must activate rewards categories).
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.

How we verified our data:

NerdWallet gets credit card information from partner issuers through automated data feeds. Information about cards from nonpartner issuers is verified on the issuers’ websites.