Top 20 Cash Back Credit Cards 2021

The best cash back credit cards can help you earn money for purchases you make every day. With cash back cards, you earn a certain percentage of cash back on all purchases you make with the card. That percentage can be very large in certain categories, like groceries, gas, entertainment, Amazon purchases, and more. Depending on the card, you can have your balance issued to you via check, deposited in a linked savings account, or use it to purchase gift cards or other items.

A prevailing strategy with cash back cards is to use a card that gives more than 1% back for regular purchases, but also to pair it with a card that has 5% bonus categories that frequently change. BestCashCow outlined an effective strategy for those seeking travel rewards to earn valuable rewards through Chase products in this article. The strategy can equally be used as one of the best available to earn cash back for those opting to redeem their rewards as cash back.

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Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® Credit Card

Bank of America® Premium Rewards® Visa® Credit Card

Earn 50,000 points - a $500 value - after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.

  • Earn 2x points on travel and dining. Earn 1.5x points on all else.
  • BoA Platinum Honors customers holding a checking account and over $100,000 at the bank or Merrill receive a 75% premium on these amounts.  Since points are redeemable from statement credits, you can effectively earn earn 2.625% to 3.50% back on everything.
  • Also receive a $200 annual travel statement credit which can be applied against the cost of TSA PreCheck and/or incidental airline charges.
  • $95 annual fee.

A great card for those who are Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients - those with aver $100,000 in either BoA or Merrill Lynch -  who can receive  3.50% cash back on travel and dining.

Annual Fee: $95

 

Review: | Jul 9, 2020

If the pandemic goes on for a while, I will use it. Since I have the account with Merrill, I am Preferred Rewards and it gives me 3.50% back on dining and then I use it for my taxes and end up making money (I use pay1040 which charges me 1.87% but there are others). I also have the other BoA card which I don't see here but which also produces cash in my pocket. Prefer the cash back as long as Trump is President and we are barred from even going to Canada.

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom Unlimited

Earn a $200 bonus (20,000 points) after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.  $0 annual fee.

  • 3% cash back on restaurants and drugstores.
  • 5% cash back on grocery stores for your first 12 months of card membership, excluding Target and Walmart, up to $12,000 in spend. 
  • 3.5% cash back on Lyft until 3/2022.
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Cash back is rewarded in points that can be redeemed at a penny a piece for cash - any amount, anytime.   These points can be transferred to a Chase Ink Business Preferred or a Chase Sapphire card where they may have much more value when redeemed for travel rewards.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers. Balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount transferred, $5 minimum
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
  • No annual fee

A strong and reliable cash back card that delivers 1.50% back in all categories, but becomes especially strong when you also hold a Sapphire or Chase Ink Preferred card and use the card for 1.5 Chase Ultimate Rewards points instead of the 1.50% cash back. 

Annual Fee: $0

Review: | Dec 6, 2020

This is my go-to card and has been for years. I transfer my points to a Sapphire Preferred card that I keep for $95 a year so that the points are more valuable, but most of the spend goes on here. It ordinarily earns 1.5x and that is great. The drugstore and restaurant 3x is now better than the Preferred's 2x so I use it at those places now. If I ever use Lyft again, I will use it there now too. Too bad the grocery benefit is only for new cardholders.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Earn $250 Back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of card membership.   You will receive the cash back in the form of a statement credit.

  • 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.
  • 6% cash back at U.S. streaming services.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations, ride sharing services, and transit expenses. 
  • 1% back on other purchases.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • 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.

The 6% cash back rate at U.S. supermarkets and on U.S. streaming services and the Welcome Bonus is also compelling. 

Annual Fee: $95

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $150 $75
Rewards from spending $840 $420
Annual Fee $190 $95
Annual Rewards $800 $400

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card®

Bank of America® Travel Rewards Credit Card®

25,000 points or $250 after spending $3,000.   No annual fee.

Provides 1.5 points for every dollar spent, plus a 75% bonus for those holding more than $100,000 in a Bank of America or Merrill Lynch account (totaling 2.625%).  Points are redeemable only for travel statement credits.

Annual Fee: $0

Review: | Mar 15, 2017

Can you get this card in a Mastercard or is it just Visa? Does anyone know? My Merrill advisor doesn't have a clue (about this or anything).

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Earn $150 Back after you spend $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months of card membership.   You will receive the $150 in the form of a statement credit.

  • No annual fee.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%).
  • 2% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • Expanding merchant acceptance: Over 1 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in the last year.
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be easily redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, and merchandise.
  • Terms Apply.

A great card for its elevated cash back U.S. supermarkets (3%), U.S. gas stations and U.S. department stores (2%). 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $100 $50
Rewards from spending $552 $276
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $652 $326

Capital One® Spark® Card 2% Cash

Capital One® Spark® Card 2% Cash

Earn a one-time $500 cash bonus once you spend $4,500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee: $0

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Earn $300 when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.

  • Earn 4% on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% everywhere else.  $95 annual fee, waived the first year.
A great card for those who spend a lot of dining and entertainment and want 4% back.

Annual Fee: $95

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Bank of America Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Receive $200 in cash after making at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of your account opening.

  • No annual fee
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on the category of your choice (gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores or home improvements and furnishings) up to the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter 
  • No changing categories and no expiration on rewards
  • 0% Introductory APR for 12 billing cycles for purchases AND for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days.
  • Get a 10% customer bonus every time you redeem your cash back into a Bank of America® checking or savings account
  • If you're a Bank of America Preferred Rewards client, you can increase that bonus by up to 75% (status requires $100,000 at Bank of America or Merrill Lynch).

A great card for those who are Bank of America Preferred Rewards clients - those with over $100,000 in either BoA or Merrill Lynch - who with their 75% bonus can receive 5.25% cash back in a category of their choice.  

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $150 $75
Rewards from spending $576 $288
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $726 $363

Citi® Double Cash Card

Citi® Double Cash Card

N/A

  • 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.
  • No categories to track, no caps on cash back, no annual fee
Rewards Rate 2.00% (1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases)

The card provides 2% cash back on all spend with no annual fee.   

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $0 $0
Rewards from spending $864 $432
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $864 $432

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card

Earn $300 after you spend $3,000 in your first three months of card membership.

  • Earn 3% cash back: (1) when you eat out or order in, (2) on gas stations, ride share and transit, (3) on flights, hotels and car rentals, and (4) on popular streaming services. Everything else earns 1%.

A solid card for its 3% earnings categories.

Annual Fee: $0

 

Barclays Uber Visa Card

Barclays Uber Visa Card

Earn $100 after spending $500 in the first 90 days.

  • Earn 4% back on dining, 3% back on hotels and airfare and 2% back on online purchases. 1% on everything else.

A great cash-back card for its 4% dining category.

Annual Fee: $0

A great cash-back card for its 4% dining category.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

Receive a $70 Amazon credit upon approval.

  • Prime members earn 5% cash back on Amazon and Whole Foods purchases. All card members earn 2% back on restaurants, gas stations and drugstores and 1% back everywhere else.

A great card for Amazon Prime members who spend a lot on Amazon or at Whole foods. 

Annual Fee: $0

 

Discover it® Cashback Match™

Discover it® Cashback Match™

New cardmembers earn 2x cash back in their first year on card membership.

  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com, or wholesale clubs up to the quarterly maximum each time you activate.
  • Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Intro Offer: Discover will match all the cash back earned at the end of your first year, automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • No annual fee.

A solid card for its 5% cash back quarterly rotating categories and the doubling of cash-back rewards in its first year makes it well worthwhile to give the card a try for a year. 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $336 $168
Rewards from spending $672 $336
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $1008 $504

Comerica Visa® Signature Bonus Rewards

Comerica Visa® Signature Bonus Rewards

N/A

  • Earn 1 point for every net $1 you spend.
  • Get a 25% bonus on all points earned every month, automatically.
  • No caps or limits on the points you can earn, plus you have five years to redeem points for rewards.
  • $25 cash back with your first purchase.
  • Redemption starts at 2,500 points for $25 cash back, or redeem 25,000 points for round-trip airfare up to $325.
  • No annual fee.

 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $25 $13
Rewards from spending $432 $216
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $457 $229

Review: | Jul 9, 2020

I've actually used this card for a long time for my supply business. Pretty happy with Comerica's credit card service, but it clearly isn't the most rewarding card and this site is showing to me.

Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus™ World MasterCard®

Citizens Bank Cash Back Plus™ World MasterCard®

N/A

  • 1.8% cash back on your everyday eligible purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles
  • No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn
  • No rotating categories or enrollments to keep track of
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees

 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $0 $0
Rewards from spending $648 $324
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $648 $324

USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature®

USAA Preferred Cash Rewards Visa Signature®

N/A

  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase.
  • Redeem your cash rewards anytime using your mobile device or computer.
  • There's no limit on the amount you can earn.
  • Enjoy no foreign transaction fees when you travel outside of the United States.
  • No annual fee.

 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $0 $0
Rewards from spending $648 $324
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $648 $324

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card

Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Credit Card

Earn $150 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in net purchases in the first 3 months

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash rewards on everyday net purchases
  • Enjoy 1.8% cash rewards on Android Pay™ or Apple Pay™ mobile wallet net purchases during the first 12 months from account opening
  • No category restrictions or sign ups and cash rewards don't expire as long as your account remains open
  • Get up to $600 protection on your cell phone (subject to $25 deductible) against covered damage or theft when you pay your monthly cellular telephone bill with your Wells Fargo Cash Wise Visa® Card
  • 0% Intro APR for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, balance transfer fees apply
  • $0 Annual Fee

 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $200 $100
Rewards from spending $648 $324
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $848 $424

TD Ameritrade Client Rewards Card (Requires Qualifying TD Ameritrade Account)

TD Ameritrade Client Rewards Card (Requires Qualifying TD Ameritrade Account)

Receive $100 after spending $500 in the first 3 months.

  • The convenience of making payments your way - Online, by phone, by mail or at any TD Bank store
  • The unsurpassed worldwide acceptance of Visa
  • Cardholder inquiry service
  • Emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement
  • Lost/stolen card reporting
  • Receive a 10% bonus when your earnings are deposited directly into a qualifying TD Ameritrade account.
  • No annual fee.

 

Annual Fee: $0

Rewards over 2 years Total Per Year
Sign up value $0 $0
Rewards from spending $0 $0
Annual Fee $0 $0
Annual Rewards $0 $0

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card (Requires Qualifying Fidelity Account)

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card (Requires Qualifying Fidelity Account)

N/A

  • 2% cash-back provided you have the money deposited into a qualifying Fidelity account.   No limits on reward points and no restrictive categories.

Annual Fee: $0

Review: | Jan 18, 2017

In terms of cash back cards, this is the best one out there, but I prefer to go with the travel cards as that gives me access to aspirational rewards that i would not be able to have otherwise.

Maximizing Cash Back without Annual Fees


Card Dining Travel Gas Grocery Online Purchases/Streaming Non Bonus Spend
Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express 1% 1% 2% 3%
(to $6,000 annually)
1% 1%
Bank of America Cash Rewards Card (Requires Platinum Honors Status with BofA) 1.75% 1.75% 5.25%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
3.5%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
1.75%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
1.75%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
Citi Double Cash Card 2% 2% 2% 2% 2% 2%
Uber Visa Card 4% 3%
(Hotels/Airfare only)
1% 1% 2% 1%
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card 3% 3% 3% 1% 3% 1%

Maximizing Cash Back with Annual Fees


Card Annual Fee Dining Travel Gas Grocery Online Purchases/ Streaming Non Bonus Spend
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$95 1% 1% 3% 6%
(to $6,000 annually)
1% 1%
Bank of America Premium Rewards card (Requires Platinum Honors Status With BofA)
$95 3.5% 3.5% 2.62% 2.62% 2.62% 2.62%
Bank of America Cash Rewards card (Requires Platinum Honors Status with BoA)
$0 1.75% 1.75% 5.25%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
3.5%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
1.75%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
1.75%
(to $2,500 quarterly)
Uber Visa Card
$0 4% 3%
(Hotels/Airfare only)
1% 1% 2% 1%
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® Card $0 3% 3% 3% 1% 3% 1%

The table above is generated by BestCashCow and includes BestCashCow’s commentary about the credit card product listed. It may include references to products from one or more of advertisers, but no content herein has not been reviewed, approved or endorsed by any advertiser. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products. Additional terms may apply.