Best Cash Back Credit Cards in December 2022

A majority of the top cash back cards come with no annual fees. Several even offer higher cash back rates on category-based spending and additional perks.

FIND YOUR NEXT CREDIT CARD

Insurance Rates

Find the best credit card for your financial goals by comparing cards from the top issuers.

Advertising & Editorial DisclosureLast Updated: 12/2/2022
Written By     |  
Last Updated: 12/2/2022

The best cash back credit cards offer simple, flexible rewards to match your spending habits. Cash back rewards come in the form of something everyone loves — cash. These cards often come with other benefits and redemption options, but their primary purpose is to provide cash back rewards on all of your card purchases.

More about cash back cards

MoneyGeek’s Take: Top 10 Cash Back Credit Cards

The top 10 cash back cards we’ve selected do not charge any annual fees. Some, like the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card and the Chase Freedom Unlimited Card, also come with spend-based welcome bonuses. Depending on the card you choose, you may earn higher-than-usual cash back on bonus categories or a flat cash back rate on all purchases. The best ones also include intro 0% APR offers.

Scroll for more

swipe icon

Some of the links in the table above will take you to one of our partner's sites where you can compare and apply for a selected credit card.

Best Cash Back Credit Card Offers

Just how much cash back you earn depends on the card you select. For instance, some cards offer higher cash back rates when you spend on purchases in specific categories, such as dining, travel, gas, groceries and drugstores. On the other hand, some of the best cards from this segment offer higher-than-usual flat cash back rates across all categories. The right card for you will depend on your individual spending habits and needs. But this list of the top cards can help you narrow down your choices.


  • U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card

    Solid dining rewards card with no annual fee


    • ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1–4 Points per $1Rewards Rate
    • 4xRewards Rate on Dining
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas

    Terms, rates and fees apply

  • Chase Freedom Unlimited

    An excellent no-annual-fee card that lets you earn unlimited cash back


    • ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.5–5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining
    • 5xRewards Rate on Air Travel

  • Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card

    A great no annual fee rewards card for Amazon Prime members


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1% - 5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Dining
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas

  • Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

    A great no annual fee cash back card with a unique bonus category system


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1% - 5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 15 monthsAPR Offer Duration
    • 15 monthsBalance Transfer Duration

  • Chase Freedom Flex℠

    An easy-to-use cash back card with quarterly rotating bonus categories


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1–5% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 5xRewards Rate on Air Travel
    • 3xRewards Rate on Dining

  • Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

    A great no-annual-fee card that comes with rewards


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 3% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 3xRewards Rate on Entertainment
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

    A simple cash back card that’s best for everyday purchases.


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1–3% Cash Back*Rewards Rate
    • 1xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 1xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

    A great no annual fee cash back card with a 0% APR offer


    • Good-ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 2% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 2xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 2xRewards Rate on Groceries

  • American Express Cash Magnet® Card

    A great no-annual-fee card that comes with unlimited 1.5% cash back across categories


    • ExcellentRecommended Credit
    • $0Annual Fee
    • 1.5% Cash BackRewards Rate
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Gas
    • 1.5xRewards Rate on Groceries

The Best Cash Back Credit Cards at a Glance
Sorry. We were not able to load data for table...
Other Cards to Consider

rewards
tip icon
HOW WE RANK CASH BACK CREDIT CARDS

MoneyGeek experts collect 57 data points from different sources such as credit card issuer websites, our partners and the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau to ensure that our readers get access to the most up-to-date and accurate information possible. They arrive at the revised list of cash back cards by subjecting all new and existing cards from this segment to our unique ranking methodology that assigns category-specific percentages to different parameters.

  • Cash back rate: 11%
  • Welcome offer: 7%
  • Annual fee: 7%
  • Average APR: 5%

How to Compare Cash Back Credit Card Offers

Cash back credit cards are not all created equal, and the right card for someone else may not be the right one for you. Here are some tips to simplify the process and find the best cash back credit card for you.

1

Know Your Score

Knowing your credit score will help you quickly narrow down the field to only cards you qualify for right now. Having access to credit scores and understanding the factors that make up your score will help you now and in the long run.

2

Know Your Spending

Having a good sense of where you spend your money will also lead you to the right card. Cash back cards offer several reward structures. Some cards offer flat cash back rewards on all purchases. Other cards offer bonus rewards in select spending categories like travel, dining, groceries and gas. Look for a card with a rewards structure that matches your spending habits.

3

Factor in Fees

Of course, you can’t forget about fees when calculating potential card earnings. That doesn’t mean cards without annual fees are better. But you should consider how you will use the card and whether the perks and rewards the card offers justify the annual fee.

4

Look at Other Benefits Included

Once you’ve looked at the cash back rewards, take time to consider other benefits included with the card. Some cards offer extra features like cell phone protection, free credit score access, travel perks and purchase protection.

MoneyGeek’s Take: Finding the Right Cash Back Credit Card for You

A cash back credit card is a valuable tool. You earn back a percentage of your card purchases, typically as a statement credit or direct deposit. Unlike other forms of rewards, what you see is what you get with cash back rewards. For instance, the value of miles earned with an airline rewards credit card can change depending on how they are redeemed, and you often get more value when using them for international travel.

However, there are other rewards credit cards, like Chase Sapphire Reserve Card and Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, that earn valuable rewards that are redeemable several ways, including for cash back and travel.

Not all cash back cards work the same either. Ink Business Cash Credit Card is specifically for business owners, and its reward structure is geared towards the spending needs of a business. Deserve EDU is for college students with little to no credit. Individuals with good to excellent credit can qualify for cash back cards that offer much higher rewards and other benefits.

If you like to travel, one of the top travel rewards credit cards might be a better fit. If you’re planning on making a large purchase in the near future or have existing credit card debt racking up interest charges, a good balance transfer card or rewards card with an intro APR offer might make more sense. Your best bet is to determine your credit card needs and then find the right fit for you.

Who Should Consider a Cash Back Card?

You might be wondering why you should consider getting a cash back credit card. Unlike other rewards credit cards, there’s no guessing when it comes to the card’s value. You’ll earn a percentage back on your card purchases based on the card’s set rewards rates. Your rewards come back to you as cash, usually as a statement credit or a deposit to your bank account. Some cards reward you the same no matter the purchase, while others offer higher rewards rates in specific categories.

That doesn’t mean everyone should get a cash back card. For example, if you’re an avid traveler, you might find more value in a travel rewards credit card that comes with a large sign-up bonus, earns points or miles towards free travel and comes with extra perks like hotel status, waived airline fees and more.

Expert Advice for First-Time or Newer Cash Back Cardholders

We continue to help your research, by gathering advice from financial, credit counselors and other credit card experts and answering common questions related to cash back cards and reward programs.

  1. What mistakes do people make with credit cards, and specifically rewards programs?
  2. What are the "gotchas" about credit cards and rewards programs that are not well understood by consumers?
  3. What advice can you give consumers about managing their cash back rewards cards?
Bruce McClary
Bruce McClary

Vice President of Communications, National Foundation for Credit Counseling

Dr. Michael Shipman, CPA
Dr. Michael Shipman, CPA

Assistant Professor of Accounting at Mount Aloysius College

Callie Renner
Callie Renner

Wealth Advisor at Beacon Pointe Advisors

Tahereh Alavi Hojjat
Tahereh Alavi Hojjat

Chair & Professor of Economics

Peter Staples
Peter Staples

Assistant Professor of Business and Economics at Lyon College

Demissew Ejara
Demissew Ejara

Associate Professor of Finance at The University of New Haven

Caleb Martin
Caleb Martin

Professor of Accounting at Erskine College

Chris M. Lawrey, PhD
Chris M. Lawrey, PhD

Assistant Professor at the University of South Alabama

Laura Coordes
Laura Coordes

Associate Professor of Law at Arizona State University

John Peatross
John Peatross

Certified Public Accountant and Adjunct Instructor at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Sheila A. Handy
Sheila A. Handy

Visiting Professor - Department of Economics at Lafayette College

Joseph R. Stasio
Joseph R. Stasio

Associate Professor, Marketing at Merrimack College

Amit Sinha
Amit Sinha

Professor of Finance and Quantitative Methods at Bradley University

Dr. Christopher Newman
Dr. Christopher Newman

Associate Professor of Marketing at The University of Mississippi

Kunter Gunasti
Kunter Gunasti

Assistant Professor of Marketing at Washington State University

Jesse Veenstra
Jesse Veenstra

Instructor of Finance at Dordt University

Dr. Aniruddha Pangarkar
Dr. Aniruddha Pangarkar

Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay

Jacqueline R. Jaeger
Jacqueline R. Jaeger

Adjunct Business Faculty at the University of Dubuque

Philip Mayer
Philip Mayer

Professor of Economics and Political Science at Three Rivers Community College

Michael Manahan
Michael Manahan

Lecturer at California State University, Dominguez Hills

Michelle Gabor
Michelle Gabor

Business Lecturer at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, Entrepreneur, CPA

Dr. Han-Yen Kao
Dr. Han-Yen Kao

Department Chair, Assistant Professor of Business and Economics at Northwestern College

Dr. Angela Seidel
Dr. Angela Seidel

Associate Professor of Accounting and Chair of Undergraduate Business Programs at Saint Francis University

Rob Larson
Rob Larson

Associate Professor of Management at Luther College

Katherine Aumer
Katherine Aumer

Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of Hawaii-West Oahu

Amarjit Singh
Amarjit Singh

Professor, Various Universities

John Garner
John Garner

Founder & CEO at Odynn

Shilpi Sunil Kumar
Shilpi Sunil Kumar

Assistant Professor of Economics at the College of Saint Benedict and St. John's University

Dr. Kareem Tannous
Dr. Kareem Tannous

Assistant Professor at Cabrini University

Dr. Angela Buchanan
Dr. Angela Buchanan

Associate Professor in Business & Economics at Lyon College

Monique Beauchamp-Doll
Monique Beauchamp-Doll

Professor of Business Administration at Macomb Community College

Mark Ma
Mark Ma

Assistant Professor of Business Administration at the University of Pittsburgh

S. Abraham Ravid
S. Abraham Ravid

Sy Syms Professor of Finance, Sy Syms School of Business at Yeshiva University

Michael Dixon
Michael Dixon

Adjunct Instructor of Business Administration at Shepherd University

Dr. Kwamie Dunbar
Dr. Kwamie Dunbar

Associate Professor of Finance at Simmons University

Top Cash Back Cards FAQs Answered by The Geeks

Cash back credit cards come in many different forms, and having the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about cash back cards and rewards will help you find the best card for you.

Tips for People Looking to Maximize Credit or Cash Back Deals

Perhaps you already have experience using a cash back or other rewards credit card under your belt. Like anything in life, there are always new things to learn when it comes to cash back rewards.

1

Maximizing Your Cash Back Rewards

To maximize cash back rewards, you’ll want to be in tune with your spending habits. Do a deep dive into your past spending to see where you spend money the most. Then, align your cash back cards with your spending so that you earn the best rates.

Having more than one credit card can also help you take advantage of increased rewards rates from both cards. If you have a card that offers a higher cash back rate for grocery purchases but only 1% cash back for other purchases, you can pair it with a flat-rate cash back card that earns more than 1% to earn more cash back.

2

Comparing Cash Back Rates to Find the Right Card

It’s also wise to check your card’s cash back rates so that you’re aware of any restrictions or limitations. Some cash back cards, like Chase Freedom Flex℠, offer rotating bonus categories that you have to activate each quarter. Keeping track of details like that every few months is often hard to do.

Some cash back credit cards have maximum spending limits. The Ink Business Cash Credit Card, for example, caps several spending categories at the first $25,000 spent each year. Personal cash back cards will have lower annual limits. You can maximize your cash back rewards by at least hitting spending limits or finding a cash back card without any limitations, depending on your needs.

3

Comparing Cash Back to Points and Miles Deals

Typically, rewards points and miles carry more value than cash rewards. They are also often more complicated to understand, earn and use than cash back rewards.

The real value is in understanding your own credit card needs. Rewards credit cards that earn points and miles make sense if you travel often. If you only travel a couple of times a year, your rewards could go to waste and possibly expire. A card like Chase Sapphire Preferred Card offers more flexibility with redemptions, even as a card that earns points. You can use Chase Ultimate Rewards points towards flights, hotels, gift cards, and yes — cash. Knowing how you want to use your rewards will lead you towards the right type of rewards credit card.

FAQs About Getting the Most Out of Your Cash Back Card

Below are answers to common questions on how to maximize cash back credit cards.

Cash back credit cards reward you for your everyday spending, unlike using a debit card. Always use cash back cards responsibly, making sure not to spend more than you can afford to pay. Interest charges cause your account balance to skyrocket and quickly negate the rewards you earned.

If you prefer earning cash to travel rewards, take time to compare the best cash back credit cards to find the right one for you.

Next Steps

Now that you are armed with information about the best cash back credit cards, determine if you might benefit by getting one or more cash back cards to capitalize on your spending. When looking for a new card, pay due attention to aspects such as annual fees, cash back rates, welcome bonuses, intro APR offers and added benefits.

Compare Credit Cards

Continue Reading

About the Author


Kevin Payne is a personal finance writer specializing in credit cards, banking, and student loans. He is a regular contributor to Forbes Advisor, The Ascent, Investing Answers, and Student Loan Planner. Kevin is the budget and family travel expert behind FamilyMoneyAdventure.com.


sources
*Rates, fees or bonuses may vary or include specific stipulations. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting/last updated date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. We recommend visiting the card issuer’s website for the most up-to-date information available.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses and recommendations are the author’s alone and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity.
Advertiser Disclosure: MoneyGeek has partnered with CardRatings.com and CreditCards.com for our coverage of credit card products. MoneyGeek, CardRatings and CreditCards.com may receive a commission from card issuers. To ensure thorough comparisons and reviews, MoneyGeek features products from both paid partners and unaffiliated card issuers that are not paid partners.