In an era where everything is just a card swipe away, choosing the right credit card has never been more critical. From lucrative sign-up bonuses to earning rewards on each purchase, the right credit card can enrich your lifestyle considerably. Among these rewards, cash back has always held a significant appeal for smart spenders. For the uninitiated, cash back rewards are actually a percentage of the amount expended that returns to the cardholder. Unlike other redeemable points or airline miles, cash back rewards maintain the allure of hard cash. So, if you're looking for the best credit cards rife with cash back rewards, we have compiled a meticulously chosen list just for you.
Understanding Cash Back Cards
Cash back credit cards offer tangible, easy-to-understand rewards. Instead of navigating complex points systems or deciphering airline miles value, you simply get a certain percentage of your purchase value back, usually credited to your account or check. Most cash back cards offer a standard 1% reward, with bonus categories elevating this to as much as 5% or 6%.
Choosing the Best Cash Back Credit Card
The best cash back credit card isn't a one-size-fits-all package as it varies according to individual spending habits and preferences. Make sure the card you choose complements your spending patterns, and don't chase rewards at the expense of spiraling into debt. While evaluating cards, consider the annual fee, interest rates, introductory offers, and how easy it is to redeem rewards.
Top Cash Back Credit Cards
1. Chase Freedom Unlimited: Arguably one of the best no-annual-fee cards, it offers 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no limits. New cardholders earn a bonus $200 after spending $500 in the first three months.
2. Citi Double Cash Card: This card boasts a unique offer to earn 2% cash back on every purchase — 1% when you buy, plus 1% as you pay off those purchases.
3. Discover it Cash Back: Cardholders get a 5% cash back in rotating quarterly categories and an unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Discover signifies its commitment by matching your cash back rewards at the end of your first year.
4. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card: This card offers 1.5% cash back on all your purchases and a sign-up bonus of $200 after spending $500 on purchases within three months of account opening.
The Trade-off: High Reward Rates Vs. Annual Fee
Often cards with high reward rates come with an annual fee. It's crucial to ensure that your annual spend justifies the fee paid. For instance, a card providing 2% cash back but charging a $95 annual fee will require expenditures worth $4750 per year to break even. On the other hand, a no annual fee card with 1.5% cash back will start earning from the very first dollar spent.
Additional Benefits of Cash Back Credit Cards
Additional perks come in the form of extended warranties, price protection, and more. Some cash back cards offer insurance for trip cancellation, rental cars, or lost luggage. Some even provide exclusive access to events and discounted access to certain services. It's worth valuing these extra benefits as you compare different cash back credit cards.