Are you looking for a cash back credit card with top-notch rewards? Well, you came to the right place as we have prepared an overview of the best cach back credit cards of 2016 just for our readers. Let’s break down the best options for you and then explain our choice.
Here are what we believe to be the top cash back cards:
- Best bonus category – Chase Freedom
- Best for everyday spending – American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
- Best for average credit – QuicksilverOne Cash Reward Credit Card
- Best for flat rate rewards – Citi Double Cash Card
- If you spend $500 within the first 3 months of opening the account, you can earn a bonus of $150.
- For 15 months after account opening, 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers, and then after that − a variable APR of 14.24-23.24%. The balance transfer fee is 5% of the amount you transfer with a $5 minimum.
- Each quarter you can earn 5% cash back up to a maximum of $1,500 in combined purchases in the bonus categories.
- It is automatic that you will earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- As long as your account remains open, your cash back rewards don’t expire.
- No annual fees.
The 5% rotating bonus categories are usually categories where most of us spend money (i.e. gas stations, grocery stores, wholesale clubs, restaurants, etc.), so likely you won’t need to change your habits to be able to take advantage of this higher cash back.
Disadvantages of the Chase Freedom
The 3% foreign transaction fee means this card isn’t great for traveling abroad.
Rotating bonus categories can be difficult to track. If you like a flat cash back rate, this is the wrong card for you.
The bonus categories max out at $1,500. If you shop for a bigger family, you could eat this up in as little as a quarter.
This is a solid cash back card. The rotating bonus categories are, for the most part, common everyday expenses, and it’s great that the cash back rewards don’t expire.
American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
- This card earns everyday cash back that is 6% at US supermarkets, to a maximum of $6,000 per year in purchases, which then drops to 1%, 3% at US gas stations, and 1% in other purchases. There are terms and conditions that apply.
- In addition, within the first 3 months, you can earn $150 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases.
- In the first 6 months, you can earn 5% cash back on travel purchases that are eligible up to $200.
- There is no requirement for enrollment and no rotating reward categories.
- 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months, then a variable rate of 13.24% to 23.24% kicks in, based on your creditworthiness and other factors.
The rewards rate you get at the supermarket is not easy to beat, especially if you spend $500 or less per month at the supermarket, because after that you would reach the $6,000 maximum annual cap, and your rewards rate would go back to 1%.
Disadvantages of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Even though the rewards may cover the annual fee of $95, we generally will favor credit cards that aren’t as expensive to keep in your wallet.
American Express is not as widely accepted as MasterCard or Visa.
Even though the 2.7% is lower than the typical 3% foreign transaction fee, it is still not favorable.
The rewards on this card are pretty amazing since it earns 6% back at supermarkets, and there isn’t a cap on the 3% back you can earn at the gas pump. Unless you don’t want to pay an annual fee, this card could be right for your wallet.
Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Credit Card
- Every day, you can earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase you make.
- Through March 31, 2017, you will get every 10th Uber ride free (max $15 value) when you pay with your QuicksilverOne card.
- There are no sign ups needed and no rotating categories to earn cash rewards. In addition, cash back does not expire, and there are no limits on the amount you can earn.
- After you make your first 5 monthly payments on time, you get access to a higher credit line.
- If your card is ever lost or stolen, you have fraud coverage.
It has a nice cash back rate, particularly for those without perfect credit. It’s great that there’s no limit.
Disadvantages of the Quicksilver One Cash Rewards Credit Card
It has a fairly short introductory APR period, and while the annual fee of $39 is fairly reasonable, it still costs you to have this card.
Not everyone has credit scores over 800 and Capital One gets that, so they offer a credit card that has an extremely competitive 1.5% rewards rate for people who are still working on building their credit scores. Because your credit limit can go up if you have made your payments on time for a while, you may not require a card designed for people with fair credit.
Citi Double Cash Card
- There are no categories to track, no annual fee, and no caps on cash back.
- For 18 months, 0% intro APR on balance transfers. After that, the variable APR will be 13.24% – 23.24% depending on your creditworthiness.
- Earn cash back twice on each purchase with 1% cash back when you buy, plus you get an extra 1% as you pay for those purchases.
You can redeem your rewards when your balance is a minimum of $25, and choose from a gift card, statement credit, or a check.
Disadvantages of the Citi Double Cash Card
There is no introductory APR on purchases and no sign up bonus. Also, the 3% foreign transaction fee makes this card not great for travelers.
The Citi Double Cash Card beats almost all of what its competitors have to offer because it offers a high total cash back rate: 1% when you make a purchase and 1% when you pay it off.
These four are the best cash back credit cards that are on the market today. Each has its own disadvantages, but then again, there is hardly a credit card without any. Try to figure out what works best for you and make an informed decision, but be sure not to dally too long – banks love to change their terms and conditions all the time, so get those offers while they last.
Still looking for more? Feel free to check out our comprehensive personal finance guide to learn more about managing your budget and staying financially healthy.