Competition in the cash back credit card space is heating up with compelling cards entering the market while veteran cards are stepping up their benefits to win your business too. If your credit score falls in the good to excellent range (670 – 850*) and you have not applied for a credit card recently, then it is a fantastic time to apply for a new card and start increasing your cash back returns. We have rounded up the top options from our partners below so whether you prefer flat-rate cash back or higher cash back rates on specific categories, our critics have you covered.
Unlimited 2% Cash Back Rewards
This card from Wells Fargo is a top contender in the cash back category. You’ll earn an unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases which means there are no activation requirements for special categories or monthly caps to worry about. Earning 2% rewards on all of your purchases is tough to beat and makes this $0 annual fee card a stand out option for anyone looking for a low maintenance cash rewards card that will allow you to accumulate cash rewards really quickly. There is also a sign-up bonus worth $200 in cash rewards that can be earned by spending at least $1,000 in the first three months after you are approved.
Great For Everyday Spending – Especially Groceries
It is important to understand that when it comes to credit cards the only way to really take your earning potential to the next level is to choose a card with an annual fee. The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express (a CardCritics advertiser) is an excellent example since the ongoing perks and rewards quickly justify the $95 annual fee. You will earn a massive 6% back at U.S. supermarkets (up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%), 6% back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and 3% back at U.S. gas stations and on transit. All of your other eligible purchases will earn you 1% back. To sweeten the deal, you can earn a $350 welcome bonus after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months.
Choose Your Bonus Category
You will be hard-pressed to find another card without an annual fee that offers better flexibility in the cash back department than the Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards credit card. You get to decide which category you’ll earn 3% back in each month while also earning 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. The bonus cash back earned in these combined categories (your choice, grocery and wholesale clubs) is capped at $2,500 in purchases each quarter. You’ll earn 1% after that cap is hit and on all of your other purchases. To sweeten the deal, you’ll also earn a $200 online cash back rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases on your card within the first 90 days of your account opening. That’s an additional 20% back on your first $1,000 spent!
Excellent Flat Rate Option Plus Bonus Categories
This card is not new to the scene but has really stepped up its game in terms of rewards. It offers a straightforward way to earn cash back while also providing some really enticing bonus categories that will allow you to earn even more. You will earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back on purchases, 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year and 3% back on dining at restaurants and at drugstores. There is also a unique welcome bonus worth up to $300 in cash rewards. You will earn an extra 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year). That means you will earn a total of 6.5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, 4.5% on dining and drugstores, and 3% on all other purchases your first year (up to the maximum noted). Your cash back rewards will add up incredibly quickly, especially your first year.
Bonus Categories Made Easy
The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is an extremely flexible cash back card that makes it easy to rack up big-time rewards. You will earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spend category each billing cycle (up to the first $500 spent). The great thing is that you don’t have to choose your bonus category ahead of time because your earn adjusts automatically based on your spending. Eligible spending categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs and live entertainment. You will earn 1% on all other purchases, and can earn $200 in cash back after you spend $750 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® Points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.
Unique Cash Back Match Bonus
The Discover it® Cash Back card is a well-rounded option as it offers fantastic cash back rewards, a generous intro APR period, a unique bonus opportunity and does not charge an annual fee. You will earn 5% back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants and gas stations (up to $1,500 in combined purchases each quarter you activate, then you earn 1%) and 1% back on all of your other purchases. The unlimited cash back match bonus is what sets this card apart. All of the cash back you’ve earned in your first year is matched. There are no minimums or hoops to jump through to earn this bonus. It is easy and can be very lucrative if you use your card regularly and take advantage of the 5% categories.
With incredible welcome offers and lucrative ongoing rewards, it is easy to see why now is a great time to apply for a new card. You can also save money by taking advantage of the 0% intro APRs on purchases and balance transfers that many of these cards offer. Simply click the ‘Show Card Details’ buttons above to view that information. If saving money on interest is your number one goal then you should check out our round-up of cards that will allow you to pay no interest until 2024.
Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*CardCritics references a FICO® 8 score, which is one of many different types of credit scores. A financial institution may use a different score when evaluating your application.