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The best cash-back credit cards for 2020

Many of your best friend and family members want to know how I pas so much, but when I start excusing the strategies of multiple credit cards, transferable objects and online shopping portals, their hearts unavoidably start to glaze over. Fortunately, countless card issuers offer simpler reinforce options.

Today I want to go over the top cash-back credit cards.

While many of the best travel credit cards allow you to redeem those reinforces for money back, you’re often waiving better options to do so. In this guide, we’ll mainly consider cash-back credit cards where getting currency back is the redemption that provides the best return. Let’s get into the details of each of our top recommendations.

The best cash-back credit cards for 2020

Wells Fargo Propel American Express(r) card: Best for travel

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Citi( r) Double Cash Card: Best for flat-rate cash back Capital One( r) Savor( r) Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining and recreation Blue Cash Preferred( r) Card from American Express: Best for gas and groceries Chase Freedom Unlimited : Best for pairing Chase Freedom: Best for revolving bonus categories Bank of America( r) Cash Rewards debit card: Best for online patronizing Discover it( r) Cash Back: Best for your first debit card

In This Post

Comparing the very best money back credit cards

Ascribe Card Best for Bonus cash back pace Annual cost:

Wells Fargo Propel American Express cardTravel3x points on dining$0

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Citi Double Cash Card Flat-rate money back 2% money back on all acquisitions( 1% when you realise obtains, 1% when you compensate your legislation) $0 Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card Dining and entertainment 4% money back on dining and amusement; 2% at convenience store $95* Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Gas and groceries 6% currency back on acquires at U.S. supermarkets( on up to $ 6,000 of spending each wage year, then 1 %) and on hand-picked U.S. streaming dues; 3% on transit and at US gas stations $95( interpret rates and rewards)

Chase Freedom Unlimited Pairing 1.5% cash back on every purchase $0 Chase Freedom Rotating bonus lists 5% money back on up to $ 1,500 in purchases in revolving categories every quarter $0 Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card Online store 3% currency back on gas or your choice of one of five other favourite categories, 2% at convenience store and wholesale organizations and( up to $ 2,500 in blended bonus category invest) $0 Discover it( r) Cash Back Your first debit card 5% currency back on up to $ 1,500 in acquires in rotating lists each quarter you activate $0

* Annual fee forfeited the first year

Best money back credit cards Citi Double Cash Card (Photo by The Points Guy)( Photo by The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: N/ A

Rewards rate: Earn 2% currency back — 1% when purchasing, and the other 1% when you compensate your money each month.

Annual fee:$ 0

Why we chose it: One of the simplest and most reinforcing cash-back cards out there is the Citi Double Cash Card. This poster virtually gives you two opportunities to earn cash back: 1% when you buy and then another 1% as you compensate. You only it is necessary to do the minimum remittance each month to earn the second reward, but remember that paying your counterbalance in full is always strongly recommended. Cardholders can now convert the cash back they deserve on the card into ThankYou Points via a related ThankYou account. This converts into an effective 2x ThankYou Point earning rate on all acquisitions. TPG importances ThankYou parts at 1.7 cents each, signifying this poster would effectively get at 3.4% return on all obtains. Regrettably, you won’t give a welcome bonus with this card, but the long-term value it offers still impels the card worth it in my eyes.

Read our full card review.

Apply Here: Citi Double Cash Card

Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card (Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)( Photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: $300 back after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.

Rewards proportion: Earn 4% currency back on dining and leisure, 2% at convenience store and 1% on everything else.

Annual fee: $95, waived the first year

Why we chose it: Last-place year, I made a new year’s resolution to attend one live concert, performance or comedy picture each month. If you have a similar resolution this year( or really waste a good deal on dining and amusement ), you can’t get considerably better than the Capital One Savor. Dining encompasses restaurants, coffeehouses, saloons, fast food braces, bakeries and more, and leisure will make you 4% on a long list of acquisitions that includes concert tickets, movie tickets, boasting happens, theme parks, certain tourist attractions and more. Because Capital One doesn’t charge foreign transaction rewards on the Savor, you’ll too pay those shocking bonus rewards when you’re traveling abroad. Don’t forget that you’ll too get 8% on tickets at Vivid Seats utilizing your Savor card through May 2020.

Read our full review of the card.

Apply Here: Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card

Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express auto traffic exchange( Image by The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: $250 back after you spend $1,000 in acquires on your new card in your first three months.

Rewards frequency: Earn 6% currency back on acquires on hand-picked U.S. streaming dues and at U.S. supermarkets( on up to $ 6,000 of spending at supermarkets each reward year, then 1 %), 3% currency back at U.S. gas stations and on transport, and 1% currency back everywhere else. Terms apply.

Annual fee: $95( appreciate rates and fees ).

Why we chose it: Another rewards charge card with some plotting bonus categories is the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. This is a great all-around cash-back card because it deserves solid remunerations on categories that don’t always is a lot of ardour from other placards. When Amex lent streaming services and transit to this card’s bonus categories, it got a major hump in evaluate in my subconsciou. Exactly remember that it freights a 2.7% foreign event fee( see frequencies and rewards ), so while it’s a great option for be utilized in the U.S ., you shouldn’t usage it when you’re traveling abroad.

Read our full review of the card.

Apply Here: Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express

Chase Freedom Unlimited (Photo by Isabelle Raphael / The Points Guy)( Photo by Isabelle Raphael/ The Points Guy)

Welcome bonus: $150 back after you spend $500 in buys in the first three months.

Rewards proportion: Earn unlimited 1.5% currency back on every purchase

Annual fee:$ 0

Why we chose it: The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card to pair with your existing Chase cards to earn remunerations on non-bonus spending — in fact, it compiles up one-third of the Chase Trifecta. If you have an Ultimate Rewards credit card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or Chase Sapphire Reserve, you can combine rewards and take advantage of Chase’s hurtle entrance redemption bonus and transfer marriages . Since TPG values Ultimate Rewards pitches at 2 cents each, you’ll get a 3% return on all non-bonus spending when you pair the Freedom Unlimited with a Chase Ultimate Rewards card.

Read our full review of the card.

Apply Here: Chase Freedom Unlimited

Chase Freedom

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Welcome bonus: $150 money back after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from history opening.

Rewards pace: Earn 5% money back on up to $ 1,500 in blended acquisitions on revolving quarterly bonus categories each quarter you activate. For the first quarter of 2020, the categories you’ll earn 5% cash back in are gas stations, streaming services and internet, cable and phone services.

Annual fee:$ 0

Why we chose it: If you don’t mind keeping track of quarterly lists and spending ceilings, you can get a lot out of the Chase Freedom. The bonus lists selected are normally seasonally-appropriate and easy to maximize. For example, in the first quarter of 2020, you’ll earn 5% on service station, streaming services and internet, cable and phone services. While you can only earn $300 in bonus compensations yearly with this card, that be transformed into 30,000 Ultimate Rewards items when you pair this placard with the Chase Sapphire Preferred , Chase Sapphire Reserve or Ink Business Preferred. Then, you can redeem those items at a higher rate through the Ultimate Rewards travel portal or transfer them to travel partners for added value.

Read our full card review .

Apply Here: Chase Freedom

Bank of America Cash Rewards charge card

Chase Freedom

Welcome bonus: $200 bonus after you spend $1,000 within the first 90 periods of accounting opening.

Rewards rate: 3% back in the category of your hand-picked( gas, online browsing, dining, circulate, dope places, or residence improved and furnishings) and 2% money back at food market and wholesale associations on the first $2,500 in combined bonus list purchases every quarter( then 1 %). You can change your 3% list formerly a month.

Annual fee:$ 0

Why we chose it: Having the option to get a 3% bonus on online patronizing across a wide variety of retailers is terrific. Plus, vary your bank affinity with Bank of America, that 3% return can go as high as 5.25% back if you qualify for the top tier of the Preferred Rewards program. If your expend practices change throughout the year, the BofA Cash Rewards card should definitely be on your radar.

Read our full card review.

Apply Here: Bank of America Cash Rewards credit card

Discover it( r) Cash Back

Welcome bonus: Discover will match the currency back you earn during your first time with the card.

Rewards proportion: Earn 5% currency back on up to $ 1,500 you invest every quarter on revolving categories( activating expected ), then 1% on all other buys. For the first quarter of 2020, you’ll earn 5% money back at grocery stores, Walgreens and CVS( up to $ 1,500 this quarter after activation ).

Annual fee:$ 0

Why we chose it: The Discover it( r) is a great option for your first charge card. It’s easy to get approved for, and you can earn a reasonable amount of money back if you followed with your rotate categories each quarter. With the cash back match at the end of your first year, you can earn up to $600 in total money back by the end of your first year merely by maximizing bonus category spending.

Check out our ultimate guide to Discover posters for more details.

Currency back credit cards that require a membership

Some credit cards have specific body requirements. The following posters can be good alternatives, but I’ve left them off the prime” best cash-back cards” register due to their membership requirements 😛 TAGEND

Costco Anywhere Visa( r) Card by Citi: 4% on gas( up to $ 7,000 per year; then 1% subsequently ), 3% on restaurants and trip and 2% at Costco with no annual reward with Costco membership( have been required to Costco membership, must call Costco location to redeem annual cash-back reward, may need to make a purchase at Costco to obtain the cash-back reward) Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature Card: 2% on all acquisitions with no annual fee( must have a specific Fidelity account) Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card: 3% on all buys the first year with a waived annual fee, then 2.5% in subsequent years with a $99 annual cost( must be an Alliant Credit Union member) Sam’s Club Mastercard: 5% on gas( up to $ 6,000 per year, then 1% afterward) and 3% on dining and wandering with no annual cost( must have a Sam’s Club membership, must tour Sam’s Club location to redeem, currency back capped at $5,000 annually) USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express( r) Card: 5% on the first $3,000 on compounded gas and U.S. military basi buys annually and 2% on the first $3,000 on grocery obtains annually with no annual reward( must be a USAA member)

The information for the USAA Cashback Rewards Plus American Express( r) Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The placard detailed information about this sheet have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.

What are money back credit cards and why are they helpful?

Cash back cards wage you percentage points( typically somewhere between 1% and 5 %) of each purchase. Those compensations are pooled into an chronicle as currency back, which you can then use as a statement credit or situated into your bank account. Cash back offers a more straightforward way of paying and exchanging rewards compared against pitches and miles.

Rather than having to keep up with point valuations and convey marriages, you always know what you’re getting with money back in terms of value and recovery alternatives. Nonetheless, this can also mean that cash back is more limited. Phases and miles can often be redeemed at a far greater value than at simply 1 cent.

But if you’re looking for an easy way to earn compensations that can be used for more than precisely hasten, cash back is the best option for you.

Common types of cash back credit cards

With so many cash-back card alternatives, it can be hard to narrow down which placard might be right for you. To start, I would take a look at which type of cash-back card you require. Here are a few common characters, and the advantages of each 😛 TAGEND

Flat-rate: These are placards that earn the same compensations pace across all expend. An instance is the Citi Double Cash because you’re earning the same 2% across all categories( 1% when you utter acquisitions, 1% when you pay your money ). A flat-rate card is great for everyday spending because you don’t have to juggle specific bonus lists, but it does restraint your earning potential on favourite lists such as dining or travel.

Tiered: Similar to most travel charge card, these cash-back cards render higher bonus earnings for specific, static categories. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred offers 6% money back on certain categories, 3% on others, and 1% on non-bonus spending. While these placards are excellent for maximizing wages for categories you spend a lot on every month, you won’t definitely make bonus honors on every purchase. These are best to pair with a flat-rate or complementary tiered card.

Rotating categories: Rotating list cards commonly give 5% currency back on specific lists that switching every quarter. The Chase Freedom and Discover it Cash Back are both examples. While 5% is an excellent bonus rate, bear in mind that these cards frequently restriction your bonus making to $1,500 every quarter and you have to activate brand-new categories each quarter.

Choose-your-categories: A newer money back category that has formed up in recent years is the choose-your-categories cash-back card. These are placards that allow you to choose the category( or categories) that you give your bonus rewards in each month. I personally adoration these cash-back cards because they allow you to customize your remunerations structure in such a way other cards do not. This type of card is great if your spend garbs modify throughout the year.

How to choose a cash back credit card

What things should you look for when you’re comparing credit card that offer cash back? Here are some factors to consider 😛 TAGEND

Earning rates: How much currency back will you make? Is it consistent across all obtains, or does the card restrict the best charges to specific types of buys? Since cash back by definition provides you with money to go back in your pouch, there isn’t any space to truly ” maximize ” the points or miles you give. Instead, be sure to evaluate the exact earning rates compared to your conventional expend patterns. Informality of redemption: Not all cash-back cards are created equal when it comes to actually going the cash in your hands or bank account. Some affix payoffs automatically to your statement, while others earn you parts/ miles that can then be exchanged for cash back or for announcement credits to offset specific acquires. Be sure to read the terms and conditions of the remunerations platform carefully so you know how( and when) you’ll actually put your hands on the money. Additional perks: A third factor involves the additional benefits provided on the card. Does it incur foreign busines fees? What about coverage and supplemented terms of protecting your obtains or errands? These helps can add significant price to a placard. Annual fee: A final position to consider is any possible annual cost. The majority of the cards below don’t indictment an annual cost, but there are a handful of cash-back cards that do. It’s critical to crunch the numbers to see if the annual fee is offset by the earning rates on the card.

Maximizing cash back rewards

Cash back sometimes gets a bad stature in the travel costs wages game because it’s not as easy to maximize. While you can’t exchange currency back for the same value as Chase Ultimate Rewards details or Amex Membership Rewards sites, currency back is still a valuable tool.

For starters, cash back is great for beginner travelers . You don’t have to spend a lot of day researching the best redemption alternatives, and your cash back is adaptable as far as what you can redeem it for. Maybe you exclusively travel once or twice a year, and want to use your charge card remunerations for more than really your vacation store. Cash back is also available situated into a high-yield savings account to build up your disaster store. You can expend your money back for long-term increases and an early retirement nest egg.

Even if you’re a frequent traveler, a cash-back card can help you build a cash fund for spending money to use while you’re abroad. Unlike travel rewards, there is no pressure to use cash back to book awarding flights or hotel remains. You can redeem money back to pay for your ski rentals this winter, or use your money back to splurge on that new Away luggage you’ve been eying. Overall, currency back can be more flexible than wandering rewards stages and programs.

Bottom wrinkle

Many travelers dismiss the world of money back credit cards in favor of posters that pay parts and miles. Nonetheless, my currency back cards have played an integral role in my overall credit card strategy , curing me offset the cost of travel outlays that items and miles don’t cover. Plus, there’s no doubt that deserving money back can be simpler and easier to quantify — something casual travelers and fledglings can both appreciate. Cash back has a lot to offer rewards seekers, and you typically don’t have to worry about increase annual fees accompanying the cards. Hopefully, this list has given you some food for thought if you’re just getting started in the hobby or plan on adding a cash-back card to your wallet.

Related guides:

Best gas credit cards Best credit cards for groceries Best credit cards for leisure spending Best Credit Cards for Everyday Spending Best dining charge card

Additional reporting by Katie Genter and Benji Stawski.

Featured photo by Isabelle Raphael/ The Points Guy.

For rates and costs of the Blue Cash Preferred, please click here.

This is The Points Guy’s permanent page with the best currently available credit cards for cash back, so you can bookmark it and check back regularly for informs. Keep in attention you may see some reader observes referring to older furnishes below.

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