Best Cashback Credit Cards 2021

ElitePersonalFinance
Last Update: August 28, 2021 Credit Card Reviews Credit Cards Save Money

A cashback credit card is almost always the best option for someone looking for a new credit card. You can find some with no annual fee, which means you can make an easy profit off using the card regularly. But not all of them are great; for excellent borrowers, a cashback credit card comes with a higher APR, so there has to be a real benefit.

We have examined hundreds of credit cards recently, and only a handful or so were worth recommending to anyone at all. The shortlist we have compiled in this post features nothing but high-quality cards. Sure some will have weak points, but each will blossom as being the best option for someone.

Best Cashback Credit Cards 2021

If you’re interested in a cashback credit card, there are literally hundreds you could pick. A lot of them are backed by big names like American Express, Barclays, and Capital One. These are certainly dependable choices, but you might find yourself looking for alternatives to get better cashback rewards.

You will find that cashback credit cards typically offer anywhere from 1% to 5% on your purchases. The difference is that the higher rewards are usually assigned to specialty purchases, like gas and eating out. If you’re getting a flat rate or buying groceries or physical goods, you usually look at 1% to 2% cashback.

So here’s a look at the cashback credit cards that we at Elite Personal Finance recommend the most in 2021!

Discover it Cashback

Discover it Cashback Rewards Credit Card

This cashback credit card gives you 1% on everything you spend. You also get 5% when paying for gas, eating out, and shopping on Amazon. The 5% cashback booster applies for a maximum of $1,500 every three months.

After the first calendar year comes to an end, you’ll also get up to $200 worth of cashback matched by the card issuer. You can pick when to release the cashback rewards, and there are no minimum requirements for doing so.

This card also features 12 months with 0% interest and a 0% fee on balance transfers. You don’t have an annual fee to cover. You even have access to your FICO score regularly at no extra cost.

Chase Freedom & Freedom Unlimited Cards

Chase Freedom Unlimited Cashback Rewards Credit Card

These two credit cards are both highly legitimate, and they have a lot of similarities. Neither of the two has an annual fee, and they both give you $150 if you spend at least $500 in the first three months of having the card.

Here’s where they get different:

Chase Freedom gives you 1% on everything you buy, but you actually get 5% back quarterly for gas, food, and wholesale store purchases.

Chase Freedom Unlimited gives you a flat 1.5% cashback rate when you use their card. If you’re a big spender, this is your best option. You’ll be able to get 1.5% back regardless of how much you spend on the card.

Bank of America® Cash Rewards

The Bank of America Better Balance Cashback Rewards Credit Card

Bank of America’s Cash Rewards card gives 1% cashback on every purchase, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 3% on gas for the first $2,500 in combined grocery/wholesale club/gas purchases each quarter. They also offer a $200 online cash rewards bonus offer.

The big plus about the card is that there is no fee for having the card. It doesn’t give a huge cashback reward, but at least you know it’s guaranteed money as long as you keep paying your card off in full each month.

AMEX EveryDay Credit Card

The AMEX EveryDay Cashback Rewards Credit Card

The first $6,000 you spend at a supermarket gets you triple points. You get double points at gas stations as well. If you have at least 30 card transactions in a billing cycle, you’ll receive a 50% point booster.

Once you have spent at least $1,000 within the first three months of using the card, you’ll get 15,000 bonus reward points. The card also offers 0% APR and 0% balance transfers for the first 12 months, and then you’ll receive an interest rate ranging from 13.24% to 23.24%, which is dependent on your credit.

This card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Amazon Rewards VISA

The Amazon.com Cashback Rewards VISA Credit Card

If you shop online a fair bit, chances are you find the best prices on many of the items you buy on Amazon. They have a cashback rewards credit card that gives 3% on every Amazon order. These funds can sit and be applied to future purchases.

The card is multi-functional as you receive cashback rewards for shopping everywhere else too. There’s a 2% cashback reward on gas, eating out, and shopping at pharmacies. Anywhere else you shop, you will get a 1% return on everything you spend.

If you get approved for this card, you will get a $50 Amazon gift card immediately.

Blue Cash Preferred Card

The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express Cashback Rewards Credit Card

You can earn $150 by just purchasing $1,000 in stuff, as long as you spend that much in the first three months. You can then earn 6% on everything you spend at supermarkets. You’ll also get 3% back on gas and department stores like Walmart and Target. Everything else will only earn you 1% cashback on what you spend.

You get 0% interest and 0% on balance transfers for the first 12 months. After that, the rate on your card will run between 13.24% and 23.24% roughly. Also, this card comes with a $95 annual fee.

Chase Sapphire Preferred (2%), Citi Double Cash Card (1-2%), and Discover it Chrome (1%).

You have to be careful when getting a credit card that offers a higher cashback at a grocery store. You won’t have your grocery shopping at places like Walmart and Target included. This could erase a lot of the value you find in getting a cashback reward card that doesn’t have a flat rate. If you shop at these kinds of stores often, you’re better off getting a slightly higher base cashback rate that applies to all your purchases.

About Cashback Credit Cards

How much does a cashback card give you back?

The amount you get back can vary drastically by card. The most notable difference is whether you’re getting a flat rate on all purchases or if it scales by shopping category. Most flat rate cards stick to the 1% back rate, although some give 1.5% cashback. Once you get into the 2% range, the options are more limited; one of the best flat-rate cards, the Citi Double Cash card, gives 1% immediately and another 1% after the borrowed funds are repaid.

Which card gives you the most cashback?

The highest amount of cashback possible would come from a specialty rewards card. For example, Starwood Preferred Guest Card comes with a sign-up bonus worth about $600 in points. If you use them the right way, such as taking advantage of their 20% booster on 1:1 point transfers, you could make the sign-up bonus high as a $1,250 value.

How many reward cards should you have?

This is a question that gets heavily debated. Sometimes it seems like having two different reward cards can benefit you more. For instance, you can get 5% cashback (which is incredible) through Chase Freedom Unlimited, but this only counts for certain categories. So if your cost of traveling and staying at hotels isn’t rewarded very well, using one of the best travel reward credit cards will severely boost the amount of cashback you receive.

Are there any secured cards with money-back incentives?

Yes!

You can get a Discover It credit card. This is a secured card that reports activity to the major credit bureaus, which means it is great for anyone to rebuild their credit. It doesn’t have fees when you’re late once there’s no surcharge, and you never have to worry about an annual fee. As a new cardholder, you also get your entire cashback amount doubled once your first year is up.

What’s the best rewards card for bad credit?

Unfortunately, credit card issuers view the cashback feature as a luxury that only the best borrowers can enjoy. You won’t find many companies that will offer you a credit card if you have bad credit easily. That said, you can still get a secured cashback credit card if you’re okay with going the secured route. Discover It Secured card is your main option right now. It requires collateral, but you can earn up to 5% on many of your purchases, and there aren’t any annual fees that you have to pay.

What should you look for when choosing between cards?

You have to be careful when applying for any credit card, let alone a cashback rewards card. You can only extract value from these cards if you spend a fair bit each month with the card. This means you’ll be more likely to carry a balance. Of course, after your no-interest period, you’ll have to pay interest on this carried balance. So it would help if you tried for a cashback credit card with a lengthy no-interest period.

You also need to make sure the card you get doesn’t have a low maximum for the amount you can get back off your purchases. Most are capped at a certain amount, although Chase Freedom Unlimited card will give you 1.5% back on everything you spend. You will find that the limits are higher (or unlimited) when you look at cards that give a flat rate on everything you buy. When you look at high percent cash back cards, you typically get capped at a low amount.

What should you do and avoid when applying?

  • You should apply for all the cashback cards you are interested in having at one time instead of spacing out the applications. This will bundle your hard inquiries together and cause less of a negative on the calculation of your credit score.
  • You might want to look at store-specific cards for better cashback rewards if you shop somewhere frequently. For instance, if you buy off Amazon all the time, then Amazon Prime Store Card (5% cashback on Amazon purchases) will be a no-brainer for you. The next best thing is the Amazon Rewards VISA card that gives 3% back on your future Amazon orders.
  • You are better off with a cashback rewards card that has no annual fee. After the no-interest period ends, you’ll be paying a bit in interest on your carried balance every month. So you’ll do better by avoiding the cards with an annual fee as they won’t cost you as much once they start to age.
  • It would help if you were careful about where you think the card works for any particular cashback amount. Sometimes getting 3% or 5% at a grocery store won’t apply for Wal-Mart shopping, which means not all groceries are necessarily covered. Ask for clarity if you are unsure; some generic labels you might see include supermarkets and grocery stores.
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