There’s no substitute for cash. Many people prefer cash back credit cards for just that reason. When you have a cash back credit card, you don’t have to worry about converting points into travel miles, or whether or not you have enough miles to get certain merchandise. Cash back is simply cash back.
Related: Best Airline Miles Credit Cards
If you are looking for some solid choices when it comes to cash back credit cards, here are a few of the best options for getting money back:
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
Blue Cash Everyday from American Express
For those who want a cash back card that offers consistent rewards, the Blue Cash Everyday is a solid choice. Blue Cash comes with no annual fee, and there are no caps to the rewards you can earn. On top of that, each time someone you refer is approved for a Blue Cash Everyday card, you can receive $25.
Here are the cash back levels that come with the American Express Blue Cash Everyday credit card:
- 3% on supermarket purchases
- 2% on gas and department store purchases
- 1% on everything else
There is a $100 bonus offer, providing you with extra cash if you spend $1,000 in the first three months that you have the card. On top of that, you won’t be charged interest on purchases for 12 months.
Chase Freedom Visa
Chase Freedom is fast becoming a popular cash back credit card. This isn’t surprising, since it offers a great introductory program, and solid cash back rewards.
The introductory program is 15 months, and you get 0% on balance transfers as well as purchase. If you have good credit, you can have an interest rate as low as 12.99% when the intro rate is over. That is a pretty good offering, and a relatively low rate.
The cash back program is a fairly standard 1% on all purchases. You do have the chance to turbo-charge your earnings, though, with quarterly opportunities to earn 5% in certain categories, or with certain retailers.
If you pay attention, and plan your purchases, you can boost your earnings. However, the 5% cash back is subject to a cap, so it’s not unlimited.
There is no annual fee with the Chase Freedom Visa card, and you can get a $100 cash back bonus if you spend $500 during the first three months that you have the credit card.
Discover More Card
Another solid player in the cash back credit card game is Discover. The Discover More credit card offers a long 18 month 0% balance transfer offer. As with many of these cash back cards, there is no annual fee.
Discover’s cash back rewards program is a little stingy, though. You end up earning 0.25% cash back until you hit $3,000 in purchases in a year. Once you reach that level, you earn 1% cash back on your purchases. Unfortunately, if you make purchases at a warehouse club, like Sam’s, BJ’s, or Costco, you can only get 0.25% cash back, no matter how much you have spent throughout the year.
Like Chase Freedom, Discover More has rotating 5% cash back categories, and there is a cap on how much cash back you can get at that level. Realize that if you are inactive for 18 months, or if your minimum payment for two months in a row, you will forfeit your rewards. As long as you can keep with the terms, this can be a decent option – especially if you are trying to pay down debt and want the long balance transfer offer.
Discover Motiva Card
For a little bit of a cash back twist, the Discover Motiva credit card offers you a credit of 5% of your interest charges. So, each month that you carry a balance, 5% of your interest is credited back to you. Other than that, the cash back rewards program is very similar to the Discover More card. You get 0.25% back for the first $3,000 you spend, and 1% cash back after that.
True Earnings from Costco and American Express
Those who regularly shop at Costco can find a great deal of benefit from the True Earnings card. You don’t have to shop at Costco to earn the rewards, but Costco members don’t have to pay an annual fee. There is a six-month introductory rate of 0% on purchases.
The rewards program works similarly to other American Express rewards programs, with the ability to earn cash back at different levels, based on what you are buying. The levels with the True Earnings credit card are:
- 3% on gasoline purchases, but it drops to 1% once you spend $3,000 a year in gas
- 2% on travel and restaurants
- 1% on everything else
There are not limits on the rewards you can earn, and your travel and restaurant cash back remains at 2%, no matter how much you spend in the year. If you travel a lot, this can be a very beneficial card. However, the intro period isn’t as long as others.
IBERIABANK Visa Gold
The Visa Gold credit card from IBERIABANK is a no-frills cash back option. The cash back rewards program isn’t particularly special – just straight up 1% cash back on all purchases. Also, there is no annual fee.
Where the Visa Gold card really shines, though, is with the interest rate. Those with the best credit can have an interest rate as low as 9.25%. That’s quite low in the current climate. If you are someone who occasionally carries a balance (don’t make a habit of it), this card can help you avoid being completely bled by the interest charges.
Carefully choose your cash back credit card for the long term. If you don’t carry a balance, that is your best option; otherwise, you will pay more in interest than you can earn in cash back rewards.
Some of the best options are available to those with good credit, so it pays to try and boost your score before trying for the Chase Freedom card or the Blue Cash card. You want to be approved so that you can take advantage of the extra cash back bonus.