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Best Cashback Credit Cards for December 2019

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Best Cashback Credit Cards for December 2019

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Dec 02, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Cashback credit cards can be a great way to offset the cost of certain purchases in bonus categories, such as dining, gas and travel, or earn a competitive flat rate on all purchases. These cards can knock off 1% to 6% of your purchases when cashback dollars are redeemed for a statement credit. Just know, most cashback cards have $25 minimum redemption amounts and you’ll still need to make the minimum payment on your bill along with any redemption amounts.

We’ll review the best cashback cards in several categories, so you can choose the best card for your needs.

In this article:

How we chose the best cashback credit cards

We chose the cards based on their potential to earn high cash rewards after considering rewards rate, sign-up and welcome offers, additional perks and annual fees. The majority of the cards that made our list have no annual fee, plus sign-up and welcome offers and other noteworthy perks that can provide added value for cardholders.

Best overall cashback card: Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

  • Earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay.

  • 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers

  • 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)

Highlights
  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 15.49% – 25.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

See additional details for Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer

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Best for: If you’re someone with excellent, good credit looking for a simple cashback program that doesn’t have spending caps or switches categories every quarter, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer is our top choice. You earn cash back without all the fuss, plus you have the potential to double your cash back* (more on that below).

Why we like it: The Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer sets the standard for cashback cards with a $0 annual fee. It allows cardholders to earn 2% cash back on purchases: 1% when you buy plus 1% as you pay. This is a great flat rate on all purchases and provides an incentive to pay your bill quickly. *You can earn 1% cash back from paying for purchases over time, as long as you pay at least the minimum amount due. Miss the minimum payment and you also miss the extra 1% cash back earned on payments.

You can redeem cash back for checks, statement credits, or Citi ThankYou® points (which can be redeemed for gift cards, travel purchases at select retailers and more).

It’s also a good balance transfer option: In addition to a cashback program, this card offers a competitive intro 0% for 18 months on balance transfers. This provides you plenty of time to pay off debt from balance transfers. Once the intro period ends, any remaining balances will be charged the standard 15.49% - 25.49% (Variable) APR. The balance transfer fee is 3% of each balance transfer; $5 minimum.

Other benefits: Citi® Private Pass® provides exclusive access to a variety of events like entertainment and sports.

Read our review of the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer.

Dining and entertainment: Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

  • 3% Cash Back on dining; 3% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases

  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening

  • No minimums for redeeming and cash back won't expire for the life of the account

Highlights
  • Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74% - 25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee

See additional details for Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card

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Best for: Avid foodies will love the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card’s rewards for dining, while those who enjoy events such as going to a movie or a sports game can appreciate the rewards for entertainment.

Why we like it: This card offers 3% Cash Back on dining; 3% Cash Back on entertainment; 2% Cash Back at grocery stores; 1% Cash Back on all other purchases. For a $0 annual fee, that’s a great offer. Plus, as a Capital One cardholder, you’ll be eligible to get special access to events including concerts, food festivals, and sports games.

Other benefits: Earn a one-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening. There’s also a good introductory APR — 0% intro on purchases for 15 months and 0% intro on balance transfers for 15 months. After the intro 0% period expires, the regular purchase APR is 15.74% - 25.74% (variable) and the balance transfer APR is 15.74% - 25.74% (variable).

Read our review of the Capital One® SavorOne® Cash Rewards Credit Card.

Travel: Discover it® Miles

  • We'll match all the Miles you've earned at the end of your first year.*

  • 1.5 Miles per $1 Spent*

  • Redeem your Miles as a statement credit towards travel purchases*

Highlights
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel! The more you earn, the more you get.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5x Miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Miles Pay You Back. Easily redeem Miles as a statement credit for travel purchases. Or get cash.
  • Freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Discover it® Miles

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Best for: Frequent travelers who want a flat-rate credit card with straightforward redemption options will find a lot to like about the Discover it® Miles.

Why we like it: Earn unlimited 1.5x miles for every dollar spent on all purchases - with no annual fee. Now, here’s the thing — though the card’s rewards are framed as miles rather than cash back, you can easily redeem them for cash as an electronic statement to your bank account. You can also redeem them as a statement credit to cover travel purchases made within the last 180 days, including airline tickets, hotel rooms, car rentals, travel agents, online travel sites and commuter transportation. Each mile is worth 1 cent, no matter which way you choose to redeem your miles.

Other benefits: For new cardmembers, Discover will match ALL the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year, automatically. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles. That’s $700 towards travel!. If you put the bulk of your spending on this card during the first year you have it, that has the potential to be an excellent value.

Read our review of the Discover it® Miles.

Supermarket spending: Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

  • $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.*

  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.

  • 1% back on other purchases*

Highlights
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

More Info

Best for: If you frequently shop at supermarkets and have excellent/good credit, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is great card to have. Cardholders can earn 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). In order to get the most from the supermarket reward, you should spend at least $3,167 a year (or $264 a month) at U.S. supermarkets. Only considering U.S. supermarket purchases, this is the amount you need to spend to recoup the $95 annual fee and start earning more cash back than the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express which has a $0 annual fee.

Why we like it: You earn the highest supermarket spending cash back rate of any card we could find. If you spend up to the $6,000 maximum each year, you can earn $360 cash back — without deducting the $95 annual fee. Once you hit the yearly maximum, you earn 1%. You can also use this card to earn 3% cash back for purchases at U.S. gas stations, which can come in handy if you often drive to the supermarket, allowing you to see increased value. The card also has an additional offer – NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions & 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more

Other benefits: There is a Welcome Offer of a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months. Additional perks include extended warranty protection, 2-day shipping on eligible items with ShopRunner, and ticket presales and exclusive seats with Entertainment Access® for concerts, sporting events and more.

Read our review of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.

Gas: Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

  • 0% Introductory APR on purchases for 15 billing cycles

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days

  • 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR on purchases and balance transfers

Highlights
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.49% - 25.49% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase

See additional details for Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer

More Info

Best for: If you are a Bank of America Preferred Rewards member with excellent/good credit, and are looking for a $0 annual fee card that earns a good rate on gas purchases, the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer has you covered.

Why we like it: You can earn a decent amount of cash back when you use this card primarily for gas spending: earn 3% and 2% cash back on the first $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club purchases each quarter, 1% on all other purchases. And, while you can find cashback cards that offer higher rates on gas purchases, what you won’t find is the unique customer bonuses that allow you to maximize your cash back earnings. If you’re a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25%-75% more cash back on every purchase.

Other benefits: There is a $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening. Take note, you need to apply online to receive this sign-up bonus.

Read our review of the Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card - $200 Cash Rewards Offer.

Rotating bonus categories: Chase Freedom®

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.

  • 0% Intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months

  • 16.49% - 25.24% Variable

Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - it's automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 - 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey?

See additional details for Chase Freedom®

More Info

Best for: If you have excellent/good credit and are willing to try your luck with rotating bonus categories, the Chase Freedom® provides you the chance to maximize your cash back at a $0 annual fee.

Why we like it: The cashback program rotates quarterly, so chances are at least one quarter will have a 5% category that suits your spending. Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories every 3 months. Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. Remember that you need to activate the bonus categories each quarter. Chase lets you set calendar reminders so you don’t forget.

A decent 0% intro period for balance transfers and purchases: If you’re looking to transfer debt on an existing (non-Chase) card or carry a balance as a result of new purchases you may make, this card provides an average length of time to pay off debt. Take advantage of the 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months and 0% Intro APR on Balance Transfers for 15 months. After the intro periods end, a 16.49% - 25.24% Variable APR applies.

Other benefits: There’s a great sign-up bonus that requires one of the lowest spends for a high return — Earn a $150 Bonus after spending $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. This is a nice bonus you can easily earn within the first few months of account opening.

Read our review of the Chase Freedom®.

Learn more: How to maximize cashback card rewards

Cashback cards come with a variety of rewards programs including flat-rate, rotating bonus categories and those with spending limits on higher cashback rates. Depending on which card you have, you may decide to use your card a bit differently.

Flat-rate cashback cards

How they work: You get the same cashback rate on all purchases, no matter what category they fall under.

Use it for all your spending. If you have a flat-rate card like our top pick, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, then you’re okay to use it for all your spending since you earn the same rewards rate on all purchases. 

Pair it with another card. However, if you want to maximize your rewards, you can pair a flat-rate card with a card that earns a high rewards rate in select categories like gas or supermarket spending. For example, use the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer for everyday spending and the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express for U.S. supermarket and U.S. gas station spending.

Take note that when you redeem cash back for a statement credit with the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer, you miss out on the 1% cash back you would typically get from paying your bill since redemptions aren’t eligible for cash back. But don’t worry, the amount you miss out on is minor. For example, if you redeem a $25 statement credit, you only miss out on 25 cents.

High cashback cards 

How they work: Some cards offer a high rewards rate in select categories like gas, grocery and travel. These cards are great if you have clear spending habits, so select a card that suits your spending.

Watch out for caps on reward earnings. Beware that most cards offering high rewards in select categories set caps on how much you can spend quarterly or annually while earning the high rate. While it’s unlikely you’ll hit those quarterly maximums, big spenders should note that any purchases in excess of the spending cap will typically earn 1%. That’s where a flat-rate card that earns more than 1% cash back can come in handy.

Take note of annual fees. While the majority of cashback cards have no annual fee, you may find some cards that charge annual fees. For example, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express has a $95 annual fee — which is one of the highest for cashback cards. However, the annual fee may be worth it depending on how much you plan on spending in the high cashback categories.

Watch out for minimum redemption amounts. An important factor to take note of with cashback cards is the minimum redemption amount. This is the amount of cash rewards you need to have available in your account before you can redeem for rewards. Most cards start redemptions at $25, but you can find cards with no minimum redemption amount like the Chase Freedom®.


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