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Best Cash Back Cards Right Now

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In a world temporarily restricted by COVID-19 shutdowns and travel limitations, rewards credit cards that offer airline miles and hotel points or reward you for dining out have lost some of their appeal. Travel plans have been put on hold, and many Americans are watching their budgets. If you're one of them, you might prefer a cash back rewards card that offers a way to earn money on purchases you make every day. Here are some of the best cash back rewards credit card offers out there right now.

Best for Balance Transfers: Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Apply

on Citi Credit Cards's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

APR

13.99% - 23.99% (Variable)

Intro APR: 0% for 18 months on Balance Transfers

Rewards

2% cash back

Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • 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 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.

Rates and Fees

Experian partner Citi is offering the best of both worlds: A lengthy 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, plus the potential to earn up to 2% cash back on every purchase—no categories to choose or limits to worry about. If you're carrying a balance on a high-interest credit card, the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer card could help you save on interest while earning cash back on purchases.

Your balance transfer interest rate will range from 13.99% to 23.99% variable, depending on your creditworthiness once the introductory period is over (and from the beginning on purchases). There's no annual fee for the Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer, but you will pay a balance transfer fee of 3% of the amount transferred or $5, whichever is greater.

This card handles cash back a little differently than most. You'll earn an unlimited 1% cash back when you make purchases, and another 1% as you pay for those purchases. It's a good motivation to keep your account current. Be aware that if you do use the card for purchases during the 0% APR intro period, purchase balances will accrue interest at the standard rate if the entire balance (including the transferred balance) is not paid off in full each month.

Your cash rewards expire if you go 12 months without earning any, so be sure to use the card from time to time to keep your rewards. Once you have at least $25 in rewards, you can redeem them as checks, statement credits or bank transfers to a linked Citi savings or checking account or to a linked account you've used to pay a Citi credit card bill at least twice in the past. You can also convert them to Citi ThankYou points in increments as small as $1.

Best for Flat-Rate Cash Back: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

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on Chase's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

APR

14.99% - 23.74% Variable

Intro APR: 0% Intro APR on Purchases for 15 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Travel

Earn 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.

3% cash back on Dining

1.5% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus: Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® card seems to have been designed for the way we live now: staying home, ordering lots of takeout and stocking up on groceries. (About the only thing it's lacking is a free Netflix account.) For new cardholders, this card offers a hefty N/A cash back on grocery store purchases up to $12,000 (excluding Target or Walmart purchases) for the first year and 1.5% cash back on everything else. Plus, the card is contactless, so you don't have to touch a potentially germ-laden PIN pad.

The 0% introductory APR on purchases for 15 months will be useful if you're furloughed, laid off or just watching your spending. (After that initial period ends, your APR will climb to 14.99% to 23.74% variable, depending on your credit.) You'll also get a $200 bonus for making $500 in purchases in the first 3 months with the card. There's no minimum required to start redeeming your cash back rewards, and rewards never expire. In addition to getting cash back, you can redeem rewards on Amazon or, when you're ready to travel again, through Chase Ultimate Rewards.

If you activate by December 31st, 2021, Chase also throws in three free months of DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service, which provides unlimited deliveries with no delivery fee on eligible orders over $12.

Other nifty extras: Use the card to make a purchase and get 120 days of purchase protection against damage or theft, up to $500 per claim, as well as extended warranty protection that adds another year to eligible warranties of three years or less.

Best for Flexible Rewards: Bank of America® Cash Rewards

With most rotating rewards cards, the issuer chooses the cash back category each quarter. With the Bank of America® Cash Rewards card, you're in control. Each month, you can select a category in which to earn 3% cash back—gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drugstores or home improvement/furnishings. Keep the same category all year, or change it every month—the choice is yours.

You'll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on all other purchases. Spend $1,000 on the card in the first 90 days, and you'll earn $200 bonus cash back.

Cash back isn't all this card has to offer. The 0% introductory APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 12 months lets you save on interest. After the intro period ends, you'll pay a variable interest rate of 13.99% to 23.99%. If you make a balance transfer, you'll pay a fee of 3% of the transfer amount or $10, whichever is greater.

One catch: Your 3% and 2% cash back rewards are limited to the first $2,500 in combined choice category, grocery store and wholesale club purchases each quarter. That's a pretty low ceiling; a family of four could easily spend that much on groceries alone. But once you pass the $2,500 milestone, all your purchases earn 1% unlimited cash back.

If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you could earn even more—25% to 75% additional cash back on every purchase. That means the 3% choice category could earn up to 5.25%, the 2% grocery store and wholesale club category could go up to 3.5%, and the 1% for all other purchases could go up to 1.75%. Preferred Rewards is free if you have a qualifying Bank of America personal checking account and a three-month average combined balance of $20,000 or more in your Bank of America and/or Merrill investment accounts.

Best for Rotating Rewards Categories: Discover it® Cash Back

Discover it® Cash Back

Apply

on Discover's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Good - Exceptional

APR

11.99% - 22.99% Variable

Intro APR: 0% on Purchases and Balance Transfers for 14 months

Rewards

5% cash back on Rotating Categories

5% Cash back in categories that change each quarter up to the quarterly maximum, when you sign up. Plus, 1% unlimited cash back automatically on all other purchases.

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus: Dollar-for-dollar match of all cash back earned the first year

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.

Rates and Fees

With 5% cash back on categories that rotate each quarter, including grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and Amazon, the Discover it® Cash Back card has a lot to offer. All other purchases earn unlimited 1% cash back.

While the 5% rotating cash back reward is generous, it's also capped at $1,500 per quarter, and you'll have to activate the rewards each quarter—it's not automatic. Now through September 2020, the rotating rewards category is restaurants and purchases made with PayPal; for October through December of this year, you can earn rewards for purchases at Amazon, Walmart.com and Target.com.

You'll also get an introductory cash back bonus and 0% intro APR on both purchases and balance transfers for 14 months. After your intro 0% APR ends, the ongoing rate is 11.99% to 22.99% variable. Making a balance transfer will incur a fee of $0 of the transfer amount for transfers made by the deadline shown on your application; after that, you'll pay 5% of the transfer amount.

Rewards never expire and can be redeemed at any amount. There are plenty of options for redemption, including statement credits, direct deposit into your bank account, gift cards, e-certificates and charitable donations. You can also use rewards to shop on Amazon.com.

Best Secured Cash Back Card: Discover it® Secured

Discover it® Secured

Apply

on Discover's website

Recommended FICO® Score
Poor, New to Credit, Rebuilding

APR

22.99% Variable

Intro APR: 10.99% on Balance Transfers for 6 months

Rewards

2% cash back on Gas Stations & Dining

2% cash back at gas stations and restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases every quarter, 1% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

1% cash back on All Other Purchases

Intro Bonus: Dollar-for-dollar match of all cash back earned the first year

Annual Fee

$0

Card Details
  • No Annual Fee, earn cash back, and build your credit with responsible use.
  • It's a real credit card. You can build a credit history with the three major credit bureaus. Generally, debit and prepaid cards can't help you build a credit history.
  • Establish your credit line by providing a refundable security deposit of at least $200 after being approved. Bank information must be provided when submitting your deposit.
  • Automatic reviews starting at 8 months to see if we can transition you to an unsecured line of credit and return your deposit.
  • Earn 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Get 100% U.S. based customer service & get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.

Rates and Fees

If you're new to credit, have poor credit or are trying to rebuild your credit, a secured credit card is often your only credit option. Such credit cards are "secured" with a cash deposit equal to your desired credit limit. The Discover it® Secured card is the rare secured credit card that offers cash back.

This card offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 per quarter in purchases at gas stations and restaurants, and unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases. For new cardholders, at the end of your first year, Discover will match all the cash back rewards you earned during the year, dollar for dollar. Rewards don't expire and can be redeemed for any amount at any time.

Many secured credit cards charge hefty fees that can eat into your available credit, but the Discover it® Secured has no annual fee. The downside is a steep 22.99% Variable variable APR. However, high APRs are common to secured credit cards—and the Discover it® Secured even offers an introductory 10.99% APR on balance transfers for 6 months, which can help you reduce the interest you're paying on high-balance credit cards. The balance transfer fee is 3% of transfers made by the deadline shown on your application (usually around three months); after that, the fee is 5% of the transfer amount. Take the fee as well as the APR into account when deciding if a balance transfer makes sense for you.

When you apply for the Discover it® Secured, you'll make a deposit ranging from $200 to $2,500, depending on the credit line you want. As you use the card, Discover reports your payment history to all three major credit bureaus, which can help to build a credit history and improve your credit score if you use the card responsibly. Starting at eight months, Discover reviews your account and credit history to see if you qualify to transition to a non-secured Discover it® Secured card; if so, they'll refund your security deposit.

All in all, this card has lots of benefits, as long as the lure of cash back doesn't tempt you to overspend. After all, using a secured card should build your credit, not hurt it.

Is a Cash Back Card for You?

Cash back credit cards typically require good to excellent credit. Before applying, check your credit score to find out if it's high enough to qualify for the cards with the most generous rewards. If not, checking your credit report to ensure all your information is accurate and up to date, and taking steps to improve your credit score can help you get approved for the cash back card you want.

When choosing a cash back credit card, make sure you understand how rewards work and look for a card whose rewards fit your lifestyle and spending patterns.

In today's uncertain times, one thing is for sure: You can always use cash. This may be the time to put aside credit cards that earn airline miles or hotel points for a card that offers rewards you can use right now.

All information about the Bank of America® Cash Rewards has been collected independently by Experian and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card.

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