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In order to choose the best cash back credit card, you need to first figure out what you’re looking to get out of it. But narrowing down the best cards, out of the hundreds out there, is no small feat. Don’t worry — we’ve done the hard work for you.

We compared a variety of different cards, evaluating them based on their annual fees, APRs, cash back value, and other details, to bring you some of the best cash back credit cards of 2017.

Best cash back cards

Best for flat-rate cash back rewards

Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard®

Apply Now

on Barclaycard's website

Summary

If your spending is spread across various categories, the Barclaycard CashForward credit card may be the no annual fee cash back card for you.

With a flat 1.5% cash back reward for all purchases and a 5% redemption bonus for redeeming cash back, Barclaycard CashForward credit card is one of the top cash back cards of 2017.

Get it

The Barclaycard CashForward credit card offers a hassle-free way to earn cash back regardless of your type of spending along with a solid intro cash back bonus as well as a high-performance ongoing redemption bonus.

Key highlights

  • $200 in cash rewards when you spend at least $1,000 on your Barclaycard CashForward™ World Mastercard® within 90 days of account opening
  • 5% bonus each time you redeem cash back, eligible for use toward your next redemption
  • 1.5% cash back rewards net of credits, returns, and adjustments
  • 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (note that balance transfers come with a fee). After the introductory period, the rate will go up to variable APR of 15.99%, 20.99% or 25.99%, depending on creditworthiness

Skip it

While the flat rate 1.5% cash back is a relatively high rate, it falls below the rewards rate of cards with bonus categories. If you’re someone who spends significantly on certain categories, such a groceries, or gas, you may be better served by a card that rewards spending on bonus categories rather than one with a high all-around cash back rate.

Is the Barclaycard CashForward credit card right for you? Read our full review here.

 

Best cash back cards

Best for earning cash back with general spending

Citi® Double Cash Card

Apply Now

on Citibank's website

Summary

The Citi Double Cash card offers a way for cardholders to earn cash back on all their purchases, with no limits or categories.

Offering 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months (must be made within 4 months of account opening and APR will increase to 14.49%-24.49% variable APR based on creditworthiness thereafter), the Citi Double Cash card will earn you 1% cash back on every purchase you make, plus an additional 1% cash back when you pay your bill, all with no annual fee.

Get it

If you’re looking for a card that allows you to earn 2% cash back on all your purchases and offers flexible redemption options, the Citi Double Cash card might be worth looking into.

Key highlights

  • 1% cash back on all purchases and an additional 1% when you pay off those purchases, as long as you pay the minimum due on each statement
  • No limits on how much cash back you can earn
  • No rotating categories to keep track of or enroll in
  • No annual fee

Skip it

Unlimited cash back is great, but any rewards you earn with the Citi Double Cash will expire if you haven’t earned any cash back for purchases or payments for 12 months, so you have to make sure you use your card regularly to reap its benefits. Also, keep in mind that balance transfers do not qualify for cash back and 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.

The Citi Double Cash card is a great card for cardholders looking to earn unlimited cash back without having to think too much about it. But, is this the right card for you? Read our full review here.

Best cash back cards

Best for cash back rewards at a low-interest rate

Chase Freedom Unlimited℠

Apply Now

on Chase's website

Summary

With unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase and a $150 sign up bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ is a hard card to beat.

Get it

Cardholders who want an easy way to earn cash back at a flat rate, and like the sound of 0% APR for 15 months, should consider the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ credit card.

Key highlights

  • 1.5% unlimited cash back on all purchases
  • 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months after opening your account
  • Earn a $150 signing bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening, and an additional $25 bonus after you add your first authorized user and make your first purchase within the same 3-month period

Skip it

Those willing to put in a little more effort can stand to earn cash back at a higher rate on bonus and rotating quarterly categories. But for hassle free rewards, the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ offers a relatively high flat rate of 1.5%.

Is the Chase Freedom Unlimited℠ the right card for you? Read our full review here.

Best cash back cards

Best for a cumulative redemption bonus

BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card

Apply Now

on Bank of America's website

Summary

If you’re already a Bank of America customer looking for a cash back card, look no further than the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card. This cash back card also comes with no annual fee, 0% introductory APR for 12 months on balance transfer and purchase, and a $150 sign-up bonus, plus cumulative bonuses for Bank of America customers, it is one of the best cash back cards of 2017.

Get it

The BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card offers attractive cash back rate from 1-3%, but beyond the basic rewards, this card is very attractive for Bank of America customers, as these customers see even greater total rewards.

Key highlights

  • 2% cash back on groceries and 3% on gas; for example, that’s $2 for every $100 in groceries and $3 for every $100 in gas, up to a cumulative $2,500 in these categories per quarter (the rewards rate drops to 1% after $2,500)
  • All other purchases earn 1% cash back, without limitation
  • Extra redemption bonuses 10% for Bank of America customers who receive their bonus in a Bank of America account
  • $150 sign-up bonus when you spend $500 within 90 days of account opening

Skip it

If you bank elsewhere, spend significantly more than the $2,500 quarterly cap on groceries and gas, or travel is where you make your big spends, then other cards may better suit your credit card needs.

Want to learn more about the BankAmericard Cash Rewards™ Credit Card? Read our full review here.

Best cash back cards

Best for cash back on gas and grocery spending

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Apply Now

on American Express's website

Terms Apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.

Summary

If most of your spending is on gas, groceries and department stores, the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express provides excellent rewards rates and could be a winner for you.

Get it

If you spend an average of at least $500 per month at US supermarkets (not including superstores or warehouse clubs), the Blue Cash Preferred® Card can earn you at least $360 per year in statement credits.

Add to that 3% cash back on gas and select department store purchases and this is probably the card for you if this is how you spend your money.

Key highlights

  • Special Offer: $0 intro annual fee for the first year of card membership, then $95
  • Spend at least $1,000 within three months of opening your account for a $150 statement credit
  • 6% cash back for US supermarket purchases up to $6,000, after which these purchases qualify for 1% cash back
  • 3% cash back for gas station and select department store purchases in the US, with no cap
  • 1% cash back on all other goods and services (excluding prepaid cards and other cash equivalents)

Skip it

Given its high annual fee ($95 per year, after year one), you’ll need to do that math and see if you spend enough to make the fee worth it. Also, if you spend more of your money on things like travel, a travel rewards card may get you a greater return for your annual fee.

Is the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express worth your while? Read our full review here.

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