We ranked the best cash back cards available in 2024

Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

If you’re going to buy something on credit, why not get rewarded for it by using a cash back card?

Maybe you’re not sure how to pick the right one. If so, don’t worry, because we did all the hard work for you. The Fortune RecommendsTM team evaluated approximately 40 cash back credit cards available today and ranked them based on factors such as annual fee, rewards structure, annual percentage rate (APR), consumer benefits, and more.

Best cash back credit cards of May 2024


Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Intro Bonus

Earn $200 as a one-time cash bonus once you spend $500 within 3 months from account opening.

Annual Fee $0
0% Intro APR 15 months
Rewards 1.5% cash back on all purchases

Best overall: Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Intro Bonus

Earn $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $500 in purchases in the first three months

0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee 3% or $5 first 120 days, then 5%
Annual fee $0
Regular APR 20.24%, 25.24%, or 29.99% variable APR


Why we like this card 

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card has a lot to offer, with a generous sign-up bonus, straightforward rewards structure, a host of valuable extras, and no annual fee. The Active Cash card also comes with a host of other perks, such as cell phone protection, rental car insurance, and flexible reward redemption options. Considering these many benefits, it’s impressive that the card comes with no annual fee.

Best for those who want the most value: Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Intro bonus

An additional 1.5% on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year), worth up to $300 cash back.

Intro 0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater, on transfers made within 60 days of account opening. After that: Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Annual fee $0
Regular APR 20.49%–29.24% Variable

Why we like this card 

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® credit card is all about giving you more for your money. What’s more the card comes with a number of valuable protections, including extended warranty, purchase protection, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, and rental car coverage. You also get a complimentary three months of DashPass and Instacart+ membership. If you enroll in Instacart+ after those first three months, you’ll earn a statement credit up to $10 each quarter through July 31, 2024 when you make eligible Instacart purchases with your Chase Freedom Unlimited card.

Best for the household CFO: Chase Freedom Flex Credit Card

Chase Freedom Flex℠

Intro bonus

$200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within your first three months

0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee 3%
Annual fee $0
Regular APR 20.49%–29.24% Variable


Why we like this card 

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ card is designed to help you match cash back rewards to your spending habits. The Freedom Flex is similar to the Freedom Unlimited. The rewards structure is nearly identical. You also get the same welcome bonus along with a 15-month 0% APR period, Dashpass and Instacart+ benefits, and no annual fee.

The big difference is that the Freedom Flex card also includes bonus categories that allow you to earn 5% back in certain categories, up to $1,500 in total combined purchases each quarter. Bonus categories include gas stations, wholesale clubs, gyms and more—the exact categories available depend on the Chase cash back calendar. (You’ll need to activate your bonus categories each quarter.)

Finally, in addition to extended warranty, purchase, and travel protections, the Freedom Flex also comes with cell phone insurance.

Best for foodies: Capital One SavorOne Rewards

Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

Intro Bonus

Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus once you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months from account opening

0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee 3%


Annual fee $0
Regular APR 29.99% variable


Why we like this card 

The Capital One SavorOne Rewards card ensures you get plenty of value out of your card right away with one of the highest earning rates on both dining and groceries for a card with no annual fee. The card is especially rewarding if you are a food delivery fan as you get a whopping 10% back on purchases through Uber and Uber Eats. Plus, get you Uber One membership fees covered through November November 14, 2024.

For more info on the SavorOne card check out our full review.

Best for people new to credit: Chase Freedom RiseSM credit card

Chase Freedom Rise℠

Intro Bonus

Earn a $25 statement credit after signing up for automatic payments within the first three months of opening your account (with automatic payments, just pick a date and dollar amount to make sure your Credit Card gets paid on time)

Annual Fee $0
My Chase Plan Fee 1.72%
Foreign Transaction fee 3% of the amount of each transaction in U.S. dollars
Regular APR 26.99% variable

Why we like this card 

The Chase Freedom Rise℠ card is a great option for people who are just starting out with managing their finances and credit. If you’re worried about qualifying for this card with little to no credit, know that this card is designed for those who are new to managing credit. You can also increase your chances of approval by having a Chase checking or savings account with at least $250 before applying. If approved, you’ll be evaluated for a credit line increase in as soon as 6 months. Your credit line is the maximum amount of money you can spend on your Chase Freedom Rise℠ card.

Best for customer experience: Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card

Discover it Cash Back

Intro bonus

Get an unlimited dollar-for-dollar match of all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year, automatically.

0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee 3%
Annual fee $0
Regular APR 17.24%–28.24%

Why we like this card 

What good is a cash back card if managing it is a struggle? With the Discover it Cash Back card, you’ll have a team of helpful experts at your side. 

For one, Discover ranked second overall in the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study with a score of 841. The study, which includes responses from nearly 28,000 credit card customers, ranks national card issuers based on six factors: benefits and services, communication, credit card terms, interaction, key moments, and rewards.

Discover’s mobile app is also highly rated, with an average of 4.8 stars across mobile app stores. And if you accidentally miss a payment, Discover waives the fee the first time.

Best for big-ticket purchases: US Bank Cash+ ® Visa Signature ® Card

U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature

Intro bonus

Earn a $200 rewards bonus after you apply online and spend $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first 120 days of account opening

0% balance transfer term 15 months
Balance transfer fee 3%
Annual fee $0
Regular APR 19.49% to 29.74%

Why we like this card 

The US Bank Cash+ ® Visa Signature ® Card offers a generous cash back rate on retail purchases, plus a 15-month 0% introductory APR, making it ideal for major purchases. The card offers 5% back on two categories of your choice, which include department stores, electronic stores, furniture stores, and more (plus 2% back on one everyday category and 1% back on all other purchases).

Another perk of the Cash+ card is the option to enroll in an Extend Pay plan, which allows you to pay off balances in fixed monthly payments over time and avoid paying interest charges on new purchases. You may designate up to 50% of your credit card line ($100 minimum) in eligible credit card purchases and pay in monthly installments with just a small fixed monthly fee. 

What is a cash back credit card?

A cash back credit card is a type of credit card that allows users to earn a percentage of their spending back in the form of cash rewards. Depending on the card, cash back rewards can be a flat rate (e.g., 1.5% on all purchases) or can vary by purchase category (e.g., 3% on dining, 2% on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases). Some cards may also offer promotional periods with higher cash back percentages or bonuses for spending certain amounts within a specified timeframe. Learn more about how cash back cards work.

Can you get cash back with a credit card?

Yes many credit cards offer cash back, where you earn a percentage of your purchases back as a reward. For example, a card might offer 1% cash back on all purchases. If you spend $100, you’d earn $1 back in rewards. 

Over time, these rewards add up and can be redeemed in various ways, such as a statement credit, check, or deposit into a bank account. However, it’s essential for cardholders to be aware of any potential annual fees, interest rates, and reward expiration or limitations to ensure they maximize the benefits while minimizing costs.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Are cash back cards a good idea?

If you rely on credit cards to manage your expenses, using a cash back card is a smart way to earn money back on the spending you have to do anyway. However, if you struggle with debt and paying your credit card bill on time, it’s a good idea to avoid credit cards in general.

What credit card gives you 3% back?

There aren’t any credit cards that provide a flat 3% back across the board. However, several cards offer 3% back in certain spending categories, including the Amex EveryDay® Preferred Credit Card, Bank of America® Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card, and Capital One SavorOne Rewards.

How do you get 5% cash back on everything?

There is no cash back card that provides 5% back on all purchases. However, several cards offer 5% cash back on popular spending categories like groceries and gas, including the US Bank Cash+  Visa Signature ® Card, Credit One Bank Platinum X5 Visa, and Discover it Cash Back card.

How much is 1.5% cash back on $1,000?

If you spend $1,000 in eligible purchases on a card that offers 1.5% back, you’d earn $15 in cash back.

Is there a downside to cash back?

There is no downside to earning cash back. However, it’s not a good idea to spend money on a credit card that you can’t afford to pay back just to earn cash back. Missing payments results in late fees and harm to your credit.

Our methodology 

To bring you our top picks for the best cash back credit cards, the Fortune RecommendsTM team compared approximately 40 cash back rewards cards available from major issuers. 

We ranked each account in these nine core categories: 

  • Annual fee (10%): Some credit cards charge an annual fee, which can range from $50 to several hundred dollars. Usually, the more valuable the rewards and perks associated with a card, the higher the annual fee. However, many cards do not charge a fee at all. Fee-free cards were prioritized in our rankings. 
  • Base rewards rate (15%): This is the minimum amount of cash back awarded on everyday purchases, not considering any specific or rotating categories that may earn a higher rewards rate. 
  • Welcome bonus (15%): It’s common for credit card issuers to entice new customers by offering a bonus when they spend a certain amount of money within a few months after opening an account.   
  • 0% APR intro term (15%): Another feature that some card issuers offer to attract new business is an introductory period when the APR is 0%, meaning you won’t accrue any interest charges on purchases or balance transfers during this time (though balance transfers may be subject to fees). After this period, the interest rate reverts to the regular purchase APR on new charges. 
  • Purchase APR (20%): We examined the lowest available rate (10%) and highest available rate (10%) on regular purchases. (The exact interest rate you’re offered within that range will depend on your individual credit and financial profile).
  • Foreign transaction fee (5%): Some credit cards charge a fee for transactions made overseas. Cards that charge foreign transaction fees were docked in our rankings. 
  • Statement credits (5%): A handful of cash back cards also offer monthly, quarterly, or annual statement credits to offset the cost of certain purchases.
  • Customer service (5%): We included the J.D. Power 2022 U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction rating for all card issuers.
  • Consumer benefits (5%): Cards were awarded 0–4 points based on which consumer benefits/protections were included: purchase protection, extended warranty, cell phone insurance, car rental/trip insurance.
  • Mobile app rating (5%): We averaged the star rating for each issuer’s mobile app in the Apple Store and Google Play.

Keep in mind that the rewards, interest rates, and fee structures for the cards mentioned are available for limited periods and subject to change, which could impact how much cash back you earn. Additionally, only cards with an explicit cash back rate were considered; cards offering points or other non-cash back rewards were excluded from our rankings. 

Fortune Recommends™ has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Fortune Recommends™ and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

Please note that card details are accurate as of the publish date, but are subject to change at any time at the discretion of the issuer. Please contact the card issuer to verify rates, fees, and benefits before applying

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