Cash back credit cards are a great option for cardholders who want to get money back when they spend. If you’ve got good financial habits and excellent credit, these cards can serve you well. Since credit cards are handy for paying recurring bills like utilities, for online shopping, and for the basics like groceries and gasoline, you may want to seek out a credit card that offers cash back so that your purchases can recoup some money for you.
How do you know if this type of credit card is right for you? These cards can be the ideal choice for you if you don’t have much credit card debt to manage and if you have good credit history so that you can qualify for lower interest rates and pay fewer fees.
To maximize the impact and use of a cash back card, it would be best for you to pay off your balance each month. That way, you’re not paying interest on your purchases, which would neutralize the benefits you would get from using the card.
Best Cash Back Credit Cards
With these guidelines in mind, let’s take a look at some popular cash back credit cards.
Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard
Are you looking for a flexible rewards card? Here’s a great cash back card from Citi which will allow you to earn 5% cash back on hotels, car rentals and restaurants and other spending categories. Check to see if you need to enroll for these rewards each quarter. You’ll also earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
Now while all this sounds pretty standard for such cards these days, the Citi Dividend Platinum Select MasterCard also lets you receive rewards for cash advances and balance transfers, which are benefits I only see offered through a few cards. You’ll get 1% cash back for cash advances and $5 on individual balance transfer transactions amounting to $1,500 or more. You’ll also get an average 5% cash back when you shop at the Citi Bonus Cash Center where there are over 400 retailers to visit.
As for terms, this card offers an introductory rate of 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months. Rates go up after this period based on your credit history, are variable and pegged to the Prime Rate. There’s also no annual fee on this card.
Chase Freedom MasterCard
Here’s a card that offers 5% cash back on categories such as airlines, hotels, groceries, home improvement, department stores, and gas. You can earn 1% cash back on your other purchases. If you shop through the online Ultimate Rewards Mall, you may be eligible for up to 20% cash back, depending on the purchase and merchant.
There’s no annual fee and the rewards don’t expire. In the event that you don’t want the cash back, you can choose to redeem your reward points as gift cards, for travel, or statement credits.
In addition, you may qualify for a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 12 months and a 0% intro APR on purchases for 6 months.
This card has an alter ego in the Chase Freedom Visa, which offers a bonus of $100 in cash back after you spend $799 in the first 3 months of using the card. However, there is no 0% intro rate period available.
Blue Cash from American Express
If you’ve used this card and spent $6,500 and over during the year, you can net 5% cash back on purchases at drugstores, grocery stores, and gas stations. For other types of purchases, you’ll earn 1.25% cash back. If you’ve spent less than $6,500, you’ll earn 1% on gas, groceries, and everyday items; earn .5% on other types of purchases.
This card doesn’t have an annual fee, either. The APR for purchases is 0% for 6 months. Then your interest rate will be variable, currently 17.24%, 19.24% or 21.24%, depending on your credit history.
If you add family or friends to your account, their purchases can help you earn your cash back faster. Your cash back will show up as a credit on your statement about a month after your first year with the program. That means no complicated forms to fill out to get your money back.
Discover More Card
This card offers a whopping 5% cash back on categories like travel, gas, groceries, and restaurants, which makes it a serious choice especially for credit card holders who need to travel quite a bit. Purchases in other categories can earn up to a 1% cash back bonus.
If you shop through the Discover online mall, you might earn from 5% to 20% in cash back bonuses.
The introductory rate for purchases is 0% for 6 months. Then the rate will rise to 11.99% variable, but may be more, depending on your credit history. You’ll encounter lower interest rates if you have excellent credit. This is also a balance transfer credit card. For balance transfers, you can benefit from a 0% APR for 12 months. This card doesn’t have an annual fee.
As a bonus, this card offers $75 cash back if you spend $500 in your first three months of using the card.
Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards
You can earn up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 1% on other kinds of purchases. The rewards don’t expire and there’s no limit to how many points you can earn. The introductory APR for purchases is 0% for 9 months; then it’ll be 19.80% variable.
Getting your cash back is easy as calling the Rewards Center or going online. You can also opt to get your cash back automatically.
The annual fee for this card is $39. You’ll need average credit to apply.
Before you sign up for a cash back card, make note of any fees you’ll have to pay, the interest rate for purchases, balance transfers and cash advances, and the steps you need to take to receive the cash back. Compare a few cards — you might find a winner that you can put to work.
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