The 20 Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2021
If cash is king in your world, the right cash back credit card should be an essential part of your wallet. Choose the right card, and you could get rewarded with a generous amount of cash back for each and every dollar you spend. Obviously, cash back isn’t the only thing you need to consider – the usual things like APR, annual fees, balance transfers fees, etc, all need to be factored into the decision too. Rewards programs and benefits are always subject to change, but for now, these are the 20 best cash back credit cards of 2021.
20. Chase Ink Business Cash Card
If you’re a small business owner looking for a no-fee credit card with some seriously attractive perks, the Chase Ink Business Cash offers a very attractive solution. All purchases on offices supplies and internet, cable and phone services qualify for a 5% cash back. Purchases at restaurants and gas stations earn an unlimited 2% cash back. As equally generous as the cash back program is the welcome bonus, which will reward you with $750 if you spend $7,500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
A great option for Navy Federal Credit Union members, the Navy Federal More Rewards American Express Card comes with no fees and an attractive points scheme that rewards you with 3X points at restaurants and on food delivery, 3X points at supermarkets, gas and transit, and 1X points on everything else. Points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards, travel, and merchandise. Additional benefits include a 15,000 points bonus when you spend $2,000 within 90 days of account opening, which equates to $250. You’ll also qualify for a 0% purchase APR for nine months and a 25% discount on car rental, car rental loss & damage insurance.
18. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card
Recommended by Forbes as one of the best cash back cards on the market, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature Card comes with no annual fee, a welcome bonus of $150 when you apply online and spend $500 in the first three months after account opening, and an impressive cash back rewards program that lets you earn up to 5% cash back in your preferred bonus categories and 2% cash back on other eligible purchases. Additional benefits include no annual fee and a 0% intro APR on balance transfers.
17. Capital One Walmart Rewards Card
For anyone who regularly shops online at Walmart, the Capital One Walmart Rewards Card is a no-brainer. For every purchase you make at Walmart.com and on the Walmart app, including grocery pickup and delivery, you’ll earn a stellar 5% cash back. Restaurant and travel purchases will get you 2% cash back, as will purchases at Walmart & Murphy USA Fuel Stations. All other purchases qualify for 1% cash back. There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fees, and while it’s not guaranteed, a fair/average credit rating should be enough to get you a pass.
16. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
If you’re an Amazon Prime member who does a lot of shopping at Amazon and Whole Foods, the 5% cash back you’ll receive on purchases with the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is hard to fault. There’s no annual fee for Amazon Prime members, a very attractive $150 Amazon.com gift card welcome bonus with no spending requirement, no foreign transaction fees, and all the usual Visa Signature benefits.
15. HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard
If you’re a frequent flyer or a digital nomad, the HSBC Cash Rewards Mastercard makes a solid option. HSBC has a global presence, with branches in 64 countries across the world, meaning that, unlike certain other cards, you won’t be penalized when you spend abroad. The earing structure is simple, with no rotating categories and a straightforward 1.5% cash back on all purchases. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and complimentary ShopRunner membership is included as standard.
14. Jasper Cash Back Mastercard
Named by Creditcards.com as one of the best cash back cards for referral bonuses, the Jasper Cash Back Mastercard offers 1% cash back for all purchases, increasing by an extra 1% for a full year for each friend you refer, up to a maximum of 6% in total. All cash back earnings are automatically transferred to your account as a statement credit.
13. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card
Voted as one of the best cash back credit cards for 2021 by Money.com, the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card is a great card for people who like to splash their cash on dining and entertainment. You’ll qualify for a very generous 4% cash back on all dining purchases (including takeout and delivery), 4% cash back on entertainment and streaming services, 3% cash back on groceries, and 1% on all other purchases. Other advantages include a welcome bonus of $300 if you spend $3000 within the first three months of account opening, no foreign transaction fees, and exclusive access to premium events and experiences.
12. Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card
If you use your credit card for big purchases, the Alliant Cashback Visa Signature Credit Card makes a good option. There’s no welcome bonus and you’ll need an excellent credit rating to qualify, but if neither of those presents a problem, you’ll find the generous credit line and extremely generous 2.5% cash back on all monthly purchases up to $10,000 an unbeatable proposition.
11. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
As nerdwallet.com explains, the Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card lets you customize your rewards structure so you can choose which of your purchases earns the highest cash back rate. You’ll earn 3% cash back on your chosen category (this can be gas, dining, travel, online shopping, drugstores, or home improvement and furnishings), along with 2% cash back on grocery store and wholesale club purchases and 1% cash back on everything else. If you change your mind about which category you want as your highest cash back earner, you can change it once a month. The card comes with no annual fee and a $200 cash back bonus if you spend $1000 in the first three months after account opening.
10. American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card
The American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card comes with a $95 annual fee, but not only is this waived during the first year, but the very generous cash back program will offset the cost easily. All purchases you make at supermarkets and selected streaming services will qualify for a very generous 6% cash back. Purchases at gas stations earn 3% cash back. You’ll also earn 20% cash back on all Amazon purchases you make within the first 6 months, up to a maximum of $200. Providing you spend $3000 within the first 6 months of account opening, you’ll get a $200 welcome bonus as a thank you.
9. American Express Blue Cash Everyday
If you’re looking for a straightforward, everyday credit card with a fuss-free cash back program and no annual fee, the American Express Blue Cash Everyday could be for you. Every purchase you make on the card at a supermarket will earn 3% cash back on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%. Purchases at gas stations and at select department stores qualify for 2% cash back. All other purchases earn 1% cash back. For the first 6 months, you’ll earn 20% cash back on all Amazon purchases up to a maximum value of $150. There’s no annual fee, and new cardholders will qualify for a $100 statement fee when they spend $2000 within the first 6 months of card membership.
8. Discover it Business Card
Named by thebalance.com as the best cash back card for businesses, the Discover it Business Card offers an easy-to-follow cash back program that offers 1.5% cash back on every dollar spent on all purchases. For the first year, Discover will match all the cash back you’ve earned automatically.
7. Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Named as one of the best cash back cards of 2021 by CNBC, the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the few cards around to offer great cash back rewards for people with fair/average credit. Unlike some cards, there’s no limit on the amount of cash back you can earn per quarter and no minimum limit dictating when you can withdraw it. The scheme itself is straightforward, with no rotating categories to worry about – you’ll simply earn a respectable 1.5% cash back for every purchase you make. The card has an annual fee of $39, but the cash back program will, for most people at least, more than offset the cost.
6. Discover it Student Cash Back
If you want to get your finances off to the best possible start, establishing a good credit rating with a card like the Discover it Student Cash Back while you’re still at college is the best way to go about it. The cash back program is excellent, with 5% cash back each quarter on rotating categories, up to a maximum of $1500, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The perks don’t end there: if you maintain a 3.0 or higher GPA, you’ll qualify for an annual $20 Good Grades Reward statement credit. There’s no annual fee and an introductory 0% APR for the first six months after account opening on all purchases.
5. Discover it Miles
Students aren’t the only ones who get to experience Discover’s great cash back programs. If your college days are behind you, the Discover it Miles Card makes a very solid option. There’s no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, no late payment penalties, and a rewards program that lets you claim your Miles back as either cash back or travel statement credits. Every dollar you spend will earn 1.5x Miles. For the first year, Discover will match you Mile for Mile, meaning you’ll essentially be earning 3% cash back on every purchase you make.
4. Citi Double Cash Card
The Citi Double Cash Card is a solid, straightforward option that keeps things simple. The rewards program kicks in without the need to activate it. There are no rotating reward categories to worry about – you’ll simply earn a flat, 1% cash back on all purchases. As an added bonus, there’s no cap on how much cash back you can earn in any one period. Any cash back you earn can be redeemed for checks or statement credits, with a minimum redemption value of $25. There’s no welcome bonus but all new cardholders will qualify for 0% APR for the first 18 months on balance transfers.
3. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers cardholders a generous 2% cash back on all purchases. Unlike some card providers that impose a limit on how much you can earn per quarter, the cash back potential here is limitless. On top of the ongoing cash back rewards, new cardholders will qualify for a $200 bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases within three months of the account being opened. In addition, you’ll qualify for a 0% intro APR on new purchases and balance transfers made within the first 15 months.
2. Chase Freedom Flex
A rotating bonus category card like Chase Freedom Flex can help you make the most out of your rewards. You’ll earn 5% cash back on up to $1,5000 in purchases you make across bonus categories (which change quarterly), then 1% percent thereafter. On top of that, you’ll earn 5% cash back on any travel purchases you make through the Chase Ultimate Reward, along with 3% cash back on dining and drug store purchases and 1% on all other purchases. If all that wasn’t enough to tempt you, there’s also a very generous $200 welcome cash back up for grabs if you spend $500 in the first three months after account opening.
1. Chase Freedom Unlimited
If you’re looking for a card with no annual fee, a substantial 0% intro APR period for purchases, a generous welcome bonus, and an excellent cash back program, you’ll find that the Chase Freedom Unlimited ticks all the boxes. Any travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards earn 5% cash back, drugstore purchases earn 3% cash back, and all other purchases earn 1.5% cash back. On top of that, you’ll earn $200 cash back if you spend $500 on purchases in the first three months after opening the account.