If you want to start earning big rewards on your spending habits, a 5% cash back credit card is the way to go. Over the past few years, there’s been a steady stream of cash back cards entering the market. Although the terms differ for each card, they all offer rewards across either specific categories or rotating quarterly categories, allowing you to maximize your spend on purchases like gas, dining, streaming services, gym memberships, and more besides. If you want a credit card that will work hard for its place in your wallet, check out our rundown of the five best 5% cash back credit cards available today.
1. Chase Freedom Flex
Named as one of the best 5% cash back cards by tulsaworld.com, the Chase Freedom Flex offers quarterly rotating 5% spending categories that include home improvement stores, gas stations, wholesale clubs, Walmart and PayPal. The cashback will be awarded on the first $1,500 you spend on category purchases during the quarter. In order to benefit from the cashback, you’ll need to activate each quarterly bonus manually – although it’s a slight inconvenience, Chase makes the process easier by sending its cardholders an email where they can activate the promotion at the click of a button. In addition to the 5% cash back you’ll earn on rotating category purchases, you’ll also be eligible for 5% cash back on any travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% cash back on dining (including delivery and takeout) on up to $12,000 of purchases in the first year, 5% cash back at gas stations on the first $6,000 spent in the first year, and 1% on all other purchases. Other key benefits include no annual fee, cell phone protection, a $200 bonus if you spend $500 on purchases within the first three months after opening the account, and 15 months 0% intro APR financing on purchases.
2. Blue Cash Preferred by American Express
According to cnn.com, the Blue Cash Preferred by American Express is an excellent option for cardholders who want to earn big rewards on their supermarket spend. The card currently offers a stonking 6% cash back at all US supermarkets for up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1% thereafter, making it one of the best cards available for maximizing your grocery spend. It also offers 6% cash back on streaming services, along with 3% cash back at gas stations and select transit, and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Additional benefits include a 0 percent introductory APR on all purchases made within the first 12 months of account opening (then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable), a $0 introductory annual fee for the first year (then $95 for all subsequent years), a welcome bonus of $300 in statement credits when you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first six months of account opening, and an excellent return protection policy which will allow you to claim a refund of up to $300 per item (up to a maximum of $1,000 per calendar year) for any eligible item purchased using your Blue Cash Preferred within 90 days from the purchase date if the seller refuses to take it back.
3. Citi Custom Cash Card
Bonus categories can be a good way of earning some cash back, but if your spending habits change from month to month, they can sometimes be more hassle than they’re worth. If you don’t want to waste time chasing bonus categories, the Citi Custom Cash Card makes an excellent option. The card automatically earns 5% cash back on your top spending category each month on up to $500 in purchases, and then 1% cash back thereafter. All other purchases qualify for a 1% cash back. If your spending habits change the following month, the card will automatically change with them, meaning you won’t lose out in the way you would on cards with fixed quarterly bonus categories. The categories eligible for the 5% cash back include grocery stores, gas stations, streaming services, fitness club memberships, drugstores, home improvement, restaurants, select travel and transit, and live entertainment. To maximize your rewards, it’s possible to convert your cash back to Citi ThankYou points which, when transferred to any of Citi’s airline partners, could add some significant extra value. Additional incentives include a 15-month 0 percent introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers (then 13.99 percent to 23.99 percent variable), a $200 cash back welcome bonus after you spend $750 on purchases within the first 3 months after opening the account, and no annual fee.
4. Discover it Cash Back
If you’re hunting for a card with an enticing sign up bonus and excellent rewards on popular categories like groceries, gas stations, and restaurants, the Discover it Cash Back card makes an excellent option. As time.com explains, cardholders can earn 5% cash back on a quarterly basis (up to a maximum spend of $1,500) on rotating bonus categories that have historically included options such as fitness clubs, gym memberships, Target, grocery stores, Amazon.com, and PayPal. All other purchases come with 1% cash back. As a new cardholder, Discover will match all your cash back at the end of the year, making it ideal for people planning on making some big purchases over the next 12 months. Other perks include a 0% introductory APR for 14 months on balance transfers, 0% interest on all purchases for the first 14 months, no annual fee, and no foreign transaction fees.
5. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa
If you want a no-annual-fee card that offers flexible rewards to suit your spending habits, the U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa makes a solid choice. Cardholders can expect to earn up to 5% cash back in their choice of two categories (these include options such as electronics stores, home utilities, fast food, department stores, cell phone providers, TV, internet and streaming services) on up to $2,000 in purchases per quarter. You’ll also earn 2% cash back on another category of your choice (options include supermarkets, gas stations, and dining), along with 1% cash back on all other purchases. Other features include a 0% introductory APR for 18 months on balance transfers (increasing to 13.99% to 23.99% variable APR thereafter) and no annual fee.