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Home » Best cash back credit cards: 3% everywhere for a year and up to 10% in categories.

Best cash back credit cards: 3% everywhere for a year and up to 10% in categories.

When you use a cash back credit card for purchases, you can get a rebate that often is 3%, 5%, or even 10% of your purchase. Some cards offer generous cash back on every purchase. Others give you cash back in specific categories. Here are our picks for the best cash back credit cards.

The best cash back credit cards

CardWhy it makes this list
Chase Freedom Unlimited® card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
Annual fee: $0
3% rewards everywhere for a year for new cardmembers.
1.5% cash back everywhere with extended warranty and purchase protection.

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® earns 1.5% cash back everywhere, plus 5% on travel through Chase, 3% on dining, and 3% on drugstores. New cardmembers can get their first-year cash back doubled under the current welcome offer. And the card has an excellent extended warranty benefit.

More on the Chase Freedom Unlimited®.
Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card
Annual fee: $0
2% cash back rewards everywhere.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card earns 2% cash back rewards on every purchase. The card requires no minimum reward redemption amount.

More on the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
$0 Introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95
6% cash back on up to $6,000 spent at U.S. grocery stores each year.
Consumer insurance benefits.

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year (then 1%), plus 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% at U.S. gas stations and on transit. The card also includes the trifecta of Amex consumer insurance benefits: Purchase protection, extended warranty, and return protection.

More on the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express.
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card
Annual fee: $0
5% on up to $500 spent in flexible bonus categories each month.

The Citi Custom Cash card gives you 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in the eligible category in which you spend the most each month. Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.

More on the Citi Custom Cash card.
Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex℠
Annual fee: $0
9% on groceries by stacking welcome offer with bonus categories.
Welcome offer offering 5% on up to $12,000 of gas and groceries.
5% in rotating categories.


The Chase Freedom Flex features 5% cash back on up to $1,500 of spending in categories that change quarterly. The categories are frequently usable. And the current welcome bonus can get you up to 9% cash back rewards on your groceries in Q1 2024.

More on Chase Freedom Flex℠.
Amazon Prime Visa from Chase card art
Prime Visa
Annual fee: $0
Requires paid Amazon Prime membership.
5% rewards on Amazon with Chase extended warranty protection.

With the Prime Visa, you can get 5% cash back at Amazon and your purchases are covered by Chase extended warranty protection.

More on the Amazon Prime Visa.
The best cash back credit cards

How we picked: Our methodology

In selecting cards for our best cash back category cards list, we wanted to make sure that we were making a list that was useful to you. We started with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card, what we think is the current best 2% cash back credit card available with no annual fee.

We then added cards to the list if they gave us something valuable. Here are some reasons why cards might make our list:

  • A welcome offer that offers additional cash back on all purchases or in common categories for the first year.
  • Increased cash back in common, useful categories.
  • 1.5% cash back paired with an extended warranty benefit, useful for purchases of electronics, appliances, and other items with warranties.
  • Increased cash back at a general-merchandise retailer like Amazon. (We didn’t include cards offering increased cash back at specialty retailers.)

Why we included each of these cash back credit cards on the list

Chase Freedom Unlimited®: 3% everywhere for a year for new cardmembers

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is a great card for everyday cash back rewards. But it becomes perhaps the best card for everyday rewards when you consider one of its available welcome bonuses. Right now, new cardmembers can get their cash back rewards doubled in the first year of having the Chase Freedom Unlimited®. That means that you’ll get at least 3% total cash back everywhere and up to 10% in select categories.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® welcome bonus

To learn more about the Chase Freedom Unlimited welcome bonus, click over to our feature on the Chase Freedom Unlimited welcome bonus.

About Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited card art
Chase Freedom Unlimited®

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® offers cardmembers 1.5% rewards on all purchases. It is the essential “everywhere else card” in the Chase Ultimate Rewards® ecosystem.

Although the Chase Freedom Unlimited® is marketed as a “1.5% everywhere” card, it offers plenty of bonus spending categories. You get 5% on travel purchased through Chase Travel, 3% on dining at restaurants including eligible takeout and delivery, and 3% on drugstore purchases. Although rewards are marketed as cash back, the card earns Chase Ultimate Rewards® points behind the scenes, which can be transferred to a premium Ultimate Rewards® card and redeemed for greater value.

For a card with no annual fee, the Chase Freedom Unlimited® comes with a healthy set of benefits, including purchase protection, extended warranty, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance, and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Chase Freedom Unlimited® rewards

5%Travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
5%Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025)
3%Dining, including eligible takeout and delivery
3%Drugstore purchases
1.5%All other purchases
Rewards of the Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card: 2% cash back rewards everywhere with no annual fee

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card gives you 2% cash back rewards with no annual fee. Of the 2% cash back rewards cards out there, it remains our favorite because it offers slightly more in the way of benefits than competing cards. With the Active Cash, you get 2% rewards, plus cell phone protection and a secondary auto rental collision damage waiver.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card welcome bonus:

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting $200 after spending $500 within 3 months makes this welcome bonus one of the easiest cash back welcome bonuses to get.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards: 2% cash back on purchases.
Benefits: Cell phone protection. Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver.

About the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card
Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card

The Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card offers simple, unlimited 2% cash back with no annual fee. This alone puts this card in a small group of similar cards.

You’ll earn 2% cash back on every purchase with the Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card. The only catch is that you must redeem your rewards on $25 increments by phone or online. You can also redeem your rewards in $20 increments at a Wells Fargo ATM when you have a checking or savings account with a Wells Fargo ATM or debit card.

But what makes the card stand above the rest is that it offers up to $600 of cell phone protection. Cell phone protection covers damage or theft when you pay your monthly cell phone bill with your card. And the deductible for this benefit is only $25. This feature is uncommon on cards without an annual fee. While the coverage amount is lower, the deductible is one of the lowest among any card that offers this benefit.

Wells Fargo Active Cash® Card welcome bonus:

Earn a $200 cash rewards bonus when you spend $500 in purchases in the first 3 months.

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Getting $200 after spending $500 within 3 months makes this welcome bonus one of the easiest cash back welcome bonuses to get.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa Signature Card

Wells Fargo Active Cash® at a glance:
Annual fee: $0.
Rewards: 2% cash back on purchases.
Benefits: Cell phone protection. Secondary auto rental collision damage waiver.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express: 6% rewards at U.S. supermarkets. 3% at U.S. gas stations

For most people, groceries and gas represent a large part of their spending. And the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is simultaneously one of the best cards for groceries and one of the best cards for gas. We also like the card’s purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty benefits. Between the cash back rewards and the stellar Amex benefits, we think it’s worth paying this card’s $95 annual fee.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card welcome bonus

To learn more about the Blue Cash Preferred® welcome bonus, click over to our feature on the Blue Cash Preferred® card.

About the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express card art
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is the upgraded version of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, offering increased rewards on purchases at U.S. supermarkets, select U.S. streaming subscriptions, and U.S. gas stations. It comes with a $0 introductory fee for the first year, then $95/year. (See Rates and Fees)

The card offers 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases per year, plus 6% back on a long list of streaming providers. The card earns unlimited 3% cash back on U.S. gas stations and on transit. Other eligible purchases earn 1% cash back.

The Blue Cash Preferred® can be a great choice to use for retail purchases, as it offers the trifecta of retail insurance benefits: Purchase protection, return protection, and extended warranty. Terms apply to all benefits.

Blue Cash Preferred® Rewards

3%U.S. supermarkets, on up to $6,000 of spending per year, then 1%.
3%U.S. online retail on up to $6,000 of spending per year, then 1%.
3%U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 of spending per year, then 1%.
1%Other eligible purchases
Rewards of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card: 5% rewards at your choice of category

We like cash back cards that give us choices, and the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card offers 5% cash back on the category of our choosing. Technically, the card awards 5% cash back on the category where you spend the most each statement cycle. But we can choose which card we bring out of our wallet for each purchase. Used alongside our other cards that offer rotating categories or bonus cash back in categories, the Citi Custom Cash℠ can fill in the holes in almost any wallet.

Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment, select travel, select transit and select streaming services.

Citi Custom Cash® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi doesn’t often offer an increased welcome bonus on the Custom Cash. If you do not yet have a Custom Cash card, there’s no reason to wait for an increased bonus.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Citi Custom Cash℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on the first $500 in monthly purchases in your top eligible category. 1% everywhere else.

About the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

Citi Custom Cash Card Art
Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card earns ThankYou Points, but is marketed as a cash back card. With the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card, you can get 5% cash back on up to $500 in spending on the category where you spend the most each month. The Custom Cash carries no annual fee.

Eligible 5% categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, live entertainment, select travel, select transit and select streaming services.

The best way to use the Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is to select a bonus category and use the card primarily for that bonus category. The card earns 5% rewards only in the eligible category where you spend the most each month, and only on your first $500 in spending in that category. Other purchases earn 1% rewards.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card Rewards

5%*Your chosen top eligible spending category each billing cycle.
1%All other purchases
Rewards of the Citi Custom Cash℠ card

*Earn 5% on the first $500 spent in your top eligible spending category each billing cycle. Eligible categories include restaurants, gas stations, grocery stores, select travel, select transit, select streaming services, drugstores, home improvement stores, fitness clubs, and live entertainment.

Citi Custom Cash® Card welcome bonus:

bonus_miles_full

Click here to learn more and apply.

Our take on the welcome bonus: Citi doesn’t often offer an increased welcome bonus on the Custom Cash. If you do not yet have a Custom Cash card, there’s no reason to wait for an increased bonus.

The link above is a link directly to the bank’s website. We don’t make money when you use the above link, but we always show you the best offer.

Citi Custom Cash℠ Card card art

Citi Custom Cash℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% on the first $500 in monthly purchases in your top eligible category. 1% everywhere else.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ card: 5% back in rotating categories + 5% on gas and groceries for new cardmembers

We like the Chase Freedom Flex℠ for its rotating 5% category rewards. The card earns 5% rewards on up to $1,500 of spending in its featured rotating categories each quarter. Historically, the categories on the Freedom Flex℠ have been useful. Here are a few categories that appeared in 2023: Grocery stores, Target, Lowe’s, Amazon.com, gas stations, PayPal, and wholesale clubs.

But we really like the card for its current welcome offer. New cardmembers can get a $200 welcome bonus, plus 5% on gas station and grocery store purchases (up to $12,000 of spending) in the first year they have the card. Better yet, the welcome offer stacks with the rotating category bonuses, meaning you can get 9% on your groceries in the first quarter of 2024. And you’ll be able to get 9% back on gas later in the year, if Chase offers gas as a category bonus.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ welcome bonus:

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus get a 5% gas and grocery offer up to $600 cash back.

Earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Our take on the welcome bonus: This is the best offer we’ve seen on this card. Getting a $200 bonus after spending $500 on the card is good, but getting five percent cash back on up to $12,000 of spending on gas and groceries makes this card both one of the best gas cards and one of the best grocery cards for new cardmembers.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Freedom Flex card art

Chase Freedom Flex℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% in rotating categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter). 5% travel through Chase. 3% dining. 3% drugstores. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Cell phone protection.

About the Chase Freedom Flex℠

Chase Freedom Flex card art
Chase Freedom Flex℠

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ is Chase’s take on the 5% rotating category card, offering increased rewards in limited-time categories that are announced quarterly. The Chase Freedom Flex℠ has no annual fee.

The Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers 5% back on up to $1,500 spent each quarter in rotating bonus quarterly categories. Categories have historically included purchases at grocery stores, Amazon.com, gas stations and big box retailers. In addition, the card offers 3% cash back on restaurants and drugstore purchases and 1% cash back on everything else. All rewards are earned as Ultimate Rewards points, but can be redeemed for cash back.

In addition to cash back rewards, the Chase Freedom Flex℠ offers a generous suite of benefits for a card with no annual fee. The card protects your purchases with Purchase Protection, Extended Warranty Protection, and Cell Phone Protection and it offers protection for your travels with secondary auto rental collision damage waiver insurance and trip cancellation/interruption insurance.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ rewards

5%Quarterly bonus categories. (Up to $1,500 in total purchases during the quarter.)
5%Lyft rides (through March 31, 2025)
3%Dining, including eligible takeout and delivery
3%Drugstore purchases
1%All other purchases
Rewards of the Chase Freedom Flex℠
Chase Freedom Flex℠ welcome bonus:

Earn a $200 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Plus get a 5% gas and grocery offer up to $600 cash back.

Earn 5% cash back on combined gas station and grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.

Click here to learn more and apply for the Chase Freedom Flex℠.

Our take on the welcome bonus: This is the best offer we’ve seen on this card. Getting a $200 bonus after spending $500 on the card is good, but getting five percent cash back on up to $12,000 of spending on gas and groceries makes this card both one of the best gas cards and one of the best grocery cards for new cardmembers.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above. We always show you the best offer, and this is the best offer we know about on this card.

Chase Freedom Flex card art

Chase Freedom Flex℠ at a glance:
Annual fee: $0
Rewards: 5% in rotating categories (up to $1,500 in combined purchases per quarter). 5% travel through Chase. 3% dining. 3% drugstores. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Cell phone protection.

Prime Visa: 5% cash back on everything Amazon

Store credit cards wouldn’t normally make our list of the best cash back credit cards. But if you are an Amazon Prime member, the Amazon Prime Visa is an essential cash back credit card. If you’re a Prime member, you probably spend more at Amazon than any other store. And the Prime Visa will offer you 5% cash back rewards at the place where you shop the most.

We especially like that the card offers Chase’s excellent extended warranty protection benefit. Many cash back cards drop the extended warranty benefit, meaning you’re forced to choose between earning maximum rewards and having your purchases protected. Not so with the Prime Visa. Qualifying purchases get automatic extended warranty protection for an additional year.

Amazon Prime Visa welcome bonus:

Amazon Prime Visa from Chase: Receive a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval when you have a Prime membership. (If you do not have Amazon Prime, you’ll see an offer for the non-Prime version of the card, the Amazon Visa.)

Click here to learn more and apply:

Our take on the welcome bonus: The Amazon Prime Visa is an essential card for Amazon shoppers with Prime. A $100 Amazon gift card after approval is the best welcome bonus we know of on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above.

Amazon Prime Visa from Chase card art

Amazon Prime Visa at a glance:
Annual fee: $0 (requires paid Amazon Prime membership)
Rewards: 5% Amazon.com, Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh. 3% Chase Travel. 2% gas, restaurants, local transit and commuting. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Amazon 0% financing offers.

About the Amazon Prime Visa from Chase

Amazon Prime Visa from Chase card art
Amazon Prime Visa from Chase

The Amazon Prime Visa, available exclusively to Amazon Prime members, offers its highest rate of cash back on purchases at Amazon. If you have Amazon Prime, this card should be in your wallet… or at least loaded as your default payment method on Amazon. The Prime Visa has no annual fee, but an Amazon Prime membership ($139/year) is required to qualify for the card.

You’ll probably pick up the Prime Visa for its 5% cash back rewards at Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh and Whole Foods Market. But the card also earns 5% back on Chase Travel purchases. In addition to rewards at Amazon, the card will give you 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and on local transit and commuting, including rideshare services. The card earns 1% back on all other purchases.

Many store credit cards leave out essential benefits, but not the Prime Visa. The card has Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection, so you don’t have to choose between earning maximum cash back and having your purchases protected when you’re buying on Amazon. The card also features baggage delay insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, secondary auto rental collision damage waiver, and travel accident insurance.

Amazon Prime Visa Rewards

5%Amazon.com, Amazon Fresh
5%Whole Foods Market
5%Chase Travel
2%Gas stations
2%Restaurants
2%Local transit and commuting
1%*Everywhere else
Rewards of the Amazon Prime Visa
Amazon Prime Visa welcome bonus:

Amazon Prime Visa from Chase: Receive a $100 Amazon gift card upon approval when you have a Prime membership. (If you do not have Amazon Prime, you’ll see an offer for the non-Prime version of the card, the Amazon Visa.)

Click here to learn more and apply:

Our take on the welcome bonus: The Amazon Prime Visa is an essential card for Amazon shoppers with Prime. A $100 Amazon gift card after approval is the best welcome bonus we know of on this card.

The link above is a referral link. Someone on our team may earn points if you apply and are approved to the link above.

Amazon Prime Visa from Chase card art

Amazon Prime Visa at a glance:
Annual fee: $0 (requires paid Amazon Prime membership)
Rewards: 5% Amazon.com, Whole Foods, Amazon Fresh. 3% Chase Travel. 2% gas, restaurants, local transit and commuting. 1% other purchases.
Benefits: Extended warranty. Purchase protection. Amazon 0% financing offers.