We all love to get rewarded just for buying everyday purchases with our credit cards. A lot of people think about racking up travel benefits like free flights and hotel stays when they think of rewards credit cards, but what if you don’t travel very often?
You can still get some great rewards. What you need is a cash back credit card. Wouldn’t it be nice if things like gas, groceries, and all the stuff you buy from Amazon were a little cheaper? With the right cash back card, they will be!
There are a lot of cash back credit cards to choose from, but we read the fine print for you to find the best offers available. These are the cash back credit cards that deserve a place in your wallet.
This is a favorite among cash back enthusiasts because it has a pretty good sign up bonus - not all cards offer a bonus.
Sign Up Bonus: When you sign up for the Chase Freedom you will receive a $150 bonus after spending $500 in the first three months. You’ll get an additional $25 when you add an authorized user and they make one purchase in the first three months.
Percentage:The Chase Freedom card gives 5% cash back up to $1,500 per quarter for the designated categories and 1% back on all other purchases with no dollar limit. The card occasionally offers special promotions that give you as much as 10% back on pre-determined categories!
Categories: The categories rotate each quarter. For 2017 they apply to gas stations and ground transportation (which includes taxis, subways, and local commuter buses and trains), grocery stores (excluding Walmart and Target), restaurants, and “holiday shopping” which is currently not defined.
You do have to activate the categories but it’s just a matter of going to Chase’s site and entering your last name, the last four digits of the card, and your zip code.
Purchase Protections: The card covers new purchases against theft or damage during the first 120 days after purchase, up to $500. They also provide price protection. If you see an item that you purchased advertised for less than you paid, in print or on-line within 90 days, Chase will reimburse you the difference up to $500.
There is no annual fee for the card but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. For the first 15 months, the APR is 0%, after that it is 14.24%-23.24%.
Credit Score: You will need a credit score in the “Good” range for this card, above 700.
Citi Double Cash Card
Like to double dip? You’ll be a fan of this card!
Sign Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus for the Citi Double Cash Card.
Percentage: You get 1% off and another 1% when you pay your balance! There is no limit to how much you can earn.
Categories: You don’t have to keep track of or sign up for categories to earn cash back with this card. The 1% applies to all purchases.
Purchase Protections: You will be covered for damage or theft within the first 120 days, up to $1,000 per item. If an item you purchase comes with a warranty of five years or less, Citi will give you an additional year’s warranty.
Fees: There is no annual fee for this card, but there is a 3% foreign transaction fee. For the first 15 months, the APR is 0%, after that it is 13.24-23.24%.
Credit Score: You will need “Excellent” credit for this card, the mid 700’s and above.
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
The sky is the limit when it comes to cash back with this rewards card!
Sign Up Bonus: There is no sign up bonus for the QuicksilverOne Card.
Percentage: You get 1.5% cash back with no limit.
Categories: There are no categories to keep track of; you get 1.5% back on all purchases. Do you use Uber? This card will give you a 20% credit for Uber purchases!
Purchase Protections: Capital One will provide an extended warranty on items covered under a manufacturer’s warranty. They also offer price protection. If you find the same item you purchased for a lower price within 60 days, you will be reimbursed the difference.
Fees: There is an annual fee of $39. There is 0% APR until January 2017, and a variable APR of around 23% after that. There is no foreign transaction fee so this will make a good travel partner.
Credit Score: This card stands out because it doesn’t require “Excellent” or even “Good” credit. You can get this card with just a “Fair” score between 630-689.
Blue Cash Preferred from American Express
Is your idea of a fun night to go grocery shopping and then cooking up a great meal? We found the card for you!
Sign Up Bonus: You will receive a $150 statement credit after spending $1000 in the first three months. You can get an additional credit of up to $200 via 10% back when you spend up to $2,000 at a U.S. wireless phone provider in 2017. So if you want the new iPhone, this is a great offer!
Percentage: This card offers 6%, 3%, and 1% back, depending on the category.
Categories: If you like to cook, this is the card for you. You will receive 6% back on the first $6,000 spent on groceries. After reaching the $6,000 limit, you’ll receive 1% back on groceries. Super stores like Walmart and Costco are excluded from this as are liquor stores. You get 3% back on gas and qualifying department stores. All other purchases will get you 1% back with no dollar limit.
Purchase Protections: American Express provides protection from damage or theft for up to 90 days after purchase. The card will provide up to a one year extended warranty on items that come with a manufacturer’s warranty of five years or less. This card even provides return protection! If the merchant refuses to accept a return, American Express will refund the full purchase price on eligible items valued up to $300.
Fees: The card has a $75 annual fee. There is 0% APR for the first 12 months and then it goes up to 13.24-23.24%. There is a foreign transaction fee of 2.7%.
Credit Score: You will need at least a “Good” score to get this card, so above 700.
This card proves you don’t have to have a perfect credit score to get a good cash back card.
Sign Up Bonus: This is something of an unusual sign up bonus but it’s a good one! At the end of your first year, Discover it will match every penny of cash back you earned that year.
Percentage: You get 5% and 1% cash back.
Categories: This card has revolving categories. You get 5% cash back up to $1,500 on categories like gas and ground transportation, restaurants and movies, home improvement stores and Amazon, which has yet to determine categories. You get 1% on all purchases with no dollar limit.
Purchase Protections: Discover it will cover items against damage and theft for 90 days up to $500 per item. If your card is lost or stolen, Discover offers Freeze It. With one click, you can prevent any new purchases or cash advances from being charged to the card. They will also waive late fees if you are late making your first payment. Note, this only applies to your first payment.
Fees: There is no annual fee. There is a 0% APR for the first twelve months and an APR of 11.24-23.24% after. There is no foreign transaction fee.
Credit Score: You need a “Good” score of 700 or above for approval.
What’s the Verdict?
If you grocery shop outside of big box stores like Walmart and Target and like to dine out, the Chase Freedom is a good card for making those things 5% cheaper. If you want all of your purchases to be 2% cheaper and can’t be bothered with revolving categories, the Citi Double Cash Card will double your rewards and make things simple.
If you don’t have a sterling credit score, the Capital One card is a great card that you may have a better chance of being approved for than some of its competitors. If you like to cook, the Blue Cash Preferred is terrific. With a ceiling of $6,000 before the 6% drops down to 1%, even if you’re spending $100 a week on groceries, you won’t run out for the year!
Discover it is great if you like to shop through Amazon since it’s one of the categories for half the year. It’s also a good card to bring along if you travel abroad since there is no foreign exchange fee. You also get the nice perk of a free FICO score included on your statement.
You work hard for your money. Why not let the credit card companies help you keep a little more of it when you are buying everyday things like groceries and gas? Happy spending!