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12 Best Cash-Back Credit Cards – Reviews & Comparison

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

Cash-back credit cards are popular because they provide tangible, easy-to-understand benefits. Who doesn’t like getting a credit on their monthly credit card statement – or, better yet, actual cash deposited into the account of their choice? Cash-back credit cards can be even more popular than our top-rated gas credit cards and travel rewards cards.

But not all cash-back credit cards are created equally.

Some offer the same cash-back rate on all purchases. Others offer higher cash-back rates on certain spending categories, such as groceries or gas, and lower rates on everything else. Still others offer bonus cash back on spending categories that rotate every quarter. A few accrue cash back on purchases and monthly payments.

And some cash back cards even hew to hybrid models, with cash back on certain spending categories and different types of rewards (such as airline miles) on others.


Best Cash-Back Credit Cards

You’ll find each type of card on this list of the best cash-back cards available to U.S. consumers today.

Keep in mind that most cash-back credit cards require applicants to have good to excellent credit — usually indicated by a FICO credit score above 700, and sometimes even higher. If you don’t meet that threshold, work on building your credit before applying.


1. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

$200 Sign-Up Bonus When You Spend $500 in Purchases in the First 3 Months and 5% Cash Back on Eligible Grocery Store Purchases (Up to $12,000 Spent) in the First Year; Up to 5% Cash Back on Select Purchases

Chase Freedom Unlimited Credit Card

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Chase Freedom Unlimited earns unlimited 1.5% on most purchases, with some exceptions:

  • Through March 2022, qualifying Lyft purchases earn 5% cash-back
  • Travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards travel portal earn 5% cash-back
  • Drugstore and dining purchases (including takeout and eligible delivery services) earn 3% cash-back

You can redeem for virtually anything, in any amount, at the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal – including cash equivalents, merchandise, and travel.

Chase Freedom Unlimited has a great (and sometimes overlooked) perk for loyal Chase credit card customers. If you also have the Chase Ink Business Preferred ($95 annual fee) business card, the Chase Sapphire Preferred ($95 annual fee) travel rewards card, or the Chase Sapphire Reserve ($550 annual fee) premium travel rewards card, you can transfer points earned through Freedom Unlimited to those accounts.

You can then transfer those points at a 1-to-1 ratio to a number of different frequent traveler programs, or redeem them for travel purchases through the Ultimate Rewards portal and receive a 25% to 50% bonus (for instance, boosting the value of a 50,000-point redemption to $625 or $750), depending on the card.

However, keep in mind that you need to obtain either Ink Preferred or Sapphire Preferred/Reserve. Having Chase Freedom Unlimited doesn’t necessarily qualify you for those cards.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 bonus cash when you spend at least $500 in eligible purchases during the first three months your account is open. Plus, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year, excluding grocery purchases at Target or Walmart.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on most purchases. Travel purchases made through Chase Ultimate Rewards travel earn 5% cash-back, drugstore and dining purchases (including takeout and eligible delivery) purchases earn 3% cash-back, and through March 2022, Lyft purchases earn 5% cash-back.
  • Redemption: You can redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards in any amount. Redemption methods include statement credits, bank account deposits, gift cards, general merchandise purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal and direct with third-party retailers such as Amazon, and travel purchases made through Chase’s Ultimate Rewards portal.
  • Introductory APR: 0% introductory purchase APR for 15 months after account opening. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies.
  • Regular APR: Once the introductory promotion ends, variable regular APR applies, currently 14.99% to 23.74% APR.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, and foreign transactions cost 3% of the total transaction amount.
  • Other Perks: Additional benefits include purchase protection (up to $500 per item for 120 days after purchase), a free credit score (updated weekly) with Chase Credit Journey, and a free DoorDash DashPass subscription for three months from account opening (then 50% off for the next nine months). Activation is required to earn the DoorDash benefit.

See our Chase Freedom Unlimited Card review for more information. Find out how to apply for this card here.

Apply Now


2. Citi® Double Cash Card

1% Cash Back When You Spend + 1% Cash Back When You Pay Your Balance; 0% APR on Balance Transfers for 18 Months

Citi Double Cash Credit Card

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Citi Double Cash’s two-tiered cash-back program rewards cardholders who pay their balances in full each month.

As long as you’re a cardholder in good standing, you’re guaranteed to earn 1% cash back on all eligible purchases that post to your Double Cash account. But you’ll only achieve the card’s effective 2% cash-back rate when you pay off your balance in full – as you should, under normal circumstances.

Two percent cash back isn’t the only Double Cash benefit worth touting. The card’s 18-month 0% APR balance transfer promotion is among the best in the category, and the value-added perks are unusually generous for a no-annual-fee card.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: There’s presently no sign-up bonus on the Citi Double Cash Card. Check back for updates.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all purchases when they post to your account, then another 1% cash back on all balance payments, for a total effective cash-back rate of 2% when you pay your balance in full. You must make at least the minimum payment to qualify for the 1% cash-back rate on balance payments during that statement cycle. Cash back expires after 12 months of account dormancy (no purchases or redemptions).
  • Redemption: The minimum redemption is $25.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months. Then regular APR applies (currently 13.99% to 23.99% variable, depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates).
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 3%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount.

See our Citi Double Cash Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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3. Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

6% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets and Select Digital Media Services; 3% at U.S. Gas Stations and Transit Operators (Including Rideshare); 1% Everywhere Else

American Express Blue Cash Preferred Credit Card

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If you love the supermarket, you’ll love the Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express. You get 6% cash back on all U.S. supermarket transactions, up to a $6,000 annual spending limit. Once you hit $6,000, you get 1% back on U.S. supermarket purchases, with no upper limit.

You’ll also get unlimited 6% cash back on eligible purchases with digital media and streaming providers such as Netflix and HBO.

There’s no spending limit on the U.S. gas station and transit operator categories. You get 3% cash back on every $1 spent in those places, period. American Express treats rideshare operators such as Lyft and Uber as transit operators, which is great news for those who frequently use those services. And you get 1% cash back on all other purchases, with no limits. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

One small drawback of the Blue Cash Preferred card is American Express’s restrictive definition of “supermarket.” Superstores like Walmart, wholesale clubs like Costco, and alcohol retailers aren’t considered as supermarkets for this card’s purposes.

And the annual fee does cut into your earning potential somewhat after the first year. But since the 6% supermarket cash back doubles what most competing cards offer, you’re still likely to come out ahead if you take full advantage of this category.

If you’re struggling to meet your $6,000 annual U.S. supermarket spending limit with food and dry goods purchases alone, make up the difference by purchasing other merchants’ gift cards at the supermarket checkout counter. It’s like getting an immediate 6% discount at your favorite restaurants, retailers, and e-commerce websites.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on your card in the first 6 months of account opening, up to $200 back. Plus, earn $150 back after you spend at least $3,000 on purchases within the first 6 months. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn 6% cash back on select digital media and streaming services like Netflix and HBO. Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 in spending per year. After that, you receive 1% cash back at supermarkets. This card offers unlimited 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and transit operators, including rideshare companies like Uber and Lyft. Finally, earn 1% cash back on everything else.
  • Redemption: You can redeem Reward Dollars for statement credits.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases for 12 months. Following the end of the introductory period, the regular APR is variable (currently 13.99% to 23.99%), depending on prevailing rates and your personal creditworthiness. See rates and fees page.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $0 for the first year, then $95 each year thereafter. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. See rates and fees page.

See our American Express Blue Cash Preferred Card review for more information. Find out how you can apply for this card here.

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4. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

1.5% Cash Back on All Eligible Purchases; Early Spend Bonus Worth $200

capital one quicksilver cash rewards credit card

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The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card couldn’t be simpler. All eligible purchases made with this card earn 1.5% cash back, with no restrictions on how much you can earn, and you can redeem in any amount for a statement credit or paper check. An unusually long 0% APR introductory promotion for purchases and a solid early spend bonus seal the deal for prospective cardholders.

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases, with no caps or restrictions on how much you can earn.
  • Redemption: Redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards in any amount for a statement credit against prior purchases or a paper check mailed to your address on file.
  • Introductory APR: 0% introductory purchase APR for 15 months after account opening, after which variable regular APR applies.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a host of purchase and travel protections at no additional out of pocket cost.

See our Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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5. Chase Freedom Flex℠ Card

5% Cash Back on the First $1,500 Spent in Rotating Categories Every Quarter; 5% Cash Back on Eligible Travel Purchases Made Through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3% Cash Back on Dining and Drugstore PurchasesChase Freedom Flex Card Art 1 28 21

Apply Now

All purchases made with Chase Freedom Flex earn 1% cash back, with no caps or restrictions. But there’s much more to the story. Freedom Flex has several opportunities to earn bonus cash on a routine basis:

  • 5% cash back on eligible purchases up to $1,500 in quarterly rotating categories
  • 5% cash back on qualifying Lyft purchases made through March 2022
  • 5% cash back on travel purchases made through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • 3% cash back on drugstore and dining purchases at restaurants, including takeout and delivery

Chase Freedom Flex leverages Chase Ultimate Rewards points, a versatile spending currency that is worth $0.01 per point or more depending on redemption. Spending in the 1% cash-back category earns 1 point per dollar, while spending in the 5% categories earns 5 points per dollar.

You can redeem for cash back (with each point being worth $0.01), deliverable as a statement credit, bank account deposit, gift card, and direct purchases at select retailers (such as Amazon). There’s no minimum to redeem.

One small drawback of Chase Freedom Flex: You have to manually activate your 5% rotating categories each quarter. If you don’t do so by the middle of the last month of that quarter, you forfeit the 5% cash-back opportunity.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: When you make $500 in qualifying purchases within three months of opening your account, you get $200. Plus, earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases on up to $12,000 spent in the first year. This benefit does not include grocery purchases at Target or Walmart.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in quarterly rotating categories, up to $1,500 combined spending across all categories. Through March 2022, qualifying Lyft purchases earn unlimited 5% cash back as well. Eligible Chase Ultimate Rewards travel purchases earn 5% cash back too, and drugstore and dining purchases (including takeout and delivery) earn 3% cash back. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on quarterly category purchases above the $1,500 limit and on all other purchases.
  • Redemption: You can redeem for statement credits, bank account deposits, and gift cards at a 1 point to $0.01 ratio. You can also redeem for travel, general merchandise, and other purchases at the Ultimate Rewards portal. Your cash-back rewards don’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing, and there’s no minimum redemption threshold for cash back.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies.
  • Regular APR: Once the introductory promotion ends, variable regular APR applies, currently 14.99% to 23.74% APR.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 3%.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a complimentary subscription to DoorDash’s DashPass service for three months from account opening, then 50% off for the next nine months.

See our Chase Freedom Flex Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

Apply Now


6. Citi Custom Cash℠ Card

5% Cash Back on the First $500 Spent in Your Top Eligible Spending Category Each Month; Sign-up Bonus Worth $200

Citi Custom Cash Card Art 6 10 21

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The Citi Custom Cash℠ Card is a no-annual-fee card that automatically pays 5% cash back on the first $500 in purchases in your top eligible spending category each month with no activation required. Simply spend as you normally would and you’ll earn your bonus cash back as ThankYou points redeemable for statement credits, bank account deposits, gift cards, and more.

Eligible bonus spending categories include:

  • Restaurants
  • Gas stations
  • Select transit
  • Select travel
  • Select streaming services
  • Drugstores
  • Home improvement stores
  • Live entertainment

This card also comes with a solid sign-up bonus and a very long 0% introductory APR promotion on balance transfers and purchases.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: Earn $200 cash back (fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou points) after you spend $750 in the first 3 months of card membership.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn 5% cash back on purchases in your top eligible spending category each month, up to $500 in spending. All other eligible purchases, including top eligible spending category purchases above the $500 cap, earn 1% cash back. Cash back is earned as ThankYou points.
  • Redemption: Redeem your ThankYou points for cash back as statement credits or bank account deposits. Or, redeem for gift cards, Amazon purchases, and other items.
  • Introductory APR: Enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. Thereafter, variable regular APR applies.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is a flat 3%.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a full slate of value-added features courtesy of Mastercard.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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7. American Express Cash Magnet® Card

Unlimited 1.5% Cash Back on All Purchases; Welcome Offer Worth Up to $150

American Express Cash Magnet Credit Card

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American Express Cash Magnet is a great general spending card for consumers who tend not to favor specific purchase categories. Like Capital One Quicksilver, it earns 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases. And, as a relatively new addition to Amex’s stable, it comes with a generous limited-time welcome offer: up to $150 in bonus cash. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

Other perks include a 15-month 0% APR promotion for purchases (after which variable regular APR applies, currently 13.99% to 23.99%) and a nice lineup of value-added perks, including discount opportunities (see rates and fees page). One big drawback is the $25 minimum redemption threshold, which could be an issue for lighter spenders.

  • Welcome Offer: For a limited time, earn $150 cash back when you make at least $1,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn 1.5% cash back on all eligible purchases.
  • Redemption: Redeem Reward Dollars for statement credits.
  • Introductory APR: 0% purchase APR for 15 months. Then, regular APR applies (currently 13.99% to 23.99%), depending on creditworthiness and prevailing rates. See rates and fees page.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. Balance transfers and cash advances cost the greater of 3% or $5. See rates and fees page.

See our American Express Cash Magnet Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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8. American Express® Gold Card

4x Points at Restaurants and U.S. Supermarkets; Up to $25,000 in Annual Category Purchases

Amex Gold Card Art 2 4 21

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The American Express® Gold card is a premium rewards card that earns a 4% return on eligible restaurant and supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 in annual U.S. supermarket spending) and a 3% return on eligible airfare spending. Other benefits include a $100 annual airline fee credit and $10 in dining credits each month with participating chains and apps.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $4,000 in purchases on your card within the first six months of card membership.
  • Rewards Rate: Earn 4 points per $1 spent on restaurant purchases (including delivery and takeout) and 4 points per $1 spent on U.S. supermarket purchases (up to $25,000 in annual supermarket spending or 100,000 in total annual point earnings). Earn 3 points per $1 spent on eligible airfare purchased directly with the airline and at amextravel.com. All other eligible purchases earn 1 point per $1 spent.
  • Redemption: Redeem for travel bookings, Uber rides, gift cards, statement credits, and general merchandise at the American Express membership rewards portal. Redemption minimums begin at 1,000 points and the best options value points at $0.01 apiece.
  • Introductory APR: None. For rates and fees of the American Express® Gold card, see terms and conditions.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $250. There is no foreign transaction fee.
  • Other Perks: Get a $100 annual airline fee credit (against incidental fees) with your choice of airline. Plus, get $10 in dining credits per month (up to $120 per year) with select chains and apps, including Seamless. Enrollment is required to enjoy these benefits.

See our American Express® Gold card review for more information. Learn more and find out how to apply for this card here.

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9. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card

3% Cash Back on Eligible Dining, Grocery, Entertainment, and Streaming Services Purchases

Capital One Savor Card Art

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The Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card is one of the most potent cash-back credit cards on the market for folks who live going out and cooking in. All eligible dining, grocery store, entertainment, and streaming services purchases, including restaurant takeout and delivery, earn 3% cash-back.

Better yet, rewards never expire and can be redeemed at any time, in any amount. Plus, the $200 early spend bonus (available after you spend $500 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months) is a great incentive to spend early and often.

  • Early Spend Bonus: Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn unlimited 3% cash back on qualifying grocery store purchases (except purchases at superstores like Walmart and Target) and purchases of dining, entertainment, and eligible streaming services. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases.
  • Redemption: Redeem your accumulated cash-back rewards in any amount for a statement credit or paper check.
  • Introductory APR: None.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
  • Other Perks: Enjoy a host of purchase and travel protections at no additional out of pocket cost, plus exclusive dining and entertainment experiences.

Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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10. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

3% Cash Back at U.S. Supermarkets; 2% at U.S. Gas Stations and Select U.S. Department Stores; 1% Elsewhere; Strong Welcome Offer

american express blue cash card

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The Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express gives you ample cash back on everyday, hard-to-avoid purchases: food, staples, fuel, clothing, and home goods. You get 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases, up to the $6,000 annual limit.

After you hit the limit, you get 1% cash back on supermarket purchases, with no spending cap. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.

Meanwhile, this card’s 2% cash back rate at U.S. gas stations and select U.S. department stores is unlimited, as is 1% cash back everywhere else. Your cash back comes as a statement credit. Note that big-box superstores such as Target, wholesale clubs like Sam’s Club, and alcohol retailers don’t count as “supermarkets,” according to American Express.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on your card in the first 6 months of account opening, up to $150 back total. Plus, earn $100 back after you spend at least $2,000 on purchases within the first 6 months. Cash back accrues as Reward Dollars that can be redeemed for statement credits.
  • Cash Back Rate: 3% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases, up to $6,000 in annual spending (so $180 max annual cash back in this category). The card offers unlimited 1% cash back on U.S. supermarket purchases above the annual limit. Enjoy unlimited 2% cash back on U.S. gas station and select U.S. department store spending, and unlimited 1% cash back everywhere else.
  • Redemption: Redeem your Reward Dollars for statement credits.
  • Introductory APR: 0% APR on purchases for 15 months. Following the introductory period’s end, regular APR applies. See rates and fees page.
  • Key Fees: There’s no annual fee. The foreign transaction fee is 2.7%. Balance transfers cost either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. See rates and fees page.

See our American Express Blue Cash Everyday review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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11. Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi

4% Cash Back on Gas Purchases at Costco Locations and Qualifying Gas Stations; 3% Cash Back on Restaurant and Eligible Travel Purchases; 2% Cash Back at Costco; 1% Cash Back Everywhere Else

Costco Consumer Card Art With No Expiry (004)

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The Costco Anywhere Card is a premium cash-back product exclusive to Costco members. If you’re already spending $60 per year (or $120, if you’re springing for the Executive membership) on a Costco membership, and you’re able to meet Citi’s stringent underwriting requirements, this card is a no-brainer.

Why? For folks with long commutes, healthy travel and dining-out budgets, and long Costco shopping lists, the four-tiered cash-back program is among the most generous around. Yes, the redemption framework is a little wonky – you have to redeem in person at Costco, and you have just one annual shot to do so. But most Costco members shop often enough that this isn’t a massive inconvenience.

  • Sign-Up Bonus: This card currently has no sign-up bonus. Check back for updates.
  • Cash-Back Rate: Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas purchases at Costco and qualifying gas stations, up to the first $7,000 in eligible purchases per year. Earn unlimited 3% back on eligible restaurant and travel purchases. Earn unlimited 2% cash back on eligible Costco purchases. Earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other eligible purchases, including gas purchases above the $7,000 annual spending cap.
  • Redemption: At the close of your February billing statement, you’ll receive a redemption voucher for the full value of rewards earned during the previous year. You must redeem this voucher in a single in-person transaction at Costco, either as a credit against purchases or for cash at the register (or both). The voucher remains valid until December 31 of the year issued.
  • Introductory APR: None.
  • Key Fees: $0 with a paid Costco membership ($60 for a regular household membership and $120 for an Executive membership). There is no foreign transaction fee. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%. Balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3%.
  • Other Perks: Fringe benefits include purchase protection for 90 to 120 on losses caused by damage or theft, complimentary rental car insurance, and extended warranties on select purchases.

See our Citi Costco Anywhere Card review for more information. Learn more about this card and find out how to apply here.

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12. Bitcoin Rewards Visa Credit Card

1.5% Back in Bitcoin on Every Fiat Purchase

The Bitcoin Rewards Visa Credit Card is a mold-breaking credit card that earns Bitcoin, not cash-back rewards, on every fiat purchase. Simply swipe, dip, tap, or enter your card as normal to earn unlimited 1.5% back in Bitcoin on eligible transactions.

This card’s welcome offer is worth writing home about too: $250 in Bitcoin after you spend $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months. Just be sure to spend enough to offset the $200 annual fee.

The Bitcoin Rewards Visa card officially launches in early 2021. To be among the first in line for this card, open a funded BlockFi account (which comes with its own bonus: up to $250 in Bitcoin when you deposit $20,000 or more) and sign up for the waitlist using the link below.

  • Welcome Offer: Earn $250 in Bitcoin after spending at least $3,000 in eligible purchases in the first 3 months.
  • Cash-Back Rate and Redemption. Earn 1.5% back in Bitcoin on every eligible fiat purchase, every day.
  • Introductory APR: See terms for APR information.
  • Key Fees: The annual fee is $200. See terms for additional fee information.
  • Other Perks: Your Bitcoin rewards won’t expire as long as your account remains open and in good standing.

Find out how you can apply for this card here.

Apply Now


Final Word

Even the most generous cash-back credit cards rarely offer more than 5% cash back on any purchases. Cards that offer more than 2% or 3% cash back typically require holders to keep track of specific spending categories or respect purchase limits.

By contrast, cash-back credit card APRs usually range from somewhere north of 10% to more than 20% in some cases. At those rates, carrying a balance for even a single month can seriously eat into your cash back earnings. Habitually carrying a balance from month to month more than negates your cash back earnings, adding to the actual cost of your purchases.

In other words, don’t let the promise of cash back lull you into letting your card balances grow over time. It’s almost never worth it. If you need to carry a credit card balance from month to month, opt for a low-APR credit card instead.

And if you worry about your ability to keep your credit card spending to a level that allows for in-full payments each month, choose a credit card with a low spending limit, or a secured credit card that requires you to make an upfront cash deposit.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.

For rates and fees of the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, please visit this rates and fees page.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, please visit this rates and fees page.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

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