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Popular cash-back credit cards

By Mitch Strohm ·
Sunday, January 22, 2017
Posted: 4 pm ET

Dan Dalton/Getty Images

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American Express is a Bankrate advertising partner.

If you're in the market for a new credit card, look for a cash-back credit card that offers generous rewards and sign-up bonuses. The card that's right for you depends on your spending habits and financial situation.

Do you want a fixed-rate reward for all purchases or a bonus for spending in certain categories, like gas or groceries? Choose wisely. There are hundreds of dollars at stake here.

Here are some popular cash-back credit cards, according to the experts at

Reward yourself today. Apply for a top cash-back credit card now.

Popular cash-back credit cards
Card Rewards Intro offer
Citi Double Cash 1% cash back on all purchases; 1% cash back when you pay your bill on time 0% APR on balance transfers for 18 months
Blue Cash Preferred 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%). Terms apply. Earn $200 back after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
Chase Freedom Unlimited Unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening

1. Citi Double Cash

This card has a simple rewards structure with no categories to track, no cap on cash back and no annual fee.


  • Earn cash back twice: 1 percent on general purchases and 1 percent when you pay your bill on time. Two percent cash-back on everything makes this an industry-leading card for cash back on general purchases.
  • Pay no interest on balance transfers for 18 months.
  • Register your purchases online through the Citi Price Rewind program and the company will search for lower prices on those items and refund you the difference on better deals.

Who should get this card
This card is good for those seeking an affordable cash-back card with generous rewards on all purchases and an easy-to-use rewards structure. There's no chasing bonus categories, no rotating categories and no annual fee.

This card charges a variable APR of 14.49 to 24.49 percent.

If you typically carry a balance, or often fail to pay on time, this may not be the card for you. There's also no sign-up bonus, something you'll find on other competing cards.

Look for a simple way to enjoy rewards. Find a cash-back credit card now.

2. Blue Cash Preferred from American Express

Very generous rewards -- among the most lucrative in some categories -- make this card stand out.


  • 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%) -- that means spending $60 a week at U.S. supermarkets could earn over $180 back per year.
  • 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and at select U.S. department stores, 1% back on other purchases.
  • $200 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 3 months.
  • See Rates & Fees

Who should get this card
This card is ideal for those who spend big on groceries, gas and department stores. If you're looking for a card that rewards you for more general spending, another cash-back card may be more beneficial.

This card charges a $95 annual fee, but the generous rewards program, when used properly, can offset it.

The $6,000 annual spending cap at U.S. supermarkets means the most you could earn is $360 at 6 percent before the relatively low 1 percent rate kicks in. In addition, American Express isn't as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard. That might make it necessary to use this card strategically with others.

You'll also enjoy a 0 percent APR intro offer for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate of 13.99 percent to 24.99 percent based on creditworthiness.

If cash-back rewards aren't your thing, consider a great hotel rewards credit card.

3. Chase Freedom Unlimited says this card is just as good as the Blue Cash Preferred. It's ideal for the busy cardholder who doesn't have time to worry about spending on bonus categories.


  • Earn an unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on ever purchase.
  • Earn a $150 bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first three months from account opening
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 15.99 to 24.74 percent.

Who should get this card
This card is good for those who want an easy-to-use everyday cash back credit card with rewards for all purchases. While the rewards aren't as generous as competing cards, its simplicity and reliable rewards system makes up for the lower rate.

Freedom Unlimited charges no annual fee, making it a more affordable option than some other cash-back cards. It isn't ideal if you do a lot of spending in one particular category that could earn a higher reward elsewhere.

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