Key takeaways

  • A 1.5 percent cash back card can help you earn rewards on every purchase while enjoying benefits like extended warranties, travel insurance and no foreign transaction fees.
  • But not all 1.5 percent cash back cards are created equally, varying by annual fee, welcome bonus, additional cash back categories and redemption opportunities.
  • Carefully weigh each card against your spending habits, credit rating and financial goals when comparing these flat-rate cards.

Cash back credit cards earn rewards in several different ways, with some offering a generous flat cash back rate on all purchases and others offering more cash back in specific or rotating categories.

That said, you can find rewards cards that offer 1.5 percent cash back on all regular purchases that can actually fall under either category. Some offer 1.5 percent cash back on all purchases, for example, whereas others offer boosted rewards in categories like drugstores and dining out.

These types of flat-rate rewards cards can come with intro APR offers and welcome bonuses, both of which can make their offers even more valuable. And many 1.5 percent cash back credit cards also come with no annual fee.

The best 1.5 percent cash back cards

Card Rewards Welcome bonus Credit required Annual fee
American Express Cash Magnet® Card* 1.5% cash back on all purchases (terms apply) $150 when you make at least $1,000 in purchases within 3 months of account opening Good to excellent $0
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards credit card 1.5% cash back on all purchases $200 when you make at least $1,000 in purchases within 90 days of account opening Good to excellent $0
Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured credit card* 1.5% cash back on all purchases None Limited credit, no credit or poor credit $0
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One $200 when you make at least $500 in purchases within 3 months of account opening Good to excellent $0
Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card 1.5% cash back on all purchases and 5% cash back on hotels and car rentals booked through Capital One None Fair $39
Chase Freedom Unlimited®* 5% cash back on travel booked through Chase, 5% cash back on Lyft rides (through March 2025), 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases and 1.5% cash back on other spending $200 when you make at least $500 in purchases within 3 months of account opening Good to excellent $0

Bank of America content in this post was last updated on Nov. 28, 2023.

How to choose a 1.5 percent cash back card

Our top picks for cash back credit cards are some of the best for earning 1.5 percent cash back, though you’ll want to keep in mind these factors as you decide on what’s best for you.

  • Most cash back credit cards don’t charge an annual fee, with key exceptions when it comes to cards with incredibly high rewards rates or those designed for people with imperfect credit. Before you pay an annual fee for a 1.5 percent cash back credit card, make sure you can get enough value in return to justify the card’s cost.

    Say you plan to open a new card and spend $5,000 on its 1.5 percent bonus categories each year. If the card comes with a $200 welcome bonus, you’d earn a total of $275 your first year holding it, but only $75 in your second year. If the card also has a $95 annual fee, the cash back you’d earn wouldn’t cover the cost of carrying the card after your first year.
  • Many cash back credit cards offer benefits like purchase protections against damage or theft, extended warranties or even basic travel insurance protections. Despite this, you’ll want to make sure you pick a 1.5 percent cash back card that offers perks you can actually use. If you rarely travel or make major purchases, don’t let benefits like warranties or travel insurance tempt you into a card that isn’t the right fit for you.
  • The best rewards credit cards require good to excellent credit, yet you can find 1.5 percent cash back cards for consumers with fair credit, poor credit or no credit as well. Ultimately, it’s helpful to know your credit score before you apply so that you put your energy toward those with a higher chance of approval.

    Also note that some 1.5 percent cash back credit cards offer preapproval without a hard inquiry on your credit reports. The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card and the Capital One QuicksilverOne Cash Rewards Credit Card are two 1.5 percent cash back credit cards that offer this benefit.
  • Cash back credit cards may or may not charge foreign transaction fees, but you’ll want to know this ahead of time if you plan to use your card for international travel.

    Capital One credit cards never charge foreign transaction fees, whereas the other 1.5 percent cash back credit cards on our list do.
  • The strongest cash back credit cards are designed for people with good to excellent credit, offering 0 percent intro APR offers for purchases and balance transfers as a perk. In some cases, these offers can last up to 15 months or longer. Not only can these intro APRs help you save interest as you pay down large purchases, but they can also help you consolidate existing debt and pay it down faster.

    Intro APR offers last for a limited time, with variable APRs that apply after the intro expires. Have a plan for paying off any balances subject to the card’s regular APR before it takes effect.
  • Learn about the options available to you for redeeming your rewards. Some cards offer considerably more rewards flexibility than others.

    For example, cash back earned with the American Express Cash Magnet Card can only be redeemed for statement credits, while cash back earned with the Chase Freedom Unlimited® can be redeemed for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, travel through Chase and more.
  • Finally, determine whether the 1.5 percent cash back cards you’re considering come with welcome offers, and confirm you can meet the minimum spending requirement to earn them. While some cards require you to spend $1,000 or more within the span of a few months to earn a bonus, others require just $500 in purchases over three months.

    Ideally, pick a rewards credit card that offers the best welcome offer that you can easily earn by paying for regular purchases and bills with your card. If you don’t think you can meet the offer’s requirements, remove it as a factor weighed into your decision.

The bottom line

The best 1.5 percent cash back credit cards offer generous rewards and come with no annual fees, yet they vary quite a bit from there. For example, some of the cards that offer 1.5 percent cash back also offer higher rewards rates in additional categories, whereas others are available for consumers with fair credit or no credit.

It’s also worth noting that some cash back credit cards offer a flat rate of 2 percent cash back with no annual fee required. Compare cash back credit cards based on their rewards rates, features and fees to find the best fit for your spending habits and financial needs.

Information about the American Express Cash Magnet® Card, Bank of America® Unlimited Cash Rewards Secured and Chase Freedom Unlimited® has been collected independently by Bankrate. Card details have not been reviewed or approved by the issuer.