If you’re not getting 2% cash back, you could be missing out


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In search of a cash-back credit card, you may have noticed most offer 1% cash back for every dollar you spend. While earning something is better than nothing, chances are good you could be leaving money on the table. Why? Because over the last few years, a new wave of cash-back credit cards have exploded onto the scene with better rewards on all purchases, special category bonuses or both.

If you think the card in your wallet doesn’t matter, think again. Earning 2% on your spending will obviously yield twice as much in rewards points as your typical 1% cash-back card. Double the rewards for no effort? Why wouldn’t everyone sign up?

Earn 2% back or more with these rewards cards

It’s smart to see how several different card options stack up. Here are several of the top cash-back cards for individuals who want to earn more than the standard 1% on their spending:

Citi® Double Cash Card

This card lets consumers earn 2% cash back on all their purchases — 1% when you buy and 1% as you make payments for those purchases. You can redeem your points for statement credits and you’ll never pay an annual fee. However, the Citi® Double Cash Card doesn’t normally offer a signup bonus.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express

The Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express does offer the standard 1% cash back on most regular purchases, but its bonus categories make it a valuable addition to any wallet. There’s a $95 annual fee, (rates and fees) and you’ll earn 6% back on your first $6,000 spent at U.S. supermarkets each year (then 1%) and 3% back at U.S. gas stations. Currently, you can also earn an additional $250 statement credit if you spend $1,000 in new purchases within three months of account opening.

Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card

The Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is a newer cash-back card that offers some intriguing bonus categories for consumers. Not only do you earn an unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, but you earn 2% cash back at the grocery store along with 1% cash back on everything else you buy. You can also earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3,000 on your card within three months of account opening and the $95 annual fee is waived the first year.

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card

While the Wells Fargo Propel American Express card offers the standard 1x points (comparable to 1% back) on all purchases, its phenomenal bonus categories could help you earn significantly more points over time. Once you sign up, you’ll earn 3x points (comparable to 3%) on dining out and eating in, gas stations, rideshares, and transit, and travel including flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals. You also earn 20,000 bonus points worth $200 after you spend $1,000 on your card within three months of account opening. Best of all, this card doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Discover it® Miles

If you’re looking for a card that offers more than 1% back for travel, you should check out the Discover it® Miles. This card offers a flat 1.5X miles for every dollar you spend with no annual fee. However, Discover promises to Match all the rewards you earn at the end of your first year. You can redeem your miles for statement credits good for travel.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard®

The Barclaycard Arrival Plus® World Elite Mastercard® is another travel credit card that lets you rack up meaningful rewards good for travel credits. This card doles out a flat 2x miles for every dollar you spend, and you can redeem your points for travel at a rate of one cent per point. The current offer also comes with 70,000 bonus miles worth $700 in travel after you use your card for $5,000 in purchases within 90 days and the $89 annual fee is waived the first year.

Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business

The Capital One® Spark® Cash for Business is an easy-to-understand business credit card that offers a flat 2% cash-back for each dollar your business spends. For a limited time, you can also earn a $500 cash bonus when you spend $5,000 in the first 3 months of opening your account. There is a $95 annual fee, but it is waived the first year.

The bottom line

If you’re currently settling for 1% cash back, it may be time to shop around for a new rewards card. While there are a handful that offer 2% back on all your purchases, even more offer valuable bonus categories that let you rack up more cash back over time.

Explore cash-back cards to see how they stack up, and you could be earning more rewards in less time than you think.

Stay up-to-date with the industry’s top news and strategies for earning cash back. Check out Bankrate’s cash back catalog for everything you need to know to earn the most out of every swipe.

Editorial disclosure: All reviews are prepared by Bankrate.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express, please click here.