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When it comes to credit card rewards, cash back is a popular option. In fact, nearly 45 percent of offers for rewards credit cards sent in 2011 were for cash-back cards, according to new research from Mintel Comperemedia.
But which cash-back cards offer the best return for your spending?
To help you find a rewarding cash-back credit card, Bankrate.com gathered key details on the cash-back cards from among the largest issuers. The survey, which included 50 cash-back cards from 19 issuers, was conducted from Jan. 9 to 13, 2012.
The following chart shows you the return you’ll get on your spending — in some cases, a range based on spending level or purchase category — offered on popular cash-back cards. Click on an individual card’s name to see information about its annual fee, reward formula, introductory bonus offer and expiration restrictions, if applicable.
Credit card rewards
|Issuing Bank||Card||Cash-back ratio|
|Affinity FCU||Pure Rewards Visa||0.7%-1%|
|American Express||Blue Cash Preferred Card||1% (6% at supermarkets, 3% at gas stations, department stores)|
|American Express||Blue Cash Everyday Card||1% (3% at supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and supermarkets)|
|American Express||Blue Sky Preferred||0.77%-1.33% (1.54%-2.67% on travel, restaurants)|
|American Express||Blue Sky||0.77%-1.33%|
|American Express||TrueEarnings (Costco card)||1% (3% on up to $3,000 of gasoline, 2% travel, restaurants)|
|Baxter Credit Union||Visa Platinum with Cash Back||1% (2% at restaurants, grocery stores, gasoline)|
|Bank of America||BankAmericard Cash Rewards||1% (3% on up to $1,500 of gasoline, 2% on up to $1,500 in groceries)|
|Bank of America||Accelerated Rewards American Express Card||1.25%|
|Bank of America||BankAmericard Power Rewards credit card||1%|
|Capital One||Capital One Cash Credit Card (excellent credit)||1%|
|Capital One||Capital One No Hassle Cash Rewards Credit Card (average credit)||1% (2% at gas stations, grocery stores)|
|Capital One||VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||Unknown|
|Capital One||Cash Rewards for Newcomers Credit Card||1% (2% on travel)|
|Capital One||Venture Rewards Credit Card||Unknown|
|Chase||Chase Freedom||1% (5% in select rotating categories quarterly up to $1,500)|
|Chase||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card||1% (2% on travel and restaurants)|
|Chase||Chase Sapphire Card||1% (2% on restaurants)|
|Citibank||Citi ThankYou Premier Card||0.6%-0.71% (0.72%-0.86% at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, commuter transportation and parking merchants)|
|Citibank||Citi ThankYou Prestige Card||0.6%-0.71% (0.78%-0.93% at grocery stores, gas stations, drugstores, commuter transportation and parking merchants)|
|Citibank||Citi ThankYou Preferred Card||0.6%-0.71%|
|Citibank||Dividend Platinum Select Visa Card||1% (5% in select rotating categories quarterly)|
|Citibank||Citi Forward||0.6%-0.71% (3%-3.57% at restaurants, bookstores, music stores, video rental, movie theaters)|
|Columbus Bank & Trust||Cash Rewards Visa Platinum Credit Card||0.25% up to $1,500; 0.5% between $1,500-$3,000; then 1% for $3,000 and more|
|Discover||Miles by Discover||1% (2% on up to $3,000 in travel and restaurant purchases)|
|Discover||Discover More Card||0.25% up to $3,000, then 1% (5% on rotating categories)|
|Discover||Discover Open Road||0.25% up to $3,000, then 1% (2% on up to $250 in combined gas and restaurant purchases each billing period)|
|Discover||Discover Motiva Card||0.25% up to $3,000, then 1%|
|Fidelity||Fidelity Investment Rewards American Express Card||2%|
|Fidelity||Fidelity Retirement Rewards American Express Card||2%|
|Fidelity||Fidelity 529 College Rewards American Express Card||2%|
|Fifth Third Bank||Cash Rewards MasterCard||1% (2% on gas, grocery and discount stores)|
|Fifth Third Bank||Real Life Rewards Credit Card||0.66%-0.83% (1.33%-1.66% on gas, grocery, and discount stores)|
|First Hawaiian Bank||Priority Rewards Credit Card||0.5%-0.83%|
|First National Bank of Omaha||Maximum Rewards Platinum Edition Visa Card||0.71%-1%|
|First National Bank of Omaha||First National Bank of Omaha American Express Card||1% (2% on gas and groceries)|
|First National Bank of Omaha||First National Bank of Omaha Graphite American Express Card||1% (3% on airlines, 2% on gas and groceries)|
|First National Bank of Omaha||First National Bank of Omaha Discover Card||0.5% up to $2,500, then 1%|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||cashRewards||1% up to $10,000, then 1.5%|
|Navy Federal Credit Union||goRewards||1%-1.25%|
|Pentagon Federal Credit Union||Visa Platinum Cash Rewards Card||0.25% (5% on gasoline)|
|RBS Citizens Bank||Green$ense Platinum MasterCard||Flat $0.25 per transaction after 10 purchases|
|RBS Citizens Bank||Accelerator Rewards Platinum MasterCard||1% (2% on gas)|
|RBS Citizens Bank||CashBack Platinum MasterCard||1%|
|TD Bank||TD Cash Rewards Visa Credit Card||1%|
|U.S. Bank||U.S. Bank FlexPerks Cash Rewards Visa Card||0.5%|
|U.S. Bank||U.S. Bank FlexPerks Select Rewards Visa||0.5%|
|Wells Fargo||Wells Fargo Rewards Card||0.77%|
|Wells Fargo||Cash Back Card||1%|
This information was gathered the week of Jan. 9, 2012. Rewards are subject to change. Check with the institution for the latest information.