The Cash-Back Credit Cards That Are Actually Worth It

The best cash-back credit cards have no annual fees and may offer a welcome bonus or something equivalent.

Ruchi Gupta - Author

Jul. 20 2022, Published 6:20 a.m. ET

Person shopping online with credit card
Source: Getty images

A cash-back credit card pays you for using it, sometimes hundreds or thousands of dollars per year. The card benefits and perks usually vary by provider, and the many options can be overwhelming. What cash-back credit card is best for you often depends on how you plan to use it.

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A major advantage of cash-back cards is that the reward is liquid and flexible to use—you can spend it virtually anywhere. For cards that earn you points, you’ll need to redeem those points, and that may require extra steps. And in some cases, the points may expire if not used in good time.

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How cash-back credit cards work

If you pay with a cash-back credit card, you get back a percentage of the amount you spend. Some cards—flat-rate cash-back cards—will earn you a set percentage back, regardless of what you purchase or where you use the card. There are also tiered cards, which earn you more for certain spending, such as gas or groceries.

The cards' annual fees, welcome bonuses, and interest rates also vary. When choosing your cash-back card, you need consider all of these factors.

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What are the best cash-back credit cards with no annual fee?

Whereas cards with the annual fee can sometimes offer more lucrative rewards, you may want to avoid the upfront cost. Some of the best cash-back credit cards with no annual fee are as follows:

  • Wells Fargo Active Cash Card.

  • Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card.

  • Discover It Cash Back.

The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card offers you a $200 welcome bonus

The card requires a good-to-excellent credit score. If your application is accepted, you’ll receive a welcome bonus of $200 after spending $1,000 with the card in the first three months. The card earns you back 2 percent on all purchases, and in the first 15 months, you’ll enjoy zero interest on balances.

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The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Card offers up to 5 percent back

You’ll need a good-to-excellent credit score for this card. It offers a $200 introduction bonus after you spend $500 in three months of opening the account, and 5 percent back on hotels and car rental spending through Capital One Travel. All other purchases will earn you 1.5 percent back.

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Discover It Cash Back offers cash-back matching

This card also requires a good-to-excellent credit score. Once you’ve received your card, you’ll earn 5 percent back on grocery, gas, and restaurant spending. All other purchases will earn you 1 percent back. Instead of offering a welcome bonus, Discover will match your accumulated rewards at the end of the year.


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