8 of Our Favorite Cash Back Rewards Credit Cards

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Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by any financial institution. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the financial institution.

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Travel points and gift cards are great, but nothing beats cold, hard cash. Cash back credit cards simplify the rewards process by returning cash straight to your bank account.

Some cash back cards offer a flat rate of 1.5 to 2 percent cash back on all your purchases. Other cards offer up to 6 percent cash back in certain categories. Whichever card you choose, rest assured that you’ll get money back after you spend it.

So which are the best cash back credit cards to have in your wallet? Here are the top eight cash back cards.

8 best cash back credit cards

1. Citi Double Cash Card

If you don’t want to strategize every time you make a purchase, you’ll love the Citi Double Cash Back credit card. It offers a flat rate of 2 percent cash back on every single purchase. Technically, you get 1 percent on your purchases and an additional 1 percent when you pay them back. But your rewards rate is effectively 2 percent.

Instead of keeping up with rotating categories as with some other cash back cards, you don’t have to think about categories at all.

Pros

  • 2 percent cash back on all your purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Unlimited cash back
  • No restrictions for spending categories

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus for opening an account
  • No cash back rewards for balance transfers

2. Blispay Visa

The Blispay Visa is another great flat-rate cash back rewards card. It also gives you 2 percent back on all your purchases and has no annual fee.

Pros

  • 2 percent cash back on all your purchases
  • Unlimited points and no restricted spending categories
  • 6-month special interest-free financing for all purchases over $199
  • No minimum redemption value
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No sign-up bonus for new customers
  • Some customers have reported lower credit limits on the Blispay card than other cards.

3. Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature

The Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature is another one of these fee-free 2 percent cash back cards. The restriction with this card is that you must redeem your cash for deposit into a Fidelity account.

Pros

  • 2 percent cash back on all your purchases
  • No annual fee
  • No limits on cash back or spending categories
  • Points will never expire

Cons

  • You must hold a Fidelity bank account
  • The redemption value is different if you redeem your points for other rewards, like travel or gift cards
  • You can only redeem once you’ve acquired 5,000 points (equivalent to $50)

4. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards

The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card is another good choice for consumers who like flat-rate rewards. Its cash back rate is a little lower at 1.5 percent, but the card has other perks — like a sign-up bonus and no foreign transaction fees.

Pros

  • 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases
  • No limits on rewards or spending categories
  • $100 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 0% APR for first nine months after opening an account

Cons

  • Limited to customers with good and excellent credit
  • Relatively low sign-up bonus

5. Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard

(Update: As of Dec. 2017, the Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard is no longer available)

The Barclaycard CashForward World MasterCard gives you 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases. Plus, you’ll get an additional 5 percent bump when you redeem. One downside, though, is its foreign transaction fee.

Pros

  • 1.5 percent cash back on all your purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Get a $200 bonus if you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days
  • Get a 5 percent cash rewards bonus when you redeem your points
  • Cash rewards never expire

Cons

  • 3 percent fee on foreign transactions
  • You must have 5,000 points before you can redeem
  • Relatively low bonus for new customers

6. Chase Freedom Unlimited

The Chase Freedom Unlimited is another great choice if you don’t want to pay an annual fee. Plus, its bonus for new customers is a bit higher than some other cards at $150.

Pros

  • Unlimited 1.5 percent cash back on every purchase you make
  • $150 bonus after you spend $500 in the first three months
  • 0% introductory APR for 15 months
  • Rewards have no limits and don’t expire
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • 3 percent fee on all foreign transactions

7. Chase Sapphire Preferred

The Chase Sapphire Preferred is an excellent credit card for travel points. So how did it sneak onto this list of the best cash back credit cards? Well, you can redeem your Chase Sapphire points for travel or get cash back. If you’ve accumulated 1,000 points, for instance, you can choose to redeem it as a $100 deposit into your bank account.

This is the first card on the list with an annual fee. Only people with strong credit can qualify, but you’ll see that it has some excellent perks.

Pros

  • 2 points on all travel and dining and 1 point per dollar on every other purchase
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months
  • Redeem your points for travel or cash back
  • Get 25 percent more value on points if you redeem them for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No fee for the first year

Cons

  • $95 annual fee after the first year
  • Because the card doesn’t have flat-rate rewards, you may need to be more strategic in how you use it

8. American Express Blue Cash Preferred

The Amex Blue Cash Preferred credit card also has an annual fee of $75. This cash back card offers rewards by spending category — like groceries, gas, or department stores.

Pros

  • 6 percent cash back on groceries, 3 percent on gas and select department stores, and 1 percent on all other purchases
  • 0% introductory APR for 12 months
  • $250 sign-up bonus after you spend $1,000 in the first three months

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • 2.7 percent foreign transaction fee
  • American Express is not as widely accepted as Visa or MasterCard.

Which is the best cash rewards credit card for you?

You have a lot of options when it comes to the best cash rewards credit card. To choose the best card for you, take a look at your spending habits. Don’t change your spending habits for a credit card, but rather find a card that matches your existing budget.

If you prefer a flat rate, then a 2 percent cash back card, like the Citi Double Cash Card or Blispay Visa, is for you. If you spend more in certain categories, then you’ll benefit from a card like the Amex Blue Card. It gives an impressive 6 percent cash back reward on groceries, for example.

Some of the best cash back credit cards have tempting sign-up bonuses. However, you should also consider which card will give you the most rewards in the long run. Don’t spend more than you normally would under the illusion that you’re saving money.

And don’t spend any more than you can reasonably afford to pay off every month. In other words, never carry a balance on your card — unless you’re taking advantage of a 0% APR promotion.

Credit cards can give you great rewards, but only if you use them responsibly. Are you signing up for your first credit card out of college? Check out this guide for the best starter cards for credit virgins.

Interested in a personal loan?

Here are the top personal loan lenders of 2018!
LenderAPR RangeLoan Amount 
1 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for SoFi.

SoFi Disclosures

  1. Personal Loans: Fixed rates from 6.990% APR to 14.865% APR (with AutoPay). Variable rates from 6.255% APR to 12.555% APR (with AutoPay). SoFi rate ranges are current as of September 1, 2018 and are subject to change without notice. Not all rates and amounts available in all states. See Personal Loan eligibility details. Not all applicants qualify for the lowest rate. If approved for a loan, to qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. Your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including evaluation of your credit worthiness, years of professional experience, income and other factors. See APR examples and terms. Interest rates on variable rate loans are capped at 14.95%. Lowest variable rate of 6.255% APR assumes current index rate derived from the 1-month LIBOR of 2.08% plus 4.425% margin minus 0.25% AutoPay discount. For the SoFi variable rate loan, the 1-month LIBOR index will adjust monthly and the loan payment will be re-amortized and may change monthly. APRs for variable rate loans may increase after origination if the LIBOR index increases. The SoFi 0.25% AutoPay interest rate reduction requires you to agree to make monthly principal and interest payments by an automatic monthly deduction from a savings or checking account. The benefit will discontinue and be lost for periods in which you do not pay by automatic deduction from a savings or checking account.

    To check the rates and terms you qualify for, SoFi conducts a soft credit pull that will not affect your credit score. However, if you choose a product and continue your application, we will request your full credit report from one or more consumer reporting agencies, which is considered a hard credit pull.See Consumer Licenses.
  2. Minimum Credit Score: Not all applicants who meet SoFi’s minimum credit score requirements are approved for a personal loan. In addition to meeting SoFi’s minimum eligibility criteria, applicants must also meet other credit and underwriting requirements to qualify.
  3. SoFi Personal Loans are not available to residents of MS. Maximum interest rate on loans for residents of AK and WY is 9.99% APR, for residents of IL with loans over $40,000 is 8.99% APR, for residents of TX is 9.99% APR on terms greater than 5 years, for residents of CO, CT, HI, VA, SC is 11.99% APR, and for residents of ME is 12.24% APR. Personal loans not available to residents of MI who already have a student loan with SoFi. Personal Loans minimum loan amount is $5,000. Residents of AZ, MA, and NH have a minimum loan amount of $10,001. Residents of KY have a minimum loan amount of $15,001. Residents of PA have a minimum loan amount of $25,001. Variable rates not available to residents of AK, TX, VA, WY, or for residents of IL for loans greater than $40,000.
  4. Terms and Conditions Apply: SOFI RESERVES THE RIGHT TO MODIFY OR DISCONTINUE PRODUCTS AND BENEFITS AT ANY TIME WITHOUT NOTICE. To qualify, a borrower must be a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in an eligible state and meet SoFi’s underwriting requirements. Not all borrowers receive the lowest rate. To qualify for the lowest rate, you must have a responsible financial history and meet other conditions. If approved, your actual rate will be within the range of rates listed above and will depend on a variety of factors, including term of loan, a responsible financial history, years of experience, income and other factors. Rates and Terms are subject to change at anytime without notice and are subject to state restrictions. SoFi refinance loans are private loans and do not have the same repayment options that the federal loan program offers such as Income Based Repayment or Income Contingent Repayment or PAYE. Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Financing Law License No. 6054612. SoFi loans are originated by SoFi Lending Corp., NMLS # 1121636. (www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org)

2 Includes AutoPay discount. Important Disclosures for Payoff.

Payoff Disclosures

  1. All loans are subject to credit review and approval. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, credit usage and history. Currently loans are not offered in: MA, MS, NE, NV, OH, and WV.

3 Important Disclosures for FreedomPlus.

FreedomPlus Disclosures

  1. All loans available through FreedomPlus.com are made by Cross River Bank, a New Jersey State Chartered Commercial Bank, Member FDIC, Equal Housing Lender. All loan and rate terms are subject to eligibility restrictions, application review, credit score, loan amount, loan term, lender approval, and credit usage and history. Eligibility for a loan is not guaranteed. Loans are not available to residents of all states – please call a FreedomPlus representative for further details. The following limitations, in addition to others, shall apply: FreedomPlus does not arrange loans in: (i) Arizona under $10,500; (ii) Massachusetts under $6,500, (iii) Ohio under $5,500, and (iv) Georgia under $3,500. Repayment periods range from 24 to 60 months. The range of APRs on loans made available through FreedomPlus is 4.99% to a maximum of 29.99%. APR. The APR calculation includes all applicable fees, including the loan origination fee. For Example, a four year $20,000 loan with an interest rate of 15.49% and corresponding APR of 18.34% would have an estimated monthly payment of $561.60 and a total cost payable of $7,948.13. To qualify for a 4.99% APR loan, a borrower will need excellent credit on a loan of $15,000 with a term of 24 months, and qualify for at least two of the following discounts: (1) add a co-borrower who has sufficient income; (2) use at least fifty percent of the loan proceeds to directly pay off existing debt; or (3) show proof of having at least forty-thousand dollars in retirement savings – contact FreedomPlus for further details.

4 Important Disclosures for Citizens Bank.

Citizens Bank Disclosures

  1. Personal Loan Rate DisclosureFixed interest rates from 6.49% – 19.49% (6.49% – 19.49% APR) based on applicable terms. Lowest rates range from 5.99%-18.99% (5.99%-18.99% APR), are for eligible applicants, require a 3-year repayment term, and include our Loyalty and Automatic Payment Discounts of 0.25 percentage points each, as outlined in the Loyalty Discount and Automatic Payment Discount disclosures. Subject to additional terms and conditions, and rates are subject to change at any time without notice. Such changes will only apply to applications taken after the effective date of change.
  2. Loyalty Discount: The borrower will be eligible for a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their loan if the borrower has a qualifying account in existence with us at the time the borrower has submitted a completed application authorizing us to review their credit request for the loan. The following are qualifying accounts: any checking account, savings account, money market account, certificate of deposit, automobile loan, home equity loan, home equity line of credit, mortgage, credit card account, student loans or other personal loans owned by Citizens Bank, N.A. Please note, our checking and savings account options are only available in the following states: CT, DE, MA, MI, NH, NJ, NY, OH, PA, RI and VT. This discount will be reflected in the interest rate and Annual Percentage Rate (APR) disclosed in the Truth-In-Lending Disclosure that will be provided to the borrower once the loan is approved. Limit of one Loyalty Discount per loan, and discount will not be applied to prior loans. The Loyalty Discount will remain in effect for the life of the loan.
  3. Automatic Payment Discount: Borrowers will be eligible to receive a 0.25 percentage point interest rate reduction on their Citizens Bank Personal Loan during such time as payments are required to be made and our loan servicer is authorized to automatically deduct payments each month from any bank account the borrower designates. If our loan servicer is unable to successfully withdraw the automatic deductions from the designated account two or more times within any 12-month period, the borrower will no longer be eligible for this discount.

5 Important Disclosures for LendingPoint.

LendingPoint Disclosures

  • Loan approval is not guaranteed. Actual loan offers and loan amounts, terms and annual percentage rates (“APR”) may vary based upon LendingPoint’s proprietary scoring and underwriting system’s review of your credit, financial condition, other factors, and supporting documents or information you provide. Origination or other fees from 0% to 6% may apply depending upon your state of residence. Upon LendingPoint’s final underwriting approval to fund a loan, said funds are often sent via ACH the next non-holiday business day. LendingPoint makes loan offers from $2,000 to $25,000, at rates ranging from a low of 15.49% APR to a high of 34.49% APR, with terms from 24 to 48 months. The loan offer(s) shown reflect a 28 day payment cycle which is being offered as a courtesy as many of our customers are paid on a biweekly schedule and thus this may better align the loan payment dates with your actual income receipt schedule.

6 Important Disclosures for LendingClub.

LendingClub Disclosures

All loans made by WebBank, Member FDIC. Your actual rate depends upon credit score, loan amount, loan term, and credit usage & history. The APR ranges from 6.16% to 35.89%. For example, you could receive a loan of $6,000 with an interest rate of 7.99% and a 5.00% origination fee of $300 for an APR of 11.51%. In this example, you will receive $5,700 and will make 36 monthly payments of $187.99. The total amount repayable will be $6,767.64. Your APR will be determined based on your credit at time of application. The origination fee ranges from 1% to 6% and the average origination fee is 5.49% as of Q1 2017. There is no down payment and there is never a prepayment penalty. Closing of your loan is contingent upon your agreement of all the required agreements and disclosures on the www.lendingclub.com website. All loans via LendingClub have a minimum repayment term of 36 months or longer.


7 Important Disclosures for Earnest.

Earnest Disclosures

  1. Earnest does not lend in Alabama, Delaware, Kentucky, Nevada, or Rhode Island.

8 Important Disclosures for Avant.

Avant Disclosures

* The actual rate and loan amount that a customer qualifies for may vary based on credit determination and other factors. Funds are generally deposited via ACH for delivery next business day if approved by 4:30pm CT Monday-Friday. Avant branded credit products are issued by WebBank, member FDIC.

** Example: A $5,700 loan with an administration fee of 4.75% and an amount financed of $5,429.25, repayable in 36 monthly installments, would have an APR of 29.95% and monthly payments of $230.33


* Important Disclosures for Upgrade Bank.

Upgrade Bank Disclosures

* Your loan terms are not guaranteed and are subject to our verification and review process. You may be asked to provide additional documents to enable us to verify your income and your identity. This rate includes an Autopay APR reduction of 0.5%. By enrolling in Autopay your payments will be automatically deducted from you bank account. Selecting Autopay is optional. Annual Percentage Rate is inclusive of a loan origination fee, which is deducted from the loan proceeds. Late payments or subsequent charges and fees may increase the cost of your fixed rate loan. All loans made by WebBank, member FDIC. Please refer to Upgrade’s Terms of Use and Borrower Agreement for all terms, conditions and requirements.

** Accept your loan offer and your funds will be sent to your bank via ACH within one (1) business day of clearing necessary verifications. Availability of the funds is dependent on how quickly your bank processes this transaction. From the time of approval, funds should be available within four (4) business days.

7.73% – 29.99%$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upstart
6.26% – 14.87%1$5,000 - $100,000Visit SoFi
6.99% – 35.97%*$1,000 - $50,000Visit Upgrade
8.00% – 25.00%2$5,000 - $35,000Visit Payoff
4.99% – 29.99%3$10,000 - $35,000Visit FreedomPlus
5.99% – 18.99%4$5,000 - $50,000Visit Citizens
15.49% – 34.49%5$2,000 - $25,000Visit LendingPoint
6.16% – 35.89%6$1,000 - $40,000Visit LendingClub
6.99% – 18.24%7$5,000 - $75,000Visit Earnest
9.95% – 35.99%8$2,000 - $35,000Visit Avant
Our team at Student Loan Hero works hard to find and recommend products and services that we believe are of high quality and will make a positive impact in your life. We sometimes earn a sales commission or advertising fee when recommending various products and services to you. Similar to when you are being sold any product or service, be sure to read the fine print understand what you are buying, and consult a licensed professional if you have any concerns. Student Loan Hero is not a lender or investment advisor. We are not involved in the loan approval or investment process, nor do we make credit or investment related decisions. The rates and terms listed on our website are estimates and are subject to change at any time. Please do your homework and let us know if you have any questions or concerns.