6 Top Cash Back Credit Cards -- Earn Up to 5% Cash Back and Secure Big Cash Bonuses

Managing Director of The Ascent. Brendan has conducted interviews with influential businesspeople, written hundreds of personal finance articles, and provided analysis on TV outlets including CNBC and Fox.

We've vetted hundreds of card offers and crunched the data on more than 6,000 data points to compile this shortlist of cash back credit cards. Check out our picks, some of which are from our partners. With the top cash back credit cards you get:

  • Instant and secure online applications
  • Earn up to 5% cash back
  • $0 annual fees
  • Big cash sign-up bonuses worth up to $600
Apply Now
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On Discover's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Bonus cash back
  • No annual fee
  • 0% intro APR offer
  • FICO® Score for free
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 13.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 14 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 14 months
Highlights
  • INTRO OFFER: Discover will match ALL the cash back you've earned at the end of your first year, automatically. There's no signing up. And no limit to how much is matched.
  • Earn 5% cash back at different places each quarter like gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants, Amazon.com and more up to the quarterly maximum, each time you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
  • No annual fee.
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Rates & Fees

Apply for Discover it® Cash Back to:

  • Pay $0 for interest on purchases and balance transfers for 14 months
  • Earn up to 5% cash back
  • Double all the cash back you earn in the first year
  • Pay a $0 annual fee

Imagine paying no interest until nearly 2021 and getting all your cash back matched after your first year! Both are possible with Discover it® Cash Back. First, you can earn 5% cash back (on up to $1,500 of spend each quarter) in rotating categories you activate quarterly. Such purchases have included gas, groceries, restaurants, and even Amazon. Best yet, Discover will match all cash back earned in the first year -- that's a haul worth up to a massive $600 when maxing out bonus categories in the first year. Don't forget that all other purchases earn 1%, which doubles to 2% with Discover's first-year match. What's more, the 0% intro APR for 14 months applies to both purchases and balance transfers. Note, the go-to variable rate applies after the promo so be sure to pay off balances before the offer expires. The cash rewards program and 0% APR offer, alone, are among best-in-class offers but you get both in one card.


Apply Now
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On Chase's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Innovative sign up bonus
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • 0% intro APR offer for 15 months
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 16.74% - 25.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 15 months
Highlights
  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.74-25.49%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5
  • No annual fee
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open
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Apply for Chase Freedom Unlimited® to:

  • Avoid paying credit card interest for 15 months on both purchase and balance transfers
  • Secure a sign-up bonus of $150
  • Pay a $0 annual fee

Chase Freedom Unlimited® is the Swiss Army knife of credit cards with its deep bench of perks that makes the card a perfect option for cardholders wanting the best card for all their needs. Max out Chase's sign-up bonus by spending $500 in the first three months after account opening to secure $150 in cash back. Other essentials are included as well, such as unlimited 1.5% cash back with no minimum redemption, a 0% intro APR for both purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and a $0 annual fee. Few offers on the market can tout this combination of perks, making Chase Freedom Unlimited® a potential no brainer pick for you.


Apply Now
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On Capital One's Secure Website.

  • Annual Fee: $0 intro for first year; $95 after that
  • Regular APR: 16.24% - 25.24% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: N/A Balance Transfers: N/A
Highlights
  • Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus after you spend $3000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. Plus, earn 8% cash back on tickets at Vivid Seats through May 2020.
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Capital One cardholders get access to premium experiences in dining, entertainment and more
  • $0 intro annual fee for the first year, $95 after that
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Apply for Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card to:

  • Secure a whopping $300 bonus when spending $3,000 within three months
  • Earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment
  • Earn unlimited 2% cash back on groceries
  • Pay $0 foreign transaction fees

Get ready to haul in an overloaded plate of cash rewards, not tapas-like rewards that many competing cards offer for dining purchases. This card is a slam dunk for cardholders seeking both a big bonus and unlimited dining rewards. That's because there's a market-topping $300 bonus, made sweeter by the fact that you can earn unlimited 4% cash back on dining and entertainment. Not only is this cash back rate among the highest we've seen, but it also isn't capped like some competing cards, much like the 2% cash back you'll also earn for groceries. Those features make it a no-brainer pick for cardholders with sizable food budgets, whereas the inclusion of $0 foreign transaction fees makes the offer versatile for travel as well. What's more, you can look forward to a $0 annual fee in the first year ($95 thereafter).


Apply Now
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On Capital One's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • $150 sign-up bonus
  • Unlimited 1.5% cash back
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • 0% intro APR
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74% - 25.74% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, for 15 months Balance Transfers: 0%, for 15 months
Highlights
  • One-time $150 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus, cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that
  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months; 15.74%-25.74% variable APR after that; 3% fee on the amounts transferred within the first 15 months
  • Pay no annual fee or foreign transaction fees
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Apply for Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card to:

  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back with
  • Haul in a $150 cash bonus when spending just $500 within three months
  • Pay a $0 annual fee and pay $0 foreign transaction fees
  • Pay 0% interest for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers

This card's deep bench of perks makes it an easy pick for a one-card wallet, even better that they're all included in a $0 annual fee card. Let's briefly cover the flagship features. Importantly, you'll get a big $150 bonus when spending just $500 within three months, plus unlimited 1.5% cash back. The cash-back feature that sets this card apart is that you can redeem cash back with no minimum hurdle, whereas many other top-tier cards require a minimum before earned cash back can be redeemed. The card also includes a long 0% intro APR for 15 months on both purchases and balance transfers, making it a solid pick to defray the cost of a big purchase or to get out of debt faster. These features alone make it a clear cash back winner, but what tips the scales is that it also includes $0 foreign transaction fees when swiping abroad. We've not come across a competing card that packs in so many wallet friendly features in a single card.


Apply Now
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On Bank of America's Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • Big bonus offer
  • 3% back on gas or a category of your choice
  • No annual fee
  • Annual Fee: $0
  • Regular APR: 15.74% - 25.74% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 15 billing cycles Balance Transfers: 0% Intro APR for 15 billing cycles for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days
Highlights
  • No annual fee
  • $200 online cash rewards bonus after you make at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice, 2% at grocery stores and wholesale clubs (up to $2,500 in combined choice category/grocery store/wholesale club quarterly purchases) and unlimited 1% on all other purchases
  • 0% Introductory APR for 15 billing cycles for purchases, and for any balance transfers made in the first 60 days. After the intro APR offer ends, 15.74% - 25.74% Variable APR will apply. A 3% fee (min $10) applies to all balance transfers
  • No expiration on rewards
  • If you're a Preferred Rewards member, you can earn 25% - 75% more cash back on every purchase
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Apply for Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card to:

  • Earn big cash back for gas, or groceries, or home improvements, and more categories you pick
  • Secure an easy $200 cash bonus when spending $1,000 within 90 days
  • Avoid interest on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • Make the most of your Bank of America relationship and earn 25% to 75% bonus rewards as a Preferred Rewards member
  • Pay a $0 annual fee

Even before this card was recently revamped, it was a clear cash back contender. The updated version makes it even more compelling. That's because Bank of America® Cash Rewards credit card packs in versatility and flexibility rarely seen in this category. The essential perks are all there: Get a $200 bonus, pay 0% interest for 15 billing cycles on purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days, and pay a $0 annual fee. But the cherry on top is two fold. Firstly, you can choose which category earns 3% cash back. These categories include gas, online shopping, travel, drug stores, or home improvement. You'll also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs. Note, both bonus categories are capped on up to $2,500 of combined spending each quarter, and you'll earn 1% on all other purchases. Secondly, existing Bank of America banking clients can look forward to 25% to 75% bonus rewards through the free Preferred Rewards program -- that's an unheard of cash back rate of 5.25% at the highest tier in your chosen category!


Apply Now
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On American Express' Secure Website.

What we Like:
  • $250 welcome bonus
  • 0% intro APR offer
  • Earn up to 6% cash back
  • Annual Fee: $95
  • Regular APR: 14.49%-25.49% Variable
  • Intro APR: Purchases: 0%, 12 months Balance Transfers: 0%, 12 months
Highlights
  • Earn a $250 statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 3 months.
  • NEW 6% Cash Back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • NEW 3% Cash Back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • 6% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1%). 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations. 1% Cash Back on other purchases.
  • Over 3 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017 and 2018.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 12 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.49% to 25.49%
  • $95 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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Rates & Fees

Apply for Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express to:

  • Secure a $250 welcome bonus after spending just $1,000 within three months
  • Earn the highest U.S. supermarket cash back rate we've come across
  • Earn 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations
  • Earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more.
  • Pay 0% interest on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months

This card is a clear winner for families with big grocery and gas budgets. Simply put, we've not come across a higher cash back rate for U.S. supermarket purchases. You'll earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $6,000 our year) and 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations. You will also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions and 3% cash back on transit including taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses and more. All other purchases earn at a 1% rate. Max out the U.S. supermarket cap, and you'll haul in $360 cash back. This sum is easily attainable, especially since many families tap the bank for much more in annual U.S. supermarket spending. But don't think that Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express is just for gas and U.S. supermarkets. There's a whopping $250 welcome bonus and a long 0% intro APR for 12 months for both purchases and balance transfers. All of these perks can justify paying the $95 annual fee this card charges.