Cash back is the most popular and widely chosen reward option available to consumers. Simple and easy to use, for every purchase you make with a cash back credit card you’ll earn a flat percentage of the total charges – anywhere from 1% to 5%. Almost every credit card issuer features a cash back program, but the best cash back credit cards will provide bigger incentives, have reduced restrictions and offer more ways to earn cash and bonus rewards. Here are our choices for top cash back credit cards of 2014:
How We Pick the Best Cash Back Offers
There are a variety of factors that went into determining our top cash back credit cards. First of all, how much can you earn? Just because a credit card issuer offers 5% cash back doesn’t mean that you’ll earn more with their program. What kind of restrictions and limitations apply? If bigger incentives only apply to a limited number of purchases, it will cap the amount of earnings you can generate. In addition, we looked at bonus opportunities, rates, fees and other terms to determine which cash back credit cards were best for the average consumer. Keep in mind, the best cash back credit card (for you) will depend on your personal shopping, spending and payment habits.
#1 – Discover it® Card (Flexible Shoppers)
The Discover it® Card is the newest offer from Discover and provides the biggest reward opportunities. Cardholders can earn the highest rate in the industry with 5% cash back in categories that change quarterly (up to $1,500 in purchases) and 1% on all other purchases. In addition, the It® Card includes no fees, and an excellent 0% APR for 14 months on purchases and balance transfers followed by a moderate ongoing APR.
Although there’s a quarterly limit on your 5% earning ability, there are no limitations on other purchases at 1%. For flexible shoppers who can take advantage of the rotating categories (ie: gas, restaurants, department stores and groceries), the It® Card will provide more earnings than most other cards. More details…
#2 – Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express (More Cash)
Similar to the Discover It® Card, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express also provides increased cash back incentives in special categories, but unlike the It® Card the categories don’t rotate each quarter. Get a flat 3% cash back at supermarkets, 2% at gas stations and select department stores, and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
There are limitations on the 3% cash back you can earn (up to $6000 in spending per year), but there are no limits on the 2% and 1% incentives. If you aren’t quite as organized, the Blue Cash Everyday® Card may be a better fit than Discover It® since you don’t have to worry about rotating categories. It also provides 0% for 12 months and no annual fee. More details…
#3 – Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card (Another Option)
The Citi® Dividend Platinum Select® Visa® Card is another cash back offer with rotating categories and increased perks. Enroll each quarter for 5% bonus cash back in popular categories such as department stores, home improvement, dining and more. You’ll earn 1% cash back on all other purchases, along with with a $100 signup bonus after $500 in purchases within the first 3 months.
The Citi Dividend Platinum Select Card does have some limitations, the most important being the $300 yearly earnings cap. Assuming you only use the card to take advantage of the 5% bonus, rewards would only be earned on your first $6,000 in purchases. If you don’t spend this much in the rotating categories, you’ll continue to be rewarded beyond this amount. More details…
How to Earn the Most Cash Rewards
To benefit the most from cash back credit cards, you need to be vigilant about taking advantage of special offers and promotions. If your credit card provides bonus incentives in a particular category, use it on those purchases! Adjust your shopping habits and visit retailers that provide higher bonuses, especially if they fall into your daily routine. Use your card for daily purchases everywhere you go, just be sure to pay the balance down quickly since interest charges will diminish your profits. If you must carry a balance, use the card with the lowest possible interest rate to limit your losses.
* To compare these and other offers, visit wowcreditcards.com