Credit cards don’t have to be scary. So long as you understand them, use them wisely, and pay them on time, you will come out ahead every time. A cash back credit card can make a huge difference in how much you are spending on your food, gas, groceries, and everything else. If you use the right cash back credit card when you make purchases, you could cut 5% off your monthly expenses.
The best thing you can do to maximize your cash back earning with credit cards is to keep track of how you spend your money. You can then identify the types of things that use up most of your monthly budget. If you spend the most on gas, find a credit card that rewards the most for purchases at gas stations. If your grocery budget is large, find a card meant for those who buy lots of groceries. You can also have a few different credit cards, with each one having a different bonus category for those particular expenses.
If you are a business owner, you can do the exact same thing. Identify which things you spend a lot on each month and pick the credit cards that will maximize your cash back. As a business, you want to keep your expenses as low as possible and getting cash back can help pad the expense column. You can also have credit cards specifically for your business and personal cards for your own personal use. This way you can maximize on everything all the time.
Check out some of our cash back credit card recommendations and start earning cash back now.
Our Cash Back Credit Card Recommendations
Best Overall Cash Back Credit Card: Blue Cash Preferred American Express Card
The Blue Cash Preferred American Express credit card stands out among the rest when it comes to cash back credit cards. It has multiple high earning bonus categories as well as a great sign-up bonus with an easy spending requirement. You don’t want to miss out on this card.
This card offers some amazing cash back opportunities that you won’t even worry about the $95 annual fee. With the elevated bonus categories, you can easily offset the cost of the card every year. The sign-up bonus alone is worth quite a bit without requiring too much spending. You can earn a $250 cash back statement credit after you spend only $1,000 in the first three months from account opening.
As mentioned, the best part about this card is the bonus categories. You will earn a whopping 6% back on grocery purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases every year. You will also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming services, which pretty much everybody uses nowadays.
Whether you commute by car or public transportation, you will get 3% cash back getting to work. This card offers 3% cash back on gas purchases at U.S. gas stations as well as on transit like taxis, rideshares, parking, tolls, and train tickets. Even at 3%, this can add up quickly since these are likely substantial purchases each month. All other purchases will earn 1% cash back. All cash back can be redeemed as a statement credit.
The Blue Cash Preferred card also offers some other notable benefits. First, it features a 0% intro APR period for 12 months. We don’t recommend carrying a balance over month to month due to interest, but this period can help with bigger purchases you want to be able to pay for over time. It also has return protection on items you buy entirely on the card. And finally, although it’s not really an international travel card, it does offer rental car loss and damage insurance.
Best Business Cash Back Credit Card: Chase Ink Business Cash Credit Card
Chase has a phenomenal portfolio of credit cards, including its business credit cards. One not to be missed is the Ink Business Cash Credit Card. This is one of the best cash back credit cards for business owners thanks to an awesome sign-up bonus and bonus earning categories catered specifically for businesses.
First things first: This card has no annual fee. For a card this great, it is hard to believe that it doesn’t have an annual fee. The sign-up bonus makes it even sweeter by earning $500 in cash back after you spend $3,000 on the card in the first three months from account opening. Although the minimum spending requirement is a bit high, the amount earned is much higher than other no-fee cash back cards.
The bonus earning on this card is tailored to all types of business owners. If you have a business that you operate out of an office or building, the 5% cash back categories are great for you. You will earn 5% cash back at office supply stores and on internet, cable, and phone services. You will earn the 5% back on up to $25,000 in combined purchases in these bonus categories each year.
If you have a business that doesn’t operate in one location, the 2% cash back bonus categories might be great for you. You will earn 2% cash back at both restaurants and gas stations on up to $25,000 in combined purchases each year. So if you are a travel-based business owner, these categories will help put more money back in your pocket. Even better is that you get free employee cards so your employees’ business purchases earn the rewards for you too. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
The card also features auto rental collision damage waiver, purchase protection, and extended warranty protection. Although these aren’t the standout features of this card, they can come in handy from time to time.
This card can be worth even more in rewards if you happen to have one of Chase’s Sapphire products or the Ink Business Preferred Card. These cards earn Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be used on travel purchases by transferring to a number of airline and hotel loyalty programs.
With one of those cards, you can combine points between accounts, including the Ink Business Cash credit card. The 5% cash back category then earns five points per dollar and the 2% category earns two points per dollar. These can then be worth significantly more (anywhere from 25% more up to about 100% more), depending on which card you have and if you transfer the points to other loyalty programs.
As you can see, the Ink Business Cash credit card from Chase really packs a punch for business owners. Apply now and start earning cash back for everything you buy.
Best Cash Back Credit Card for Dining: Capital One Savor Credit Card
If you like to go out on the town for drinks, food, and fun, the Capital One Savor credit card is a great cash back credit card to have in your wallet. If you are a business owner that regularly treats your employees to lunch or you take potential clients out, you should consider this card as well.
This cash back credit card has a manageable annual fee of $95, which can easily be offset by the generous dining and entertainment category. But starting off, the sign-up bonus is quite generous for a cash back credit card. If you spend $3,000 on the card within the first three months from account opening, you will earn $300 in cash back.
This card generously rewards you for eating out and having a good time with family, friends, or coworkers. The card gives 4% cash back on all of your dining and entertainment expenses without any limit. This category can be extremely lucrative if you regularly go out on the weekends. It also gives 2% cash back for your grocery store purchases. So no matter if you buy food out of the house or cook at home, you will be rewarded either way. Everything else earns 1% cash back, so you are always being rewarded.
This card also has some other features worth mentioning. It has no foreign transaction fees, so you can take this card abroad without it costing you any extra. It also has extended warranty on your purchases and travel accident insurance.
One thing to be aware of is that Capital One only allows individuals to have two Capital One personal credit cards at a time. If you already have two personal cards from the bank, you won’t be approved for another one.
If you like to eat out and have some fun at concerts, sports games, or the movies, the Capital One Savor credit card would be a great cash back credit card for you.
The Beauty of Cash Back Cards and How They Work
So long as you can manage your finances well and not overspend, a cash back credit card can do wonders. If you use it recklessly, you could end up in a hole of never-ending credit card debt. But if you know how they work and use them to your advantage, you can come out way ahead.
You might think that banks are losing money due to paying cash back every time you make a purchase with your card. However, there are other things going on behind the scenes where the bank is actually making more money than they are giving back. Every time you use a credit card, there are fees charged to the merchant (whether that’s a gas station or grocery store), which are usually a percentage of the purchase. The business then pays that to the bank, which then gives a portion of that back to you.
As you can see, if you don’t use some sort of rewards earning credit card, you are actually paying more for your goods and services. Businesses increase the prices of their goods slightly to offset the fees they have to pay so that the expense falls back on the customer. If you want to avoid paying more for everything, you should use a cash back card (or another rewards earning card) to make your purchases.
Credit cards also provide a lot of different advantages over cash or debit cards than just cash back. Credit card companies monitor for fraud on your cards, which protects you from having a huge fraudulent credit card bill for things you never bought. They make it easy to dispute charges you haven’t made and won’t make you pay for them on your bill. If you get your debit card information stolen, it can make it much more difficult to dispute charges since the money is directly taken from your bank account.
Credit cards are also the easiest way to build or rebuild your credit. Having a good credit score will save you hundreds or thousands of dollars in interest payments on your car, your house, or other loans. By paying your bill on time every month and handling your credit responsibly, you can maintain solid credit to get good interest rates and favorable terms on any future loans.
Credit cards also provide a substantial grace period for paying for all of your purchases. Most banks and credit card issuers will give over 20 days to pay your bill once the billing cycle ends. That gives you the opportunity to ensure you have the cash on hand to pay your bill. Additionally, credit cards provide consumers more spending power. With a line of credit, you can afford items that you may not have enough cash on hand for at the time.
Credit cards, especially ones that offer cash back, should be part of your financial plan. They provide protection from fraud, give tons of perks and benefits, and help build credit for your future.