Best Cash Back Credit Cards of 2023
Cash back credit cards can be a great way to earn rewards on your everyday spending. The right cash back card can help you maximize savings on groceries, gas, dining out, online shopping, and more. With so many options to choose from, it can be tricky to determine which card is best suited for your lifestyle and spending habits.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss our picks for the top cash back credit cards for 2023. We evaluated cards based on factors like bonus categories, earning rates, annual fees, and redemption options. Whether you are looking to earn at grocery stores, gas stations, or online shopping portals, we have recommendations to fit different spending profiles. Read on for our list of the 10 best cash back credit cards available this year.
1. Citi Custom Cash Card
The Citi Custom Cash Card earns an unmatched 5% cash back on up to $500 spent in your top eligible purchase category each billing cycle. All other purchases earn 1% back. There is no annual fee. New cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $750 on purchases in the first 3 months.
This is one of the best gas credit cards when you select the gas station category each billing cycle. It is also a strong choice for frequent spenders at grocery stores, streaming services, tolls, or any other category of your choosing. With no caps on the 5% earnings, this can add up to significant rewards if you focus your spending.
The Custom Cash card makes it easy to maximize bonus rewards in one personalized category. Its $200 sign-up bonus also offers a quick way to earn cash back. Redemption starts at $25 cash back for statement credits or direct deposit.
2. Chase Freedom Unlimited
The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases. New cardholders can earn $200 bonus cash back after spending $500 on purchases in the first 3 months. There is no annual fee.
This is one of the best flat-rate cash back cards thanks to its uncomplicated earning structure. The 1.5% return applies to all spending, so you never have to worry about rotating bonus categories or activating quarterly bonuses. frequent spenders who want a simple way to maximize everyday rewards.
While the Freedom Unlimited lacks category bonuses, its sign-up bonus and solid base earning rate make it a reliable option for non-bonus spending. Cash back can be redeemed starting at $25 for statement credits, direct deposit, gift cards, and more.
3. Discover It Cash Back
The Discover It Cash Back currently offers 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined quarterly category spending, and 1% back on all other purchases. New cardholders can earn $200 bonus cash back after spending $1,000 on purchases in the first 3 months. There is no annual fee.
This quarter’s 5% categories include grocery stores, Walgreens, and CVS. The bonus categories rotate each quarter, letting you earn bonus rewards on seasonally relevant purchases. Even when merchants fall outside of the quarterly categories, the 1% base rate keeps rewards coming on all other spending.
Discover will match all the cash back you earn at the end of your first year. This essentially doubles your first year rewards. Cash back can be redeemed any time in any amount. Discover also has excellent customer service and a user-friendly mobile app.
4. Citi Double Cash
With no bonus categories to track, the Citi Double Cash card earns a straightforward 2% cash back on all purchases – 1% when you buy, and 1% as you pay for those purchases. New cardholders can earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months. There is no annual fee.
For purchasers who like to keep things simple, it’s hard to beat the consistent 2% return of the Double Cash card. The flat earning rate makes it easy to estimate future rewards earnings based on your total spending. This can be a good option for big spenders purchasing large tickets items.
While the DoubleCash card lacks the bonus category potential of some other options, its base 2% earning rate never fluctuates. Cash can be redeemed once you hit $25. ATM withdrawals are another redemption option to receive cash quickly.
5. Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards
The Capital One SavorOne card offers an unlimited 3% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases, 2% at grocery stores, and 1% on all other spending. New accounts can earn a $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months of account opening. There is no annual fee.
From dining out to streaming services, this card accelerates rewards for top spending categories without charging an annual fee. The 3% entertainment category also covers popular streaming services like Netflix and Disney+, which have become common monthly expenses.
The SavorOne rewards redemption starts at $20 for cash back credits, bank deposits, gift cards, and more. Capital One also offers unique entertainment access and culinary benefits for cardholders. If you maximize the 3% categories, this $0 annual fee card can be extremely rewarding.
6. Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred Card from American Express earns 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases. It also earns 6% on select U.S. streaming subscriptions, 3% at U.S. gas stations, 3% on transit, and 1% on all other eligible purchases. New cardholders can earn a $350 statement credit after spending $3,000 in purchases on your new card within the first 6 months. There is a $95 annual fee.
For American Express cardholders, this can be one of the best grocery credit cards, maximizing rewards for frequent grocery store spending. If you spend the $6,000 limit at grocery stores each year, you would earn $360 back just from the 6% category alone. Between gas, streaming services, and transit, there are numerous ways to earn above-average rewards.
While the $95 annual fee is higher than some other options, if you fully utilize the 6% groceries category and additional 3% bonuses, it is easy to come out ahead. Cash back can be redeemed for statement credits starting at $25.
7. Wells Fargo Active Cash Card
The Wells Fargo Active Cash Card earns unlimited 2% cash rewards on purchases. New cardholders can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending $1,000 in purchases in the first 3 months. There is no annual fee.
This straightforward 2% card doesn’t limit rewards to revolving categories or merchant types. As long as you make a purchase using the card, you earn 2% back with no maximum cap. For those who want to keep things simple without changing spending habits to chase bonuses, it’s an ideal choice.
While the Active Cash card lacks category bonuses, its $200 new cardholder offer helps offset that. Redemption starts at $25 cash rewards for statement credits or direct deposits to a Wells Fargo account. It is a dependable card that can fit spending needs as they change over time.
8. U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature
The U.S. Bank Cash+ Visa Signature card lets you choose 2% and 5% cash back bonus categories each quarter from a list of options including gas stations, grocery stores, fast food, electronics stores, and more. You earn 1% back on other eligible purchases. New accounts can earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $1,000 in the first 120 days. There is no annual fee.
This card’s flexibility in choosing 5% categories each quarter is perfect for maximizing rewards on seasonal categories like department stores, furniture, electronics, and more. Even if you only spend moderately in the bonus categories, with no caps on 5% earnings, the rewards can add up quickly.
While you must log in each quarter to update your categories, U.S. Bank offers a deep list of options. With no annual fee, it can deliver higher rewards than many simple flat-rate cards when you align bonus category spending. Cash back redemptions start at $25.
9. Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards
The Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards card lets you pick one 3% cash back category such as gas, dining, travel, and more. You earn 2% back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs, and 1% on other purchases. New accounts can earn a $200 cash rewards bonus after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. There is no annual fee.
If you tend to focus spending in one particular category like gas or online shopping, this card lets you align rewards with your top spending category each month. By picking your highest monthly expense, you can maximize the 3% bonus. The broad 2% grocery/wholesale club category also helps capture more everyday spend.
While the Customized Cash card earns lower base rates than some competitors, the ability to pick your own 3% category is valuable. Cash rewards can be redeemed into a Bank of America checking or savings account starting at $25.
10. Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards
The Capital One Quicksilver card offers unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases with no rotating categories or sign-ups. New cardholders can earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within 3 months. There is no annual fee.
For those who value simplicity, Quicksilver makes it easy to earn 1.5% back on all purchases without tracking categories. The unlimited earning potential also means your cash back doesn’t stop after reaching a cap. It can be a good card for flat-rate rewards on all spending types.
With no limits on 1.5% cash back earnings, frequent spenders can earn higher rewards than some category cards over time. Capital One also offers perks like extended warranty protection and access to exclusive entertainment events. Cash rewards can be redeemed at any amount starting at $25.
Choosing the Best Cash Back Credit Card for You
With all the options for earning cash rewards, it pays to consider your spending patterns and bonus category preferences before applying for a new card.
Here are some additional factors to compare:
Annual Fees – Cards like Chase Freedom Unlimited and Wells Fargo Active Cash have no annual fee. Others like Blue Cash Preferred from American Express charge up to $95 per year, so do the math to estimate if rewards outweigh the fee based on your spending.
Category Bonuses – Aim for cards like Citi Custom Cash or Discover It that offer 5% back in your top spending categories. But also consider cards like Citi Double Cash that earn 2% on every purchase if you tend to spread spending widely.
Welcome Offers – Look for generous sign-up bonuses that can help you earn over $200 cash back within the first few months of your account opening. Just be sure to track minimum spend requirements.
Foreign Transaction Fees – If you travel internationally, cards like Capital One Quicksilver avoid this common 3% fee on purchases abroad.
Redemption Minimums – Some cards let you redeem cash rewards after hitting $20 or $25 earned. Others have no minimum redemption thresholds.
Digital Tools – Mobile apps and account management features can make tracking rewards and redeeming cash back quick and easy. Prioritize cards with convenient digital access.
Maximize Cash Back with Smart Spending
Once you’ve selected the right cash back credit card for your wallet, put it to work! Here are some ways to maximize rewards on your top spending categories with smart card use:
Use online shopping portals – Cash back sites like Rakuten let you earn bonus rewards at hundreds of retailers when you access via their portal. Shopping through these sites boosts your credit card rewards.
Remember lesser categories – Dining, transit, streaming services, phone plans, and utilities often earn bonuses. Determine your fixed bills eligible for extra rewards.
Meet minimum spends with regular expenses – Instead of overspending to earn sign-up bonuses, use new cards strategically for groceries, gas, and other existing purchases.
Pay your card off in full each month – Interest charges can quickly cancel out any cash back rewards earned. Pay on time and in full each billing cycle to avoid interest fees.
Use contactless and digital wallets – Paying with touch-free options like Apple Pay and Google Pay makes it even more convenient to use your cash back cards frequently.
Claim cash back at least yearly – Letting rewards accumulate indefinitely defeats the purpose. Redeem for statement credits or deposit cash into your bank account routinely.
The Bottom Line
Cash back credit cards remain one of the simplest ways to get rewarded for your spending. The best options combine generous welcome bonuses with strong ongoing earning potential on top bonus categories. But don’t forget about cards with great base earning rates across all purchases.
Hopefully this rundown of the top cash back cards for 2023 gives you some inspiration on ways to earn. Your ideal card depends on your monthly budget and purchases. But with the right strategy, cash back rewards can help you save big each year while spending on your regular household needs and expenses.